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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
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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.
Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local - and Helped Save an American Town by Beth Macy
Fresh Air: How A Factory Man Fought To Save His Furniture Company
Describes how the chairman of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture fought for his more than 700 employees in a small Virginia town using legal maneuvers, factory efficiencies, and his wits and determination in the wake of sales losses to cheap Asian furniture imports.
The Interior Circuit: A Mexico City Chronicle by Francisco Goldman
Weekend Edition: 'The Interior Circuit' Meditates On Grief And Mexico City
The Interior Circuit is Goldman’s story of his emergence from grief five years after his wife’s death, symbolized by his attempt to overcome his fear of driving in the city. Embracing the DF (Mexico City) as his home, Goldman explores and celebrates the city, which stands defiantly apart from so many of the social ills and violence wracking Mexico. This is the chronicle of an awakening, both personal and political, interior” and exterior,” to the meaning and responsibilities of home. Mexico’s narco war rages on and, with the restoration of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (the PRI) to power in the summer’s 2012 elections, the DF’s special apartness seems threatened. In the summer of 2013, when Mexican organized crime violence and death erupts in the city in an unprecedented way, Goldman sets out to try to understand the menacing challenges the city now faces. By turns exuberant, poetic, reportorial, philosophic, and urgent, The Interior Circuit fuses a personal journey to an account of one of the world’s most remarkable and often misunderstood cities.
Mandatory Fun by Weird Al Yankovic
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KCRW: Weird Al Yankovic is Back!
Weekend Edition: Weird Al On Parody in the Age of You Tube
Dinner Party Download: Weird Al Answers for His Word Crime
WNYC: Weird Al - The Sporkful INterview
GPB: Weird Al Parody “Tacky” Lampoons Pharrell’s Happy and We Love It
Weird Al Yankovic’s next album Mandatory Fun — his first since 2011′s Alpocalypse — arrives on July 15th from RCA, right smack dab in the middle of the summer, where it’s guaranteed to chase the long, hot dog days away. But Mandatory Fun could also be Weird Al’s final studio album. The comic songwriter posted on his blog last year that, since the album is his last under his current record contract, he’s “weighing his options.” All of which is to say that he may just move to digitally distributing his work himself and continue to fill us with joy and happiness in a slightly different way. In any case, Al has unveiled the full list of tracks on Mandatory Fun, but not the songs these tracks will be parodying, prompting his many fans to formulate a multitude of theories.
Wild Animals by Trampled By Turtles
First Listen: Trampled By Turtles, ‘Wild Animals’
The Current: Album Review by Bill DeVille
NPR: All Songs TV with Trampled by Turtles
On Wild Animals, Trampled by Turtles seventh studio album, themes of impermanence run deep, both lyrically and sonically. The quintet s hybrid folk sound continues its evolution pushing the band further into the grey area between genres that defies pigeonholing.
From their beginnings on the Midwestern festival circuit, they have reached new heights with each album. Wild Animals is the sound of a band at the peak of their potential, strengthened from a decade together, winning some and losing some, but growing none-the-less. The album captures the intense nature that goes with being alive, melding the universal and the personal.
Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic by Matthew Stewart
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Weekend Edition: Founders Claimed a Suberversive Right to “Nature’s God’
The U.S. was not founded as a Christian nation, says historian Matthew Stewart. He tells NPR’s Arun Rath about his book Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic.
There is a peculiar phrase up high in the Declaration of Independence that asserts the right of the American people to assume, quote, “the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature’s God entitle them.” What exactly is nature’s God?
The founding fathers were all at least nominally Christian. And a lot of modern historians have run with the idea that the phrase nature’s God is an indication that the founders were basing the country on Christian morality. But historian Matthew Stewart says that’s totally wrong.
In his new book, “Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins Of The American Republic,” he argues that the founders’ concept of God was as revolutionary as their ideas about self determination and democracy.
The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai
NPR: With A Good Twist Or Two, This Haunted ‘House’ Adds Plenty Of Stories
On a historic estate that once housed an artist’s colony, the husband and wife living there make a discovery that leads them into a thrilling journey into the past. The more that they investigate, the more the secrets of the house and the people who lived there are revealed.
Fresh Air: 10 Years Later, Mystery Heroine ‘Maisie Dobbs’ Gains New Life
Private detective Maisie Dobbs must investigate the reappearance of a dead man who turns up at a cooperative farm called the Retreat that caters to men who are recovering their health after World War I.
1000 Forms of Fear by Sia
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Morning Edition: A Reluctant Star, Sia Deals With Fame On Her Own Terms
Singer/songwriter/producer/massive hit maker Sia will be releasing her brand new album 1000 FORMS OF FEAR on July 8thon RCA/Monkey Puzzle Records. 1000 FORMS OF FEAR was produced by Greg Kurstin* and recorded at Echo Studio in Los Angeles.
The first single from 1000 FORMS OF FEAR was written by Sia and Jesse Shatkin and produced by her longtime collaborator Greg Kurstin, along with Shatkin. The video for Sia’s “Chandelier” has exploded on line with over 6.5 million views in it’s first week, and stars an incredibly compelling dance performance by Maddie Zeigler (age 11) of the Lifetime Television show Dance Moms.
Raves Pitchfork of the video and song: “Sia’s voice blasts off, the swelling strings propelling her past her contemporaries in the inspirational-pop stratosphere. It’s a jaw-dropping vocal performance that’s enough to convince you she could have a stadium-touring career of her own. The video is filled with the same irrepressible spirit that colors this song.” Time Magazine calls “Chandelier” “the year’s most sobering party anthem…a disarming, unforgettable listen.”
An astonishingly prolific hit maker and songwriter, Sia has penned several monster hits over the last few years. In 2013 alone, she’s crafted songs for pop icons including Rihanna (“Diamonds”), Katy Perry (“Double Rainbow”), Britney Spears (“Perfume”), Beyoncé (“Pretty Hurts”) and Celine Dion, as well as working with Diplo, The Weeknd, Kylie Minogue, Angel Haze, and executive producing label mate Brooke Candy’s forthcoming album. Sia is also the featured vocalist on some of the most massive hits she has written for others including “Titanium” with David Guetta, “Beautiful Pain” with Eminem, and “Wild Ones” with Flo Rida. Her most recent release is her hit single “Elastic Heart” from “The Hunger Games Soundtrack” with The Weeknd and Diplo (*produced by Diplo, co-produced by Greg Kurstin) which appears on 1000 FORMS OF FEAR. She also served as executive producer of Brooke Candy’s EP entitled Opulence and Brooke Candy s forthcoming album.
Fried & True: More than 50 Recipes for America’s Best Fried Chicken and Sides by Lee Brian Schrager, Adeena Sussman
The Splendid Table: Do you clap your hands when you make fried chicken? Maybe you should
NPR: These 10 Summer Cookbooks Will Make The Good Life Even Better
You know you want it! And you don’t have to go begging at the Colonel’s. We’re talking about fried chicken. 61 recipes for fried chicken, volunteered by — or extracted from — as many chefs (big names like Yotam Ottolenghi and Tyler Florence and Marcus Samuelsson as well as ones you’ve never heard of). Yes, 61 recipes is probably overkill, but then, everything about fried chicken is overkill. Double-dipped? Hard-fried? Fricasseed? Hawaiian? Keralan? Korean? They’re all here. Thank goodness there is also an army of sides — mashed potatoes, cucumber salad, biscuits, dirty rice — because there’s only so many fried chickens you can cook (or eat) in a single summer. But don’t let that stop you from trying to eat them all.
Under the Skin
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Fresh Air: Undead Hipsters And An Abstract Alien Star In Two Arty Horror Pics
Studio 360: UNDER THE SKIN & A POP-UP GAME OF THRONES
Dinner Party Download: Scarlett Johansson’s Golden Age
Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!: Not My Job: Scarlett Johansson Gets Quizzed On Captain Scarlet
The Takeaway: Movie Date: ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier,’ ‘Under the Skin,’ and Special Guest Scarlett Johansson
KPCC’s Take Two: 'Under The Skin': Jonathan Glazer's brand of arthouse science fiction
Under the Skin is a 2013 British-American science fiction art film directed by Jonathan Glazer. Produced by James Wilson and Nick Wechsler, it was written by Glazer and Walter Campbell as a loose adaptation of Michel Faber’s 2000 novel of the same name. The film stars Scarlett Johansson as an alien seductress who preys on men in Scotland.
Orphan Black: Season 2
Morning Edition: Tatiana Maslany On Looking Herself In The Eye
NPR: The Return Of The Many Shows They Call ‘Orphan Black’
Morning Edition: Why Tatiana Maslany Is The Most Overlooked Actress Of 2013
NPR’s Monkey See: Hey, Emmy Voters, Stop Ignoring ‘Orphan Black’ — And Other Suggestions
NPR’s Monkey See: Pop Culture Happy Hour: ‘Orphan Black’ And Dream Sequences
Morning Edition: A Plea To Emmy Voters To Consider Overlooked Shows And Actors
Season two of BBC AMERICA’s dramatic conspiracy thriller, Orphan Black, hits the ground running with Sarah (Golden Globe® nominee Tatiana Maslany, Parks and Recreation) in a desperate race to find her missing daughter Kira (Skyler Wexler) – a wild pursuit that brings her head-to-head with ruthless pro-clone, Rachel (Maslany). This season also rejoins Sarah’s clone sisters Alison (Maslany) and Cosima (Maslany) as they struggle to keep their clone world a secret and pick up the pieces of their broken lives – all while dealing with the harsh reality that no one around them can be trusted.
Wish I Was Here (Music From The Motion Picture)
All Songs Considered: Song Premiere: An Unlikely Collaboration From Cat Power And Coldplay
All Songs Considered: Song Premiere: Bon Iver Writes A Tune For Zach Braff
All Songs Considered: Song Premiere: The Shins And Zach Braff Reunite
The soundtrack features 15 songs, including new music from The Shins, Bon Iver, and Cat Power + Coldplay.
Wish I Was Here (written and directed by Zach Braff) is the story of Aidan Bloom, a struggling actor, father and husband, who at 35 is still trying to find his identity; a purpose for his life. He and his wife are barely getting by financially and Aidan passes his time by fantasizing about being the great futuristic Space-Knight he d always dreamed he d be as a little kid. The film stars Zach Braff, Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin, Jim Parsons, Ashley Greene, Josh Gad, and James Avery in his final film.