Arts & Life

For the first time in a decade, the classic children's television show Sesame Street will introduce a new Muppet on the air.

I love reading books in translation. There's just something about that second pass — that second look at the language — which removes, by my rough estimate, something like 10% of any writer's preciousness (I've never known one who couldn't spare that much, at least) and gives every line such a chewy, lived-in feel. The motion of the words themselves, from one tongue to another — from one brain to another, one mouth to another — alters them fundamentally.

In '2140,' New York May Be Underwater, But It's Still Home

Mar 19, 2017

Early in New York 2140, two boys jump into their inflatable boat to begin the day's business, scavenging through the canals of a half-drowned New York. Since the weight of the engine threatens to sink the stern, the older boy sits up front to balance it out.

Ashamed, Confused And In The Closet

Mar 18, 2017

Dear Sugar Radio is a weekly podcast from member station WBUR. Hosts Steve Almond and Cheryl Strayed offer "radical empathy" and advice on everything from relationships and parenthood to dealing with drug problems or anxiety.

Today the Sugars hear from a man who is married to a woman and thinks he's gay. He says his marriage to his wife is fulfilling in every way except for their sex life. Now he doesn't know what to do. What should his next step be?

For more than 40 years, Paul Shaffer has been providing the soundtrack for late night TV. He was on the first generation of Saturday Night Live and appeared for 30 years with David Letterman. He was the band leader who could play any song and would laugh at any joke. He's just released an album called Paul Shaffer & The World's Most Dangerous Band.

Routines

Mar 18, 2017
Army Medicine [Flickr]

Pets (and many people) are happier when they have a regular routine.  Sometimes, though, things happen that disrupt or adjust our routines, and it may take a little time to adapt to the change.

******************

The St. Patrick's parade is over and the Irish (and honorary Irish) have gone home to sleep off their annual bout of intemperance, but the multi-generational marchers of the Italian-American St. Joseph Society in New Orleans are only just dusting off their tuxedos and straightening their bow ties. Once the shamrocks and shenanigans have vanished from the narrow streets of the French Quarter, and the keg of green beer is empty, another parade — in honor of an entirely different saint — is beginning to gear up.

If you've been out of loop on the American contemporary art scene, the Whitney Biennial is here to catch you up. This year's show opened Friday, and features 63 different artists and many new works that have never been shown before. Some artists are responding to the most pressing issues of our time, while others are tackling mammoth projects on a tight deadline. Photographer An-My Lê and artist Raúl de Nieves represent the range of this year's contributors.

Elif Batuman is on record as disliking "crisp" fiction, fiction that streamlines, that asks to be compared to apples, or whips. "Write long novels, pointless novels," she urges in an essay for n+1. And she has. The Idiot is a long wander, a vague rummage, "as simultaneously absorbing and off-putting as someone else's incredibly long dream," as her narrator, Selin, says of Bleak House.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

20 years ago, a low-budget film with a great soundtrack (Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Blur) became a huge hit. And then a lot of people ended up with a poster on their bedroom wall featuring an epically profane rant that began, "Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family ..."

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF "OVERTURE/AND ALL THAT JAZZ")

At a ceremony in New York on Thursday, one of America's most celebrated writers had a new reason to celebrate. Louise Erdrich won the 2017 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction for her novel LaRose, the story of an accidental shooting — and the fraught tale of family and reparation that follows.

On Friday, the streaming service Netflix unveils the entire first season — all 13 episodes — of its newest children's series, called Julie's Greenroom. It stars Julie Andrews, who also is its executive producer along with her daughter, children's book author Emma Walton Hamilton.

Toy Joy

Mar 17, 2017

Did Twister ever give you a blister? Or chess give you stress? In this game, every answer is a toy or game paired with a word that rhymes with that toy. So if we asked, "What's the game where the first player to get rid of their cards wins a trip to the capital of Alaska?" the correct answer would be "Juneau Uno."

Heard on Judy Gold: Very Special Episodes

Judy Gold: Very Special Episodes

Mar 17, 2017

For comedian Judy Gold, having older parents meant that feedback in her household was often quite negative. "I remember the first time I did the Tonight Show. My mother leaves me a message, 'So...I...watched...and there are so many commercials! I mean, I waited and waited...' I'm like, 'Hello! Are your other kids doing the Tonight Show?'" she told host Ophira Eisenberg. "But you don't appreciate it until you're old...and they're dead."

Mr. Shouty

Mar 17, 2017

Hollywood's most famous yeller, Samuel L. Jackson, finally stars in his own game! Contestants must identify movies starring Mr. Jackson just from clips of him shouting.

Heard on Judy Gold: Very Special Episodes

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Zero G

Mar 17, 2017

In this final round, every answer is a two-word phrase where the first word ends in "I-N-G" and the second word sounds like the first word, with the last G removed. But don't worry, it's not as complicated as it seems! For example, the answer to "Brushing dirt off of the actor Hoffman" is "Dusting Dustin."

Heard on Judy Gold: Very Special Episodes

Mystery Guest

Mar 17, 2017

This episode's Mystery Guest, Autumn Stanford, just started an interesting late-night business. Can you figure out what it is before Ophira and Jonathan?

Heard on Judy Gold: Very Special Episodes

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Literal Songs

Mar 17, 2017

Jonathan Coulton makes songs with one-word titles even more straightforward, by changing their lyrics so that each song is quite literally about the title. Contestants buzz in to identify the song.

Heard on Judy Gold: Very Special Episodes

This, That Or The Other

Mar 17, 2017

In this week's edition of This, That or the Other, contestants are given the title of a book and must guess if it was written by an FBI agent, an Olympic athlete, or a participant on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette.

Heard on Judy Gold: Very Special Episodes

Derek Walcott's work explored the beauty of his Caribbean homeland and its brutal colonial history. The prolific, Nobel Prize-winning poet and playwright died Friday at his home in St. Lucia. He was 87.

Walcott wrote dozens of books of poetry and plays, among them his epic poem Omeros and his Obie-winning drama, Dream on Monkey Mountain.

The 1,500-mile Appalachian Mountain range stretches so far that those on the northern and southern sides can't agree on what to call it: Appa-LAY-chia or Appa-LATCH-ia. The outside perspective on the people who live there might be even more mangled. Stories about Appalachia tend to center around subjects like poverty, the opioid epidemic and coal, but since 1966 a series called Foxfire has been sharing food, culture and life as it's actually lived in the mountain region.

While we're waiting for Stephen Thompson to return from South By Southwest, we wanted to bring you two of the segments we did on our fall tour with friend of the show Guy Branum, who hosts the Maximum Fun podcast Pop Rocket and is also the host of the upcoming TruTV show Talk Show The Game Show, based on a live format he's been doing for a while. Guy joined us at the Now Hear This festival in Anaheim to talk about memes and fads, and to offer some pop culture advice to our listeners.

Speak of the Emerald Isle, and you picture verdant rolling hillsides. But there's another green bounty — not just on Ireland's soil, but off its coast. We're talking about seaweed. And if some Irish have their way, it'll be making its way back onto plates.

Kwame Alexander believes that wonder lies between the lines of poems.

His new book Out of Wonder, is a collection of original poems for children written in the style of some of the world's most famous poets — Rumi, Robert Frost, Pablo Neruda, Maya Angelou. The poems were written by Alexander, Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth and illustrated by Ekua Holmes.

There are three aims for the book — to encourage kids to read poetry, to introduce them to great poets, and to inspire them to write poems of their own.

There's something very, very off about all those chipper household objects in Disney's expensive, soulless new live-action retelling of Beauty and the Beast. But we don't realize quite what it is until "Be Our Guest," the intended showstopper at the film's midway point, in which all these transmogrified servants band together to make Belle, their lovely young prisoner, feel like royalty.

In 1919, a German miss and a French gent gingerly approach each other across the no-man's-land between their two countries. For Francois Ozon, director and co-writer of Frantz, the romance is less tentative. The French filmmaker's melodrama is a love letter to German-born director Ernst Lubitsch, as well as to painter Caspar David Friedrich.

Pages