Arts & Culture

Arts & culture

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Randall Mann captures the San Francisco of his youth in his new poetry collection, "Proprietary". Our reviewer Tess Taylor says he does it while also reinventing the city for the dot-com age.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Hippo Campus is a band made up of Minnesota 20-somethings who got swept up in the rock and roll lifestyle directly out of high school. After releasing a pair of EPs in 2015, the band has now put out its debut full-length, Landmark.

Tight, angular, surprising melodies leap from the songs on the new album. Hippo Campus' growth since its earlier work is evident right away; the band now boasts a less frantic sound and more mature songwriting.

Thin-skinned. Temperamental. In need of constant care and attention.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

When it comes to writing TV, producer and actress Sharon Horgan admits that she draws heavily from her own life. "I am my own provider of material," she says. "I'm ... just trying to put the most honest version of what I think onscreen."

Laura Shapiro's new book, succinctly titled What She Ate, explores the lives of six very different women through the intimate and sensuous optic of food.

Too Convenient? A Mobile Supermarket That Comes To You

Jul 5, 2017

Browse the science fiction aisles and you can find all sorts of dystopian future visions — environmental catastrophes, robot overlords, zombie swarms, triffids. Oddly enough, one of the spookiest scenarios ever conjured comes from a kids' movie.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Construction workers in Times Square are hustling to finish a restaurant set to open later this summer.

EMERSON MERECA: Cut me a four-by-four of PVC rod.

'Woolly' Breathes New Life Into A Scientific Saga

Jul 5, 2017

In the winter of 1990, George Church and Ting Wu — he resplendent in his bushy beard, she wearing a skirt, which she rarely did — rode their bicycles to city hall in Cambridge, Mass., to be wed. For years they kept their marriage an open secret, and that relationship would have ramifications, both positive and otherwise, for their careers: They worked together in a Harvard lab, trying to unlock the secrets of DNA.

Though known first and foremost as a band, Public Service Broadcasting is as much a historical project as it is a musical one. Founded by J. Willgoose, Esq., the English trio uses archival material, whether it be film footage or radio broadcasts, to write new songs around. "We can try and tell the stories from the past with new music — try and bring new dimensions to it, I suppose," Willgoose says.

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This? This is James Brown.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOT PANTS")

JAMES BROWN: One. Two. One, two, three.

MCEVERS: That song plus these songs - what do they all have in common?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOT PANTS")

Many Americans have no idea there are actually four official verses to the "Star-Spangled Banner" — and even fewer know about a little-known, unofficial fifth verse, written a half century later by poet Oliver Wendell Holmes. It goes like this:

Feeling hot? Ashley Shelby's debut novel, set among an appealing assortment of nerds and oddballs at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica — where 50 below zero is considered downright balmy — is a refreshing diversion from a heat wave.

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(SOUNDBITE OF DISNEY STUDIO CHORUS SONG, "YO HO (A PIRATE'S LIFE FOR ME)")

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

This is the soundtrack to one of Disney's most beloved theme park rides.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YO HO (A PIRATE'S LIFE FOR ME)")

If you crack open a beer this Fourth of July, history might not be the first thing on your mind. But for Theresa McCulla, the first brewing historian at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, the story of beer is the story of America.

"If you want to talk about the history of immigration in America, or urbanization or the expansion of transportation networks, really any subject that you want to explore, you can talk about it through beer," McCulla says.

Nick Laird knows how to turn a phrase. The first 150 pages or so of my copy of his latest novel, Modern Gods, bristle with Post-it notes; I placed them next to scenes or sometimes just words that caught my eye, so fresh can his writing be.

Rhiannon Giddens Speaks For The Silenced

Jul 3, 2017

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

They call her the queen of summer, because writer Elin Hilderbrand has perfected the kind of book you can devour while sitting on the beach or by a lake, or pretty much anywhere on a hot summer day. She sets her stories in Nantucket, a summer paradise where she lives year round.

Hilderbrand fell in love with summer when she was young, at the cottage her family rented on Cape Cod. Her father set down some strict rules for the kids, including the most important one: If the sun was shining, they had to spend the whole day at the beach.

Japanese purikura photo booths, which produce selfies that you can decorate and print out, predate Snapchat filters by at least a decade. At about $3.50 a pop, they are still attracting hordes of Tokyo teenagers.

Why Does The Electric Guitar Need A Hero?

Jul 2, 2017

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

For a long time now, we've been talking about partisan divisions between Republicans and Democrats. They're at odds over everything from how to fix health care to how to fight terrorism. But there is one thing they can agree on.

Many people know the protest songs of the 1960s and '70s, born of the civil rights movement and the social and political upheaval sparked by the Vietnam War. Today, hip-hop has taken the lead in protesting police brutality and the injustices suffered by the poor — but a new generation of folk artists is also creating music that might not always sound like the protest songs of yore.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Hollie McNish is a British poet and a spoken word artist whose videos have millions of views on YouTube, like this one, entitled "Embarrassed," about all the flak that McNish got for breastfeeding her daughter in public.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

On-air challenge: Here are some words. For each one, think of a word that can follow mine to complete a familiar two-word phrase. The first two letters of my word must be the first and last letters of yours.

Ex. Freedom --> FIGHTER ["freedom" starts with FR, and "fighter" starts and ends with FR]

3-letter answer

Electric

4-letter answers

Glamour

Relay

Prickly

Test

5-letter answers

Stick

Frequent

Mass

Stuffed

6-letter answers

Candid

Draft

Merchant

How Thelma & Louise Drove Hollywood 'Off The Cliff'

Jul 2, 2017

"I don't get it. It's two bitches in a car."

It's the least surprising thing in the world that a nameless Hollywood executive had this reaction to Callie Khouri's script for Thelma & Louise. It could be a line from the movie itself — there's no shortage of men with that attitude. (Thelma and Louise pull one of them over and blow up his truck.) It's more surprising that, in a town where million-dollar business is shaped by such opinions, the movie ever got made.

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