Arts

Goats and Soda
1:09 pm
Fri August 7, 2015

Why The Zambian Hip-Hopper 'B Flow' Changed His Tune

Brian Bwembya Kasoka (also known as B Flow) sings and raps about women's issues.
Justin T. Gellerson for NPR

Brian "B Flow" Bwembya used to make music for lovers, donning shades and gold chains in music videos and singing "You're the reason for my life, you're the only one I would make my wife" to pretty girls.

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Code Switch
10:54 am
Fri August 7, 2015

A Hip-Hop Soundtrack For A Musical About Alexander Hamilton? Sure, Why Not?

Hamilton, which opened Thursday on Broadway, is a play based on the life of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.
Joan Marcus Shane Marshall Brown

Originally published on Fri August 7, 2015 5:38 pm

By now, you may have heard about the new Broadway musical Hamilton. When it opened off-Broadway in February, it earned almost unanimous raves and awards for blending history and hip-hop. Its sold-out run had A-list celebrities and politicians clamoring for tickets. Thursday night, the story of Alexander Hamilton, and the Founding Fathers and Mothers, opened on Broadway.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Fri August 7, 2015

Identity Is At The Heart Of Brash, Essential 'Mulattos'

Originally published on Fri August 7, 2015 10:56 am

"Odder than two-headed calves, stranger than Uri Geller, who could bend spoons with his mind." That's how the narrator of "Who Among Us Knows the Route to Heaven?" — one of the stories in Tom Williams' collection Among the Wild Mulattos and Other Tales -- describes himself and his brother, growing up in the suburbs of Ohio in the early 1970s.

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Movie Reviews
7:03 pm
Thu August 6, 2015

A Disappointing Origin Story For The 'Fantastic Four'

From left: Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell), Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), Reed Richards (Miles Teller), Sue Storm (Kate Mara) in the new Fantastic Four.
Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Fri August 7, 2015 11:51 am

Fantastic Four No. 1 arrived as a comic book on newsstands exactly 54 years ago this Saturday, August 8th. Written by Stan Lee and drawn by Jack Kirby, the comic book —priced at $0.10 — now looks hopelessly goofy. A dozen exclamation points punctuate the cover alone, which depicts a green monster bursting up through a street in "Central City," because Lee and Kirby had not yet decided to locate their super-team in the nonfictional borough of Manhattan. "I-I can't turn invisible fast enough!!" cries the half-transparent blonde struggling to escape the creature's grasp.

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Movie Reviews
7:03 pm
Thu August 6, 2015

Meryl Streep Shines In 'Ricki And The Flash'

Ricky (Meryl Streep) performs at the Salt Well in a scene from Ricki and the Flash.
Bob Vergara Corutesy of TriStar Pictures

Originally published on Sun August 9, 2015 11:27 am

For the dozen or two regulars at The Salt Well in the San Fernando Valley, watching the house band is like stepping into a musical time machine, where everyone has aged but the song remains the same. By any standard, Ricki and the Flash rates as a better-than-average bar band, fronted by Ricki Rendazzo—a stage name that now almost poignantly reflects a long-forgotten dream of rock superstardom.

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Television
2:44 pm
Thu August 6, 2015

Jon Stewart On His 'Daily Show' Run: 'It So Far Exceeded My Expectations'

"The minute I say I'm not going to do [The Daily Show] anymore, I will miss it like crazy," Jon Stewart says.
Brad Barket AP

Originally published on Thu August 6, 2015 5:32 pm

Jon Stewart hosts his last episode of Comedy Central's The Daily Show on Thursday, wrapping up a 16-year run in which he turned the once-obscure fake news show into a cultural phenomenon.

The Daily Show eviscerated politicians and media elites with video montages and Stewart's biting commentary, but in 2010 Stewart told Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the show made him more "emotional" than political.

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Television
12:41 pm
Thu August 6, 2015

Jon Stewart's 'Daily Show' Legacy: Changing How Americans See Satire

President Obama talks with The Daily Show host Jon Stewart.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri August 7, 2015 5:37 pm

For The Daily Show fans, this may be the final, bruising indignity.

As the curtain falls tonight on the very first Republican presidential debate — featuring joke-magnet Donald Trump as the election season begins in earnest – satirist supreme Jon Stewart will already be saying goodbye.

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Book Reviews
10:33 am
Thu August 6, 2015

'Marriage Of Opposites' Paints Camille Pissarro's Colorful Family History

Courtesy of Simon and Schuster

Originally published on Fri August 7, 2015 8:40 am

Of all the colors in the brilliant paintbox that is Alice Hoffman's latest novel, The Marriage of Opposites, "haint blue" is the most important. Yes, the landscapes and the house interiors and the clothing brim with creams and reds, emeralds and silvers, and blues of every shade prevail. But haint blue alone has the power to ensure there will be "no ghosts, no demons, no sorrow, no separations, no thievery, no witchery, no abductions, no spirits of any kind." It is the color of protection.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Thu August 6, 2015

'The Lufthansa Heist' Is No Score

Originally published on Thu August 6, 2015 8:54 am

The Lufthansa heist — a pre-dawn raid on a currency vault at Lufthansa's Kennedy Airport hangar on December 11th, 1978, which netted its perpetrators close to $6 million in untraceable bills and jewelry — has all the elements of a classic true-crime book. It's a robbery caper, complete with code names and chase cars (the vehicle that acts as a buffer between the "real" getaway car and law-enforcement pursuers). It's a Mob story. It's an unsolved mystery, witnesses' memories fading after close to 40 years ...

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Around the Nation
5:03 am
Thu August 6, 2015

A Rarity Reclaimed: Stolen Stradivarius Recovered After 35 Years

Documentation of Roman Totenberg's Stradivarius violin. The instrument went missing after one of Roman's concerts but was rediscovered more than three decades later.
Courtesy of the Totenberg family

Originally published on Thu August 6, 2015 5:51 pm

The denouement of a 35-year drama takes place Thursday at the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan. And I trust that my father, virtuoso violinist Roman Totenberg, who died three years ago, will be watching from somewhere.

For decades he played his beloved Stradivarius violin all over the world. And then one day, he turned around and it was gone. Stolen.

While he was greeting well-wishers after a concert, it was snatched from his office at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass.

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