The Canadian rock band Arcade Fire released their first record "Funeral" back in 2004 on a small independent label. But these days there's nothing small about them. Their third record, "The Suburbs," won a Grammy and the band's upcoming fourth album is one of the most anticipated releases of the year. It's after a much hyped appearance on "Saturday Night Live" and a half hour special on NBC. Will Hermes has this review of "Reflektor."
Most people think of the steel guitar as an instrument associated with country music — from country rock and pop to alt-country. But there's another style of steel playing that dates back to African-American Pentecostal churches of the 1930s, when a handful of congregations began using steel guitars in place of organs.
I admit it — I have a tendency to feel jaded. So if someone were to tell me that Brenda Hillman spent the last 17 years writing four books of poetry, one for each of the elements — land, air, water, and fire — I might brush the work aside. I might think that the project sounded cheesy, cliché, not for me. But I would be wrong, because the lush, sidelong, textured poems in Hillman's stunning new book Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire refuse simplicity. This book — the final exploration of the fourth element, fire — dances and leaps.
On the Mexican Dia de los Muertos holiday, the living remember the dead. Some believe they are communing with the deceased. While it may sound morbid, Pati Jinich, a Mexican-born blogger, food show personality and author of Pati's Mexican Table, says it's a joyous occasion.
"People get ready to welcome people — those who have deceased and that presumably have license to visit just once a year," Jinich told All Things Considered host Melissa Block.
A growing number of school districts across America are trying to weave tablet computers, like the iPad, into the classroom fabric, especially as a tool to help implement the new Common Core state standards for math and reading.
To find out about up-and-coming local bands for our Sense of Place stop in Detroit, we went straight to one of the city's best-known sources: Ann Delisi, host of Ann Delisi's Essential Music on NPR member station WDET-FM.
Mayer Hawthorne joins us on our last day of Sense of Place: Detroit to talk a bit about growing up in the Motor City. While Hawthorne began his career as a hip-hop artist, it was his retro take on soul music that caught the attention of his audience, and of record companies.