Arts & Culture

Hanukkah Lights: Stories of the Season
3:19 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Hanukkah Lights 2014

Dominic Alves Flickr

Candles, latkes, action: It's "Hanukkah Lights," with stories of the season from NPR. Join hosts Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz for original work from Andy Borowitz, Theodore Bikel, Anne Burt and Debra Ginsberg, plus a classic from the "Hanukkah Lights" vault by Erika Dreifus.

Whether you like your Hanukkah tales humorous or historical, magical or true-to-life, there's something for you in this brand-new collection of holiday stories.

Listen to the full hour-long special above, or hear individual "Hanukkah Lights" stories below.

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Mountain Stage
2:27 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Junior Brown On Mountain Stage

Junior Brown.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Junior Brown returns to Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Wielding his custom-made double-necked electric-guitar/steel-guitar hybrid known as the "guit-steel," Brown has been one of country music's wildest and most incendiary guitarists for several decades now. He's a gifted songwriter and singer, as well, with a rich baritone made for telling tales like "My Wife Thinks You're Dead" and "Broke Down South Of Dallas."

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Music Reviews
2:16 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Charli XCX And The Year's Most Fabulous Pop Record

Charli XCX's new album is titled SUCKER.
Bella Howard Charli XCX

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 5:29 pm

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Extras: TED Radio Hour
2:13 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Playlist: I Never Knew That!

These TED Radio Hour stories amaze you.
Pai-Shih Lee Getty Images

Here at the TED Radio Hour, we love surprising ideas. From teddy bears to Sputnik, this playlist is full of astonishing stories that will stay with you.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

World Cafe
2:13 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Lily & Madeleine On World Cafe

Lily & Madeleine.
Julien Bourgeois Courtesy of the artist

Lily & Madeleine, two sisters from Indianapolis, made their name — and their first EP, The Weight Of The Globe — on the strength of covers uploaded to YouTube. Now, the duo's second album (Fumes) builds on its combination of sibling harmonies and haunting, lilting arrangements.

Hear the full segment at the audio link and individual songs from Lily & Madeleine's set below.

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The Record
2:11 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Redman On Music And Marijuana: Now Is The Time For Some Action

Redman onstage at the Best Buy Theater in New York City on November 26th, 2014.
Polina Yamshchikov for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 2:23 pm

Quick survey: you're going to the Word Wide Rollers Tour, presented by a group of weed connoisseurs called the Smoker's Club. Among the featured performers is a rapper named Berner and a DJ named TreeJay. The tour poster shows a Smokey the Bear type blunting in the woods. What do you pack?

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Songs We Love
2:07 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Låpsley, 'Falling Short'

Låpsley, a young singer from Liverpool, is one of BBC Music's favorite new artists.
Courtesy of the artist

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Author Interviews
1:04 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Early On, Comedian John Cleese Says, He Had Good Timing But Little Else

John Cleese, pictured above in 1976 with Monty Python's Flying Circus (from left, Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones), says he worked hard to learn physical comedy by imitation — "It was not something I was naturally gifted at," he says.

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 8:41 am

Performing live comedy is like "a series of little scientific experiments," says John Cleese. "When you do comedy in front of an audience, they are the ones who tell you whether it's funny or not," he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, and each subsequent night on stage is an experiment in making jokes land better than the night before.

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The Best Music Of 2014
12:38 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

2014: The Year In Tiny Desk Concerts

T-Pain's Tiny Desk Concert has been viewed 6.6 million times on YouTube alone.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 4:11 pm

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Monkey See
12:26 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Deggans: 'Fargo,' 'True Detective,' 'Transparent' Top Best TV Of 2014

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson star in HBO's True Detective.
Michele K. Short HBO

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 10:44 am

When I was a kid, I loved reading Gene Siskel's movie reviews for the Chicago Tribune.

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