Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

Years before Taylor Swift's ascent, the Dixie Chicks were the turn of the century's country crossover success story.

It's hard to make time for history books when there is so much history crashing down on us every single day — and especially when that history is divisive, aggressive and seemingly never-ending.

Rosanne Cash is a highly distinguished singer and songwriter. Since she released her debut in 1978, she's built a fantastic body of work. She's released thirteen studio albums with highlights including Seven Year Ache (1981), The Wheel (1993), and 2009's The List, a collection of 12 essential country songs she recorded from a list of 100 country songs that her father, Johnny Cash, gave her.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Until recently, most classical music videos have been humdrum affairs. Musicians, in concert attire, earnestly produce their notes with eyes closed and heads tilted in a beatific expression, somewhere between a migraine and an attempt to channel Bach from the heavens.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

One of art's greatest qualities is its ability to give voice to the voiceless. When rendered in song, little-heard stories can find broad audiences, bridging gaps and building connection between disparate communities and lines of thought. The phrase "now more than ever" is wildly overused these days, but songs of this nature have taken on a heightened significance as divides across class, race, gender and party lines have grown wider and deeper since the 2016 presidential election.

"You're bouncing off the atmosphere."

Early in director Damien Chazelle's First Man, this is one of the cautions given to Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) during his pilot training, years before he walked on the moon. That idea of the barrier between Earth and space, the violence of making the journey through it and the almost mystical experience of being on the other side of it forms the spine of the film.

Alyssa Edwards (née Justin Dwayne Lee Johnson) is a lot.

She has to be; she's a drag queen. Being a lot comes with the lace-front wig. A drag queen who isn't a lot is no drag queen at all; she's food without flavor, art without color, Cher without Auto-tune. It's the difference, more specifically, between a fierce and fabulous queen like RuPaul and that one jock in high school who slapped on a Halloween store wig and stuffed himself into his girlfriend's cheerleading outfit for school spirit day.

On July 20, 1969, an estimated 530 million people watched on live television as Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong became the first human to step upon the surface of the moon. Nearly 50 years later, Academy Award-winning director Damien Chazelle revisits Armstrong's "giant leap for mankind" — but with a more intimate lens. First Man, starring Ryan Gosling, focuses on the personal sacrifices behind Armstrong's monumental step.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Before she was on the BBC's list of "100 inspirational and innovative women for 2017"...

Before she was given the "Diamond Ball Honors Award" by the charitable Clara Lionel Foundation started by the singing star Rihanna ...

She was Angeline Murimirwa, a little girl in Zimbabwe who loved school but was afraid she wouldn't get to continue her education.

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