If nuclear concerns haven't pushed North Korea back to the front of American consciousness, Dennis Rodman's recent visit has. It's a reminder of just how rare an opportunity it is to meet with the North Korean leader; NPR's news blog says Rodman is "the only American to have met and talked with Kim [Jong Un]."
Earlier this year, when NPR Music told us we'd present our first Latin Alternative showcase at South by Southwest, we were asked to dream up the most fantastic, mind-blowing lineup we could possibly imagine. I jokingly told my co-host, Felix Contreras, that we should get the legendary Mexican rock band Café Tacvba, to which he jokingly responded that we should just throw in the iconic group Molotov. I might have sarcastically quipped that we should also inquire about The Rolling Stones' availability.
It says a lot about SXSW's size and scope that this "sampler" of the annual music festival spans six and a half hours, but here we are: 100 songs by 100 artists worth discovering at this year's big event.
Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 10:02 am
Hi! It's Ask a Banker! Once again, I'm a former banker, current Dealbreaker editor and occasional answerer of questions here. Send more questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with "ask a banker" in the subject line, or ask on Twitter (@planetmoney). This week's question comes from Ellen in Minneapolis and I think you'll like it:
Texas troubadour Ray Wylie Hubbard makes his 11th appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Hubbard first found success after writing "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mothers," which became a beer-joint jukebox anthem some 40 years before anyone thought about singing the praises of a Solo cup. A high-school classmate of Mountain Stage host Larry Groce, Hubbard even played with him in a band for a while.
Some months ago, a fellow writer told me that Joyce Carol Oates was writing a vampire book. It turns out there is some truth in this seemingly far-fetched statement, just as there are grains of truth sprinkled throughout The Accursed, a sprawling tale of terrible events afflicting Princeton high society between 1905 and 1906. Oates began drafting the novel in 1984, when she first moved to this best-known of New Jersey college towns and became interested in its history. She put the project aside for many years but returned to it — and completed it — in 2012.
Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 11:59 am
"Flakes are flying in Minnesota and North Dakota, where up to 10 inches of snow has fallen from an 'Alberta Clipper' that is barreling southeastwards across the U.S.," Weather Underground writes this morning.
Apologies for those on my Political Junkie/ScuttleButton mailing list who didn't get a notification last week about the new column and new puzzle. NPR has adjusted its e-mail server and my mass mailing from last week didn't see the light of day. I'm hoping the problem will be addressed this week.