Arts & Culture

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

"You're bouncing off the atmosphere."

Early in director Damien Chazelle's First Man, this is one of the cautions given to Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) during his pilot training, years before he walked on the moon. That idea of the barrier between Earth and space, the violence of making the journey through it and the almost mystical experience of being on the other side of it forms the spine of the film.

Alyssa Edwards (née Justin Dwayne Lee Johnson) is a lot.

She has to be; she's a drag queen. Being a lot comes with the lace-front wig. A drag queen who isn't a lot is no drag queen at all; she's food without flavor, art without color, Cher without Auto-tune. It's the difference, more specifically, between a fierce and fabulous queen like RuPaul and that one jock in high school who slapped on a Halloween store wig and stuffed himself into his girlfriend's cheerleading outfit for school spirit day.

On July 20, 1969, an estimated 530 million people watched on live television as Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong became the first human to step upon the surface of the moon. Nearly 50 years later, Academy Award-winning director Damien Chazelle revisits Armstrong's "giant leap for mankind" — but with a more intimate lens. First Man, starring Ryan Gosling, focuses on the personal sacrifices behind Armstrong's monumental step.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Before she was on the BBC's list of "100 inspirational and innovative women for 2017"...

Before she was given the "Diamond Ball Honors Award" by the charitable Clara Lionel Foundation started by the singing star Rihanna ...

She was Angeline Murimirwa, a little girl in Zimbabwe who loved school but was afraid she wouldn't get to continue her education.

Look: Big, dumb riffs are harder than you think. Palm-muted chugs and sidewinder pull-offs can rate on a scale of Honda Accord (safe, reliable, standard) to El Camino (muscular, mean, wild) depending on the driver who's stomping on the sonic gas pedal. Hair Puller was founded on this premise, and its 101 MPH sludge will pulverize your headbanging skull.

The past two years have been a whirlwind for Maggie Rogers.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Live From Ireland

Oct 10, 2018

Host Fiona Ritchie is feeling a little nostalgic and a lot Irish this week, delving into her radio archive to relive some of the great sets of Irish music she's aired on Thistle through the years.

Two additional women, violinists Emilia Mettenbrink and Raffaela Kalmar, have made allegations of sexual misconduct against violinist William Preucil, the concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra and a now-former instructor at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM). Their accusations were printed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Sunday.

The selections were winnowed down from 1,637 books.

On Wednesday, the National Book Foundation announced the 25 books that remain in the running for the National Book Awards, now in its 69th year.

The writers come from such places as Pittsburgh, Norway, Iran and Poland, and many of them have delved into some of the most pressing conversations of our time: racism, masculinity, addiction, the destruction of indigenous culture, class divides and corporations.

And for the first time since the 1980s, the judges will also honor a work in translation.

When Sadie Dupuis, the lead singer and songwriter of Speedy Ortiz, started playing guitar in her early teens, she didn't think of herself as a female guitarist — at least at first.

"I knew that I was the only girl in my high school who played. But it wasn't until I started touring as an adult and seeing how few women were on bills that it started to really matter to me that I was a woman who could play technically challenging parts," Dupuis says.

When writer and poet Lacy M. Johnson was in her 20s, a man who she had recently broken up with kidnapped and raped her.

She wrote about her escape and recovery in the 2014 memoir The Other Side. As she began speaking about the book in public, a pattern emerged: Readers she encountered suggested that Johnson must want her rapist killed, or imprisoned, or tortured.

"You probably want him dead, strangers tell me," Johnson writes in the essay that opens her tour de force follow-up, The Reckonings.

No, Johnson says. She wants a reckoning.

Four years ago, Jocie Adams of The Low Anthem, stepped aside from the Rhode Island band she was a member of to begin the next evolution in her musical career as lead singer for Arc Iris. This Friday, Arc Iris will release its third album, Icon Of Ego, via Ba Da Bing Records.

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