Arts & Culture

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

How Fruit Became So Sugary

Oct 7, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Over two decades ago in 1997, when violinist Hilary Hahn was 17, she made a celebrated recording debut, Hilary Hahn Plays Bach. That year, Hahn told NPR about her enthusiasm for Bach's music.

"There's nothing I really wanted to record more than Bach," Hahn said. "I can work on it for a long time and keep discovering more things that surprise me every time."

Right on the cover, Pornsak Pichetshote and Aaron Campbell's horror comic Infidel lays out a bold goal. Campbell's powerful illustration — a woman in a headscarf menaced by an exaggerated, spiky hand — signals that this book will delve into the real-world theme of racism while simultaneously embracing the phantasmal devices of horror.

"Girl With Balloon," one of the most recognized works of the England-based street artist known as Banksy, fetched a hefty $1.37 million (£1.04 million) at a Sotheby's auction in London on Friday.

But perhaps the real art installation didn't arrive until after the piece was sold.

Gianofer Fields

Are you one of those old school museum attendees whose head whips around to investigate even the whispers of a conversation? If you are, you're in good company because our material culture contributor Gianofer Fields is one of those people — even though she says she's working on it.

Mitch Teich

Welsh singer-songwriter Martyn Joseph has a new album — his 20th since 1982 — called “Here Come The Young.” During a recent visit to Milwaukee he came by the Lake Effect performance studio to tell the story behind, and perform, the album's title track:

Ex Fabula: Misunderstood

Oct 6, 2018
Ex Fabula

As the seasons change, so does Ex Fabula. If you’ve been to an Ex Fabula event you’ve probably received a survey. If you’re nice, you even filled it out and returned it. Well, guess what? We actually read them all. And the one surprising thing that people said time and again was that they were more likely to share their stories on stage if there were no judging. So, this Tuesday, Oct. 9, we’re hosting our first non-competitive Ex Fabula StorySlam "Misunderstood" at Bay View’s Sugar Maple.

Ever heard of these food additives? Synthetically-derived benzophenone, ethyl acrylate, methyl eugenol, myrcene, pulegone, or pyridine?

These compounds can help mimic natural flavors and are used to infuse foods with mint, cinnamon and other flavors.

You've likely never seen them on food labels because food manufacturers are permitted to label them simply as "artificial flavors."

We've invited Ellie Kemper, star of the Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, to play a game called "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, meet the Unbreakable Jimmy Smits!" Three questions about the accomplished actor.

Click the audio link above to hear how she does.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

He's part-man, part-machine - all cop.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "ROBOCOP")

PETER WELLER: (As RoboCop) Let the woman go. You are under arrest.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Creep's Friend) You better back up, pal.

(SOUNDBITE OF GUNSHOT)

Alice Walker has a new collection of poems about issues of the world, and those in her own backyard.

The Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author of the The Color Purple, The Temple of my Familiar and many other beloved works has now issued Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart. The book gathers 69 of her poems in both English and Spanish, the latter courtesy of translator Manuel García Verdecia.

She spoke to NPR about her adopted homes, the root of her poetry and human imperfection.

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the reporting, in The New York Times and The New Yorker, that led to the fall of movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

From that point on, the hashtag #MeToo was catapulted into a national movement. The #MeToo conversation now seems to be everywhere.

Oprah Winfrey at the Golden Globe Awards: "Take us to the time when nobody ever has to say 'me too' again."

One Band's Key Instrument: Wheels

Oct 6, 2018

Some musicians arrive at their gigs in a tricked out tour bus. Others, if they're lucky, in a limo. But there's a popular band based in downtown Los Angeles that relies on a lower-key, low-carbon form of transportation.

In car-crazy L.A., the band members either bike, walk or skateboard to all of their gigs.

The lively acoustic group, the Vignes Rooftop Revival, began by accident five years ago, on a rooftop of a loft building on Vignes Street in rapidly gentrifying downtown Los Angeles.

Heather Morgan has written songs for some of the biggest names in country music — Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney and Brett Eldredge just to name a few. She's the writer behind Eldredge's "Beat of the Music," which won BMI song of the year in 2015. Now, Morgan is ready to move into her own spotlight.

Pick up Nora Krug's reverberant graphic memoir, Belonging, and be prepared to lose yourself for hours in this unstinting investigation into her conflicted feelings about being German and her family's role in the Holocaust.

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