Culture

Culture
6:00 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Café Bard Plays Among Antiques

Garrett McCutchan is a multi-instrumentalist and world traveler. His material is contained in a binder of yellowed, coffee-stained pages. And it's the music in the background at one of Baton Rouge's hidden lunch spots.

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Music Interviews
3:54 pm
Sat May 11, 2013

LL Cool J On 'Accidental Racist' And Authenticity

LL Cool J's latest album is called Authentic.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 9:57 pm

LL Cool J has been making music for more than 25 years. Through it all, he says, he's tried his best to remain authentic.

"The last thing that I want to do is be a hack," says the rapper and actor, born James Todd Smith. "Someone who is adapting to whatever the current trend is, and manipulating the public into being on board with me even though, from an artistic standpoint, I'm not doing anything."

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Going Out of Style
4:21 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Ala. Juke Joint Shuttered After More Than 50 Years

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 9:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And this final note on the blues. Two years ago on this show, we profiled Gip's Place, a real juke joint nestled in a residential neighborhood in Bessemer, Alabama.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: It's not like going to a bar. It's not like going to a club. It's like going to your best friend's house and putting on just the newest record and sitting there and enjoying it together. Literally, there is truly a mix between the musicians and the audience.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Welcome again. Y'all ready to get started?

CROWD: Yeah!

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Theater
4:37 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

'Show Boat' Steams On, Eternally American

When she's discovered to be a multiracial woman "passing" as white, the Cotton Blossom's star performer, Julie (Alyson Cambridge), is forced to leave the company.
Scott Suchman Washington National Opera

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 1:50 pm

It's been more than eight decades since Show Boat -- the seminal masterpiece of the American musical theater — premiered on a stage in Washington, D.C. Now the sprawling classic is back, in a lush production put on by the Washington National Opera.

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Music Interviews
3:46 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Natalie Maines On Motherhood, Eddie Vedder And Leaving Country Music

Mother is the solo debut of Natalie Maines, former Dixie Chicks frontwoman.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 5:22 pm

Natalie Maines is a small woman with a really big voice. Flanked by Emily Robison on banjo and Martie McGuire on fiddle, Maines powered the Dixie Chicks to some 30 million records sold. And then came the collapse — after what the band calls "the incident."

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Code Switch
11:03 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

On 'Hicksploitation' And Other White Stereotypes Seen On TV

Some of the cast members of the reality show Duck Dynasty find themselves handcuffed to one another.
A&E

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 7:10 am

On cable TV, there's a whole truckload of reality shows that make fun of working-class, white Southern culture. They are some of the most popular and talked about new shows, too, such as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty.

MTV tried cashing in on the redneck TV trend with its own hyped-up platform for young Southern kids behaving badly, Buckwild. It played like a Southern-fried version of Jersey Shore. Its stars were a dimwitted crew of young people in West Virginia drinking hard and riding pickup trucks through ditches filled with mud.

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Interviews
4:56 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

'Wait, Wait' Host Talks of Bombs and Laughter

Peter Sagal
Credit NPR

As the host of Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!, Peter Sagal, makes jokes about the news every week.

Game show hosts are typically not supposed to be part of the news.

But Peter Sagal ran the Boston Marathon as a guide for a blind runner, and a strange thing happened on the way past the finish line...


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Culture
2:28 am
Mon April 29, 2013

A Grieving Brother Finds Solace In His Sister's 'Small Town'

Brother and sister Rod Dreher and Ruthie Leming grew up in a small town in rural Louisiana. Dreher left the tightknit community to pursue a journalism career but returned home after Leming died of lung cancer in 2010.
Courtesy Rod Dreher

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 11:21 am

When he was a teenager, journalist Rod Dreher couldn't wait to escape Louisiana. Now he has found his way home again in grief — after his sister's death from lung cancer. It was "in light" of that tragedy, Dreher says, that he discovered the value of community. It's the subject of his new book, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life.

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Music
1:00 am
Thu April 18, 2013

New Artists, New Sound, Still Authentically Louisiana

Credit The Oxford American

Festival season is upon us and there are plenty of opportunities to boogie down to Louisiana music - both old and new. Some new artists bringing a different sound to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival this year are Luke Winslow-King, Hurray for the Riff Raff, and Alexis and the Samurai.

Alex Rawls, a New Orleans-based writer and editor who runs the music and culture website MySpiltMilk.com, was the guest editor of The Oxford American magazine’s 2012 Southern Music Issue, which was entirely dedicated to all things Louisiana music. He also helped put together its accompanying album.

And Rawls tells WRKF’s Ashley Westerman that even though this new music comes from a younger generation and may sound a little different - it is still authentically Louisiana.

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Culture
6:36 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Postcard from Baton Rouge Blues Fest

Henry Gray, the blues pianist, at work, April 13, 2013.
Amy Jeffries WRKF

The Memphis Blues, the Chicago Blues, the Mississippi Delta Blues have all had their fair share of the spotlight. But what about the Baton Rouge Blues?  -- the Swamp Blues? 

This weekend the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation hosted its annual festival downtown to celebrate the music of our city.


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