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Preview: Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen

Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen



The Peabody Award-winning Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, from PRI and WNYC, is public radio’s smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt Andersen introduces you to the people who are creating and shaping



Last Build Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Copyright: PRI and WNYC
 



Tupac and Art Rock

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

This week, an episode about groundbreaking pop music: The music that preceded and followed Radiohead’s landmark album, “OK Computer.” Plus, an exploration of how the life of Tupac Shakur was mythologized — even by Tupac himself. And gospel punk band Algiers plays live in the studio. 

Tupac and Art Rock


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio062217_cms763275_pod.mp3?awparams=studio%3Ajune222017




Across the Multiverse

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Universe not big enough for you? There’s always the multiverse — many universes, scattered through time and space. In one world, you might drive a bus; in another, you might be a Formula One racer. If the idea sounds familiar, that could be because it has obsessed science-fiction and comic-book writers for decades. But artists and writers aren't the only ones fascinated by multiples — some physicists think the multiverse could be very real.

(Originally aired December 10, 2015)

Across the Multiverse


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio061517_cms763327_pod.mp3




Homecoming Attractions

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

This week, Kurt talks with “Daily Show” Correspondent Hasan Minhaj about surviving the Trump Administration. Plus, the story behind one of the great literary hoaxes of the century: “Naked Came the Stranger.” And statistician Ben Blatt uses data analysis on classic novels and discovers some surprising patterns.

Homecoming Attractions


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio060817_cms761285_pod.mp3




American Icons: I Love Lucy

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

This is where television invented itself. It set the model for the hit family sitcom. Lucy was a bad girl trapped in the life of a ’50s housewife; her slapstick quest for fame and fortune ended in abject failure weekly. Both the antics and the humiliation entered the DNA of TV comedy, from “Desperate Housewives” to “30 Rock,”  writers can’t live without Lucy. Rapper Mellow Man Ace celebrates the breaking of an ethnic taboo; a drag performer celebrates Lucy as a freak. With novelist Oscar Hijuelos, producer Chuck Lorre, “The Mindy Project’s” Mindy Kaling, and a marriage counselor who has some advice for the bickering couple. American Icons: I Love Lucy was produced by Jenny Lawton, with production assistance from Chloe Plaunt and Claes Andreasson. David Krasnow edited the show. (Originally aired October 8, 2010) Bonus Track: Mindy Hearts Ricky Mindy Kaling ("The Office") grew up thinking "I Love Lucy" was “one of the many black and white things that people keep telling you is so great... and you’re just sort of bored and annoyed by it.” Then her "Office" boss Greg Daniels ordered her to watch it. She came away with a pretty serious crush on Ricky Ricardo. And she says she's not bothered by jokes about his accent.   Bonus Track: Deconstructing Lucy Although Lucy's on-screen antics may have looked improvised, every gesture, glance, and step was written into the script. Gregg Oppenheimer — son of creator, producer, and head writer Jess Oppenheimer — reads a bit of telling stage direction from “Lucy is Enceinte.” Jess and Gregg Oppenheimer are the authors of Laughs, Luck... and Lucy.   → Read an excerpt from the "Lucy is Enciente" episode script  Bonus Track: Notes on a Scandal   In 1955 "Confidential Magazine," a Hollywood scandal rag, reported on Desi Arnaz’s supposed philandering. Dartmouth film and television professor Mary Desjardins explores the less desirable side effect of being a celebrity couple.   → Read about Lucy and Desi in Confidential Magazine (1955) The I Love Lucy show was the first comedy to be filmed in front of a live studio audience, a practice that is now standard in many of today's TV sitcoms. Lucille Ball's daughter, Lucie Arnaz, wrote that her mother's “clowning and comedy talent thrived on the sound of real people laughing uproariously at her antics.” (Courtesy of Gregg Oppenheimer)   The original I Love Lucy soundstage. Karl Freund, the Oscar-winning cinematographer, convinced Desi Arnaz that I Love Lucy needed to be filmed on a soundstage, not on a theatre stage, as was the convention at that time. A soundstage allowed Freund to set up the necessary infrastructure — including a hanging light grid and crab dollies — to successfully accomplish the innovative technique of three cameras shooting simultaneously. The techniques “Papa” Freund invented for I Love Lucy are still used to make sitcoms today. (Claes Andreasson)   A seat to watch a live filming of I Love Lucy was one of the hottest tickets in town — brought to you by Phillip Morris, I Love Lucy's official sponsor. (Claes Andreasson / Hollywood Center Studios)   Filming I Love Lucy with three cameras was just one of the show's many monumental innovations. Television historian Thomas Schatz explains, “I Love Lucy shaped the style, the technique, the veritable 'grammar' of the sitcom. And beyond the series' impact on the genre, there was Desilu itself, which affected the institutional, economic, and even the technological practices of the TV industry.” (Claes Andreasson / Hollywood Center Studios)      [...]American Icons: I Love Lucy


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio060117_cms759617_pod.mp3




Manchester, United

Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

This week, a conversation with music journalist Eve Barlow about the terror attack in Manchester and the city’s rich musical history. Plus, “Master of None” co-creator Alan Yang reveals behind-the-scenes stories from the Netflix series, and an expert on con artists dissects America’s fascination with flim-flam men.

Manchester, United


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio052517_cms758382_pod.mp3




Whoa, Canada

Thu, 18 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

This week, as President Trump threatens Canada, we salute our neighbors to the north. Kurt gets his Canadian knowledge tested, k.d. lang talks about her Canuck roots, and Mac DeMarco plays live. 

Whoa, Canada


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio051817_cms756863_pod.mp3




Twin Peek

Thu, 11 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

This week, we head back to “Twin Peaks.” “Fargo” showrunner Noah Hawley talks about the impact of David Lynch’s cult TV show. Plus, what it was like growing up where the show was filmed, and the composers behind “X-Files” and “Breaking Bad” discuss the brilliance -- and influence -- of the show’s soundtrack. 

Twin Peek


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio051117_cms755503_pod.mp3




American Icons: Buffalo Bill

Thu, 04 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(image)

This was the American spectacle that colonized our dreams.

He was the most famous American in the world — a showman and spin artist who parlayed a buffalo-hunting gig into an entertainment empire. William F. Cody’s stage show presented a new creation myth for America, bringing cowboys, Indians, settlers, and sharpshooters to audiences who had only read about the West in dime novels. He offered Indians a life off the reservation — reenacting their own defeats. “Deadwood” producer David Milch explains why the myth of the West still resonates; a Sioux actor at a Paris theme park loves playing Sitting Bull; and a financial executive impersonates Buffalo Bill, with his wife as Annie Oakley.

(Originally aired November 5, 2010)

Bonus Track: Indian or Native American? 
Artist and scholar Arthur Amiotte offers his opinion on the names given to — and chosen by — his people.

 

Video: "Buffalo Bill's Wild West" 
There's not much video of Buffalo Bill; William Cody couldn't quite figure out how to adapt his "Wild West" show to the new technology of film. But Thomas Edison used the developing medium to capture some amazing footage of the show.

width="465" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3w__1GyfQPQ?wmode=transparent&autohide=1&rel=0&showinfo=0&feature=oembed&enablejsapi=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" id="a-2743616717721757705" class="youtube_video" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" data-original-url="https://youtu.be/3w__1GyfQPQ">
  
Video: “La Légende de Buffalo Bill” 

The "Wild West" show has history in Europe. The original stage show spent perhaps a third of its run across the Atlantic, touring as far east as the Ukraine. As shown in the promotional video below, a current French incarnation — "with Mickey and friends" — draws heavily on the mythology created by Buffalo Bill.

width="620" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mn_ssLPWQlM?wmode=transparent&autohide=1&rel=0&showinfo=0&feature=oembed&enablejsapi=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" id="a-3860942353863366893" class="youtube_video" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" data-original-url="https://youtu.be/mn_ssLPWQlM">
  

American Icons: Buffalo Bill


Media Files:
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Handmaid in America

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

This week, why Margaret Atwood dedicated “The Handmaid’s Tale” to a woman known as Half-Hanged Mary. Plus, the Kinks’ Ray Davies shares his playlist of his favorite American songs, and the story behind that album with George Carlin’s classic bit, “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.”

Handmaid in America


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio042717_cms752499_pod.mp3




Fan Overboard!

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

This week, Studio 360 gets obsessed about fandom: a look inside the world of black cosplayers at ComicCon, Kurt visits a Japanese pop culture paradise, and an atheist proselytizes “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Fan Overboard!


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio042017_cms751075_pod.mp3?awparams=studio%3Aapr202017




How Sweet the Sound

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

How a church hymn became an American anthem: the surprising and complicated story behind “Amazing Grace.” Plus, a conversation with novelist Yewande Omotoso about her book, “The Woman Next Door.” And Aimee Mann reveals her biggest influences and performs live in the studio. 

How Sweet the Sound


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio041317_cms749241_pod.mp3




American Icons: Superman

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(image)

Disguised as a mild-mannered reporter, Kurt Andersen explores the history of Superman with cartoonists Jules Feiffer and Art Spiegelman, director Bryan Singer, novelists Michael Chabon and Howard Jacobson, and the 1978 Lois Lane, Margot Kidder. Is this strange visitor from the planet Krypton derivative of Jewish mythology? Can one superhero wield ultimate power for a moral good? And what’s up with the blue tights?

(Originally aired July 6, 2006)

American Icons: Superman


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio040617_cms747460_pod.mp3




“Shaft” and Present

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

This week, the story of “Shaft.” Plus, learn the lingo in a TV writers’ room with “Veep” showrunner David Mandel. And Kurt talks to author Osama Alomar about his collection of very short fiction, “The Teeth of the Comb & Other Stories.”

“Shaft” and Present


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio033017_cms745453_pod.mp3?awparams=studio%3Amar302017




Pet Projects

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

This week, Kurt heads to a dog park and learns how to take the perfect pet portrait. Plus, the story behind “Share A Smile Becky,” Mattel’s attempt at creating a Barbie doll that used a wheelchair. And Carter Burwell, who scored the music for films by directors including Sidney Lumet and the Coen Brothers, defines the lexicon of film composers. 

Pet Projects


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio032317_cms744454_pod.mp3?awparams=studio%3Amar232017




Magnetic Feels

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

This week, Kurt talks to comedians Kate Berlant and John Early about their absurdist new series, “555.” Plus, how filmmaker Garry Fraser went from being a heroin addict in Scotland to working on “T2: Trainspotting” — a movie about heroin addicts in Scotland. And Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields plays live in our studio.

Magnetic Feels


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio031617_cms742769_pod.mp3?awparams=studio%3Amar162017




American Icons: Monticello

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

The home of America’s aspirations and deepest contradictions.

(image)

Monticello is home renovation run amok. Thomas Jefferson was as passionate about building his house as he was about founding the United States; he designed Monticello to the fraction of an inch and never stopped changing it. Yet Monticello was also a plantation worked by slaves, some of them Jefferson’s own children. Today his white and black descendants still battle over who can be buried at Monticello. It was trashed by college students, saved by a Jewish family, and celebrated by FDR. With Stephen Colbert, filmmaker James Ivory, and artist Maira Kalman.

(Originally aired October 22, 2010)

Monticello Update: 

Monticello plans to re-create or restore spaces where Thomas Jefferson's slaves worked and lived. This $35 million project includes the room where Sally Hemings likely lived, which was turned into a restroom in a 1940s renovation.

American Icons: Monticello was produced by Amanda Aronczyk. The Jefferson family graveyard story was produced by Ann Heppermann. The actor David Strathairn was the voice of Thomas Jefferson. David Krasnow edited the show.
Music was provided by David Prior, with John Matthias for Small Design Firm, and can also be heard at Monticello's interactive exhibition, Boisterous Sea of Liberty.

American Icons: Monticello


Media Files:
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Getting into 'Get Out'

Thu, 02 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

This week, Kurt talks to writer/director Jordan Peele about his new horror film “Get Out.” Plus, how Leonard Bernstein brought classical music from the concert hall to the living room. And Afropop band Sinkane performs live in our studio.

Getting into 'Get Out'


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio033017_cms739508_pod.mp3




Political Art

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

This week, a look at artists — from the left to the right — getting political.  Conservative painter Jon McNaughton talks about creating art in the era of the Trump administration. Plus, the Black Panthers' brief foray into the music business. And Philip Roth talks to Kurt about his eerily timely novel "The Plot Against America." 

Political Art


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio022317_cms738249_pod.mp3?awparams=studio%3Afeb232017




Oscar Preview

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

This week, we preview the Academy Awards. The casting director of “Moonlight” talks about the complicated process of finding the right actors for three different time periods. Plus, “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle guides Kurt through the classic Hollywood musicals that inspired his film. And the director of the Oscar-nominated “The Red Turtle” talks about making an animated Studio Ghibli movie unlike any other.

 

 

 

 

Oscar Preview


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio021617_cms736993_pod.mp3?awparams=studio%3Afeb162017




Love is on the Air

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Where do you turn when you’re heartbroken in the dead of night? Delilah, of course — her radio call-in show pairs romantic advice with the perfect song. Plus, we discover the surprisingly sweet couple behind one of history’s naughtiest gag gifts: edible underwear. And Canadian songwriter Basia Bulat used a broken heart to propel her from subdued folk to floor-stomping pop.

Love is on the Air


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio020917_cms735692_pod.mp3?awparams=studio%3Afeb92017




Here’s Looking at You

Thu, 02 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

This week, Kurt talks to former NEA chairman Dana Gioia about how the Trump Administration may target federally-funded art. Plus, screenwriter Robert D. Siegel reveals how a real-life story becomes a Hollywood movie. And Karina Longworth and Noah Isenberg take a look back at the legacy of “Casablanca.”

Here’s Looking at You


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio020217_cms734628_pod.mp3




The Scene and the Unseen

Thu, 26 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

This week, a conversation with Oscar-winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker, the story behind Marilyn Monroe’s most iconic moment, and a New York Times critic picks the timeliest show on TV.

The Scene and the Unseen


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio012617_cms732947_pod.mp3?awparams=studio%3Ajan262017




American Icons: The Wizard of Oz

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

This is America’s dreamland.

(image)

It's been 78 years since movie audiences first watched “The Wizard of Oz.” Meet the original man behind the curtain, L. Frank Baum, who had all the vision of Walt Disney, but none of the business sense. Discover how “Oz” captivated the imaginations of Russians living under Soviet rule. Hear how playwright Neil LaBute, filmmaker Nora Ephron, novelist Salman Rushdie, and musician Bobby McFerrin all found magic, meaning, and inspiration in “Oz.”

(Originally aired: November 19, 2005)

American Icons: The Wizard of Oz


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio011917_cms731084_pod.mp3




Marilyn Monroe’s Long-Lost Skirt Scene

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 06:00:00 -0500

Marilyn Monroe’s most iconic moment — standing over a subway grate as her white dress billows up — was originally filmed in Manhattan in 1954. But a crowd of onlookers forced the producers to reshoot the scene in a Hollywood sound stage, and footage from that night was thought to be lost forever. Until now. Bonnie Siegler, a graphic designer in New York, tells Kurt how she discovered the film — hidden in her grandfather’s house for over 60 years — that captured the moment that became synonymous with Marilyn Monroe.

Watch a clip of the lost footage at The New York Times

Marilyn Monroe’s Long-Lost Skirt Scene


Media Files:
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POTUS as Tastemaker

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Our inauguration special: A review of Barack Obama's arts legacy, how fashion goes from inside the beltway to the runway, and "Game Change" co-author John Heilemann talks about the cultural tastes of Donald Trump.

POTUS as Tastemaker


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio011217_cms729656_pod.mp3?awparams=studio%3Ajan122017




How to Remember

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

This week, Kurt talks to Adam Driver, an architect tries to build a museum in Iraq, how Sly and the Family Stone created a pop music masterpiece, and Taylor Mac does a decade-by-decade revue of American pop.

How to Remember


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio010517_cms727920_pod.mp3




Kurt's Favorite Conversation of 2016

Sat, 31 Dec 2016 06:00:00 -0500

Jack Viertel is a human encyclopedia of musical theater. He’s the producer of hit Broadway shows like “Hairspray,” “Kinky Boots,” and “The Producers.” And he’s also the artistic director of Encores, a New York series that resurrects vintage musicals.

Viertel’s book “The Secret Life of the American Musical—How Broadway Shows are Built,” reveals the essential elements of a musical. 

This spring, he joined Kurt in the studio to give us all a master class in the genre.

(Originally aired April 21, 2016)

More of Kurt’s favorite conversations of 2016 can be found here.

Kurt's Favorite Conversation of 2016


Media Files:
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Designing Life

Thu, 29 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

From "Semi-Living Dolls" to glowing florescent illustrations, artists are using the tools of synthetic biology to grow their own materials and create works of art that are, essentially, alive. It’s one thing to wag our fingers at big scientific institutions for "playing God," but isn't it uncool to tell artists they shouldn't do something, even if it creeps us out?

(Originally aired May 28, 2015)

Designing Life


Media Files:
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The Eerie Familiarity of "Man in the High Castle"

Mon, 26 Dec 2016 06:00:00 -0500

The Man in the High Castle, the Emmy Award winning TV series, imagines a world in which the Nazi’s won WWII. Set in the 1960s, the show blends actual pop cultural imagery and artifacts with fictional interpretations of an alternative ending to the war.

When its first season debuted, the show’s ad campaign in New York City subways hit a little too close to home. And the show’s second season, which dropped last week, is resonating in a similar way, although this time not so intentionally, just as white nationalists gain exposure in the lead-up to the Trump presidency. “But if it would be hyperbole to treat the series like a documentary, it would be denial to say it plays no differently now than it did before,” says James Poniewozik the chief television critic for The New York Times. He joined Kurt in the studio to talk about his most recent article on the series which points to the parallels between fiction and reality.

The Eerie Familiarity of "Man in the High Castle"


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio122616_cms695872_pod.mp3




Get a Clue

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

This week, Kurt creates a crossword with a New York Times puzzle-maker, a neuroscientist explains why so many people share the same false memory, and a theater company brings August Wilson back to his boyhood home.

Get a Clue


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio122216_cms695180_pod.mp3




Human Intelligence: A Holiday Tale

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 06:00:00 -0500

Kurt Andersen’s version of a Christmas story doesn’t have your typical talking snowman or mistletoe. Instead, this holiday tale involves extraterrestrial surveillance and melting polar ice caps. "Human Intelligence," was produced for radio by Jonathan Mitchell, and stars Melanie Hoopes, John Ottavino, and Ed Herbstman. The unabridged version was published in "Stories: All New Tales," an anthology edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio.

Human Intelligence: A Holiday Tale


Media Files:
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Close Encounters

Thu, 15 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

This week, a stereophonic odyssey into the Amazon, the otherworldly nature of octopuses, and why a theater critic thinks Shakespeare is much ado about nothing.

Close Encounters


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio121516_cms692558_pod.mp3




Vince Guaraldi: A Charlie Brown Christmas

Mon, 12 Dec 2016 06:00:00 -0500

Nothing takes the edge off the holidays quite like the soundtrack to “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by Vince Guaraldi. The jazz musician and composer always wanted to write a standard. And since the “Peanuts” holiday special first aired in 1965, its score has become one of the most recognizable jazz recordings of all time.

In 2012 “A Charlie Brown Christmas was chosen for preservation in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. Its story is told by Jean Schulz, the widow of “Peanuts” creator, Charles M. Schulz; Jerry Granelli, the drummer who played with Guaraldi; and Lee Mendelson, the producer who worked closely with Schulz on the Christmas special.

(Originally aired December 14, 2012)

Vince Guaraldi: A Charlie Brown Christmas


Media Files:
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Way to Go, Einstein

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

This week, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity: how Einstein upended the way we see space and time, his effect on pop culture, and how one of his most preposterous ideas was ultimately proven right. 

Way to Go, Einstein


Media Files:
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It’s Only Post-Natural

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 06:00:00 -0500

If you take a trip to your local natural history museum, you’ll likely discover the story of our planet told through vast collections of species, vibrant dioramas and exhibits on the evolution of life on earth. But historically, these institutions have done a poor job of showing where humans have influenced “the natural world.”  Some museums include the story of human impact on the environment — endangered and extinct species on display remind us of the dangers of hunting and deforestation — but humans have played an even more direct and intentional role in the evolution of certain organisms. And there’s a quirky museum in Pittsburgh that is finally telling that story.

Richard Pell is the director of the Center for PostNatural History. He defines post-natural organisms as ones that have been altered by people intentionally and heritably. “Heritably meaning we’ve altered its evolutionary path in some fashion. It affects its offspring, it’s not just a dog with a weird haircut. It’s we’ve bred dogs that have weird hair,” he said.

By including and preserving these often neglected species, the Center for PostNatural History interrogates the question of where what’s truly natural ends and what is influenced by humans begins.

It’s Only Post-Natural


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And Don’t Call Me Shirley

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

An hour about spoofs, parodies, and lampoonery. Mel Brooks and David Zucker talk about the art of mocking movies. Then, Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost deconstruct action flicks. And a live, unplugged performance by "Weird Al" Yankovic.

(Segments in this episode have aired previously)

And Don’t Call Me Shirley


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Sharon Jones's Soul Revival

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 06:00:00 -0500

Sharon Jones burst onto the music scene about 10 years ago — she was backed by The Dap-Kings, a straight-out-of-the-1960s funk band with a fantastic horn section.  And at just 5 feet tall, Sharon had all of the funk and spark of James Brown. The band was made up of young hipsters, and while Jones was decades their senior, she’d dance circles around them onstage. She’d lead church choirs and had a day job as a prison guard, before finally breaking into the music business. Her swift rise was cut short by cancer — she died Nov. 18 at age 60.

We’d recently featured Sharon in a story about “This Land is Your Land” (she and the Dap-Kings did a terrific cover of the song). In it she explained how Woody Guthrie’s spoke to her in a surprising way. Today we’re releasing a special extended cut of her part of the story — plus her 2007 interview and performance in our studio.

Sharon Jones's Soul Revival


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio112816_cms684289_pod.mp3




All Shakespeare All the Time

Thu, 24 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

On the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, we look at the ways his work continues to change and adapt. In the 19th century, Shakespeare’s work got caught up in minstrel shows — and African-American actors are still struggling to claim the Bard as their own. Also, we find out how a father-son team is changing the way Shakespeare sounds by bringing back his original pronunciation. And we go inside the pioneering immersive theater experience “Sleep No More,” which might be the longest-running Shakespeare adaptation ever.

Segments in this show have aired previously.

All Shakespeare All the Time


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio112416_cms684603_pod.mp3




Remembering Ultra-American Musician Leon Russell

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 06:00:00 -0500

Leon Russell passed away last week — he was 74. During the 1970s, he forged a musical career unlike almost anyone else’s before or since: an ultra-American mix of country, blues, gospel, and rock n’ roll, collaborating with musicians from all those genres.

Kurt spoke with Russell in the summer of 2015 when a 40-year-old documentary about Russell’s musical career was finally released. Director Les Blank filmed Russell at the height of his stardom in the 70s, but Russell held the release of the film until after Blank’s death. “Les Blank is a wonderful documentarian, but I felt like it had a lot of coverage that didn’t have to do with me — you know, a lot of sunsets,” he explained.

Russell also told Kurt about how a childhood injury influenced his artistic development, the provenance of Mick Jagger’s famous dance, and his collaboration with Elton John.

Remembering Ultra-American Musician Leon Russell


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio112116_cms594648_pod.mp3




Y’all, Youse, or Yinz?

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

On this week’s show, novelist Brit Bennett reads from her debut novel, “The Mothers.” Plus, Josh Katz gives us a tour of American regionalisms. And Leonor Caraballo and Abou Farman create art in the face of the cancer. 

Y’all, Youse, or Yinz?


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio111716_cms683908_pod.mp3




DJ Shadow’s Record-Breaking Album

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 06:00:00 -0500

Twenty years ago this week, DJ Shadow set a Guinness World Record for creating an album made up entirely of samples, many of them from LPs he rescued from the 50-cent bin. But “Endtroducing” is also musically and compositionally inventive, and it caught the attention of the hip-hop world. DJ Shadow has moved on, but some of his fans (including Derek John) still haven't gotten over it.  

DJ Shadow’s Record-Breaking Album


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio111416_djshadow.mp3




This Land is Trump's Land

Thu, 10 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

This week: How a former reality TV star was elected president. Then, Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith writes a poem inspired by a Baton Rouge protester. And we explore the creation of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.”

This Land is Trump's Land


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio111016_cms681298_pod.mp3?awparams=studio%3Anov10




Live from New York, It’s Election Night!

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 06:00:00 -0500

Nobody defined the satirical style of “Saturday Night Live” more than Jim Downey. He wrote for the show for over 33 seasons and was SNL’s head writer for 10 years. Downey gives us a behind-the-scenes look at how SNL crafted political sketches throughout the years — including dealing with reluctant politicians, his favorite jokes that were too risqué for the air, and how cast members like Daryl Hammond developed their pitch-perfect impressions.

Live from New York, It’s Election Night!


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio110716_cms680179_pod.mp3




Eugenia Cheng, Guilty Pleasures & Jacob Collier

Thu, 03 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0400

On this week’s show, Eugenia Cheng whips up a delicious math lesson for Kurt. Plus, writer Sadie Stein defends one of the most detested words in the English language. Then, an art historian and a scientist explore the connection between bird plumage and air pollution. And Jacob Collier plays live with an instrument built by an MIT engineer. 

Eugenia Cheng, Guilty Pleasures & Jacob Collier


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio110316_cms677502_pod.mp3?awparams=studio%3Anov03




Spooky Scary Studio 360: How to Make Your Skeleton Scary

Mon, 31 Oct 2016 07:00:00 -0400

Happy Halloween!

Jack Handey, thinker of Deep Thoughts, takes on the ultimate holiday question: If a skeleton’s not scary, what’s the point of having one? He offers a few tips on how to make your skeleton live up to its reputation so you’re not burying just another ho-hum pile of bones.

(Originally aired October 27, 2006)

Spooky Scary Studio 360: How to Make Your Skeleton Scary


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio103116_cms604138_pod.mp3




Oh the Horror!

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400

Spine-tingling tales from the Studio 360 crypt! “Evil Dead” director Sam Raimi talks about the horrors of Hollywood filmmaking. We audit Tom Savini’s course in decapitation and dismemberment. And the late, great Wes Craven revisits Elm Street and explains why “Scream,” is, ultimately, a family movie. 

Oh the Horror!


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio102716_cms672209_pod.mp3?awparams=studio%3Aoct27




Spooky Scary Studio 360: She Sees Your Every Move

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 07:00:00 -0400

In anticipation of Halloween, Studio 360 is sharing some of our favorite spooky segments from our archive.

Photographer Michele Iversen captures strangers in private spaces — without their permission. At night she sits in her car and watches the glowing windows of strangers' homes, waiting for the perfect shot. Iversen’s story always elicits strong reactions from our listeners — often of horror.

(Originally aired December 17, 2010)

Spooky Scary Studio 360: She Sees Your Every Move


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio102616_cms573415_pod.mp3




Spooky Scary Studio 360: Making Haunted Houses Scarier

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 07:00:00 -0400

In anticipation of Halloween, Studio 360 is sharing some of our favorite spooky segments from our archive.

Ike Sriskandarajah brings a story of how a composer’s visit to a haunted house made him realize there was a whole industry that needed better music. After visiting LA’s Haunted Hayride, Chris Thomas called the park’s hotline and said, “Hey, love your attraction, but it was undercut instantly by this terrible music.” A few weeks later, he got a call back — from the manager of the park. With that, Thomas composed what might be the first original score for any haunted attraction.

(Originally aired October 24, 2014)

Spooky Scary Studio 360: Making Haunted Houses Scarier


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio102516_cms593793_pod.mp3




Spooky Scary Studio 360: Alice Cooper

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 07:00:00 -0400

In anticipation of Halloween, Studio 360 is sharing some of our favorite spooky segments from our archive.

No musician has died more often or more dramatically in front of more people than Alice Cooper. His highly theatrical rock shows have variously ended with depictions of him being electrocuted, beheaded, or hanged.

In real life, he's managed to survive very nicely — now in his 60's, he still performs those over-the-top live shows. He talks with Kurt Andersen about what it was like when he moved to Greenwich, Connecticut, eyeliner and all, and why he’ll probably never retire.

(Originally aired September 3, 2015)

Spooky Scary Studio 360: Alice Cooper


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio102416_cms604163_pod.mp3




American Icons: The Lincoln Memorial

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400

This is America's soapbox. Kurt Andersen looks into how the Lincoln Memorial became an American Icon. Sarah Vowell discusses the battle over Lincoln's memory, which lasted for three generations. Dorothy Height, a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, recalls witnessing Marian Anderson’s historic concert there in 1939, and hearing Martin Luther King, Jr., declare “I have a dream” in 1963.  And a former White House aide sets the record straight on Richard Nixon's infamous 4 am trip to the Lincoln Memorial, where he met with student protesters to denounce the Vietnam War. Actor David Strathairn reads the Gettysburg Address, which is engraved on the Memorial, for Studio 360. (Originally aired February 19, 2010)   The Lincoln Memorial under construction. (Library of Congress)   Sculptor Daniel Chester French at Chesterwood, his Massachusetts studio. (Library of Congress)      Lincoln Memorial Dedication Ceremony - May 30, 1922. (Courtesy of Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War)   Marian Anderson performs on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday in 1939 (Hulton Archive/Getty)     The Lincoln Memorial at night. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Theodor Horydczak Collection)   The Lincoln Memorial with cherry blossoms. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Theodor Horydczak Collection)   The Lincoln Memorial (Terry Chambers/Getty )   [...]American Icons: The Lincoln Memorial


Media Files:
https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio102016_cms671837_pod.mp3?awparams=studio%3Aoct20