Arts & Culture

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

What if you could see your favorite band in a living room, without all the background noise and cellphones you get at a live show? That's the question Rafe Offer, founder of Sofar Sounds, asked himself and a few friends after they'd seen a show where he couldn't even hear the band. Sofar Sounds operates around a simple idea: You gather together a few bands, a house in which they can perform, and an eager audience. However, the lineup isn't announced, which means the audience has no idea who's scheduled to perform until they arrive.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I COULD HAVE DANCED ALL NIGHT")

MARNI NIXON: (Singing) I could have danced all night. I could have danced all night and still have begged for more.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

If you think about Wall Street movies, you probably think about a world of macho frat boys.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE BIG SHORT")

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

www.harikondabolu.com

These could be said to be both the best and the worst of times for political comedy and for stand-up Hari Kondabolu, the worst has never felt closer to home. He's received more contentious reaction to his jokes and opinions on social media now than ever before and says he's witnessing a turning point in the U.S. political landscape.

Bob Good

You may not think you know musician Alex Meixner, but there’s a good chance you’ve seen him perform. If his name doesn’t sound familiar, you might know him from some Hormel Pepperoni commercials. 

Ask Walter Mosley what he does, and he'll say, simply, "I'm a writer." And he's written a lot: 52 books, about 30 short stories and another 30 or 40 articles, he says. While most writers specialize in one or two types of books, Mosley refuses to be constrained. He has written mysteries, science fiction, erotica, young adult fiction, plays, opinion pieces and essays. He has even penned a slim book that instructs would-be fiction writers on how to get started.

Elvis Costello might be best known for early-career songs like "Alison" and "Every Day I Write The Book" — literary pop masterpieces he wrote and recorded either solo or with his longtime band, The Attractions. But in more recent years, Costello has become a serial collaborator.

Pope Francis visited the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz on Friday, keeping a near-total silence to honor the more than 1 million people — almost all of them Jews — who were systematically killed there during World War II.

He said a few quiet words to a group of survivors of the concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, and wrote the following message in Spanish: "Lord, have mercy on your people. Lord, forgive us for so much cruelty."

For Lucy Dacus, a 21-year-old with a warm and deep voice, singing comes as naturally as talking. As an adopted child in Richmond, Va., she was raised by a piano-playing mother; now, she writes songs that can be thoughtful, playful and powerful, with tremendous arrangements from guitarist Jacob Blizard.

When Beliefs Fail Us, How Do We Move Forward?

Jul 29, 2016

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Failure Is An Option

About Casey Gerald's TED Talk

Over the course of his life, many of Casey Gerald's core beliefs have failed him. He says he's learned that clear-eyed doubt can sometimes be better than belief.

About Casey Gerald

How Can Success Still Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Jul 29, 2016

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Failure Is An Option

About Lidia Yuknavitch's TED Talk

Writer Lidia Yuknavitch's early failures made her feel unworthy of success. Now, she says, those moments push her to find worth in herself as a writer.

About Lidia Yuknavitch

It's a balmy Sunday night in late June in San Francisco, post-Pride parade, and I'm about to eat dinner in a pristine blue dumpster in a dead-end SOMA (South of Market) street. The event, Salvage Supperclub, seeks to draw attention to food waste and encourage home cooks to not throw out less than ideal, yet still edible stuff.

A glance at the menu and the evening looks promising. The hosts are gracious, the guests friendly and the organizers earnest. The dumpster is simply but tastefully decked out: glass tea lights, long wooden benches, bar towel napkins.

When we first learned that Great Performances would have a film about Hamilton, there were those who hoped it would be a full performance by the original Broadway cast that's gradually been departing in recent weeks and months. It's not; it's a film called Hamilton's America, and PBS presented it at the Television Critics' Association press tour on Thursday, where its director, Alex Horwitz, was joined by Daveed Diggs, who just wrapped up his run as both Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson on Broadway.

Pages