Arts & Culture

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

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Aimee Rubensteen didn't have the luxury to take her time and get acclimated to her new job.

Immediately after starting last spring as South Florida's acquisitions curator for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., Rubensteen began meeting weekly with Holocaust survivors and their family members.

"Time is running out," Rubensteen said. "Truly, the clock is ticking. We need to meet eyewitnesses as soon as possible, before they are no longer with us."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

From my vantage point — a white kid growing up on the blistering guitars of my '60s guitar heroes like Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton — Mdou Moctar has made the most insane psychedelic guitar album of the 21st century. From his perspective, growing up in a small village in central Niger, Moctar may not even know what I'm talking about. In fact, in a press statement, he says, "I don't know what rock is exactly. I have no idea.

American music can mean many things depending on the part of America you're experiencing. For much of the Southwest, the American sound includes accordions and cumbias — and that's just what we hear on American Music Vol. VII by Grupo Fantasma, a prolific nine-piece Latin funk outfit from Austin, Texas.

"Everything is a weapon," Quelle Chris says in the middle of a phone conversation about his forthcoming album Guns. Like a lot of things about the underrated rapper and producer — who hails from Detroit but now calls Brooklyn home — the nuance in the title is liable to sail over your head.

"Yeah, I even talked to a couple of people that thought the first song was talking about me and my history of shooting people up," he says dismissively. "And I'm like, 'No, it's all just a metaphor.'"

When Amanda Palmer heard she'd have around 15 minutes for her Tiny Desk Family Hour performance, she assumed there wouldn't be time for most of the songs on her new album, There Will Be No Intermission, a sprawling masterwork with epic tracks clocking in at 10 minutes or more. So, she showed up with just her ukulele in hand, prepared for a stripped-down, abbreviated set. But when we wheeled out a grand piano just for her – and after I gushed to the crowd about Palmer's brilliant new opus on the nature of humanity called "The Ride" – she decided she had to play it.

Fair warning: It may be tough to find some of the 2019 Whiting Award winners on the shelves of your local bookstore. Most of the emerging writers have little more than a single widely published book to their name. A couple of them don't even have that.

It's been 50 years since Woodstock Music & Arts Festival. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of three days of peace, love and music, Woodstock 50 will take place this Aug. 16–18, 2019 in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Salif Keita, one of the best African singers of the past century, had a 40-plus-year career that took him around the world and produced some 25 albums. Now, Keita is retiring from recording and in October 2018, he released his final album is Un Autre Blanc, or Another White.

The setting: Austin's Central Presbyterian Church, last week, during SXSW. The mood: somber, stately, reverent. The moment: just seconds before a performance by Fragile Rock, a rowdy local indie-rock band that performs emo songs, fronted by bickering puppets.

YouTube

Truly, a Lizzo and Missy Elliott collaboration is a real-life

Village Farmstead

Dave Kozlowski owns and operates Pinehold Gardens in Oak Creek with his wife, Sandy Raduenz. When they were first getting started, fellow farmers were a big help with the steep learning curve.

Now, the mentee is becoming the mentor.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Years ago, Gina Chavez was a SXSW discovery for me: I'd tracked her down at some unofficial showcase and was immediately mesmerized by the Austin singer-songwriter. Since then, many good things have come her way, and she's developed into a major artist. On this Tiny Desk Family Hour video, recorded live at Austin's Central Presbyterian Church during SXSW last week, you can hear for yourself the voice that caught my attention back then — and has never let it go in the years since.

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