Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Surviving Being Human

Apr 24, 2018
Natsha Guynes
Photo by Jason Falchook

Cynthia Shelby Lane sets her sights on a job that’s out of this world. Lemn Sissay attempts to uncover a hidden past.
Natasha Guynes desperately tries to hide her past from co-workers on The Hill.
Matt Brown confronts his insecurities in an unconventional way
Daniel Turpin deals with the aftermath of a split second decision.

photo of 5 actors in nascar-type coveralls
Courtesy of Keith Harris

Fans of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” know him as Dr. Harlan Carson, but long before that R. Keith Harris was making a name for himself as an actor in films like “Big Fish” and “A Walk in the Woods.” Raised in Reidsville, North Carolina, Harris tried his hand at living in Los Angeles, but came back home with $40 in his pocket and very little to show for his five year investment. For most that would have been the end of the Hollywood dream. But for Harris, his acting opportunities have continued to expand.

the five members of kooley high posing in a parking lot
Brett Villena

North Carolina hip-hop group Kooley High is out with their new album “Never Come Down.” The acclaimed Kendrick Lamar-collaborator Patrick Douthit, better known as 9th Wonder, is executive producer for the album and one of the tracks includes Grammy-nominated artist Rapsody who was also a founding member of the group. Rapsody has since branched off for her own solo career, but she is still close with the group that helped her get her start.

The Kindness of Strangers

Apr 20, 2018

Laura Zimmermann loses herself . . . and her stuff in Portugal. David Cole does all that he can to return to sender. Niccolo Aeed faces scrutiny at the airport.  Denise Scheuermann shares a ritual of good hope. Caroline Abilat struggles to show herself kindness after the birth of her first child. Ed Gavagan is called upon to show grace to the boys who stabbed him. 

JULIENNE ALEXANDER / Criminal

When Sheila Wysocki decided that she would solve the murder of her college roommate, she had no idea that it would lead to a life of private investigation. But that's just what happened. (You can hear more about that Cold Case here.) This week's Criminal podcast tells Sheila's story. Host Phoebe Judge went to Nashville to shadow her at work.

A photo of the band Superchunk.
Lissa Gotwals / Merge Records

Decades after forming, Chapel Hill band Superchunk is sounding as engaged and vital as ever.  The new recording is called What A Time To Be Alive and features some vocal assistance from Stephin Merritt from Magnetic Fields, Katie Crutchfield from Waxahatchee and Skylar Gudasz.  But aside from that, the tempos and the roar of guitars are undiminished by time.

Sound Opinions: Jason Isbell

Apr 19, 2018

For country singer/songwriter Jason Isbell's latest record, "The Nashville Sound," he wrote about his role as a father and an artist in today's America. It ended up being his most political album yet, addressing issues like white privilege and working class frustrations. Jason joins Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot to talk about songwriting, ethics, sobriety, and performs a special acoustic set. 

photo of a garden area, with several spires made of earthy material, rising about 10-15 feet into the air
Courtesy of Clearscapes

The new “Oberlin Rising” monument in Raleigh commemorates one of the first African-American communities in the city. After the Civil War, Southern land was divided into parcels and sold to former slaves, and Raleigh’s Oberlin Village was made up of several of these parcels. It was established in 1866 as one of the first freedmen communities in the city. Oberlin’s history is largely overlooked, and development has nearly erased the community from the landscape.

Trumping Hate

Apr 19, 2018

Has President Donald Trump inspired the people committing hate crimes and other hate threats across the country? There’s been a lot of conversation about how Trump has inspired -- or at least capitalized on -- a new wave of hate in America. Little of that conversation has been based in provable facts. But Reveal’s Will Carless noticed a pattern while mining Documenting Hate, a collaboration led by ProPublica to collate hate incident data from across the country: People were using Trump’s name to taunt people of color, women, Muslims, immigrants and LGBT people.

Daniel Romano - Modern Pressure
New West Records

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery stream, WUNC Music.

When food lovers travel it's often to find and enjoy a very specific food, dine at a well-known restaurant, shop at a popular market, or discover the origin point for a certain cuisine. But have you ever wondered about the lasting effect that our food-centric travels have on the people and economy of the places we visit? Dr. Lucy Long not only thinks about, she researches the results as part of her work with Bowling Green State University and the Center for Food and Culture (CFC).

Recently, we had a guest named Jorge Gaviria, who is a corn tortilla evangelist. Francis Lam talked with him about corn tortillas, and it got us more excited about corn tortillas than we'd ever felt before. Since then, we realized that flour tortillas have lost a lot of love. So, we wanted to give them equal time in the Great Tortilla Debate.

America's Test Kitchen discovers Wisconsin spicy cheese bread

Apr 19, 2018

Wisconsin is a state that prides itself on cheese, cheese production, and cheese loving. So, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that a fan favorite snack at a famous famers market in Madison, Wisconsin is bread baked with chunks of cheese inside. Managing Producer Sally Swift talks with Tucker Shaw, from America’s Test Kitchen, about the spicy, cheesy treat and how to make it at home. You can bake the Cook’s Country recipe for Spicy Cheese Bread.

Live from Sydney

Apr 18, 2018
Omar Musa
Victoria Baldwin

Omar Musa travels to Malaysia and finds his roots. Dan Illic does a parody of an Australian tragedy that some felt was definitely "too soon." Suki Kim is a journalist who risks her life, posing as a teacher in an elite, North Korean school.

NOTE: When offensive or FCC-prohibited words appear, they are bleeped and listed in the Content Advisory.  Sensitive content will be given an on-air caution and will be noted here in the description.

Global Stories of Women and Girls

Apr 18, 2018
Esther Ngumbi
Photo by Jason Falchook

Mary Hamilton gets married to an unconventional man.

Esther Ngumbi hides an act of defiance from her mother.

Jon Howe re-commits to his ailing wife.

Emely Recinos struggles with her diminishing eye-sight.

Author Mary Shelley’s life holds enduring intrigue. Born in 1797, Shelley was raised by famed intellectuals and trained to think in ways that stretched far beyond most women in her time, and she was undoubtedly a rebel. In her teens, Shelley took up a lover, writer Percy Shelley, who would later become her husband. Their escapades with literary friends fueled Mary Shelley’s work.

Betty Wright - My First Time Around
ATCO Records

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery stream, WUNC Music.

Mourad Lahlou came to America from Morocco, not to work in restaurants, but to study economics, until he missed the taste of his food so much that he decided to become a chef. And in his restaurants, he makes beautiful versions of Moroccan food – like traditional hand-rolled couscous and modern, jet-black aerated smoked eggplant purees. Now, he and his chef Louis Maldonado are opening a new restaurant called Amara, where the food is a mix of Moroccan and Mexican flavors – two cuisines with more in common that you might think.

To honor Frederick Douglass’ 200th birthday, the nonprofit Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives set forth to print and distribute one million copies of Douglass’ historic slave narrative. They initially had no idea how they would generate public interest. Then Donald Trump was quoted saying, “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice.”  Suddenly Ken Morris, a descendant of Douglass and co-founder of the nonprofit, was fielding non-stop calls from the press, and his history lesson for the president went viral.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats - Tearing At The Seams
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery stream, WUNC Music.

headshot of pierce freelon
Mark Maya Photography

Pierce Freelon is known to many in the Triangle for his ambitious projects and constant stream of new ideas.

If he is not performing onstage with his band The Beast, teaching about the intersection of politics and hip-hop, or heading a rap cypher in downtown Durham, he is likely leading workshops at Blackspace: a digital makerspace that offers black and brown youth the opportunity to create multimedia projects that reflect their identities.

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery stream, WUNC Music.

photo of joy harjo
Karen Kuehn

Critics call Joy Harjo “the first lady of American Indian poetry.” But Harjo is more than a poet. She is also an author, musician and playwright. She is a native of Oklahoma and a member of the Mvskoke (Muscogee) Nation.

photo of leeda 'lyric' jones playing guitar onstage
Courtesy of Leeda 'Lyric' Jones

Leeda “Lyric” Jones honed her skills as a writer, singer and performer busking on the streets of downtown Asheville. At first hesitant to play for strangers, she quickly realized her original lyrics and soulful style helped her forge connections with those who needed it the most.

A picture of Jphono1 and The Chevrons
Kevin Clark

Carrboro-based JPhono1 used to be a solo act. But now, Jphono1 and The Chevrons is officially a band.

The 2016 release Time In The Chevron was head-honcho John Harrison's first experiment in using a band for his Jphono1 project. Well, he must have thought it was a good idea because he's back with an additional band member for the new recording Magic Meadow Hour. It's out now and if you like Dinosaur, Junior, Kurt Vile or Neil Young it could be right up your alley. 

Sound Opinions: The Legend of Captain Beefheart

Apr 12, 2018

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot explore the legend of Captain Beefheart, a musician with a larger-than-life personality who blurred the lines of music, art and noise. Also, they talk with longtime Captain Beefheart collaborator Gary Lucas and share their thoughts on why Beefheart's music, however difficult, is of value.

photo of a young man wearing a varsity jacket with the letters 'mdtmt' on the back
Courtesy of Keynon Lake

Many know Bennie Lake as one of the original Harlem Globetrotters who traveled the world entertaining audiences with their comedy and athleticism. But for his son Keynon, Bennie was a role model of what a man should be: an engaged citizen with a commitment to helping young people through his career as a social worker.

Tech companies in Silicon Valley are under the microscope for not living up to their idealistic pledges to save the world. On this week’s episode of Reveal, we investigate companies on the cutting edge that are struggling to solve some old-fashioned problems: Worker safety at Tesla, and diversity at Google and beyond.

American Tobacco Music
American Tobacco

This year, WUNC's co-sponsored On The Lawn series expands to include not only concerts "on the lawn" at American Tobacco but also "Music Down Under" and "Sounds of Bull City."

Most of the concerts will be on the grassy lawn beneath the Lucky Strike tower as in years past. Others will happen at near the outfield section of Durham Bulls Athletic Park (Home Run Patio) or at the Down Under Patio near Saladelia.

The events are free and open to the public. You're encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to the "on the lawn" events. No bottles allowed.

American Tobacco Music and Mill Music Sessions
American Tobacco / Rocky Mount Mills

Lawns and patios in Durham and a mill in Rocky Mount will reverberate with the sounds of music this summer in a series of concerts co-sponsored by WUNC.

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