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Arts and Culture

MichaelDaugherty.net

Sixty-two-year-old Michael Daugherty is a well-known and well-decorated contemporary American composer -- recognized for such works as his Grammy Award-winning Metropolis Symphony and 2015 cello concerto Tales of Hemingway

Vinoth Chandar / Creative Commons

I once took guitar lessons with a small group of people who met two nights a week in the basement of a local elementary school. We spent most of each lesson practicing in little nooks and crannies we each carved out in the old room. I enjoyed picking out tunes in my own little corner at my own pace. It was all going so smoothly until... the instructor mentioned the final "concert."

I lost sleep by night, fretted by day, and practiced a lot before forcing myself to show up on the scheduled night. But a funny thing happened: no one else showed up beside me and the instructor. I'm not sure what made me happier - that I showed up, that I got off the hook, or that I had an otherwise pleasant experience that was calm and not rushed.

Mark Dixon / Creative Commons

Republicans in Congress said little when Donald Trump's ban on immigrants led to chaos, they ignored widespread protest against his cabinet picks, and they still fail to call out statements that are untrue. Save for a scattered voice of dissent in Republican ranks, the GOP seems unruffled by Donald Trump's behavior as president - except when it comes to Russia. John McCain is turning into Trump's fiercest critic where most others fear to tread. Is this his moment to be a hero?

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New York magazine's Will Leitch has called ESPN's documentary O. J.: Made in America a masterpiece, and now it's nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary -- Feature category. The Nose watched all seven hours and 45 minutes of it, and it's all we're going to be talking about this week.

MichaelDaugherty.net

Alumni from the Yale School of Music were well represented at the Grammys this year. In all, five graduates of the Yale School of Music were up for Grammys.

Takahiro Kyono. / Wikimedia Commons

Brian Wilson is, in many regards, the perfect musical artist for this moment. We need, for a dozen different reasons, the sweetness and sun of his best-known music. But what makes him more relevant is that undercurrent of melancholy which grew more and more prominent as his music grew less commercial. Who in 2017 does not identify with "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times," a song he wrote and recorded 51 years ago?

Neil Gaiman was 6 years old when he first met the Norse god Thor — although he wasn't the red-bearded hammer-slinger of legend. "Marvel. Marvel's Thor came first," he says. "I was reading the reprints of Marvel's Thor in an English comic called Fantastic. ... Dr. Don Blake found this stick in a cave, banged it down and transformed into Thor, and the stick transformed into the hammer." Gaiman says he spent a lot of his first decade looking for likely sticks, "just on the off chance that they might the Thor stick, and might transform into a mighty hammer.

The 59th annual Grammy Awards brought a pair of sweeps: a likely one for a dearly departed star, a surprise for the reigning queen of pop — and more performances than anyone will likely remember tomorrow.

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  At 8:30 pm on Thursday, September 8, 1966, NBC aired the premiere of a new series called "Star Trek". The episode was "The Man Trap." The star date was 1513.1, in case you're interested in that kind of thing.

I am not interested in that kind of thing.

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A Westport musician has been working with the Smithsonian Institution to collect musical instruments and other ephemera related to Memphis soul music. 

Peabody Awards / Creative Commons

Ira Glass -- host of This American Life, creator of Serial, professional dancer -- used our show as his prime example in "a principled defense of fun on public radio." And then he called the kind of failure that we aim for many days of each week "where you'll find the future."

We want to know more about all that stuff.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

African Americans are a diverse group of people who live in our cities and our suburbs.

This hour, what does it mean to be black in Connecticut?

Sunrise, sunset: light into darkness, darkness into light.

This perpetual cycling through archetypal phases of yin and yang, light slapstick and dour melodrama, is what lends Batman his unique mutability. His fellow heroes are a more stolid lot. They tend to pick a lane and stick with it.

Not Batman. Dude's ephemeral. A veritable will o' the wisp, that guy.

Anjan Chatterjee

I find great joy in walking in the dead of winter along the river trail near my house. Everything leaves my mind as I watch the Canadian geese take flight, their wings flapping together as they lift and swoop over my head. I'm in awe of their beauty.

Amazon

"Sneaky Pete" is a new show on Amazon Prime created by Bryan Cranston and David Shore (who created "House M.D."). Giovanni Ribisi plays a con man (whose name is not Pete, you see) who gets out of jail and moves to Trumbull, Conn., to live with Pete's grandparents (who are not his own grandparents, you see -- even though they don't know that). And then it gets more complicated from there.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Twenty-five-year-old hip-hop artist John Manselle-Young is well-known on the Connecticut stage -- performing under the pseudonym Tang Sauce. Coming up, we sit down with the musician to talk about his latest projects and hear his music live on-air. 

Old Rollei / Creative Commons

Have you ever woken in the middle of the night, looked at the clock, and noticed that it's the same time you woke up the night before - and the night before that? How does your body know what time it is?  You're not sure but the passage of minutes makes you worry that if you don't get back to sleep, you'll be too tired in the morning to get your work done on time. You can't get back to sleep. The minutes are ticking. You feel the pressure of the clock bearing down on you. 

Lori Mack / WNPR

A traveling exhibit, now in New Haven, aims to give people the opportunity to experience solitary confinement and learn about its effects. It includes a replica of a prison cell and people are invited to go "Inside the Box."

Beverly & Pack, Creative Commons / Flickr Creative Commons

It's cold, snowy winter times like this that make us question why we choose to live in a place where snow, sleet, and wind define one-third of the year.  It's a great excuse to complain, but does it also make us stronger and better people?

HBO

HBO's new limited series "The Young Pope" gives us Jude Law as the Pope. A young one, you see. On the face of it, and in its previews and trailers and such, the show seems... ridiculous? Is maybe the right word? Or maybe it just seems sort of Twin Peaksian, but set at the Vatican. Of course, ridiculous vs. Twin Peaksian is kind of a fine -- and super important -- distinction.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour: two musicians, two nations, one unifying sound. We sit down with Brazilian jazz artists Joe Carter and Isabella Mendes. We learn about their unique backgrounds and influences, and we listen to the music that brought them together. 

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Seventy-two years ago on January 27, the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz was liberated by Soviet troops. Now, "citizen historians" in Connecticut are examining how that and other events of the Holocaust were covered in local newspapers.

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The new documentary film "Atlantis Rising" premieres soon on National Geographic. It centers on an underwater search for evidence of the mythical lost city and civilization of Atlantis.

Mary Tyler Moore, who died Wednesday, wasn't just beloved. She was the kind of beloved where they build you a statue. Moore's statue is in Minneapolis, where her best-known character, Mary Richards of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, worked for the fictional television station WJM. She'd already won two Emmys playing Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show, but Moore cemented her icon status when Mary Richards walked into that job interview. Even if she got off to a rough start with Lou Grant, her soon-to-be boss, who kept a bottle of whiskey in his desk.

Derek Σωκράτης Finch / flickr creative commons

So, it turns out the world didn't end last week.

And while it might seem like the events of the last year or so are the disease, maybe they're really just the symptoms; maybe they're really just signs of the dystopia around us.

But, then: Which dystopia?

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