Arts and Entertainment

Television
4:30 am
Sat May 24, 2014

'Normal Heart' Teaches New Generation About The Early Years Of AIDS

In the HBO adaptation of Larry Kramer's 1985 play, The Normal Heart, Mark Ruffalo (right) plays Ned Weeks, who begins to seek answers after he observes a mysterious disease claiming lives in his gay community. Joe Mantello plays a member of the AIDS service organization, Gay Men's Health Crisis.
Jojo Whilden HBO

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 1:09 pm

Why would Ryan Murphy, one of TV's hottest and most prolific producers, decide to adapt a 30-year-old play about the forming of an AIDS service organization for HBO? Because he thought the story of the outbreak of AIDS was being forgotten.

Murphy is the creative mind behind the shows Glee and American Horror Story, and he's remaking The Normal Heart — Larry Kramer's 1985 off-Broadway sensation which revealed the gay community's often fractious response to an epidemic that was then essentially ignored by the government.

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Book Reviews
11:34 am
Thu May 22, 2014

'Girl In The Road' Is A Dizzying Journey

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 6:03 am

Can you write about the future these days without it being apocalyptic? It's not clear whether Monica Byrne was trying to answer that question in her debut novel, The Girl in the Road — but she does it anyway. Taking place near the end of the 21st century in India and Africa — as well as on a high-tech bridge that spans the Indian Ocean between the two — the book isn't short on misery, tragedy or violence. It certainly isn't optimistic. At the same time, it gracefully dodges the apocalypse-mongering that's become all but de rigueur in near-future science fiction.

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A Blog Supreme
4:03 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Act Like You Know: Sun Ra

Sun Ra's music sounds like it was intercepted from another world.
Baron Wolman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 10:12 am

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Music
2:28 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Saturn Still Swings: Celebrating Sun Ra At 100

"In my music I speak of unknown things, impossible things, ancient things, potential things," Sun Ra said in a 1980 documentary. May 22, 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the composer and bandleader's birth.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 8:18 am

Today marks 100 years since Sun Ra was born — or, as the musician might have put it, since he arrived on Earth. An influential jazz composer, keyboardist and bandleader, Sun Ra always insisted he was just visiting this planet.

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Book Reviews
4:34 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Full Of Warmth And Wisdom, 'Vacationers' Is A Frothy Beach Read

cover detail
Riverhead Books

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 6:03 am

Meet the Posts — no relation to Emily and her rules of etiquette. The stressed family of New Yorkers in Emma Straub's breezy summer read, The Vacationers, are the kind of people who pack their troubles on top, for easiest access, when they head off on a trip together.

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Music
4:18 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Heir To A Jazz Legacy, A Trumpeter Finds His Own Way

Theo Croker's new album, AfroPhysicist, comes out May 20.
Thomas Brodin Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 9:20 am

Jazz composer and trumpeter Theo Croker opens his new album, AfroPhysicist, with an ode to his grandfather: New Orleans jazz great Doc Cheatham. The thing is, Croker didn't grow up in New Orleans or any other jazz hub. He's from Jacksonville, Fla., and he was just a child when his grandfather died in 1997. It wasn't until his grandfather's memorial services — attended by jazz legends — that he decided to join the legacy.

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Book Reviews
4:37 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Remembering Two Lives: Which Are The 'Real' Children?

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 11:52 am

There's a photograph of my mother's side of the family that I often think about. In it are my mother, her five siblings, and a host of children and cousins. Nestled into the center of the photograph is my grandmother, small and frail by then, but without whom none of the rest would be there.

That sense of marvelling at what multitudes could come from one person — within sight of that person — stayed with me throughout My Real Children.

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NPR Ed
5:03 am
Mon May 19, 2014

What We Learned From The Best Commencement Speeches Ever

Conan O'Brien's 2011 commencement address at Dartmouth College was one of those speeches that was so good it drew news coverage.
Jason R. Henske AP

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 7:32 am

Something funny has happened to the familiar commencement address in the past 10 years. That something is YouTube. Steve Jobs' 2005 address at Stanford, to take just one example, has been viewed upwards of 20 million times.

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Music News
4:29 am
Sun May 18, 2014

How Do You Wring Sound From Sculpture? It Takes A 'Quiet Pride'

Rufus Reid has played with just about everybody in the mainstream jazz world. His latest project, Quiet Pride, is based on works by the late sculptor and civil rights activist Elizabeth Catlett.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 18, 2014 10:24 am

Bassist and composer Rufus Reid has been playing jazz for half a century. He's worked with just about everyone, from saxophonists Dexter Gordon and Stan Getz to singer Nancy Wilson and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.

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Song Travels
12:46 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Diane Schuur On 'Song Travels'

Diane Schuur.
Courtesy of the artist

Blessed with perfect pitch and a resonant voice, vocalist and pianist Diane Schuur received her training at the Washington State School for the Blind. Today, Schuur is a two-time Grammy winner who has performed at Carnegie Hall and the White House.

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