Culture

Culture
8:32 pm
Sun March 30, 2014

The Journey From 'Colored' To 'Minorities' To 'People Of Color'

Can race and ethnicity be represented by the colors found in a crayon box?
lilivanili Flickr

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 3:00 pm

Language is and always will be an essential element in the struggle for understanding among peoples. Changes in the words and phrases we use to describe each other reflect whatever progress we make on the path toward a world where everyone feels respected and included.

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Culture
10:54 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

A Tuneful Conversation With A Sometimes-Distant God

New Gods is Scottish songwriter Dan Willson's second album as Withered Hand.
Laura Lewis Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 6:28 pm

The wry and tuneful Withered Hand is Dan Willson, a graphic artist from Edinburgh who drifted away from the Jehovah's Witnesses as a teenager — but not, you get the feeling, with a satisfied mind. His moniker is a scriptural reference, and he named his 2009 debut Good News, one way Christians refer to the New Testament. (More to the point, its key track is called "Religious Songs.")

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Culture
8:47 am
Mon March 24, 2014

When Scripture Hits The Screen, Filmmakers Say Their Prayers

Russell Crowe, the lead in Darren Aronofsky's forthcoming biblical epic Noah, may have received a quick blessing from Pope Francis at a recent public audience, but the movie is drawing criticism in some quarters.
Niko Tavernise Paramount Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 10:18 am

The film Noah, with Russell Crowe in the title role, opens in the U.S. March 28. It's already been banned in several Muslim countries for portraying a man considered a prophet, and here in this country it's stirred controversy among some Christians for not being a sufficiently literal telling of the Bible story. NPR's Scott Simon spoke with Rajinder Dudrah, senior lecturer in screen studies at the University of Manchester, on why religious figures in film can cause both fascination and offense.

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Culture
8:47 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Lost Album Gives Voice To A Johnny Cash In Recovery

John Carter Cash relaxes on the cabin's front steps.
Stephen Jerkins

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 9:24 am

On the porch of a log cabin outside Nashville lies the junk of country music royalty — an old bowling ball here, a Hotpoint stove from the 1940s there. Part retreat, part recording studio, this is where Johnny Cash spent some of his golden years.

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Culture
4:00 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Deepwater, Center-Stage: Disaster Through Survivors' Eyes

Gary Barthelmy, Oyster Fisherman is a portrait by Reeva Wortel, used in conjunction with the production of Spill, a play that runs through March 30 at the Swine Palace in Baton Rouge.
Reeva Wortel

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 3:50 pm

Eleven died and hundreds of millions of gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico when BP's Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in 2010. But beneath the tragedy, there's a complex story about people's relationships to oil. That's what's explored in Spill, a new play by one of the creators of The Laramie Project.

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Culture
9:24 am
Tue March 18, 2014

First Listen: Thou, 'Heathen'

Thou's new album, Heathen, comes out March 25.
Mary Manchester Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 9:39 am

Thou has never been about convention. The Baton Rouge metal band has little in common with its NOLA sludge peers, bucking Southern tropes for a world-heavy consciousness that comes from doom, punk, grunge, black metal, blues and drone.

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Culture
2:38 am
Thu March 13, 2014

One Year Later, 'A Pope For All' Keeps Catholics Guessing

Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives for his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican last month.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 10:21 am

A year ago today, the world's 1.2 billion Catholics got their first Jesuit pope and the first from the global south. Taking the name Francis, he soon became one of the world's most popular newsmakers.

Following two doctrinally conservative leaders, the Argentine-born pope's pastoral approach has given the Catholic Church a new glow — less judgmental, more merciful.

Like many others in the big Sunday crowd in St. Peter's square, Sally Wilson is not Catholic, but she came all the way from Beaumont, Texas, to see the pope.

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Culture
6:50 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Regina Carter's Jazz Genealogy

"The beauty was in the rawness," Regina Carter says of the field recordings that inspired her new album, Southern Comfort.
David Katzenstein Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:42 pm

Jazz violinist Regina Carter grew up in Detroit, but as a child she spent summers in Alabama, where her paternal grandmother lived. Her grandfather died before she was born, and recently she began researching his side of the family. One revelation that sparked her interest: Her dad's dad had been a coal miner.

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Culture
10:10 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Kevin Young On Blues, Poetry And 'Laughing To Keep From Crying'

Kevin Young's 2012 essay collection The Grey Album: On The Blackness Of Blackness was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Melanie Dunea CPi

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 1:46 pm

In Kevin Young's new collection, Book Of Hours, poems about the death of his father appear alongside poems about the birth of his son.

He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that, in a way, those events were the anchors of his life.

"It was a way of just writing about what had happened and also the way that the cycle of life informed my life, from death to birth to ... a kind of rebirth that I felt afterward."

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Culture
6:42 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Mapping Differences In America's Musical Tastes, State By State

A map of the U.S. lists the musical acts that set states apart from each other. It's not a matter of an artist's popularity, says Paul Lamere, who made the map, but of a state's distinct preferences.
Paul Lamere, Director of Developer Platform at The Echo Nest

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 12:24 pm

Are you streaming music right now? If you're in America's Pacific region, there's a much better chance you're nodding along with Cat Power rather than grooving to Fantasia, which you'd be more likely to be doing if you were across the country in the South Atlantic. Those observations come from a map titled "Regionalisms in U.S. Listening Preferences."

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