Public Radio Market presents the best of the products featured on your favorite public radio programs.
Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s by Lori Majewski, Jonathan Bernstein
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The Current: Transmission’s “Mad World” New Wave Dance Hour
Mad World is a highly entertaining oral history that celebrates the New Wave music phenomenon of the 1980s via new interviews with 35 of the most notable artists of the period. Each chapter begins with a discussion of their most popular song, but leads to stories of their history and place in the scene, ultimately painting a vivid picture of this colorful, idiosyncratic time. Mixtape suggestions, fashion sidebars, and quotes from famous contemporary admirers help fill out the fun. Participants include members of Duran Duran, New Order, The Smiths, Tears for Fears, Adam Ant, Echo and the Bunnymen, Devo, ABC, Spandau Ballet, A Flock of Seagulls, Thompson Twins, and INXS.
Over Easy by Mimi Pond
NPR: 'Over Easy' Serves Up Savory Memories Of A Vintage Diner
Over Easy is a brilliant portrayal of a familiar coming-of-age story. After being denied financial aid to cover her last year of art school, Margaret finds salvation from the straightlaced world of college and the earnestness of both hippies and punks in the wisecracking, fast-talking, drug-taking group she encounters at the Imperial Café, where she makes the transformation from Margaret to Madge. At first she mimics these new and exotic grown-up friends, trying on the guise of adulthood with some awkward but funny stumbles. Gradually she realizes that the adults she looks up to are a mess of contradictions, misplaced artistic ambitions, sexual confusion, dependencies, and addictions.
Over Easy is equal parts time capsule of late 1970s life in California—with its deadheads, punks, disco rollers, casual sex, and drug use—and bildungsroman of a young woman who grows from a naïve, sexually inexperienced art-school dropout into a self-aware, self-confident artist. Mimi Pond’s chatty, slyly observant anecdotes create a compelling portrait of a distinct moment in time. Over Easy is an immediate, limber, and precise semi-memoir narrated with an eye for the humor in every situation.
The Complete Peanuts 1950-1954 Box Set by Charles M. Schulz
NPR My Guilty Pleasure: Cursed With Mom Guilt? Charlie Brown Might Cure What Ails You
Fresh Air: Charles Schulz, ‘The Complete Peanuts’
Morning Edition: Letters From ‘Peanuts’ Creator Reveal Bittersweet Romance
Morning Edition: Schulz Sketched Own Life in ‘Peanuts’ Strip
Good grief! The Complete Peanuts is the most ambitious and most important project in the comics and cartooning genre: over a period of 12 years, Fantagraphics Books will release every daily and Sunday strip of Charles M. Schulz’s “Peanuts,” the best-known and best-loved series in the world.
Do to the Beast by Afghan Whigs
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The Current: Album Review: Afghan Whigs, ‘Do To The Beast’
The Current: Barb Abney’s 20th Afghan-Whigs-iversary
NPR First Listen: The Afghan Whigs, ‘Do To The Beast’
KCRW Presents: The Afghan Whigs
The Current: Afghan Whigs announce first new album in 16 years
Do to the Beast is the first new album by The Afghan Whigs in over a decade and a half. Founded in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1988, the band has long stood out from its peers, with their savage blend of hard rock, classic soul, and frontman Greg Dulli’s searing angst and obsessions. The new album is both a homecoming it marks their return to Sub Pop and a glimpse into the future of one of the most acclaimed bands of the past thirty years.
American Masters: Billie Jean King
American Masters: Billie Jean King looks back to the 12-year-old Long Beach, California, girl who played tennis on public courts, observed disparity and, as she soared athletically, never stopped trying to remedy inequality. During her professional tennis career, King won 39 Grand Slam titles, helped form the Virginia Slims Series (pre-cursor to WTA Tour), founded the Women s Sports Foundation and Women s Sports magazine, and co-founded World TeamTennis (WTT). Her competitiveness on the circuit was matched by her efforts on behalf of women and the LGBT community, and her commitment to prove there is strength in diversity.
In American Masters: Billie Jean King, King presents her own story with perspective from fellow tennis stars who played alongside her or were influenced by her, among them Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Ilana Kloss (King s partner), Maria Sharapova, Serena and Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, and members of the Virginia Slims Circuit Original 9.
The Address: A Film by Ken Burns
At the tiny Greenwood School in the small New England town of Putney, Vermont, its roughly 50 students, boys from the ages of 11 to 17, are asked each year to memorize the Gettysburg Address. This would be a daunting assignment for any student, but the boys at Greenwood all suffer from learning differences that have made their personal, academic and social progress extremely challenging.
Embedding camera crews at the school for three months to chronicle the boys’ struggle to learn Abraham Lincoln’s immortal words and deliver them in a final public recitation, acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns has created a fascinating and inspiring documentary that shows them heroically confronting past failures and humiliations, ultimately opening the door to what Lincoln himself called “a new birth of freedom.”
Interweaving the history of this most famous of American speeches with the contemporary journey of the boys at Greenwood, The Address reveals the timeless resonance of Lincoln’s words, while culminating in the triumph of the human spirit.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali
The Trials of Muhammad Ali is not a conventional sports documentary. Befitting its extraordinary and complex subject, the film examines Ali’s life outside the ring, beginning with the announcement of his deeply held and controversial Islamic religious beliefs, and the decision to change his “white man’s name” of Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali. The film explores his refusal to serve in the Vietnam war, even after his status as a conscientious objector was denied, on the grounds of protesting racial injustice at home, while capturing his passion and anger in interviews and television appearances culled from a rich variety of rare archival sources.
Bach: St. Matthew Passion
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NPR’s Deceptive Cadence: A Visitor’s Guide To Bach’s ‘St. Matthew Passion’
The renowned St. Thomas Boys’ Choir of Leipzig, which boasts J.S. Bach as a former cantor, celebrates its 800th anniversary with an extraordinary interpretation of the peerless St. Matthew Passion. The Guardian praised the performance, noting that Bach’s harmonies “interwove with a transcendence that can only be achieved through living, eating, and working together.” This production is the only audio-visual release of the passion. It comes to life here, performed by the choir for which it was written, in the place where the composer worked and is buried.
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DCONSTRUCTED is a comprehensive compilation of classic and current music from the longstanding Disney catalog remixed by today’s hottest DJs/producers from across the globe. The 14-track high-end digipak features reworks of material from the multiple Academy Award-winning films THE LION KING and FROZEN, as well as two of Daft Punk’s contributions to TRON: Legacy.
EDM superstars Avicii, Armin Van Buuren and Kaskade are among the electronic dance music luminaries that have lent their formidable skills to these timeless favorites. The reworked material ranges from more recent heartwarmers from MONSTERS UNIVERSITY, THE INCREDIBLES, and THE MUPPETS to beloved and lasting sounds from the HAWAIIANNETTE album featuring the beloved Mickey Mouse Club darling, Annette Funicello, TOY STORY, SLEEPING BEAUTY, DUMBO, as well as music inspired by the original Mickey Mouse cartoons, and the enduring theme from the Disneyland Park’s Main Street Electrical Parade.
The blending of the orchestral world of Disney with the synthetic sounds of the electronic world brings out fresh flavors. The recognizable cries and roars of The Lion Kings ‘Circle Of Life’ mix headily with Mat Zo’s growling bass lines and razor-sharp synth stabs. Daft Punk’s abbreviated ‘Derezzed’ is freshened up with vocals courtesy of Negin and extended with Avicii’s twinkling rhythms. Similarly, the previously unreleased Japanese Popstars Remix of Daft Punk’s ‘Fall’ stretches out that track’s inquisitive beats with layers of echo. The newly minted Oscar-winner for Best Original Song ‘Let It Go,’ is transformed to a peak-of-the-night banger with Armin Van Buuren’s tranced out take on Idina Menzel’s sparkling vocals.
Says Van Buuren, ‘I feel incredibly honored to have remixed an Oscar-winning song though I didn’t know that yet when I started.’
'My first remix of Daft Punk's TRON: Legacy was so long ago, but it was a significant moment of recognition in my career,' says Avicii. 'It's great to be a part of it again, to refresh the track, and to let everyone hear Negin's voice.'
The makeovers of these universally appealing songs show off their renovations the most when the sounds from over half a century ago are brought to the present time. Stonebridge takes inspiration from the immutable Mickey Mouse cartoons for his new track, ‘Hey Pluto!’ which takes Mickey’s identifiable squeak and Pluto’s barks and uses them as sound effects for the trac’ s creeping shuffles. Snippets of SLEEPING BEAUTY’S carousel-like ‘Once Upon A Dream’ are interspersed through Trion’s tweaked out remix and much of Main Street Electrical Parade’s feel good vibe is maintained for the updated Extended Mix. Kaskade’s crafted approach to Dumbo’s sentimental ‘Baby Mine’ maintains the original’s emotions bringing those to the present time with softly rounded beats and gently building house rhythms.
Mahler: Symphony No 1 by Marin Alsop
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Weekend Edition: A Debut Symphony That Embraced The World
This remarkably original work, with its recurring quotations from the composer’s own songs, notably Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer) and Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The Boy’s Magic Horn), is the perfect expression of one of Mahler’s most quoted sayings, “The symphony is a world; it must contain everything”. The opening movement, filled with sounds that Mahler remembered from his childhood, depicts “Nature’s awakening from the long sleep of winter”, and is followed by an exuberant scherzo and trio based on a L+¤ndler. The disturbing slow movement funeral march, based on the children’s song Fr+¨re Jacques, is unlike anything that had been heard before, and the symphony concludes with music of thrilling dramatic intensity. Marin Alsop has been Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 2007, a relationship now extended to 2015. Currently Conductor Emeritus of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Laureate of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, since 1992 she has also been Music Director of California’s prize-winning Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.
III by Death
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NPR First Listen: Death, ‘Death III’
All Songs Considered: Song Premiere: Death, ‘North Street’
Morning Edition: Death: A ’70s Rock Trailblazer, Reborn
Archive collection from the proto-Punk band. Death III slams the door on the vault with a powerful set of songs that bring equal amounts of Rock and ethereal soul-searching, in high-fidelity, rich bottomed, studio-grade sound. Alongside songs from 1975, 1976 and 1980, Death III contains 2 songs from 1992, as the Hackney brothers reconvened nearly a decade after they’d stopped playing together. Death III serves as a companion piece of sorts to the A Band Called Death documentary, tracking the band’s movement from spiritual young rockers to older and wiser, bruised-but-undefeated brothers, in pure musical terms.
Guilty Pleasures by Renee Fleming
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As Heard on Public Radio:
New Classical Tracks: ‘Guilty Pleasures’
KUHF: Renee Fleming
Guilty Pleasures is the long-awaited follow-up to Renees Grammy winner The Beautiful Voice. This album allows Renee to indulge in musical cherry-picking, singing songs and arias in eight different languages. The sheer, unabashed beauty of these pieces provides their thematic connection. Ranging from familiar favorites like the Flower Duet from Lakme (sung with Renees friend Susan Graham) to rapturous, rarely-heard melodies of Tchaikovsky, Dvorak and Rachmaninov, Guilty Pleasures is a collection of treats Renee has long wanted to enjoy: an album of pure gratification. A special treat is an aria from John Coriglianos The Ghosts of Versailles, a twentieth-century American opera that allows Renee the chance to sing in her native language.
The Fault in our Stars by John Green
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Weekend Edition: 'Star'-Crossed Teens with Cancer Fall in Love
NPR: Love in the Time of Cancer
The Roundtable: The Fault in our Stars
Here & Now: The Girl Who Inspired ‘Fault’ And a Network of Friends
WBEZ: John Green Talks The Fault in our Stars
Hazel and Augustus have what they call a cute meet in the movies, but improbable, ludicrous, and fateful, too. Hazel is 16, and has thyroid cancer, with what they call a satellite in the lungs that keeps filling her with sour stuff that makes her feel like she’s drowning. Augustus, or Gus, is a little older, lithe and handsome. He’s lost a quarter of a leg to cancer but tells people, I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up. They meet in a support group for young cancer patients that’s held in a church basement; two smart, funny, doomed young people in Indianapolis who find support groups a pompous bore, but they’re sure are glad to find each other.
"The Fault in Our Stars" is the title of John Green’s new book for young adults.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
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2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Fiction
Weekend Edition: What’s Really Priceless? Art, Money and Fate in Tartt’s ‘Goldfinch’
All Things Considered: The Goldfinch
Fresh Air: Dickensian Ambition and Emotion Make ‘Goldfinch’ Worth the Wait
The Daily Circuit: Best Books, then and Now
Donna Tartt is a novelist who won’t be hurried. Starting with her debut novel, “The Secret History,” which came out in 1992, she seems to be establishing a patter of publishing one novel a decade. Tartt’s third novel, “The Goldfinch,” has just appeared and our book critic Maureen Corrigan says that she would gladly wait another decade if she had to for a novel this good.
Who Stole the American Dream? By Hedrick Smith
The Daily Circuit: Veteran Journalist Jabs at Income Gap
Marketplace Money: The Shrinking Middle Class, The Shrinking American Dream
MPR News Presents: Hedrick Smith on ‘Who Stole the American Dream’
Brand & Martinez: Hedrick Smith Examines the Roots of Current Political Problems
Leanard Lopate: Who Stole the American Dream?
Marketplace: Default Threatens the Public Transit Systems
Pulitzer prize-winning former New York Times reporter Hedrick Smith speaks to the Commonwealth Club about his new book, “Who Stole the American Dream?” Smith says large income inequality will stall America’s economic growth and erode middle class prosperity.