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February 12 2014


Neenah Cherry Live on Studio 360

Neneh Cherry has floated between underground acclaim and pop stardom. She has the life of a musical Zelig: raised by jazz great Don Cherry among cultural luminaries like Allen Ginsberg and Miles Davis, she left home early to join a first-generation punk band in London, the Slits. She made her mark in the funkier, multiracial postpunk scene. In 1988, her “Buffalo Stance” was the first pop song to incorporate rap, and scored her a huge hit worldwide. Cherry went on to help shape trip-hop, the dance music popular in the UK. But she has not been quick to capitalize on success, and has gone more than a decade without making a record. “I’m not ambitious in the way where I’m driven by my career. I think a lot of people said, ‘She could have been really successful and sold a lot of records after “Buffalo Stance,”’ a lot of people were expecting that,” she tells Kurt Andersen. “But I couldn’t do it, I wasn’t able to go down that road.” When Cherry does put out an album, it matters. Blank Project, released this month, seems to combine all the strands of her work into something wholly distinctive: minimalist club punk funk — a soul record that will rip your eardrums a new one.

B.J. Novak on life after The Office: Studio 360

After college, BJ Novak made the stand-up rounds for four years before landing his dream job: he was recruited for a new television show, the American version of The Office, which launched in 2005. Novak stayed for eight seasons — writing, producing, directing, and acting as the insufferable know-it-all Ryan. Since then, he’s had small roles in movies and has continued to work in TV, but Novak says he thinks of himself as a writer first. His new book, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, is full of short character portraits and familiar parables gone awry. While his peers have opted for memoirs (including his close friend and collaborator Mindy Kaling), Novak tells Kurt Andersen, “I thought I could never reveal myself that way, I’m just not a very personal writer.” But when he was pressed to fill out the book’s 60-plus stories, “I ended up putting in lots of very private emotions and details and observations and fantasies and worries.” It’s more revealing, he thinks, than a work of nonfiction. “If I had written a memoir,” he says, “I would have been consumed with hiding how I really felt in the service of seeming witty and cool.” To workshop the stories, Novak performed them at comedy clubs, making changes based on the crowd reaction. “Often I would do my best editing the hour before I went on stage when I realized ‘I can’t read this, this isn’t ready,’” he admits. “Or conversely, ‘this is so great, how can I milk this?’ Channeling that performer ego into being entertaining was the best editorial process I had.”
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January 31 2014


'This Land is Your Land" American Icons profile on Studio 360

All of America sings it at school and summer camp; Bruce Springsteen sang it at President Obama’s inauguration. Yet Woody ... http://www.studio360.org/story/96229-land-your-land/?utm_source=local&utm_media=treatment&utm_campaign=daMost&utm_content=damostviewed

December 31 2013


Studio 360 examines the Japanese Tea Ceremony

The tea ceremony is a 400-year-old ritual for serving green tea. But in Japan's techno-centric society (increasingly fueled by coffee) can the tea ceremony survive? Studio 360’s Jenny Lawton talked with tea masters, old and young.

December 28 2013


Adam Driver on Studio 360

Adam Driver steals scenes as an angsty, masculine and vulnerable boyfriend in HBO's Girls. He'll try to do the same ... http://www.studio360.org/story/adam-driver-meets-the-coen-brothers/

December 11 2013


In Studio 360 Interview, Jessica Lange says she's ready to retire

essica Lange says she’s ready to call it quits — almost. She tells Kurt Andersen that she’s poised to finish up her performing career, which includes two Oscars and 13 Golden Globes, "in a couple years." One of those Globes was for her performance the hit FX miniseries American Horror Story. Sorry, fans: next season, she says, will be her last.

September 26 2013


Studio 360: "Death of a Valley" (2004)

In 1956 Pirkle Jones got a call from Life Magazine for a photo assignment like no other. The farm town of Monticello California would soon be submerged under Lake Berryessa and vanish from the face of the earth. Jones joined his hero, the photojournalist Dorothea Lange, to document Monticello’s final days...

August 18 2013


Studio 360 profile on the song "Coal Miners Daughter."

March 18 2012


Biophony: Music of the Wild - Studio 360

Biologist Bernie Krause believes animals communicate with each other on their own frequency, and when you put all those frequencies together, they interact in a way not unlike a symphony orchestra. He calls it “biophony.”

December 29 2011





October 30 2011


William Shatner and Téa Obreht - Studio 360


September 18 2011


Studio 360: Nikola Tesla: Strange Genius

The astounding mad scientist life of Nikola Tesla. Just who was this pioneer of radio, radar, and wireless communication? We discover his legacy in the work of today’s scientists and artists. Samantha Hunt’s new novel The Invention of Everything Else is a fictional portrait of Tesla. Monologist Mike Daisey tells us how Tesla X-rayed Mark Twain’s head. And across the country, garage inventors toil in obscurity at the next breakthrough that will change the world.

February 18 2011


The 'Spark of creative inspiration | PRI.ORG

In the new book 'Spark' artist Chuck Close, writer Isabel Allende, musician Robert Plant and others give readers an inside look at their creative processes and inspiration. http://www.pri.org/arts-entertainment/books/spark-book-creative-inspiration2616.html

December 17 2010



We spy on the new culture of surveillance. Kurt Andersen talks to technologist and philosopher Jaron Lanier about why we have to watch the watchers. An artist meticulously tracks government spy satellites crossing the night sky. A computer scientist explains what goes into building a facial recognition system. And sitting silently in her car, a photographer secretly snaps pictures of strangers in their homes. From http://www.studio360.org/episodes/2010/12/17
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