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It's All Politics
5:20 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Historically Speaking, No Surprise In Senate Gun Control Vote

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks after losing a vote on broader background checks for gun buyers, Wednesday at the Capitol.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 5:54 pm

If it seems perplexing why an idea that has broad support nationally could fail to pass the U.S. Senate, here's an important reminder: The Senate is not a democratic institution.

It never has been, and it was never designed to be. Rather, it was structured to give small or sparsely populated states the ability to stop the majority's will. And on Wednesday, that's how it worked out, as the Senate failed to reach a 60-vote threshold to support new background checks on gun purchases.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Digital Dangers Abound In 'Disconnect'

Derek (Alexander Skarsgard) and wife Cindy (Paula Patton) are sandbagged by online identity thieves who steal their credit information — even as they're still grappling with the death of their young son.
LD Entertainment

The title of Disconnect may be read as describing any of several things: the gulf between online and real-world interactions; the chasm that opens between human beings when spoken communication fails; our default emotional position in the face of unthinkable tragedy.

Attempting to address all three interpretations within the confines of a single movie may be courting failure, but writer Andrew Stern and director Henry-Alex Rubin go one better, adding an unnecessary cybercrime angle that muffles the screenplay's more subtle psychological insights.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

'Unmade': China Tries Calling A Film's Shots

Co-director Gil Kofman has been tasked with getting his film made in mainland China — in Mandarin, a language he doesn't speak.
Seventh Art Releasing

The best documentaries about filmmaking are the ones that show it at its worst.

Movie sets are fundamentally boring places, where there's mostly a lot of waiting around going on. But when disaster strikes with millions of dollars on the line, the tension and drama are suddenly amped up to levels that often equal those in the movie being filmed.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Building A Home For A Client Who Can't Live In It

Artist Jackie Sumell set out to build a dream home for bank robber Herman Wallace, whose additional conviction for killing a prison guard is the subject of a long-running dispute.
First Run Features

The off-screen protagonist of Herman's House, Herman Wallace, already has a dwelling for his body: a 6-foot-by-8-foot cell at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, aka Angola. But the documentary's on-screen protagonist, Jackie Sumell, wants him also to have a place for his soul: a dream house for a man who desperately needs dreams.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Effects-Heavy 'Oblivion' Pines For An Analog Past

The enigmatic Julia (Olga Kurylenko) surfaces from the mysterious past of Victoria's husband, Jack (Tom Cruise), a repairman tending drones on a largely abandoned Earth.
Universal Pictures

The score for Oblivion was composed by M83, a superb French electronic outfit that derives its name from one of the spectral pinwheels known as spiral galaxies. I point this out because it's the best element of the movie — a cascade of dreamy synthesizers that registers as appropriately futuristic (at least the future as suggested by '80s pop) while allowing an undercurrent of romantic yearning.

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A Blog Supreme
4:59 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Jazz Salutes Its Disc Jockeys

Symphony Sid Torin (left) hosts a program at WHOM featuring the saxophonist Arnett Cobb.
William Gottlieb The Library of Congress

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 4:42 pm

The advent of bebop added a fresh sound to American music. It also added new voices to some metropolitan radio stations: the late-night jazz DJs who specialized in presenting this new music to their fellow hipster nightflies.

To recognize the work of the groundbreaking DJs who lent them critical exposure, jazz musicians of the period would occasionally write songs in their honor. Here are five of those songs.

The Two-Way
4:46 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Listen: Yo-Yo Ma Plays Bach's 'Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor'

Musician Yo-Yo Ma performs during "Healing Our City: An Interfaith Service" dedicated to those who were gravely wounded or killed in the Boston Marathon bombing.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:26 pm

Earlier today, President Obama led the city of Boston at an interfaith service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston.

It was an emotional tribute in which the President Obama vowed that Boston would finish the race.

The service was punctuated by a performance from Yo-Yo Ma, who chose the sarabande Bach's Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor. It was haunting and beautiful, a piece that Ma also played following Sept. 11.

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Mountain Stage
4:45 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Bonnie Bishop On Mountain Stage

Bonnie Bishop performs live on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 4:25 pm

Bonnie Bishop makes her first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Nashville-based by way of Texas and Mississippi, Bishop has made a name for herself with her songs and powerful live performances. In 2002, she toured Texas' vast roots-music circuit, and has since released four albums in a span of six years. Her work earned her a nomination for "Vocal Performance of the Year" at the Lone Star Music Awards.

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World Cafe
4:35 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Latin Roots: Fado Creates 'Nostalgia For The Present Moment'

Fado singer Mariza.
Courtesy of the artist

Today, we welcome singer-songwriter, Grammy-nominated producer and record-company owner Rachel Faro, who visits World Cafe to discuss the Portuguese tradition of Fado.

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World Cafe
4:35 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Shovels And Rope: A Husband And Wife, A Homemade Sound

Shovels & Rope.
Courtesy of the artist

Husband and wife Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst had their own careers going — his with the band The Films and hers solo. Then they started performing together, just the two of them, and found that their personal chemistry translated to their music together.

The South Carolina duo released its debut album, O' Be Joyful, last summer. Here, Trent and Hearst join us to talk about how that homemade record came to be — and, of course, perform live in the studio.

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