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Arts and Culture

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.

JD Hancock / flickr creative commons

  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.

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