Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Mismatch, Marriage, and a Marathon

Dec 22, 2016
Horace H.B. Sanders
Sean Carter

Jessica Lee Williamson follows love to a campsite and loses her sense of self.
  Horace HB Sanders gets married and divorced and then remarried.
Peter Sagal runs The Boston Marathon as a guide for a visually impaired man.

Holiday specials are a long-running tradition. Think “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” or “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” And there are, as She & Him collaborators Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward told us, beloved holiday albums, too. Now in the age of the Internet, there are holiday memes.

Lopez, Kristina

We think the holidays merited a brand new edition of Guest List, in which an interesting person lists some interesting things. This time around our guest is Richard Lawson.

The DPD audience knows him as an esteemed member of our Small Talk cabinet, providing us with odd news of the week. Early in his career, he was, in our opinion, the most entertaining TV recapper in the world.

She & Him Spin a Sort of Christmas Playlist

Dec 22, 2016

After shedding a little light on their holiday traditions, the duo stopped built a party soundtrack that has just the right amount Christmassy vibes to set the tone for your next holiday soirée.

Zooey Deschanel: We would like to share with you our, sort of Christmas, sort of not Christmas, playlist.

M. Ward: As a gift to you listeners.

Zooey Deschanel: From us.

M. Ward: Are you ready?

Lopez, Kristina

The History Lesson

New-wave music was mainly known for flashy videos and enormous hair. But in 1984… Bob Geldof used it to fight hunger

It made sense. Bob fronted new-wave band “The Boomtown Rats.” But he’d also been an anti-poverty activist since age 13. So, when he saw a news report about mass famine in Ethiopia, he and Midge Ure of the band “Ultravox” figured they’d raise cash for the cause by putting out a song about it.

A second helping! Entertaining Advice from Alton Brown

Dec 22, 2016
Lopez, Kristina

Each week, our listeners send in questions about how to behave, and this time around, Alton Brown is sitting in the etiquette expert hot seat.

He talked with us recently about his new cookbook “EveryDayCook.” He is also a man who, among other things, was the toughest judge on “Food Network Star.” So he clearly has a few ideas about how things should be.

The Milky Way spirals over the coquina outcrop in Kure Beach, NC. This image is made up of two rows, 16 photos stitched together in Photoshop to capture the massive scene on 7/26/2016.
Hunter Anderson / @huntb3000

It all started with an iPhone.

About a year ago, Hunter Anderson started to take photos with his phone and gradually wanted to learn more about photography.

Jury Duty, Walking Tests, Pepsi and NOLA

Dec 21, 2016

Danusia Trevino is forever changed by jury duty.

Charles Upshaw trains to walk 50 feet.

Morely McBride
 is asked to give up the soda she loves.

Chris Turgeon 
has a blind spot when it comes to his son.

An image of Negar Mottahedeh
Golbarg Bashi

It's easy to think of a "selfie" as a narcissistic way to accrue "likes" on social media and  flaunt your latest traveling adventures. But every "selfie" tells a story about the photographer's world.

Negar Mottahedeh, associate professor of literature at Duke University in Durham, says taking a selfie is a humanizing way to document history in the age of social media. In a recent speech at TEDxDurham, Mottahedeh illustrated the ways selfies can be used as tools for protest and citizen journalism.

Sound Opinions Show

Dec 21, 2016


ANNOUNCER COPY: Coming up…the punk music collective The Mekons have been carving their own path for almost 40 years. They join Sound Opinions hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for a live in-studio performance. Plus a review of the new album from R&B singer Dawn Richard (ree-shard).



Nathania Johnson

We asked our listeners to make their selections for favorite topic or most engaging conversation on The State of Things in 2016. 

Solomon 2015 PEN Gala, May 5, 2015, American Museum of Natural History
Beowulf Sheehan/PEN American Center /

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
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
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
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


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.



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
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

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.