Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 7:12 am
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the heavily taped packages that can't be opened without the aid of a utility knife and a blowtorch is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives. This week: an array of tips for anyone hoping to launch and sustain a career in music journalism.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. It is summer; and maybe you've already had your dash to the beach, or maybe you're just getting ready to go. If you're looking for something to pick up while you're lounging at the shore, you are in luck. We are kicking off our summer reading series. We're calling it "Island Reads." And for the next few weeks, we will be speaking with authors of Caribbean descent.
And now we continue our summer song series. We're talking to Gwen Thompkins, host of the program "Music Inside Out," which is heard on member station WWNO in New Orleans. She's introducing us to a handful of contemporary artists who've offered a new take on some old classics. Allen Toussaint has been writing songs and shaping the New Orleans rhythm and blues and rock sound since he was a teenager. Now he's in his 70s and he's experimenting with jazz. And Gwen Thompkins is back with us. Hi, Gwen.
Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 4:16 am
One of this week's most-talked-about stories is The Daily Beast's report that "the crucial intercept that prompted the U.S. government to close embassies in 22 countries was a conference call between al Qaeda's senior leaders and representatives of several of the group's affiliates throughout the region."
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 2:07 pm
This post last updated at 3:55 p.m. ET:
A federal grand jury has indicted two men on charges of obstruction of justice related to the Boston Marathon bombing investigation.
The U.S. Attorney's office for Massachusetts made the announcement on Thursday against two students from Kazakhstan, Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both 19 at the time of the bombing. If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 1:05 pm
Our nearest star is about to pull a once-in-11-years move by swapping its north and south magnetic poles.
The sun's polarity switch is a natural part of "solar max" — the period of peak activity during what averages out to be roughly an 11-year cycle. According to NASA, this year will mark the fourth time since 1976 that scientists have observed the 180-degree pole flip.
Don LaFontaine had avoice anyone would recognize. As a voice-over artist, he recorded thousands of movie trailers and TV commercials, and became famous for his delivery of the phrase "In a world," which kicked off countless trailers. He died in 2008, but the new comedy In a World ... -- written and directed by actress Lake Bell — tells the story of voice-over artists competing to become the next LaFontaine.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 11:46 am
We forget to listen closer, look closer. As a big-picture kind of guy, I do that myself, and that means missing details that make day-to-day life more vivid. Listening to High Aura'd, it's apparent that creator John Kolodij hears life with great clarity. Last year's Sanguine Features was a personal favorite of mine: a dark and buzzing LP that, when turned up loud, felt like a dark hallway with treasures tucked away in the corners.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 10:28 am
The judge presiding over the case of Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is accused of killing 13 people during a 2009 shooting rampage in Fort Hood, Texas, said Hasan can continue to defend himself, The Associated Press reports.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 9:59 am
A Virginia man has caught the largest northern snakehead on record with a rod and reel, landing a 17-pound, 6-ounce specimen of the fish often called "Frankenfish" for their monster-like appearance and tenacious survival skills.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 8:56 am
Who do these guys think they are, the Dr. Frankensteins of virology?
First, two teams of virologists created more dangerous versions of the deadly H5N1 flu. Now they want to give the H7N9 virus, which has already sickened at least 134 people and killed 43 people in Asia, a few new capabilities: drug resistance, faster transmission between people and the ability to sneak past the immune system.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 9:05 am
Driven by a recovery in the U.S. housing market, mortgage finance giant Fannie Mae netted profits of $10.1 billion in the second quarter, its sixth-straight quarter with positive results. The company, which has operated under federal conservatorship since 2008, reported its earnings Thursday.
Fannie Mae cited "a significant increase in home prices in the quarter," which nearly doubled that of last year's second quarter.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 8:54 am
There were 333,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, the Employment and Training Administration says. Claims were up 1.5 percent from the previous week's 328,000 — and basically remained at the lower end of the range where they've stayed for the better part of the last two years.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 8:50 am
"The National Security Agency is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans' e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance, according to intelligence officials," The New York Times reported Thursday.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 8:01 am
Imagine a friend of a friend brings his family to stay with you — his family of tiny survivalists. For weeks or months you all live quietly side by side with no problems. You share meals. Your kids play together.
Then one day you get sick — maybe felled by a bad cold or the flu. Suddenly certain the end is near, your jittery houseguest breaks out an armory's worth of chemical weapons. He abandons his community to save himself and hunt for a new home, wreaking havoc on the way out the door.
It's one of the most familiar stories in fantasy: someone from our world stumbles on a gateway to a world entirely other — usually magical, sometimes dangerous, and always ripe for a great adventure. But despite the iconic image of a paradise just beyond the doorway, the portal fantasy is often, at heart, a cynical work. After all, some of folkore's most notable archetypes were supernatural threats who crossed from their world to ours to beleaguer us.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. In Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute," Tamino and Pamina can't get married unless brave Tamino passes three tests or trials. At a performance on Lake Constance in Austria this week, the trials by silence and fire were no sweat but water turned out to be a bit trickier. As a gondola carrying three characters approached the floating stage it capsized, tossing the three into the lake's shallow waters. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.