Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Solomon 2015 PEN Gala, May 5, 2015, American Museum of Natural History
Beowulf Sheehan/PEN American Center / ommons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Andrew_Solomon_2015.jpg

It's easy for many to feel a little blue this time of year, now that we're now smack dab in the dark days of December. The holidays can be especially difficult for people who struggle with depression.

It's been a busy month for the Criminal Podcast. Host Phoebe Judge and her producers recently returned from a 14-city tour across the U.S. and Canada.

"I think our favorite show was right here in Durham," said Phoebe, adding that she told stories on stage, but also did a magic trick.

Lucy Dacus Spins a Party Playlist of her Favorite Tunes

Dec 16, 2016
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Lopez, Kristina

Virginia musician Lucy Dacus has had a pretty sweet 2016. Back in February, she put out her debut album “No Burden” on a local label. Then 20 labels were so floored, they came calling to re-release it. Matador Records won the bidding war, and their reissue is out now.

Here’s Lucy with a playlist for a dinner party that doubles as a listening party.

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – “Guts”

Barry Jenkins Digs Into the Depths of ‘Moonlight’

Dec 16, 2016
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Lopez, Kristina

Barry Jenkins’s low-budget debut “A Medicine for Melancholy” put him on critics’ radar. But his latest — the meditative coming-of-age drama “Moonlight” — is an indie hit and a major Oscar contender. It’s already up for five Golden Globe awards.

The film, based on a play by Tarell Alvin McCraney, tells three separate stories about Chiron, a child born and raised in the projects outside Miami. We meet him first as a boy, then as a teenager, and finally as a twenty-something. Each story unspools slowly, focusing on gorgeous imagery and small moments.

Gael García Bernal Waxes Poetic on ‘Neruda’

Dec 16, 2016
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Lopez, Kristina

Gael García Bernal is one of the most respected actors and producers in the world (just ask Time magazine, which named him one of the year’s most influential people). He first earned raves in films like “Amores Perros” and “The Motorcycle Diaries.” And we talked to him last year about his starring role on the Amazon series “Mozart in the Jungle” — which earned him a Golden Globe.

Image of exhibit celebrating the history of The Scrap Exchange and Durham's Lakewood neighborhood.
Katy Clune

North Carolinians throw away 11 million tons of waste each year, contributing to the more than 200 million tons of waste discarded by all Americans. 

David Simchock

Balsam Range's new album, "Mountain Voodoo," has taken the band to the top of the bluegrass charts with its mix of bluegrass, gospel, and honky-tonk.

Band members Buddy Melton, Tim Surrett, Darren Nicholson, Caleb Smith, and Marc Pruett chat with Frank Stasio about hosting "A Bluegrass Kinda Christmas," and Raleigh's evolution as a haven for bluegrass musicians of all stripes.

Turbulent times, turbulent skies

Dec 15, 2016

On this episode of Reveal, we explore the backstory of Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon. Plus, just in time for the holidays, we take a look at some real travel nightmares and the airlines that cause them.

Sound Opinions Show

Dec 15, 2016

SOUND OPINIONS WEEKLY RUNDOWN, 12/16/2016, SO_0121616

ANNOUNCER COPY: Coming up… it’s the annual Sound Opinions Christmas Spectacular!   Tune in for rare pop, psychedelic, and soul Christmas tunes you won’t hear anywhere else.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:

FEATURE:

An image pop singer Beyonce
Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

 


As the year comes to a close, popular culture experts Natalie Bullock Brown, professor of film and broadcast media at St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, and Mark Anthony Neal, professor of African & African American Studies at Duke University in Durham, reflect on cultural media that stood out to in 2016.  They shared some of their favorites from the year in music, movies and television on The State of Things with host Frank Stasio.

Auctions and Boxers

Dec 13, 2016
Lewis Lapham
David Polenberg

George Plimpton escorts an auction winner through the legendary bar and restaurant Elaine's on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Lewis Lapham is a rookie reporter in San Francisco when he is tasked with notifying a young woman of her husband's untimely death. Jose Torres, World Boxing Light Heavyweight, discovers how to harness his fears. Christopher Hitchens is traveling through a small village in Ceylon when his car hits a villager.

Rico and Brendan visit Cuba (Photos)

Dec 13, 2016
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Lopez, Kristina

You may have heard in a few recent episodes that Brendan and Rico visited Cuba. Other than having more than enough flan and mojitos for a lifetime, our hosts also had the opportunity to visit a music school for gifted students called the Conservatorio Guillermo Tomás, Finca Vigía (where Ernest Hemingway wrote “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “The Oldman and the Sea”), a cigar factory, and more.

Get a glimpse of their trip in the photos below and stay tuned for an upcoming main course taped during their journey in Havana. It’s set to air on our December 19 episode.

Meet Nancy Petty

Dec 12, 2016
Reverend Nancy Petty
CREDIT PULLEN BAPTIST CHURCH

As an activist pastor at Raleigh’s progressive Pullen Baptist Church, Nancy Petty is often making news. She is openly gay and has championed marriage equality and LGBT rights. She has led Moral Monday protests and chairs the Reverend William Barber’s Repairers of the Breach board. Most recently her work has focused on facilitating interfaith dialogue with Raleigh’s Muslim community and fighting Islamaphobia and racism.  Her transformative journey from her small town upbringing in Shelby, North Carolina, paralleled major social shifts happening in the churches she has served.

Sound Opinions Presents: Best Albums of 2016

Dec 12, 2016

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot love putting together a list of their favorite music of the year, and 2016 is no different. The critics share highlights from their lists. Plus, some listeners tell us about their favorite albums of the year. Featured artists include Solange, Nick Cave, Savages and more.

This is a Christmas special like none other. Holiday music collector and expert Andy Cirzan scours record stores, dustbins and basements to find the best and most unique tunes for the season. And each year he treats Sound Opinions listeners to a much-anticipated hour of music and a free mix to download.

Pierre Epstein
Photo by Jason Falchook

Adam Ruben is at a loss when it comes to buying Christmas gifts.

Pierre Epstein is a little boy tracking the progress of his Uncle Igor's escape from Nazi-occupied France.

Ed McCarthy break sinto the house he grew up in to rescue a precious box of Christmas decorations.

Katie Fales
 grandfather is a rancher who was to rescue a bunch of stranded steer.

Catherine McCarthy finally admits she's homesick during Christmas in Thailand.

An image of musician Phil Cook
Middle West Management

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

This time Eric Hodge sits down with Durham, NC based musician Phil Cook to discuss "Sitting On A Fence" from Cook's album Southland Mission.

Tom Rankin

Beloved North Carolina authors Lee Smith and Jill McCorkle first partnered up with Nashville-based musicians Matraca Berg and Marshall Chapman to help design the musical “Good Ol’ Girls,” which debuted in 2010. 

An image of the band Elizabeth Haddix and the Gurley Flynns
Dave Clark

Back in the mid-1990s, singer/songwriter Elizabeth Haddix had just entered law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when she realized academics should not be the only thing in her life. On the first day of class, she went to the local music store and bought herself an acoustic guitar to fill her passion for a creative outlet.

The Monti
Jessie Gladdek

 In the eight years since founding The Monti, a North Carolina-based storytelling organization, Jeff Polish has chosen a variety of topics for storytellers. Participants on The Monti stage have talked about their experiences around themes like "Fear," "The End of the Road," and "Humility." 

But one topic stayed off the list: God. When Polish eventually decided to broach the difficult subject of a higher power, the response was off-the-charts.

Secrets of the Watchtower

Dec 8, 2016

For the past two years, Reveal reporter Trey Bundy has been uncovering how the Jehovah’s Witnesses hide sexual abuse in their congregations – in fact, it’s official policy. The religion's leaders have been going to extreme lengths to keep the details from public view. On the next Reveal, we track down people who know the religion’s dark secrets.

Jake Fussell Playing Guitar
Brad Bunyea

Jake Fussell didn’t have to look far for musical inspiration in his home state of Georgia.  Even before he picked up a guitar, he was surrounded by some of the region’s most storied performers and committed documentarians.  Fussell grew up in the town of Columbus, GA, the son of parents whose passion was studying, teaching, and presenting regional culture.  For Fussell, an American folk song like “Raggy Levy” isn’t just an archival find.  It’s a part of his lived experience. 

An image of the book cover for 'Metaphors Be With You'
Courtesy of Harper Collins

Poet Robert Frost once said, "An idea is a feat of association, and the height of it is a good metaphor."

What’s the Worst Present You’ve Ever Received?

Dec 6, 2016
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Lopez, Kristina

Total raised by solicitors and percentage passed through to nonprofits and charities.
Secretary of State

Professional fundraisers had a down year in 2015-16. However, this marks just one slice of overall charitable giving and does not necessarily indicate a down year for nonprofits as a whole.

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