As our population is growing and getting more diverse, so is our taste in music. And music lovers want to hear fresh ideas that reflect new realities and experiences. Yet some songs remain quintessentially American — even as they inspire constant re-interpretation.
Tell Me More is teaming up with New Orleans member station WWNO's Music Inside Out With Gwen Thompkins to showcase some fresh takes on popular American songs. Today we hear from Don Vappie of the Creole Jazz Serenaders, playing the banjo and singing, "Careless Love."
The FX version of the Scandinavian series The Bridge, like the Showtime version of the Israeli TV series that inspired Homeland, is a major revamp as well as a crucial relocation. With Homeland, the focus became American politics and home-soil terrorism. In The Bridge, premiering July 10, the setting is changed to the U.S.-Mexico border. This allows executive producer Meredith Stiehm, a writer-producer from Homeland, to deal with everything that relocation provides — including the white-hot issues of immigration reform and border security.
In the new Showtime series Ray Donovan, Liev Schreiber stars in the title role as a man who knows how to handle a crisis. It's Donovan's job to clean up the messes of Hollywood's rich and powerful while trying to keep his own personal problems under wraps.
A TV series is something of a new turn for Schreiber, who's been acting onstage and in movies for two decades. But playing complicated characters is something he's earned a reputation for, with roles in films like Defiance and The Manchurian Candidate.
John Tatum is 94 years old. He is a swimmer. And a gold medalist.
Tatum is one of thousands of the top athletes in the U.S. who run, vault and swim for the gold in the National Senior Games. All of these seniors are over age 50, and some are over 100. And they show no signs of slowing down.
"I see no end for me," Tatum says. "I would like to just compete year after year after year. You know, I'm 94, probably could be 100, I don't know. But as long as I am healthy, I can do it."
To create the cone-shaped scones, you'll need to use conical water cooler cups as baking wrappers. These scones were placed in canning jars to hold them upright during baking. For full baking instructions, see here.
The former studio and home of artist Donald Judd is in what used to be called the Cast Iron District of Manhattan. He bought the five-story building in 1968, long before the Gucci store and Ivanka Trump Boutique moved into the neighborhood. When Judd died in 1994, the house stayed in the family, with much of his stuff exactly where he left it. Now, after a three-year renovation, the general public can tour the building and see firsthand how Judd thought art and architecture could work together.
Krysta Rodriguez played Ana Vargas in the recently canceled backstage-on-Broadway TV series Smash, and Zachary Levi earned a fervent following in the title role of NBC's Chuck. Both performers have backgrounds in the theater, and they'll be together on Broadway this summer in the premiere of the musical comedy First Date.
Long, long ago — maybe some time in the 17th century — and far, far away — but almost certainly somewhere in the Alps — two valleys lay next to each other, ringed by high mountains and linked by a sole, lonely path. One unusually warm Christmas Eve two children set out on the path from the northward valley, through pine forest and over the pass, to visit their grandmother in the valley to the south.
July 1 marked 150 years since the beginning of the Battle of Gettysburg, a crucial victory for the Union and a turning point in the Civil War. But it came at an enormous cost to both sides — thousands of soldiers were killed and tens of thousands more were wounded.
However, it might have been even worse had it not been for a surgeon named Jonathan Letterman, who served as the chief medical officer of the Union's Army of the Potomac. He presided over some of the bloodiest battles in U.S. history and, over the course of a single year, revolutionized military medicine.
Fulcrum Acoustic engineer Rich Frembes (left) and founder Dave Gunness pose in their workshop. The company produces more than 2,000 speakers a year, often testing and tweaking the units obsessively to meet each client's specific needs.
The headquarters of Fulcrum Acoustic is only an hour outside Boston, but finding the audio company can be tricky:Its address in Whitinsville, a quaint former industrial village in Massachusetts' Blackstone Valley, doesn't register on GPS. Fulcrum's founder, Dave Gunness, opened his workshop here five years ago and says people still have trouble finding it.
On-air challenge: You're given the three-word names of famous people. For each one, you get a clue to a familiar three-word phrase or title that has the same initials as the person. Name the phrase or title. For example, singer Billy Ray Cyrus has the initials B-R-C. And B-R-C are also the initials of the phrase "Blue ribbon commission."
The bands Phish and Insane Clown Posse have spawned some of the most rabid fans in music history. Their world of obsession is not an easy one to break into, but on a warm December night in Miami back in 2009, pop culture writer Nathan Rabin went to see a concert that would inspire him to enter the orbit of these infamous groupies.
He wrote a book about them, You Don't Know Me But You Don't Like Me, and tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rebecca Sheir about his first-hand look at the two often-reviled sub-cultures.
With a long history of Johnny Depp collaborations — from Edward Scissorhands through the Pirates of the Caribbean films to this summer's The Lone Ranger — Joel Harlow knows that sometimes you've just gotta ignore the dead crow and get on with the job.
Credit Stephen Vaughan/Disney / AP
Joel Harlow has worked with Johnny Depp for his portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
Credit Matthew Lloyd / Getty Images for Somerset House
Catalan chef Ferran Adrià poses with plasticine models of his food on display at Somerset House in London. A new exhibit looks back at the influential modernist chef and his landmark restaurant, El Bulli.
Credit Matthew Lloyd / Getty Images for Somerset House
The man once hailed as the "Salvador Dali of the kitchen" is getting his own art exhibit.
Ferran Adrià might not be a household name, but for nearly three decades, as chef and mastermind of the acclaimed Catalan Spanish restaurant El Bulli, he moussed, foamed and otherwise re-imagined cuisine in modernist ways that have inspired many of the world's top chefs.
Filmmaker and artist Miranda July is blasting emails copied from the outboxes of some well-known names on intimate topics to anyone who signs up.
The project is called We Think Alone, and includes messages sent from a range of notable people (who agreed to participate in advance, of course). Those names include the NBA's all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul Jabar, fashion-designing siblings Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, and a Canadian-American theoretical physicist.
When novelist Mario Alberto Zambrano was a little boy, his imagination was piqued by a colorful deck of cards. Loteria is a Mexican game that's a lot like bingo, if bingo was full of vivid imagery. Instead of announcing numbers, the dealer turns over illustrated cards while calling out a riddle that corresponds with the picture — a spider, a rooster, a mermaid, a bottle.
Zambrano tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer that he used to wonder if those pictures were significant.
Many of the flowers at Hillwood are doing well despite the ever-changing local climate.
Credit Emily Files / NPR
Once the Washington, D.C., home of cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, the Hillwood Estate has a number of gardens. Like home gardeners, professionals here are trying to adapt to a changing climate.
Credit Emily Files / NPR
Credit Emily Files / NPR
To keep the flowers healthy, gardeners have to check leaves for fungus and bacteria.
At the Hillwood Estate gardens in Washington, D.C., the new norm is: "Expect the unexpected." So says volunteer coordinator Bill Johnson, who has worked on property belonging to the heiress of the Post cereal fortune for 30 years.
Like home gardeners, the horticulturalists and professional gardeners at Hillwood are confronting an unpredictable climate.
Bottles of alcohol are gathered to be smashed by Taliban authorities in Kabul in 2001.
Credit Adem Altan / AFP/Getty Images
People toast with beer in a park in Ankara in 2011 to protest new regulations tightening alcohol sales in Muslim, but secular, Turkey.
Credit John Moore / Getty Images
A sign posted at the entrance of a French restaurant in Kabul (from February 2006) highlights one of the many vagaries of rules governing alcohol in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world.
Credit Abdullah Muhsen / Reuters /Landov
A waiter pours a drink at a bar in Dubai in 2011. In the United Arab Emirates, foreign residents may obtain permits to buy alcohol from a handful of designated stores. Booze is also available in licensed hotels and pubs. Locals, yet again, are out of luck.
Reporting in the Middle East and Afghanistan can be challenging enough between dodging the bullets and bureaucracy. But, equally as confounding can be figuring out how and where to have a cold one after a hard day's work. The range of alcohol laws in Muslim countries can be simply dizzying.
Exorcistic, a rock parody inspired by a certain1971 novel and the William Friedkin film made from it, showcases Merlin as a rapping priest inspired by Max von Sydow's Father Merrin. Above, the show poster for the musical's Los Angeles fringe production.
Credit Thomas Hargis / Steve Allen Theater
In Re-Animator: The Musical, L.A.-based actor and opera singer Jesse Merlin plays Dr. Hill, a sex-obsessed surgeon who quite literally loses his head. (And, um, comes back from the dead.)
What do a reanimated deviant surgeon, a cannibalistic serial killer and a demon-plagued, vomit-spattered priest have in common? They're all characters in camp stage musicals inspired by horror films — and they're all played by the same classically trained opera singer.
His name is Jesse Merlin, and he looks a little like a young, untanned George Hamilton. But he has a bass-baritone voice that would be perfect for Gilbert and Sullivan.
Since that's not what Hollywood's looking for, Merlin had to scare up roles elsewhere.
Tash Aw was born in Taipei, grew up in Malaysia, and now lives in London. His first book, The Harmony Silk Factory, won the Whitbread Award for First Novel and was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize.
The plot of Five Star Billionaire, with its multiple protagonists, may seem deceptively familiar: a neglected boy claws his way from rags to riches; a country girl tries to make her way in the city; a city girl tries to prove her worth in a man's world of business; a rock star falls victim to the fame machine; and a rich man tumbles from grace.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, preachers serve as spiritual guides for their flocks, but what happens when a preacher loses his own faith? We'll talk with one man who knows what that's like in just a few minutes. But first, anthropologists and archaeologists, of course, study the way that groups live throughout history.