Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

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Photo courtesy of Gianofer Fields

If you are a lover of live music, you may have seen a few grey haired folks standing a bit too close to the stage.  According to Lake Effect contributor Gianofer Fields, they’re known as the Senior Scenesters and they aren't going anywhere. 

Musician Lisa Marine moved to Madison in the late eighties and found herself at one of Madison's Music Meccas...O' Cayz Corral. Arguably one of the birthplaces of the Madison Punk Scene, it was destroyed by fire in 2001. Three years later it reopened as the High Noon Saloon and continues to host bands from Madison and around the world. 

The phrase, "America First" was invoked a few times at this week's Republican convention. That slogan comes with a lot of echoes, and you might wonder how much the people who chant it now really know about its history.

The America First Committee was founded in 1940 by a group of Yale students, many of whom would go on to distinguished careers, and funded by prominent Chicago business leaders. It was one of the largest peace organizations in U.S. history, with more than 800,000 registered members.

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Since his debut novel, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers has finessed a line between fact and fiction. His latest, Heroes of the Frontier, is a novel about a dentist who, after a bad breakup, packs up and moves to Alaska with her two young children.

Alaska is "a working state" that's "not too precious about itself," Eggers tells NPR's Scott Simon. "It's still very raw and there's still so much of it that you can discover, and be alone."

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden flew four times on the space shuttle and was the first voice to be broadcast from Mars.

We've invited him to play a game called "You're not Charles in Charge — he is!" Click the audio link above to hear Bolden answer three questions about the remarkable career of actor and Republican National Convention speaker Scott Baio.

If you ask Mike Birbiglia, the principles of improv apply everywhere: "It changed the way I thought about everything," says the writer, director and actor. "[It] helps in parenting and being a good husband and being a good friend ... any collaborative job."

Best known for his stand-up comedy and roles in GIRLS and Orange Is the New Black, Birbiglia's latest project is Don't Think Twice, a movie that chronicles the ups and downs of a fictional, New York improv group called The Commune.

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This year at San Diego Comic-Con, one of the biggest phenomena isn't just inside the convention center, it's all around. Yes, there are billboards and installations trumpeting things like Doctor Strange and Fear the Walking Dead. But the crowds of people here aren't looking up; they're mostly staring down at their phones, playing Pokémon Go.

Born This Way is a reality show — not too different from The Real World, the groundbreaking show that helped define the genre and aired for more than 30 seasons on MTV. Both feature a cast of diverse young adults navigating the world around them. Both came from reality TV pioneer Jonathan Murray (who co-created The Real World with Mary-Ellis Bunim). The big difference: All the stars of Born This Way have Down syndrome.

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John Evans, co-owner of California's Diesel, A Bookstore, recommends three vacation reads: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sport of Kings by C. E. Morgan and Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk by John Doe and Tom DeSavia.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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