Arts/Culture

Jazz Corridor
6:51 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Jazz Icon Lee Konitz Performs Two Shows at New Haven’s Firehouse 12

Lee Konitz.
Facebook

For even as distinguished a venue as New Haven’s Firehouse 12, presenting the iconic, brilliant, forever bold 87-year-old alto saxophonist/composer Lee Konitz in separate shows at 8:30 and 10:00 pm on Friday, December 12, is a real coup.

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Television
4:26 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

'Sons Of Anarchy' Ends As A Macho Soap Opera Often Anchored By Women

Charlie Hunnam co-stars with Katey Sagal (center) and Drea De Matteo on FX's biker drama Sons of Anarchy.
Prashant Gupta FX Network

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 6:47 pm

Sons of Anarchy is probably the most macho drama on television, featuring a gang of gun-running, porn-making bikers.

But the biggest moment of the final season has featured a woman: Gemma Teller (played by Katey Sagal), mother to biker club president Jax Teller. Gemma admitted killing Jax's wife, Tara, and lying about it, which started a gang war.

When Gemma finally came clean, Jax insisted she pay the ultimate price.

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Voicemail Project
4:19 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

The WNPR Voicemail Project: Retail Horror Stories

John Henderson Creative Commons

WNPR has an experimental radio project and we want you to get involved. The idea is simple: we provide a theme; you call our hotline and tell a story.

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Local Music
2:22 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

The Soothing Sounds of Northampton's Winterpills

Winterpills members Philip Price and Flora Reed in WNPR's studios.
Heather Brandon WNPR

Colin McEnroe has been working for an age to get Winterpills to appear on his show. A new album was recently released by the band, Echolalia, allowing WNPR a perfect reason at last to bring in members Philip Price and Flora Reed.

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Lady Cora Jams
1:35 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Downton's Elizabeth McGovern Plays Sadie at Hartford's Infinity Hall

Elizabeth McGovern fronts the band Sadie and the Hotheads.
Sky Arts sadieandthehotheads.com

Elizabeth McGovern doesn't want her role as Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, to overshadow her identity as a musician. But she does admit it drives people to come see her band. Sadie and the Hotheads have just released a new album, Still Waiting. They'll be at Hartford's Infinity Hall on December 14.

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Night Folk
8:05 am
Tue December 9, 2014

The Music Midnight Makes: In Conversation With Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell in 1970.
Henry Diltz Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 11:20 am

It turns out that Joni Mitchell keeps the same hours as the Morning Edition staff. She recently showed up at NPR's studio in Culver City, Calif., just before midnight to discuss Love Has Many Faces, a four-disc collection of songs dating back to the 1960s.

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Comedy
2:47 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Chris Rock On Finding The Line Between Funny And 'Too Far'

Chris Rock wrote, directed and stars in Top Five, a film about a standup comedian who is trying to reshape his career.
Ali Paige Goldstein Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 1:52 pm

In the new film Top Five, Chris Rock plays Andre Allen, a standup comedian who has starred in a series of blockbuster comedies as a catchphrase-spewing character called Hammy the Bear.

When Top Five begins, Allen has given up the Hammy movies, given up drinking and is trying to reshape his career with his new dramatic film about a Haitian slave rebellion. Like Allen, Rock says he has had doubts about his own career.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:00 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Elizabeth McGovern's Sadie and the Hotheads, and Winterpills

Elizabeth McGovern at the screening of the restored version of "Once upon a time in America" at the Cannes Film Festival.
Credit JJ Georges / Creative Commons

Casting is an underrated art. There used to be an Academy Award for it, and there probably still should be. We honor actors, but not the people who pick the perfect actor for the role, so that actor doesn't have to act quite so much.

"Downton Abbey" is immaculately cast, and the choice of Elizabeth McGovern to play Cora, the Countess of Grantham, seems especially nuanced and inspired. Cora is an American Jew, a transplant to English nobility, who wears all the status and tradition comfortably without fully buying into it. McGovern herself is a transplant, married to a British director for 22 years, long enough to slip effortlessly into Cora's skin.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:00 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

The Scramble: Journalism Gone Awry, and Northern Racism

Rolling Stone and The New Republic are in crisis mode this week.
Credit Ken Hawkins / Creative Commons

The Scramble reacts to new developments in the University of Virginia case of alleged sexual assault and Rolling Stone’s concern about some its reporting. 

Then there's a second magazine story: what’s behind the mass -- and we do mean mass -- resignations at The New Republic. Most of its full-time staff and stable of contributing editors quit on the same day. Why?

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon December 8, 2014

The Challenges of Management; Ira Glass Previews Show at Yale Rep

Phil Whitehouse Creative Commons

It seems that all too often, bosses get a bum rap from their employees. But why?

This hour, we talk to management expert Bruce Tulgan about his new book, The 27 Challenges Managers Face: Step-by-step Solutions to (Nearly) All of Your Management Problems. We learn about some of the challenges managers come up against in the workplace, and find out some of the best ways to handle them.

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History
10:00 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Busy Sidewalks and Wonderful Memories

G. Fox Holiday Catalog, 1957.
The Connecticut Historical Society, Ephemera Collection

Right after Thanksgiving, G. Fox & Company decorated their magnificent store. People from across the state drove into Hartford just to marvel at the marquee. In the 1950s it featured big candles and colorful boxes. However, the marquee most people remember was the charming Colonial Village. The village included small replicas of Colonial churches and houses from across Connecticut. The front display windows were also festive and inviting. Children pressed their noses to the glass to get a better look at the brightly lit mechanical ice skating animals.

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Agriculture
7:30 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Organic Farmers Bring Back Song to the Fields

Rodger Phillips and his wife, Isabelle, run Sub-Edge Farm in Farmington, Connecticut.
Lucy Nalpathanchil WNPR

Work songs can be found around the world, sung by a variety of laborers from field workers to fishermen. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri December 5, 2014

The Nose Is Obsessed!

Irene Papoulis teaches in the Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric at Trinity College.
Chion Wolf WNPR

We. Are. Obsessed. When you watch the news, scroll through Facebook, check in on Twitter, everybody always seems to be talking about the same things: From Peter Pan to Bill Cosby, from cronuts to Kardashians, from Michael Brown to Serial, we are increasingly collectively obsessed. What's behind that? Speaking of obsessions, we'll also take a long look at hate-watching last night's live Peter Pan on NBC, and how they dealt with Native American stereotypes.

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Opera at Infinity
12:39 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Opera and Lobster Hushpuppies at Hartford's Infinity Hall

CLO's production of Strauss' "Der Rosenkavalier"
Connecticut Lyric Opera

Grand opera returns to Hartford after a five-year hiatus.

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Theatrical History
12:31 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Happy 100th Birthday to New Haven's Shubert Theater!

The Shubert Theater in New Haven.
Shubert Theater Facebook

This year marks the 100th anniversary of New Haven’s Shubert Theater. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:08 am
Thu December 4, 2014

A Mini-Musical About the Shubert Theater, 100 Years Old

Credit Toby Simkin/flickr creative commons

If you charted the course of American musicals, a major stop on this extraordinary journey would be The Shubert Theater in New Haven. The Shubert was considered Broadway's try-out house, a stop where our local audiences determined whether New York producers had a hit or a disaster on their hands. How did this happen? Who got the nod and who earned thumbs down? 

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Metcalf on Music
9:01 am
Thu December 4, 2014

December Music Hither and Yon, Mostly Hither

Hartford Independant Chamber Orchestra
Bill Morgan Media, LLC

Thanksgiving week brought a brief lull, but from now until Christmas, the local concert schedule is busier than a Rich Rosenthal eatery.

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The Faith Middleton Show
1:02 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Holiday Egg Nogs, Steak au Poivre, and Food and Wine Magazine's Dana Cowin

Credit Elana Amsterdam/flickr creative commons

On the menu... How to make superb steak with velvety peppercorn sauce... the perfect affordable holiday Bordeaux... Spiked Coquito and egg nog... how one of the best food magazine editors learned to correct all her mistakes (and you can, too)... plus holiday gift ideas for food-lovers...

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:13 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Why We'll Always Need New Books

Brian Slattery is a freelance writer and the author of several books including “Lost Everything,” and most recently, “The Family Hightower.” He’s also the co-editor of the New Haven Review and a musician with Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps
Chion Wolf

In a recent essay in the New York Review of Books, Tim Parks contrasted E.L. James, who wrote "50 Shades of Grey," with Haruki Murakami, a more critically-acclaimed literary novelist. Parks wrote that  both addressed "the individuals need to negotiate the most intimate relationships in order to get the most from life without losing independence and selfhood." Wow.

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Jazz Corridor
9:24 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Festive Fusion in Big Band Jazz Concert at Hartford’s Infinity Hall

The New England Jazz Ensemble performs in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 2012.
Lee Everett Fine Line

Packed with top regional instrumentalist/composers, The New England Jazz Ensemble has long been a band for all seasons, a non-profit collective of devoted modern jazz practitioners who are also right at home celebrating traditional Christmas fare in the bright, bona fide spirit of jazz.

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Arts Funding
2:44 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Connecticut Arts Organizations Receive NEA Grants

The Litchfield Jazz Festival is among the organizations receiving NEA grants.
Nathan Turner Litchfield Jazz Festival

Several performing arts and literary publications in Connecticut have been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, totaling $290,000.

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Calling All Musicians
12:40 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Introducing Our Tiny Desk Concert Contest

Introducing our Tiny Desk Concert Contest.
NPR

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 10:30 am

Want to play a Tiny Desk Concert? Now's your chance: NPR Music and Lagunitas are holding a contest, and the winner gets to perform at my desk here at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:37 am
Tue December 2, 2014

The Plight of the Composeress

Paula Matthusen.
Chion Wolf WNPR

For centuries, female composers have often found themselves overshadowed by their male counterparts. Take Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Anna Magdalena Bach, and Alma Mahler, for example. Their names don't roll off the tongue quite as easily as Felix Mendelssohn, J.S. Bach, and Gustav Mahler's do. 

But why?

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:34 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Share Your Own Dinner With Your Dog

Credit Soggydan Benenovitch/flickr creative commons

It's an ingenious recipe collection from a longtime dog lover and legendary cookbook editor, Judith Jones. Combing her two passions, Jones has written Love Me, Feed Me, her new book of tasty meals humans can make for themselves and share with their dogs.

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The Faith Middleton show
10:05 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Tips on Animal Care: December 1, 2014

Credit b1ue5ky/flickr creative commons

Barking, fleas, Lyme disease, pet food, biting, housebreaking, shyness, pet insurance, animal rescue. Top flight advice from vet Dr. Todd Friedland. Don't miss his adventures with animals of all kinds.

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Ho ho ho
2:07 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Has Anybody Written a Great Christmas Song Lately?

Steve Metcalf's provocative list of top pop Christmas songs no doubt shattered the calm of many a holiday gathering.  One of his indisputable assertions was that "All I Want For Christmas Is You" is "the most recent pop specimen to become a true, authentic, undisputed, genre-crossing, multi-generational, stand-around-a-piano-and-sing-and-know-at-least-most-of-the-lyrics Christmas hit standard. "

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History
10:00 am
Fri November 28, 2014

The Interstate Highway System Comes to Hartford

Construction of the “Dike Highway.” Photograph, ca. 1945. Due to wartime restrictions construction of this route was delayed until 1945.
Connecticut Historical Society, 2003.191.4

Beginning in the mid-1930s, state and federal governments examined ways to improve road transportation around the country. While some federal roads linked major population centers, most areas still struggled with a variety of state, county and town roads, ranging in condition from decent to abominable. With the run-up to World War II the federal government looked for ways to improve transportation that would be needed if the U.S. went to war. 

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Metcalf on Music
5:36 am
Thu November 27, 2014

The Ten All-Time Best Christmas Songs (of All Time)

Marta Crowe Creative Commons

Last week, while discussing some of classical music’s great Christmas works, I casually mentioned that I might want to extend the conversation to the pop music side.

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The Food Shmooze
10:05 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving: Enjoy Our Holiday Kitchen Disasters

Credit Allen/flickr creative commons

On the menu... our craziest holiday kitchen disasters; misery loves company. Kitchen disasters occur among the most experienced cooks, so no need to get stressed.

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Jazz Corridor
6:40 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Singer/Songwriter Allegra Levy Celebrates New Album in Hartford

Allegra Levy.
Deneka Peniston

With a new CD just released and herself ensconced in the middle of an extended, plum engagement at Hong Kong’s Four Seasons Hotel, Allegra Levy has many triumphant thoughts to savor. The savvy 24-year-old singer/songwriter from West Hartford flies home more than 8,000 miles for a quick stateside visit to promote her debut album in two performances, one in New York City, the other in Hartford.

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