Arts/Culture

The Colin McEnroe Show
1:00 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Is America Still Awash in a Sea of Twee?

Credit Thai Weber / Flickr Creative Commons

This is one of those shows where you may start by saying, "huh?"  But with any luck, 30 minutes from now, you'll start to say, "Oh!" 

I got interested in the word "twee" and in the idea that it's a mostly undocumented cross-platform artistic movement.

There is no question that, in the 1990s, a musical movement called "twee pop" arose, first in England, spearheaded by a label called Sarah Records. Acts like The Field Mice and Talulah Gosh were embraced as twee by fans who wore their twee-ness with pride.

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Spotlight on the Arts
10:59 am
Tue November 11, 2014

How One Connecticut School Went From Funeral Parlor to Top Arts School in the Nation

Choreographer's Showcase 2013, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.
GHAA

Nearly 20 years ago, I made my first visit to the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts at its original site, just past Colt Park in Hartford, heading south on Wethersfield Avenue.

I pulled into a parking lot protected by a tall, chain-linked fence. It acted like a divider between a worn-out apartment building in the deteriorating neighborhood, and the old funeral parlor that had been resurrected as Hartford’s arts magnet high school.

The school has come a long way since then. Last month, it was honored as the nation’s top arts school by the Arts Schools Network.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Remembering Connecticut's Role in Slavery and the Holocaust

Anne Farrow is a journalist and the author of “Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited From Slavery and most recently, “Logbooks: Connecticut’s Slave Ships and Human Memory”
Anne Farrow

Connecticut played a big role in slavery and the Holocaust...but most of us don't know about it.

First, a powerful New London merchant and ship owner sailed his ships to West Africa and the Caribbean for more than 40 years during the late 18th century to trade in slaves whose labor lined the pockets of his most respected family.

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:11 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Actor Danny Aiello, The Godfather, and Madonna

Credit jnd_photography/flickr creative commons

In his new memoir, stage and screen actor Danny Aiello reveals that he was so poor growing up in New York that he worked as a numbers runner and burglar, specializing in robbing cigarette machines. He was also a street fighter, and bouncer, the type of late-night guard who didn't hesitate to slam a rowdy patron or rough up someone in the neighborhood who deserved it. 

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History
10:31 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Typing History

Window display, Underwood Typewriter Company, Hartford. Photograph, about 1910.
The Connecticut Historical Society, 1976.89.2

Before the age of the computer, typewriters fulfilled our need to write faster than our pens would allow.  The gentle click of keys on a keyboard are no match for the loud strikes of a letter key pressing paper to inked ribbon and platen to create an inked letter upon a clean white page.  The end of a line of type was signaled by the loud ding of a bell followed by the slamming of the carriage as a new, fresh line of paper appeared. 

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A Radio Legend Passes
9:02 am
Sat November 8, 2014

Why Everyone Who Loves Public Radio Should Thank Tom Magliozzi

Tom Magliozzi of Car Talk
Richard Howard

Car Talk is the most important program in the history of public radio.

There, I said it.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:58 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Go Ahead And Talk To Yourself. You're Not Crazy!

A man talking to himself. Photo from www.mybrainsolutions.com.

Do you talk to yourself? Is it a silent inter-narrative or do you talk aloud? What form of address to you use to yourself?

When I'm mad at myself I sometimes address myself as Colin. But, I sense that when LeBron speaks to himself as LeBron, it's more affirming. 

I talk aloud quite a bit. A hangover, I think, from growing up as an only child.

The Spanish and Argentine novelist Andres Neumann has a new work, "Talking to Ourselves," in which he explores the solitary inner narrative that each of us conducts either silently, aloud, or writing a diary. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:42 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

The Book Show: November 6, 2014

Credit Andrea López, flickr creative commons

Faith's motto on The Book Show is: Life is short, but it can be ever so wide.

Join Faith and her book buddies for a call-in show recommending terrific books to read in all categories. If you're in a book club, please tell us what you've read and enjoyed.

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Music
11:19 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Celebrating Composer Irving Fine

Irving Fine at Tanglewood in 1962.
Library of Congress

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of American composer Irving Fine. Concerts and celebrations are taking place in New York, Washington, and coming up this weekend, here in Connecticut.

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Metcalf on Music
7:41 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Pump Down the Volume

Noise can hurt.
Dishpig Eldritch

Music can theoretically unfold at every conceivable volume, from barely audible to ear-splitting. Increasingly, however, for reasons that I sort of understand but not entirely, music these days tends to be experienced at one of two basic levels: Loud, and Insanely Loud.

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Behind the Mic
3:25 am
Thu November 6, 2014

The Man Behind The 'Morning Edition' Theme Music. Also, Lyrics!

BJ Leiderman is the composer of the theme music heard on NPR's Morning Edition, Weekend Edition and Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
Courtesy of Cole Rian: Jen Haynes & Mel Wils

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 2:26 pm

Morning Edition is celebrating its 35th anniversary this week.

Over the years, many stories, voices and sounds have come and gone on the show. But there has remained one constant — our theme music.

The Morning Edition theme was written by BJ Leiderman in 1979. At the time, he was a struggling college student who wrote jingles on the side. He gave a demo tape of his music to a friend who worked at NPR.

On that tape was one little musical phrase that eventually became the Morning Edition theme music.

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Jazz Corridor
12:11 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Bassist Dramatically Defies Convention at Hartford’s Historic Aetna Theater

William Parker.
William Parker

“We’ll all be on our feet, ready to spar, to react, to move immediately and be open to the moment and what’s going to happen because I think that’s the key,” the legendary cutting-edge bassist/composer/bandleader William Parker said of his performance this weekend at the historic Aetna Theater at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:16 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Countdown to Thanksgiving: Delicious Side Dishes and A New Way to Open Oysters

Credit Farrukh/flickr creative commons

We have easy recipes for Thanksgiving side dishes, including roasted lemon broccoli and twice baked crispy pecan sweet potatoes. Plus, don't miss the video of Faith using the Aw Shucks!™  oyster opening device.

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Musicians
3:19 am
Tue November 4, 2014

Carlos Santana: 'I Am A Reflection Of Your Light'

Carlos Santana visits NPR for an interview about his new memoir The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 6:10 am

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist Carlos Santana has won 10 Grammys and sold more than 100 million records. He has become one of the world's most celebrated musicians, a destiny that was difficult to imagine during his childhood in a small Mexican town. His father, also a musician, was Santana's first teacher, but he really learned his craft playing on the street and in strip clubs in Tijuana.

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Remembrance
2:34 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Tom Magliozzi, Popular Co-Host Of NPR's 'Car Talk,' Dies At 77

Tom Magliozzi's laugh boomed in NPR listeners' ears every week as he and his brother, Ray, bantered on Car Talk.
Courtesy of Car Talk

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 6:23 pm

Tom Magliozzi, one of public radio's most popular personalities, died on Monday of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 77 years old.

Tom and his brother, Ray, became famous as "Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers" on the weekly NPR show Car Talk. They bantered, told jokes, laughed and sometimes even gave pretty good advice to listeners who called in with their car troubles.

If there was one thing that defined Tom Magliozzi, it was his laugh. It was loud, it was constant, it was infectious.

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:03 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

The Best Travel Tips for Winter Vacations from Travel and Leisure Magazine

Credit Alessandro Capurso/flickr creative commons

When she's our guest, we encourage you to do more than read. Push the play button and hear the outstanding travel tips we get from Amy Farley, who does The Trip Doctor pages in Travel + Leisure magazine. Some of the topics we covered with her: 

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Science
10:53 am
Mon November 3, 2014

New Clock May End Time As We Know It

Strontium atoms floating in the center of this photo are the heart of the world's most precise clock. The clock is so exact that it can detect tiny shifts in the flow of time itself.
Courtesy of the Ye group and Brad Baxley/JILA

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 2:51 pm

"My own personal opinion is that time is a human construct," says Tom O'Brian. O'Brian has thought a lot about this over the years. He is America's official timekeeper at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado.

To him, days, hours, minutes and seconds are a way for humanity to "put some order in this very fascinating and complex universe around us."

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:00 am
Mon November 3, 2014

The Scramble: Automation, Visconti, Movie Cinemas

Credit Tom Jervis / Creative Commons

First up on the Scramble today, writer and thinker Nicholas Carr, whose new book, "The Glass Cage" is about our blind surrender to automation. Most tellingly about the way we surrender (unthinkingly) control to sophisticated computer tools. 

You'll hear for instance, the story of a luxury cruise ship that ran aground on a sand bar because the GPS was spitting out wrong information and the entire crew ignored visual evidence that should have been a dead giveaway.

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Humor
2:41 pm
Sat November 1, 2014

'Comedy Is Extraordinarily Difficult': John Cleese On Being Funny

John Cleese got his first big break in London's West End and as a script writer and performer on The Frost Report.
Andy Gotts Courtesy of Crown Publishing

Originally published on Sun November 30, 2014 5:40 pm

John Cleese is a big, tall, stiff-upper-lipped international symbol of British wit. He's made us laugh in Fawlty Towers and movies including Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Time Bandits, A Fish Called Wanda, and, recently, as the exasperated master of spycraft — Q — who gives James Bond some of his best toys to break.

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History
12:45 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

The Pettibone Ghost

Sign for Pettibone’s Tavern, ca. 1820. This early nineteenth-century sign was completed repainted following hurricane damage in 1938. The Connecticut Historical Society, 1961.63.40

Just off Route 202 in Simsbury is the former Pettibone Tavern, a local landmark that has served travelers since 1780. Built by Jonathon Pettibone Jr., the establishment became an important stop along the Boston-to-Albany Turnpike and hosted important figures like George Washington and John Adams.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri October 31, 2014

The Nose Tricks AND Treats

Credit Ruth Hartnup / Flickr Creative Commons

Here are the three stories going up the Nose today.

In August Shoshana Roberts took a walk through the streets of New York City followed by a hidden camera. Over 10 hours she was verbally harassed 108 times by men yelling stuff. That doesn't even count the whistles and other nonverbal noises - one guy walked right next to her for five minutes. It's not exactly news but it captured something. The video has been watched more than 22.4 million times. But, some people have issues with the way race is shown in it.

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Costumes
6:56 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

So For Halloween You're Dressing Up As ... A Sexy Ebola Nurse?

Dallas-area resident James Faulk turned his yard into an Ebola treatment center for Halloween. But he has a serious side: His Twitter account raises funds for Doctors Without Borders, a group active in the fight against the virus.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 9:53 am

People living in the United States have little to no reason to fear contracting Ebola, a deadly viral illness causing an epidemic in West Africa. Yet on Friday night, some Americans will dress up in hazmat suits akin to what health workers wear when treating an Ebola patient.

And, of course, there's even a "sexy" version.

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The Faith Middleton Show
2:40 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

On ICE: Innovation, Creativity, Edge

Credit Holly Kuchera/flickr creative commons

We love ideas, innovation, invention. On ICE we ask you to brainstorm with us about ideas, and we talk to innovative types about what's they're doing. On this edition of The Faith Middleton Show's On ICE, Dr. Eileen Cooper, a Fullbright Scholar, has written Holographic Mind, a book about training the brain to think in four dimensions.

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The Faith Middleton Show
1:51 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Faith Is Honorary Chair for December 5 Trees of Hope

Credit Rexness/flickr creative commons

The 25th Anniversary Trees of Hope Fundraising Spectacular will be aglow with gorgeously decorated Christmas trees at the New Haven Maritime Building. The festive event, chaired by WNPR's Faith Middleton, benefits the Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut.

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Metcalf on Music
11:40 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Deconstructing Sondheim: Careful the Things You Say

James Corden, left, and Lilla Crawford in "Into the Woods," opening December 25.
Disney Enterprises

Poignantly, the Stephen Sondheim Obsessives of this world (I consider myself a lifelong admirer but not quite an obsessive) are poring over every scrap leaking out from the Disney fortress concerning the upcoming movie version of “Into the Woods.” 

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Gene Wilder
8:44 am
Thu October 30, 2014

"Blazing Saddles," and Gene Wilder, 40 Years Later in Stamford

Superfan Ria Scalish, at left, with her husband.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

It's been 40 years since the release of the Mel Brooks' movie Blazing Saddles. I recently went to an anniversary screening and in the audience was one of the movie's stars: Gene Wilder.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:05 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Ina Garten: Make the Whole Turkey Ahead of Time!

Credit John Herschell/flickr creative commons

Seriously? You can actually roast an entire turkey ahead of time and serve it hot at the table? Yes, says Ina, and she now does it often, including on Thanksgiving. Here's the thing… it's not only Ina's taste in flavor combinations and technique that always win us over—it's her knockout ideas. And they are as dazzling as ever in her new book, Make It Ahead. There's the do-ahead turkey and gravy, sides, and desserts—we'll get to those, but also ways to whip cream ahead, freeze things and pull them out, even make your own healthy peanut butter dog biscuits. (She says she's been trying to get her publishers to print that one for ages; this time she insisted.) 

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Jazz Corridor
7:57 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Guitar Wizardry Rules in New Haven; Jazzy Halloween Spirit Reigns in Torrington

Jessica Pavone, left, and Mary Halvorson.
Peter Gannushkin downtownmusic.net

Devotees of the ruggedly individualistic, inexhaustibly creative Mary Halvorson have much to celebrate and cogitate upon as the rising, young, cutting-edge guitarist presents solo explorations at 8:30 and 10:00 pm on November 7 at New Haven’s Firehouse 12, 45 Crown Street.

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Entertainment
3:40 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

A Candid Memoir From Comedian Amy Poehler? 'Yes Please'

Amy Poehler plays Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation, which will air its final season next year. Poehler says, "It's a privilege in television to be able to have a proper goodbye."
Colleen Hayes NBC

When comedian Amy Poehler was in her 20s, she read her boyfriend's journal and found out that he didn't think she was pretty.

"It was almost like an itch being scratched, which was, 'Aha! I knew that you didn't think I was pretty!' ... And then it was followed by a real crash because ... my ego was bruised," Poehler tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Poehler says it taught her that the earlier you figure out your "currency," the happier you'll be. For Poehler, that meant not leaning on her looks to be successful.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:24 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Connecticut Grown Tobacco

Chion Wolf WNPR

Shade tobacco came to Connecticut in 1900 from the island of Sumatra, which was beginning to dominate the world of cigar wrappers. The leaf had a light color, delicate texture, and mild flavor that cigar lovers love.

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