The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle spent the 1990s recording his songs — just a voice, an acoustic guitar and bracingly articulate lyrics about catastrophe and survival — on low-fidelity equipment like boom boxes. It got to the point where the tape hiss felt like another instrument, but in the last decade, the Mountain Goats' music has become ever more polished.
Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 8:13 am
Here's a better look and listen to what it was like Monday night in Chicago when New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez returned to the lineup on the same day he was hit with a 211-game suspension for allegedly using performance-enhancing substances (he can play while he appeals that punishment).
The term "shark attack" is under attack by the leading society of shark researchers. They're calling on the media to stop labeling any sort of interaction with humans as an "attack." They suggest using specific terms like: shark sightings and shark encounters.
Alex Tagliani is a winner on the race track, but he lost a bet to fellow driver Scott Dixon on who could raise more money for charity. Loser Tagliani had to ride a tricycle and milk a cow while dressed in a beaver costume at the Indiana State Fair.
In Choire Sicha's Very Recent History: An Entirely Factual Account of a Year (c. AD 2009) in a Large City, a voice from our future looks back at events taking place in a "massive" East Coast metropolis, its citizens perpetually gripped with "a quiet panic" while living in a gritty landscape of iron and excess. Throw in a mysterious virus, a rich, blind governor, a sketchy mayor campaigning for a third term, and this novel gets even more curious.
Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 10:56 am
Marisha Pessl's dark, cinematic and wildly over-the-top new novel, Night Film, starts with a mysterious death: Ashley Cordova, troubled former child prodigy and daughter of mysterious filmmaker Stanislas Cordova, is found dead at the bottom of a disused elevator shaft, an apparent suicide. Disgraced investigative journalist Scott McGrath thinks there's more to the case.
So now the challenge for Major League Baseball: Winning back the trust of fans. The suspensions themselves were a start but there is a wrinkle because, as we've heard, Alex Rodriguez is appealing his 211-game ban. It means the narrative in baseball will continue to be about suspicions rather than the play on the field.
Joining us now to talk about the league and its efforts is NPR's Mike Pesca. Good morning, Mike.