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Monkey See
11:06 am
Fri April 19, 2013

'Off Pitch': A Show-Choir Story From The American Midwest

Director Rob takes charge of a rehearsal in VH1's Off Pitch.
VH1

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 9:37 am

Beware, Midwesterners: reality television is coming for you.

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Book Reviews
11:05 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Owls, Yes, But Also Kookaburras And Dentists In Sedaris' Latest

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 9:09 am

Plenty of personal essayists, including really good ones like Nora Ephron, Anna Quindlen and E.B. White, burn out or switch to fiction after a few books. Even Michel de Montaigne, the 16th century French writer often acknowledged as the father of the genre that combines intelligent reflection with anecdotes and autobiography, produced only one volume — albeit a massive one. Yet here's David Sedaris with his eighth collection, the absurdly titled Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls: Essays, Etc.

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Favorite Sessions
11:05 am
Fri April 19, 2013

KCRW Presents: Rhye

Rhye lit some candles and then dimmed the lights for their performance on KCRW.
KCRW

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 2:15 pm

For Rhye's first-ever radio performance, we turned the lights down and lit some candles to get in the mood. We were curious to hear how the band — the project of producer Robin Hannibal and singer Mike Milosh — would translate the intimacy of its sensual, soulful music into a live setting. With the help of incredible backing players, including a string section, Hannibal and Milosh pulled off a romantic, moving set.

Watch Rhye's entire session at KCRW.com.

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Shots - Health News
11:04 am
Fri April 19, 2013

For Those About To Rock, We Salute Your Ears

Musician Jake Orrall performs onstage at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival on April 14. Temporary hearing loss following concerts and other loud events may protect our ears from more permanent damage.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images for Coachella

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:33 pm

If you went to Coachella last weekend, you probably had a ball. But will your ears pay the price?

While short-term hearing loss caused by loud noise can be unnerving, it may not be an automatic sign of permanent damage.

Temporary hearing loss may actually be the ear's way of protecting itself from lasting damage, suggests a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Well, if you're a mouse, at any rate.

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All Tech Considered
11:03 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Seeing The World Through Google-Colored Glasses

Google co-founder Sergey Brin shows off Google Glass in February. Brin says the camera displays an external light when filming, making it difficult for a user to record surreptitiously.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 11:17 am

Google Glass is no longer merely a prototype. The company began delivering its high-tech glasses to a select group of test customers Tuesday.

The gadget looks kind of like a pair of eyeglasses, except it doesn't always have lenses and it has a tiny screen, about the size of the end of my pinkie, perched just above and to the right of the wearer's right eye.

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Kitchen Window
11:03 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Nettles Bring Spring To The Kitchen

Nicole Spiridakis for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 8:02 am

My in-laws live in a half-wild, magical place perched along the edge of the Northern California coastline about an hour from San Francisco. On nice days — and even when it rains — my husband and I will take their black Lab for a ramble up into the woods behind the house where banana slugs carpet the narrow trail, salamanders creep shyly through the trees alongside it, and the air is full of birdsong and the good, damp smells of the growing things.

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Movie Reviews
11:02 am
Fri April 19, 2013

'For My Health': The Latter Days Of Levon Helm

Though he began his career as a drummer for The Band, Levon Helm kept working long after the group's dissolution. The documentary Ain't in It for My Health captures his final years as a working musician.
Kino Lorber

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 8:57 am

Rock 'n' roll is filled with "one lives it, the other writes about it" pairings, from Mick Jagger drawing on the observed excesses of Keith Richards on down the line. But such arrangements only work when both parties feel like they benefit.

When The Band came into its own as a self-contained group in the late 1960s — after stints backing Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan — its songs drew inspiration from a mythic vision of the American South that was itself inspired by The Band's only Southern member, drummer Levon Helm of Turkey Scratch, Ark.

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The Picture Show
11:02 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Tell Us: In Times Of Tragedy, What Do You Want To See?

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 4:00 pm

Monday was awful. We can only imagine the horror experienced by victims and witnesses in Boston.

Or, actually, maybe that's not entirely true. To a degree, we can imagine it. Because, although we didn't feel the shake of the earth or boom of the explosions, we did see it happening — almost in real time. We saw it whether we wanted to, or not.

It raises lots of questions — none of them really new — both for media organizations and for every human on the Internet.

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A Blog Supreme
11:02 am
Fri April 19, 2013

How Taxes And Moving Changed The Sound Of Jazz

The bebop innovator Dizzy Gillespie on 52nd Street in New York, which was filled with small jazz clubs in the 1940s.
William Gottlieb The Library of Congress

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 3:27 pm

This week — when many of us at NPR rushed to file our U.S. federal income-tax returns, then moved to a new headquarters — I'm reminded of a moment in jazz history. Namely, the mid-1940s, when a new style called bebop came into popularity.

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Planet Money
10:51 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Planet Money: The Surprisingly Entertaining History Of The Income Tax

U.S. Treasury Department/Walt Disney

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 3:08 pm

The U.S. has a really conflicted history with the income tax. For most of American history, there was no income tax at all. At one point it was ruled unconstitutional.

Today, income tax is the federal government's main source of revenue. That raises a question: How did something that was once so strange to us become so central?

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