Arts/Culture

The Faith Middleton Show
10:05 am
Wed May 14, 2014

You Can Be the King of Cocktails at Your House

Credit Kirti Poddar/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: If you think only “mixologists” can create good cocktails, think again, my friend. I have always believed that any of us can make a deeply satisfying drink, with or without alcohol. In fact, I'm living proof that it can be done.

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Spotlight on the Arts
4:18 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Goodspeed's Fan Friendly "Damn Yankees"

Lora Lee Gayer and cast perform "Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, MO" from "Damn Yankees."
Diane Sobolewski

You could make the case that America’s obsession with sports really took hold thanks to baseball in the 1950s. When Broadway producer/director/writer George Abbott turned to "Damn Yankees" as his next musical in 1955, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:58 am
Tue May 13, 2014

New Yorker Cartoon Editor Bob Mankoff

Credit For Inspiration Only/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton:  He wrote one of the greatest cartoon lines ever, a sentence that rocketed through the country like a speeding train: How about never—is never good for you?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:12 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Navigating Our World: Maps to GPS

John Smith's 1616 map of New England is the first printed map devoted specifically to this region.
Credit John Smith of Jamestown / Creative Commons

When friends say they're going to Paris I make them promise to get a Plan de Paris,  which is a pocket-sized book of little maps and one big, huge fold-out map which you never use because it makes you look like a befuddled tourist and it's really hard to fold back into the little book. But the Arrondissement maps and Plan are essential. If you have them, you'll understand where you are and where you're going. If you don't, not so much. My point is this-it's just not true that we don't need or use maps anymore. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:15 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Po Bronson: Use Competitive Fire to Be a Better Human

Credit Bill Slattery Jr/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: You've possibly heard the latest data on “practice” being the key to accomplishment, right down to the number of times you must practice to do something well. The authors of Top Dog, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, say there’s more to the science of winning and losing, and the key is “competitive fire.” The book is a look at how to cultivate competitive fire to go with practice. 

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Reviving a Theater
9:58 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Shakespeare Theater in Stratford Looking For New Management

Katharine Hepburn and Alfred Drake in front of the theater in 1957.
Town of Stratford

If you want to manage a once-popular theater that has hosted stars like Katharine Hepburn and James Earl Jones, the town of Stratford wants to hear from you.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:34 am
Mon May 12, 2014

NPR's Eric Deggans on the Changing Face of Television

Credit Rodrigo Carvalho / Flickr Creative Commons

We start today's show with Eric Deggans, NPR's first full-time TV critic. Eric and I have talked before about the issue of diversity in late night comedy programming and lo and behold, the very intriguing Larry Wilmore has been given his own show. So, we talk about that but Eric's main focus right now is a kind of television agrarian ritual, the unveiling of this year's crop of network shows, most of them to be harvested in the fall. A short description if you've been missing Matthew Perry, Patricia Arquette, Scott Bakula, Tea Leone and Katherine McPhee, just watch CBS.

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Code Switch
10:43 am
Sat May 10, 2014

Breaking Things Up: 'Senior Black Correspondent' Gets Colbert Slot

Larry Wilmore accepts the best talk show award for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at the Critics' Choice Television Awards in June 2013.
Frank Micelotta Invision/AP

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 10:43 pm

It's not often the gods of TV hand you almost exactly what you ask for.

So it's time to praise Comedy Central for trying something different in late night, handing Stephen Colbert's time slot to the guy who plays The Daily Show's "senior black correspondent," Larry Wilmore.

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Host's Diary
3:21 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

One of Those Comparisons Neither Side Would Relish

President Bill Clinton in 1995.
Creative Commons

To whom might one compare Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day Saints? Reading the new book by Alex Beam, I found myself thinking about Bill Clinton. 

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History
3:05 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Hepburn Returns to Hartford

Retail District, Main Street, Hartford. Photograph, ca. 1930. The Strand Theater is on the right. A preview of “A Bill of Divorcement” took place here in 1932.
Connecticut Historical Society Collection, 2000.171.199

Katharine Hepburn’s relationship with Hartford was strong and deeply rooted; it was her birthplace, her hometown, and a place she both supported and to which she always came back.

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Spotlight on the Arts
2:35 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Celebrating the New, the Foreign, and the Experimental at Wesleyan

The Assembly: "HOME/SICK."
Sandy Aldieri Perceptions Photography

Looking back isn’t something Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts is much interested in doing. 

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It's A Hard 'G'
11:46 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Hard 'G' Or Soft, The GIF Takes Its Place As A Modern Art Form

Dramatic chipmunk is one of the examples of the The Reaction GIF: Moving Image as Gesture installation at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City.
Courtesy of Museum of the Moving Image

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 3:26 pm

"!!!!"

That was the body of the note from NPR producer Evie Stone, along with a link to an exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image titled The Reaction GIF: Moving Image as Gesture.

Obviously, Evie and I share a certain sensibility. And just as obviously, I had to go to Astoria, Queens, to check out the exhibit — and report this piece.

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Game On
11:45 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Joust To The Music: Video Game Evolves Beyond The Screen

Revelers play Johann Sebastian Joust.
Brent Knepper Courtesy of jsjoust.com

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 3:26 pm

On a plaza outside a hotel in Culver City, Calif., four people are stalking each other with PlayStation Move controllers. The devices look a bit like microphones, with glowing orbs on top lit up in pink, yellow and blue.

Video game designer Douglas Wilson is holding a portable speaker, blasting Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.

From afar, this looks like some sort of public performance art. But it is actually a high-tech combination of tag and musical chairs, called Johann Sebastian Joust.

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Live Music
10:27 am
Fri May 9, 2014

West End Blend Is the Soundtrack to Your Party

This wall of sound goes by the name "West End Blend."
Chion Wolf WNPR

Have you heard of West End Blend? You should.

Hartford may not be known for its funk, but nobody told this 14-piece band. Horns? Check. Rap? Got it. Hearty, soulful vocals? Yup. Toe-tapping beats? Of course.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri May 9, 2014

West End Blend Brings the Party; Local Professor Monitors Ukrainian Elections In Person

"West End Blend" is a 14-piece group that started in Hartford.
Chion Wolf WNPR

When you’re right in front of West End Blend, it’s hard to not be physically blown away by their powerful sound and deep grooves. The band is about to put out an EP that they hope will capture at least some of the live energy of their stage performances. We hear a special concert and conversation with West End Blend recorded at the TELEFUNKEN factory and studio in South Windsor.

We also talk to a local professor, just days before he leaves for Ukraine to be an elections monitor in their upcoming, very controversial vote.

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Verse and Voice
4:01 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

The Spirit Level

Doug Kerr Creative Commons

a terza rima for the New Britain Industrial Museum

Hard hittin' New Britain, some of my students intone
to describe their home for a few years or a lifetime
in that depressed part of Hartford County once known

by relics in unphotographable pre-European times
as a fertile hunting and fishing ground by the Tunxis,
Quinnipiac, Wangunk, Podunk and Mattabesett tribes

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Ovation Factory Closing
1:24 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Guitarist Joel Weik Has a Unique Perspective On Ovation Guitars

Guitarist Joel Weik prefers Ovation Guitars in an amplified "live concert" setting.

Last month, Fender Musical Instruments announced it will close the Ovation guitar factory in New Hartford in the coming weeks. For now, that means all Ovation guitars will be made in factories overseas. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:18 am
Thu May 8, 2014

What Do You Do with the Gift of Free Time?

Credit Jlhopgood/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: At any age, life can surprise you with the gift of a lot of free time. How do you have a sense of meaning and purpose after you try out travel, sports, reading, and watching TV?

Free time can appear because of job loss, making or inheriting lots of money, marrying someone wealthy, or retirement. We all fantasize about the luxury and joy of having nothing to do. But ask people what happens with the gift of free time, and it could surprise you. There comes a day when you wake up, they say, and feel something’s out of balance. That “something” can be a call for a sense of purpose or meaning along with the fun.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
8:38 am
Thu May 8, 2014

What's The Best Job For Your Personality?

Paul and Kelly Tieger, co-authors of Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

You probably wonder sometimes if you chose. Growing up, I was pretty sure I'd be a novelist and sometimes even now I wonder why I'm not. Why am I not sitting in a cabin at the McDowell Colony banging out my 24th book. No kidding, I really feel pretty bad about that. 

But the reality is, I'm not wired that way. My mind needs constant stimulation and constant feedback. This is a really good job for me even though my self-image is radically different.

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Jazz Corridor
3:37 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Sicilian Singer/Songwriter Sissy Castrogiovanni Sizzles at Middletown’s Buttonwood Tree

Sissy Castrogiovanni.
Sissy Castrogiovanni

In the exciting, event-packed upcoming days, jazz gets happily hitched to lyrics sung enticingly and beautifully in Sicilian dialect by the young, sensational, Sicilian-born Sissy Castrogiovanni on Saturday, May 10, at 8:00 pm at Middletown’s Buttonwood Tree. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:05 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Easy Thai Summer Rolls

Steven Depolo/flickr creative commons

 From Faith Middleton: Years ago in Southern California, at ocean-side Montage Resort, I ordered the same thing for six lunches in a row—Thai Summer Roll with dipping sauce. It was a knock–out, and now we can tell you how to make delicious ones at home. We can tell you how thanks to a respected chef, Gale Gand, author of Lunch! As Gale told us, she learned from a Thai woman who was making them as fast as she could manage for thousands of hungry fans at the Lolllapalooza Music Festival.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
5:00 am
Wed May 7, 2014

The Murder of Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith Jr., Founder of the Latter Day Saint Movement.
Credit Unknown Painter / Wikimedia Commons

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is the religious version of recession food. Since the end of the Civil War, the Mormon membership numbers have grown every single year, and quite often they've grown at an astonishing pace.  In the late 1970's and 80's, they added members at a rate of 5-6% a year. Today, their worldwide membership is around 15 million. 

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All Songs Considered
4:45 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

'Ultra LP' Version Of Jack White's New Album Has Some Crazy Surprises

Cover art for Jack White's new album Lazaretto.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 4:41 pm

Jack White has announced plans to release a version of his upcoming Lazaretto album on vinyl, with a whole bunch of special features that'll make you rethink the possibilities of the enduring format.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Tue May 6, 2014

A Tribute to Black and White

Credit Martin Pettitt / Flickr Creative Commons

We crave color. Think of the Spring trip you make to the park, that has beautiful tulips or multicolored roses in the Summer. Think of the enormous travel industry that springs up around fall foliage every year.

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Classics in Concert
3:37 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Spring For Music: A Rare American Oratorio At Carnegie Hall

James Conion leads the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Chorus at Carnegie Hall in New York, NY on May 09, 2014.
Melanie Burford/Prime Melanie Burford/Prime for NPR

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 4:16 pm

When NPR Music and WQXR present the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and May Festival Chorus' performance of R. Nathaniel Dett's The Ordering of Moses at Carnegie Hall Friday, there will be one significant difference from its first airing: it should be free of interruptions.

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Mountain Stage
3:17 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Lake Street Dive On Mountain Stage

Lake Street Dive.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 4:26 pm

Lake Street Dive makes its second appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va.

The four virtuoso musicians who comprise Lake Street Dive met as students at the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music. They became friends and formed a group to play outside of class; it was originally conceived as a "free country" project. That sound quickly morphed into one that includes influences from jazz, R&B and classic pop.

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Television
12:45 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Jack Bauer Is Back, But One Woman Has His Number

Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) is back in Fox's 24: Live Another Day.
Christopher Raphael Fox

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:36 pm

Let's get one thing straight right away: Fox's new version of 24 references all sorts of newfangled ideas about politics, espionage and terrorism — from the use of drones to kill America's enemies to efforts by hackers in the Edward Snowden mold to expose governments' illegal acts.

But the heart of Fox's slimmed-down 24: Live Another Day is the same as it's always been: a principled, misunderstood Jack Bauer letting no rule book, villain or clueless bureaucrat stop him from doing what must be done for the greater good.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:05 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Tips on Animal Care: Lyme, Ticks, and Fleas

Credit Asaf antman/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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Honoring Veterans
7:01 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Coast Guard Breaks Ground in New London For National Museum

The Coast Guard Barque Eagle docked in New London for the groundbreaking ceremony.
Harriet Jones WNPR

The U.S. Coast Guard broke ground for its new museum in the City of New London. It will be the first museum honoring the Coast Guard in the nation.

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Comics
1:52 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Cyborgs, Simpsons And Ticks: All About Free Comic Book Day

The cover of The Tick, one of many --€” 57, in fact --€” comics you may be able to snag at no charge on Saturday, Free Comic Book Day.
Fantagraphics

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 3:25 pm

Here's the drill: This Saturday, May 3rd, is Free Comic Book Day. Walk into a comics shop (you can find the one nearest you at www.freecomicbookday.com/storelocator), and they will hand you some free comics.

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