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The Voyager by Jenny Lewis
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The Current: Album Review: Jenny Lewis, ‘The Voyager’
NPR: Jenny Lewis: Newport Folk 2014
NPR First Listen: Jenny Lewis, ‘The Voyager’
All Things Considered: Rainbow In The Dark: Jenny Lewis On Staring Down Sadness
Morning Edition: Jenny Lewis Stands Out with ‘Voyager’
Celebrated California singer songwriter Jenny Lewis presents The Voyager. This is the former Rilo Kiley frontwoman s third solo album and first in six years, following 2006’s Rabbit Fur Coat (with The Watson Twins) and 2008’s Acid Tongue.
The Voyager is Lewis’s most deeply personal album to date, documenting her struggle to cope following the death of her estranged father in 2010 and the subsequent break-up of Rilo Kiley. The Voyager’s rootsy, golden glow comes courtesy of Lewis and the artists she chose to produce various tracks, including Ryan Adams (who, alongside Mike Viola, produced all but three of the tracks), Beck, and Lewis’ longtime collaborator Johnathan Rice. The Voyager finds the always relatable songwriter at her sharp-witted best, singing about her recent experiences with honesty and incisiveness.
Of Interest to Public Radio Fans:
NPR: James Garner Dies
All Things Considered: ‘Rockford Files’ Actor James Garner Dies
KPBS: James Garner Served In Korean War, Awarded Purple Heart Twice
Actor James Garner, whose wise-cracking but affable character made hits out of the TV shows Maverick and The Rockford Files, has died. He was 86.
Garner had a long career and remained active as a TV and film actor well into his 70s. His style as a leading man who was quicker with his tongue than his fist was established early as gambler Bret Maverick in the 1950s TV Western Maverick.
Garner carried that smooth-talking charisma into the private eye business in the ’70s TV show The Rockford Files, for which he won an Emmy. Among his work on the big screen are roles in The Great Escape, Victor Victoria, Space Cowboys and The Notebook. He was nominated for an Oscar for the 1985 film Murphy’s Romance, which co-starred Sally Field.
Weekend Edition: James Garner Dies at 86
"[James Garner] will be remembered as a guy who made it look very easy. You know, he was once asked by an interviewer how he wanted to be remembered, and he said, with a smile. And I think he’s achieved that."
NPR: Appreciating James Garner: TV’s Best Unhero
“Maverick became a classic role thanks to Garner’s easy charm and quick wit. Some of that came from his down-to-earth approach to acting; claiming that he stole much of his technique from Henry Fonda while working alongside him as a bit player in a 1954 stage production of The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, Garner boiled his creative process down to a few short phrases in a 2005 People magazine interview.
“‘I’m a Spencer Tracy-type actor,’ he said, referencing another famously down-to-earth acting legend. ‘Be on time, know your words, hit your marks and tell the truth.’”
The Rockford Files: Iconic television featuring James Garner in virtually every scene as the bumbling detective Jim Rockford. Episodes are fast paced and fun to watch. The combination of having James Garner in the leading role along with great writing generally led to some amazing guest stars, pre “Love Boat” or “Fantasy Island.”
Maverick: This Western follows professional gambler Bret Maverick across the plains and prairie in search of love and the next big poker game.
Murphy’s Romance: The perfect foil to Sally Field in this wonderful romance. Sally Field plays a divorcee who needs all sorts of help running her horse farm and ultimately ends up in a love triangle featuring her ex husband and the older, wiser pharmacist portrayed by James Garner. Thoroughly enjoyable!
Victor/Victoria: A woman masquerading as a man portraying a woman. .. sounds like the perfect scenario for a farce from Blake Edwards. All goes fine until the woman, portrayed by Julie Andrews, falls in love with King Marchand, a Chicago club owner portrayed by James Garner. Excellent score by Henry Mancini as well as Oscar nominated supporting turns by Robert Preston and Lesley Anne Warren help this musical rank among the finest.
The Notebook: The love story of love stories is anchored by James Garner’s portrayal of Duke, who remains true to his one true love despite her battling dementia as he recounts their courtship every day in hopes of breaking through the fog and capturing one more moment with his wife.
Natchez Burning: A Novel by Greg Iles
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Morning Edition: Writer Plumbs ‘Nature Of Evil’ In Hometown’s Violent, Civil Rights Past
When his father, a beloved family doctor and pillar of their Natchez, Miss., community, is accused of murdering a nurse, Penn Cage makes a shocking discovery that forces him to decide just how far he will go to protect those he loves.
Worst. Person. Ever. by Douglas Coupland
All Things Considered: Writing The Wicked Ways Of The ‘Worst. Person. Ever.’
Weekend Edition: How Bad Can He Be? Only The ‘Worst. Person. Ever.’
A cameraman with no redeeming social virtues endures a comedic downward spiral that takes him to an obscure Pacific island, where, while filming a reality show, he suffers comas, humiliation and wrongful imprisonment.
Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta
NPR: Lose Yourself In The Wild Forests Of ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’
After witnessing a murder, a young teen is hidden in a wilderness skills program for troubled kids while the killers embark on a methodical quest to reach him.
The Grimm Reader: The Classic Tales of the Brothers Grimm
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All Things Considered: Surviving An Adult World In Fairy Tales, And Real Life
This collection of classic fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm, including both famous and lesser-known works such as “Cinderella,” “Snow White” and “The Seven Ravens,” highlights the historical and cultural context of the stories, as well as their contemporary significance. Original.
Money and Tough Love: On Tour with the IMF by Liaquat Ahamed
Weekend Edition: Author Finds The Human Side Of The IMF
In Money and Tough Love Liaquat Ahamed offers brilliant insight into the heart of one the world’s most influential institutions. At turns factual and informative, and others emotive and anecdotal, Ahamed joins in on the IMF’s world missions to Washington, Tokyo, and Dublin in true James Bond meets The Financial Times style. Pulitzer prize-winning author and pre-eminent financial thinker, Ahamed reveals the human stories behind the headlines, ranging from chatting about the state of the economy to Irish cab drivers, to Dior with none other than the IMF’s Christine Lagarde.
Carlo Bergonzi: The Sublime Voice by Carlo Bergonzi
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NPR’s Deceptive Cadence: A Voice Of Velvet And Bronze: Carlo Bergonzi At 90
Carlo Bergonzi is widely considered to be one of the great tenors of the 20th century. His golden tone, thrilling dynamism, and lively phrasing served him well, especially in his choice roles by Verdi and Puccini. While little in this collection falls below the level of excellent, particularly fine are the excerpts from Un Ballo in Maschera (featuring Bergonzi’s wicked chuckle in “E’ scherzo od è follia”), La Bohème (has “Che gelida manina” ever been sung with such seductive nuance?), and La Traviata, though in this Bergonzi is even better on his RCA recording with Prêtre. (Rigoletto deserves top mention as well, but I confess to lately being under the thrall of Jan Peerce on the recent Naxos release.)
Curiously, Bergonzi’s Pinkerton just misses first rate stature, perhaps because he keeps the character within ordinary human dimensions—something that, eschewing the “noble” presentation of some other tenors, makes the character all the more easy to despise. An unexpected item is “Dio! Mi potevi scagliar” from Otello, a role that, except for a disastrous first attempt last year at age 75, Bergonzi never sang on stage. No such worries here: it sounds just fine.
Bergonzi had the ability to bring characters to life by imbuing his singing with a tactile emotional intensity. You can hear this to great effect in his Cavaradossi, Pagliacci, and Radames; in fact you hear it in everybody he plays in this set. No, he doesn’t have the voluminous heft of Del Monaco or the piercing “squillo” tones of Björling, but Bergonzi’s spinto voice is handsomely beautiful, while his audible delight and masterly musicianship are seminars in singing for any aspiring tenor and a source of pleasure for any opera lover. The recordings, culled from the Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, and Philips catalogs, present the tenor in clear, dynamic sound.
between the kiss and the chaos by Tracy Silverman
Tiny Desk Concert: Tracy Silverman
What informs almost every bar…is the blazing virtuosity of Tracy Silverman…you will be astonished that anybody can play the fiddle like that.’ -Chicago Tribune
In this ear-grabbing new release from Delos, revel in both the compositional wizardry and the stunning electric violin virtuosity of Tracy Silverman: perhaps the leading exponent of his instrument. Like quite a few other leading composers of our day, he spices his heady creations with classic American genres like jazz and rock, achieving a fascinating contemporary fusion that will beguile a huge range of modern listeners. The recording showcases both the compositional wizardry and the stunning electric violin chops of Tracy Silverman: a leading virtuoso of his instrument. The main fare, Between the Kiss and the Chaos, is a catchy fusion of jazz, rock and classical that promises to attract a huge range of modern listeners The esteemed Calder Quartet provides expert and enthusiastic collaboration; all is captured in Delos’ hallmark sonic glory.
Music for Heart and Breath by Richard Reed Parry
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Weekend Edition: Richard Reed Parry Turns Musicians Into Metronomes
Music for Heart and Breath is Richard Reed Parry’s debut as classical composer who is mostly known from the Grammy Nominated Uber Indie Rock Band Arcade Fire.
Richard is a multi-instrumentalist and composer, drawing his influences from classical music, folk and electronica. This is his first core classical release that finds its home at Deutsche Grammophon. The album features various compositions for Heart and Breath for various ensembles, as well as small interludes (Interruptions) The concept behind Heart and Breath is that every musician involved in the piece generates his own tempo by listening to his/her pulse during the performance. Fragile and intimate, these stunningly created performance effects are the basis for this conceptual compositional approach.
“Music for Heart and Breath is a series of compositions that use involuntarily moving organs of the human body (specifically the lungs and the heart) as performance parameters. There are no time signatures: the tempos and rhythms are always governed by either the heart rates or the breathing rates of the individual players. In the case of the latter, the performers are instructed to play directly in sync with their own or another player’s individual breathing (playing at the speed of their inhalations, their exhalations or both). To enable the players to hear and play in sync with their own heartbeats, they wear stethoscopes and, naturally, generally play quietly.”
The music is performed by an exciting line-up of musicians, produced by Bryce Dessner Nico Muhly (Conductor, celeste/piano), Bryce & Aaron Dessner (guitar) from The National, Kronos Quartet, the ensemble Ymusic.
The 3 Tenors in Concert 1994 by Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, José Carreras
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All Things Considered: How The 3 Tenors Sang The Hits And Changed The Game
Recorded live on stage on the eve of one of the world’s greatest sporting events, The 3 Tenors In Concert 1994 re-united four of classical music’s premier and most popular talents. The legendary tenors José Carreras, Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, together with conductor Zubin Mehta, celebrated the finale to soccer’s 1994 World Cup with a concert described as “probably the biggest single musical event in history.”
Brought together for the 1990 World Cup in Italy, The 3 Tenors and Mehta joined forces again, this time in Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium on July 16th 1994 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Music Center Opera Chorus, to perform a selection of operatic arias and international favorites specially orchestrated by composer/arranger Lalo Schifrin. The result is an outstanding album, reflecting a unique event, featuring three legendary performers who share a united passion for opera and football.
The concert culminated in Pavorotti’s famed performance of Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma,” which is now engrained in soccer culture worldwide.
No Man’s War: Irreverent Confessions of an Infantry Wife by Angela Ricketts
Fresh Air: An Army Wife Charts Her Struggles In ‘No Man’s War’
The author explores her life as a Army officer’s wife, discussing the politics, personalities, and deployments she has encountered.
Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell
NPR: En Garde! ‘Traitor’s Blade’ Delivers Adventure At Swordpoint
Reduced to demeaning work when the Greatcoats are disbanded after the king’s death, swordsman Falcio Val Mond and his fellow magistrates are framed for murder by a scheming adversary who would destroy everything they once worked to create. This is the first novel in de Castell’s Greatcoats series.
Do Not Sell at Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World’s Rarest 78 rpm Records by Amanda Petrusich
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As Heard on Public Radio:
NPR: History in the Groove
Soundcheck: Chasing the Rarest 78 rpm’s
A celebration of 78rpm record subculture reveals the growing value of rare records and the determined efforts of their collectors and archivists, drawing on historical research and preserver interviews to explore the music of blues artists who have been lost to the modern world.
The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang
Morning Edition: Was The Green Turtle The First Asian-American Superhero?
NPR: Can I Get A Do-Over? Shadow Selves And Second Chances
In the comics boom of the 1940s, a legend was born: the Green Turtle. He solved crimes and fought injustice just like the other comics characters. But this mysterious masked crusader was hiding something more than your run-of-the-mill secret identity… The Green Turtle was the first Asian American super hero.
The comic had a short run before lapsing into obscurity, but the acclaimed author of American Born Chinese, Gene Luen Yang, has finally revived this character in Shadow Hero, a new graphic novel that creates an origin story for the Green Turtle.
With artwork by Sonny Liew, this gorgeous, funny comics adventure for teens is a new spin on the long, rich tradition of American comics lore.