Arts/Culture

Movie Reviews
5:24 am
Mon September 29, 2014

'Equalizer' Devotes Time To Character Development, Graphic Violence

Denzel Washington stars as a retired intelligence officer in The Equalizer.
Scott Garfield Sony Pictures

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 7:17 am

When star Denzel Washington and director Anton Fuqua collaborated on 2001's Training Day, the film won Washington an Oscar and changed the trajectory of his career. Now they are together again.

The Equalizer is unapologetic in its excessive, frequently grotesque violence. But because it's got Denzel Washington as its star, it's more interested in character development than you might guess.

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New York
3:49 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

A Concert With Jay-Z (And India's Leader) Aims To End Poverty

John Mayer sings to tens of thousands at the 2013 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park. The event is part of an effort to end extreme poverty.
Stephen Lovekin Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 1:55 pm

Tomorrow in Central Park, Jay-Z will rap, Sting will sing and India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, will talk about the need to end open defecation — that's what they call it when people don't have access to toilets, and it's a huge global problem.

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History
11:48 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Hartford Plans for Tomorrow

Construction of I-84 by the Capitol, 1965. Drawing by Richard Welling, 1965.
Connecticut Historical Society, Gift of the Richard Welling Family, 2012,284.5662

By the 1940s, it was clear that many buildings in downtown Hartford needed to be updated. Yearly flooding and deferred maintenance left aging buildings on Front and Windsor Streets in poor condition. At the same time, local manufacturing started to lose to national and global competitors. The industrial businesses that did survive moved to suburban campuses with modern amenities. The city's business leaders worried that downtown Hartford wouldn't be attractive enough to keep the growing number of white collar businesses.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Dirt Floor: The Music Sanctuary of Connecticut

A look into the control room at Dirt Floor from the studio.
Credit Eric Lichter / Dirt Floor

Today, a conversation and music from Dirt Floor Studios in Chester, Connecticut. It’s a music studio, carved into the woods, where the sound of the music they create is every bit as organic as the surroundings.

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The Faith Middleton Show
2:17 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Inventions Coming Soon to Enchant Our Lives

Credit Gavid Bowy/flickr creative commons

Your kitchen cabinet glows and you simply open its doors and begin talking (on Skype) with a friend or relative you can see. (Think what this means for children and grandparents, no matter they live.)

This is the idea of David Rose, an inventor and instructor at the legendary MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His new book, Enchanted Objects, is a fascinating read, because it explains how technology, human desire, design, and purpose meet up to improve our lives.

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Media
10:12 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Bill Simmons' NFL Talk Gets Him Three Weeks On The Sidelines

Columnist Bill Simmons, seen here in February, is suspended for three weeks.
Leon Bennett Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 1:29 pm

Bill Simmons, the ESPN commentator whose Twitter bio reads in part "Grantland boss + columnist, @30for30 co-creator, NBA Countdown co-host, BS Report host," will not be doing most of those jobs for three weeks after using the last of them — host of the podcast The BS Report — to call NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a liar, and to dare ESPN to discipline him.

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Writers on the Rails
10:08 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Book News: Amtrak Unveils Writers Picked For A Residency On The Rails

All aboard the writer's desk.
Mat Hayward Getty Images for Amtrak

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 7:34 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Amtrak has announced the inaugural class of its brand-new writers residency program. Out of a crop of some 16,000 applications, the railroad service has picked just 24 writers to ride the rails on a long-distance train — and to write while they do so.

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Metcalf on Music
8:58 am
Thu September 25, 2014

The New Season: Itzhak, Andris, and Others

Itzhak Perlman.
Akira Kinoshita

The new arts season is just now starting to unfold. I thought it might be useful if I looked out over the next couple of months and tried to point out some of the more notable musical events I see on the horizon. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Thu September 25, 2014

The Anatomy of a Villain

Credit Anna Fox / Creative Commons

A couple of weeks ago, I was sick with the April flu, lying in bed in a New York apartment, and trying to distract myself by watching one of the film adaptations of "Nicholas Nickleby." I found myself repeatedly moved to tears, especially when anything good or kind happened. Okay, part of this was that I felt a little vulnerable, and may have over identified with poor tubercular Smike. But another part, I'm convinced, was the excitement generated by pure moral language, which you don't encounter so much in modern culture.

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Technology
6:14 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

#Gamergate Controversy Fuels Debate On Women And Video Games

Under the #Gamergate hashtag, a debate has flared surrounding ethics in video game journalism and the role and treatment of women in the video game industry.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 9:35 am

For the past several weeks, the video game industry has been embroiled in a heated, sometimes ugly, debate, under the hashtag #Gamergate.

It's a debate about a lot of things and it involves a lot of people, but at its heart, #Gamergate is about two key things: ethics in video game journalism, and the role and treatment of women in the video game industry — an industry that has long been dominated by men.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:05 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Food Schmooze: Timeless Favorites, Gluten-Free

Credit jenn.b/flickr creative commons

On this week's fresh edition of The Food Schmooze: good gluten-free dishes… taco ideas… and delicious acorn squash… 

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Jazz Corridor
9:51 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Trad Jazz House Party Revitalized at Robust Weekend Bash in Guilford

Eric Devine

Reports of the death of traditional jazz have been greatly exaggerated -- at least, that’s the incontrovertible evidence presented right here in Connecticut when you examine the robust life-signs of the increasingly popular trad jazz bash called Jeff and Joel’s Jazz House Party.

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Movies
4:33 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

From Sideman To Star: A New Film Captures Jimi Hendrix's Pivotal Year

André Benjamin plays Jimi Hendrix in the new film Jimi: All Is By My Side.
Patrick Redmond Courtesy of Open Road Films

In 1966, Jimmy James, a guitarist working as a sideman in R&B bands, is discovered by Linda Keith, a 20-year-old music insider. She helps him move to London, where he developed his own sound. During that year, he transformed himself into an electrifying performer known as Jimi Hendrix.

Hendrix formed his band The Jimi Hendrix Experience, recorded his first album Are You Experienced, and soon became a star.

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Spotlight on the Arts
1:52 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Artists Thrive at Therapeutic Hartford Studio

"La Ciudad Gotica."
Juan Colon Art Connection Studio

As his collection of paintings was spread across two tables, I asked artist Juan Colon about the large watercolor that’s become the postcard image for "Cityscapes: Uncommon and Familiar Beauty," an exhibition opening this Friday at the Art Connection Studio in Hartford.

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The Faith Middleton Show
1:05 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Have Some Fun: Great Things to See and Do

Credit m01229/flickr creative commons

This is the season of events, fairs, festivals, theater, museum shows, art happenings, music performances, and more. We open the phones for your tips, and we have some too.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Please Don't Take My Stuffed Animal Away!

Credit Roxanne Ready / Flickr Creative Commons

Take a few seconds to reminisce about your childhood "best friend." Maybe it was a boy, a girl, an imaginary friend, or perhaps a stuffed toy. This stuffed toy was your childhood confidant that you dragged everywhere, from the local supermarket to the preschool sandbox, a transitional object that temporarily stood between you and your relationship with your parents. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:19 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Seeing Stars in the Deepest Dark Location Reveals Wonders

Credit Robert Snache/flickr creative commons

Paul Bogard, the author of the paperback, The End of Night, went on a journey in search of something rare in America and Europe—true darkness. He wanted to have the jaw-dropping experience of looking up at the night sky to see uncountable stars and planets that we seldom see due to light pollution.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:38 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Evolving Damnation: The American History of Hell

Credit Gags9999 / Flickr Creative Commons

If you were dreaming up a new religion, maybe you wouldn't include the idea of hell. But in traditional forms of Christianity, even as they evolve, hell seems almost grandfathered in. They can't quit hell. Or can they? A 2013 Harris poll found that while 74 percent of U.S. adults believe in God, and 68 percent believe in heaven, only 58 percent believe in the devil and in hell, down four percentage points from 2005. Still, 58 percent! That seems like a lot.

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Television
10:33 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Deggans Picks 'Gotham,' 'Black-ish,' 'The Flash' Among Fall TV's Best

Ben McKenzie (front right) and Donal Logue (left) lead the cast of Fox's Batman prequel Gotham.
Fox TV

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 10:20 am

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Television
9:42 am
Mon September 22, 2014

The Only One: A Talk With Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes speaks onstage at the How to Get Away with Murder panel during the Television Critics Association summer press tour.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 2:02 pm

I saw Shonda Rhimes at a panel presentation at the Television Critics Association press tour this summer where she helped introduce How to Get Away with Murder, the new ABC drama she helps produce but did not create. I found her pleasantly (and a little amusingly) transparent in not loving some of the questions she was asked (including one about whether she was worried that #HTGAWM, which was printed on the promotional cookies ABC handed out, was an unwieldy hashtag), and I thought, "She is an interview for which you would want to be on your toes."

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:57 am
Fri September 19, 2014

The Nose Is Fading, fadin, fad, fa, f...

Credit Paul Joseph / Creative Commons

Getting ready for The Nose, we're all poring over stories about regional preferences for "uh" versus "um," about the new Miss America's performance with a red plastic cup, and about songs and relationships that fade out instead of coming to a dead stop. 

You have to join us to know what we decide but the picture is a good clue to one of our topics.

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History
10:33 am
Fri September 19, 2014

“Free Bobby, Free Ericka”: The New Haven Black Panther Trials

Free Bobby, Free Erika. Broadside, 1970. This poster in support of Panthers Seale and Huggins is on view at CHS in the exhibit “Making Connecticut”. The Connecticut Historical Society.

In 1969, New Haven, Connecticut became the focus of national attention, when Black Panther Alex Rackley was killed by fellow Panthers Warren Kimbro, Lonnie McLucas, and George Sams, Jr., after being held and tortured for two days. Rackley was suspected of having become an FBI informant.

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Baa-Dee-Ya
9:24 am
Fri September 19, 2014

The Song That Never Ends: Why Earth, Wind & Fire's 'September' Sustains

Earth, Wind & Fire onstage in 1979.
Ed Perlstein Redferns/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 2:23 am

If you've ever been to a wedding reception in the U.S., you know there's one question that can get a whole family on the dance floor: "Do you remember the 21st night of September?"

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50 Shades of Cave
2:16 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Looking Beyond Notions Of Erotica In Prehistoric Art

This carved ivory figurine of a woman, found in a cave in southern Germany in 2008, is estimated to be at least 35,000 years old.
Daniel Maurer AP

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 3:10 pm

In the realm of prehistoric art, there's a type of small figurine made of stone, bone or ivory that is famous. It features exaggeratedly large breasts, hips and buttocks.

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:53 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Positive Living: The Generosity of Strangers

Credit Carnie Lewis/flickr creative commons

If you need a pick me up, join us for stories about strangers who were unexpectedly kind or generous. Call us if you were inspired to "pay it forward," or surprised to be the recipient of someone's generosity: (203) 776-9677.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:43 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Open Wide, This Won't Hurt a Bit: The Discovery of Anesthesia

Elizabeth Egloff is an award-winning playwright whose many plays include The Swan, The Lover, Wolf-Man and most recently, Ether Dome, currently in production at Hartford Stage. She's also an adjunct professor of Playwrighting at Vassar and Barnard College
Chion Wolf

Living in Hartford almost all my life I've known for years the story of Horace Wells. At least, I know the story I know, which is that Wells was a Hartford dentist who introduced anesthesia. He may have been the first but I've always known there were other pretenders to that crown. 

I also knew that Wells became addicted to one of those products and died a horrible, tragic and ignominious death.

But, that's all I knew and I wondered how widely known that story was. 

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Art Show
8:10 am
Thu September 18, 2014

New Haven Art Show Lets Attendees Take Art Off The Wall

Artwork by Anita Soos

Nearly 150 pieces of artwork from established Connecticut artists will go home with new owners this weekend as part of the "Somewhat Off the Wall" art show in New Haven.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:05 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Food Schmooze: Faith's BLT Chicken with Grilled Buttered Cornbread

Credit Nicholas Tang/flickr creative commons

Celebrate the end of summer with one of your last meals from the grill. This one's fresh and memorable, so savor every bite. I came up with what I call BLT Chicken by making a salad and adding flavors I love together—chicken, fresh corn, tomatoes and, I thought, why not—let's butter and grill the cornbread. Grilled cornbread has a crispy edge that makes me buckle in the knees, caramelized and buttery on the tongue.  

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Jazz Corridor
6:34 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Chick Corea Serves Top-Shelf Jazz at Hartford’s Infinity Hall

Chick Corea performs.
Sakurai Toshi

On the jacket cover of his latest CD, The Vigil, Chick Corea, portrayed as an ever vigilant knight on horseback, is equipped with a new suit of shining armor with a trusty lance at his side, a jazz Lancelot whose Holy Grail is, was and always shall be the pursuit of constant renewal and enlightenment.

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Album Release
2:36 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Hartford Band Features Local Spots in New Video

West End Blend performs on WNPR's Where We Live earlier this year from Telefunken in South Windsor, CT.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Hartford's West End Blend has released its first EP, making you want to raise your hands and get up off your chairs. As shown in the music video to their title track "What It's All About," the 14-piece band is much more than a toe-tapping, head-nodding experience.

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