Arts & Culture

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

bacchanalwine.com

Ten years ago today, the mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, declared a state of emergency and called for – at that time – a voluntary evacuation in anticipation of Hurricane Katrina reaching landfall. 

However within a day, the hurricane intensified to a Category 4 level, and the storm came ashore a short time later.  The surge from the Gulf of Mexico breached the levees protecting the city, and at its worst, nearly four fifths of the city was under water.  

Klassik / facebook.com

Kellen Abston is a hip-hop artist and rapper who performs under the name Klassik.  He grew up in Milwaukee and attended school here. And in the three years since his first full-length album was released he’s become a rising star on a number of “artists to watch” lists.

If you want to measure a society's political health, two films from Latin America slyly suggest, look at how it treats the help. Sebastian Silva's gleeful 2009 black comedy, The Maid, drew on his own experience as the cosseted son of a well-to-do Chilean family propped up by its housekeeper. Brazilian filmmaker Anna Muylaert began writing her new film, The Second Mother, two decades ago, when she hired a nanny to care for her first child.

In the climactic development of We Are Your Friends, a Los Angeles DJ has a breakthrough. Cole (Zac Efron) constructs a dance track from sampled sounds of his recent life, including zippers, staple-guns and remarks by the Girl Who Got Away and the Friend Who Died. Both the song and the scene are preposterous, but the autobiographical audio-collage neatly exemplifies the movie, an intermittently engaging medley of genres, moods and intentions.

Without a second's hesitation, Alex Ross Perry's Queen of Earth dives right into its heroine's lowest moment, in medias res. The camera stays close to Catherine's face, as smears of mascara frame eyes alight with pain, anger and exhaustion; this has been going on a while and we're just seeing the end of it. Her boyfriend is breaking up with her, which is awful enough, but the timing makes it worse: She's still reeling from the death of her father, an artist who mentored her, and now the two central figures in her life are gone.

Paul Kingsnorth's new novel, The Wake — a grim tale of medieval conquest and revenge — became a hit against all odds in the U.K. last year, and it's about to be released in the U.S.

I met Kingsnorth at his home in the countryside of far western Ireland. He and his wife grow their own food and home-school their two young kids. "I think we'll get bees and chickens, we hope, maybe something else," he told me, calling out to his daughter. "Lela, you want an alpaca, don't you? Lela wants an alpaca or a donkey or anything fluffy, really."

No one has ever written about having a body the way Alexandra Kleeman does.

Penguin Random House

If you don’t know anything about Alexandra Petri’s column for the Washington Post, the fact that it’s called “Compost” should tip you off.  It’s a humor column, at least most of the time, appearing multiple times a week online and weekly in print.

Petri grew up partly in Fond du Lac and partly in Washington, D.C., while her dad, Tom Petri, represented his Wisconsin district in Congress.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Pages