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Arts & Culture

Coverage of the Arts by Weekend America.


  • Letters: Weekend Soundtrack and Music Mashups

    Charles Wommack on his bike

    We open the Weekend America mailbag and hear listener reactions to our stories. Recently we heard from a mountain biker named Charles Wommack, who is recovering from a stroke. His story inspired Sara Benson to write in about her own recovery from an accident that happened on a bike. Also, we look into whether digital sampling is breaking the law or the inevitable future of music.

  • Poet and President-elect Obama

    Poet, playwright and Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott

    President-elect Barack Obama has a lot of writers excited about the next four years. He'll have a poet at his inauguration. He's said he's going to have more poetry readings at the White House. He's even quoted poetry on the campaign trail. In the speech he gave on Super Tuesday, Obama said, "We are the ones we've been waiting for." That line is from June Jordan's "Poem for South African Women." Nobel laureate Derek Walcott has been thinking about what it means to have a president who reads poetry.

  • Meet Your New Favorite Band

    Just a few CDs.

    As we look ahead at what 2009 might be like, we think of a new president, lots of economic uncertainty, but how about simpler things? What kind of music might we be hearing? Turns out that's not so easy to predict either, but reporter Roman Mars took a crack at it.

  • Dilbert's 2009 Forecast

    Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert

    It's a tough economy. Even cartoon characters are losing their jobs. Dilbert, a character who's spent 20 years chronicling the daily frustrations, humiliations, shenanigans and incompetence of the American workplace, will get his pink slip. Fittingly, Wally, his cynical and lazy co-worker, will stay on. John Moe talks with Dilbert's creator, Scott Adams about finding the humor we crave when the economy sinks and life gets absurd. Adam's latest book is Dilbert 2.0: 20 Years of Dilbert.

  • Girl Talk and the Future of Music

    Gregg Gillis is Girl Talk

    One of the most talked about bands out there right now is Girl Talk. But Girl Talk is a pretty different kind of band. To start with, it's just one guy: Gregg Gillis. Also, no instruments, just Greg and his laptop computer. His latest release, Feed The Animals, has over 300 samples on it - all of which he's borrowed without asking. It's a gray legal area, but there's no doubt he's made the music his own.

  • Weekend Soundtrack: "12 Diablos" by We

    Charles Wommack on his bike

    It's time to listen to your weekend soundtrack - the songs that bridge the gap from Friday to Monday. This week our story comes from Charles Wommack. His weekend soundtrack is the song "12 Diablos" by the group We.

  • Good News, Bad News, No News

    President elect Barack Obama

    Time for our weekly parlor game to keep track of the news of the week. We are joined by Yale University professor of literature Amy Hungerford' John Ridley, author and founding editor of thatminoritything.com; and Reihan Salam, associate editor at the Atlantic.

  • High Times and Halvah

    And You Shall Know Us By The Trail of Our Vinyl

    Hanukkah starts this Sunday at sundown. A new book tracks Jewish history through four generations of Jewish albums. After discovering rare vinyl records of Jewish music during trips down to Florida retirement communities, Josh Kun and Roger Bennett put together a book that tells the story of Jewish past "by the records we have loved and lost."

  • Picture Perfect

    Brooke Williams' perfect shot of her son Conrad

    Holiday cards are stuffing mailboxes around the country. If you're short on time or words, why not send a picture? Round up the kids and head to the photographer; or better yet, cheer on dad as he runs from behind the tripod, sets the timer, and tries to sit down and smile before the camera flashes. Brooke Williams spent her youth posing for her family's annual photo. And it was excruciating.

  • Zappa in Bronze

    Saulius Paukstys  with the Frank Zappa bust

    The City of Baltimore has declared December 21st to be Frank Zappa Day. Zappa was born in Baltimore, but the city has only recently begun embracing his legacy. Last year, they held Frank Zappa Day in August, when Zappa's son Dweezil came to town for a concert. And next year the city plans on unveiling a new bronze bust of the musician. It was a gift from Lithuania. Lawrence Lanahan explains how Baltimore ended up with a big Frank Zappa head from Lithuania.

  • Backstage at "A Christmas Carol"

    Michael Booth as Bob Cratchit

    As Christmas approaches, it's hard to escape from "A Christmas Carol." The classic Charles Dickens tale is on stage in cities around the nation. Here in the Twin Cities, actor Michael Booth has played the role of Bob Cratchit, Scrooge's put-upon employee, for six years. We wondered how he kept things fresh. John Moe went backstage at a recent performance to find out.

  • Garageland: Ben Jackel

    Ben Jackel

    If it's not too cold in there, some of you may be listening to this show in your garage. Ben Jackel in Los Angeles does, and he heard me asking for garage stories a while back. We're calling this series Garageland - about that space where a little free time and a little extra room can allow our visions, hobbies, or dreams to flourish. For Ben Jackel, the garage is home to a very precise, intense form of art.

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