Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 3:50 pm
It's a 40-hour train ride from Moscow to Vorkuta. The city, north of Russia's Arctic Circle, was constructed in the 1930s in large part by prisoners who were part of the Soviet gulag system of forced labor. Many workers died and were buried next to the railroad they were building to connect the city to the outside world.
The long ride offers plenty of time to contemplate this painful history. Vorkuta and other Soviet cities in the Arctic were built upon mining. But many are now shrinking or being abandoned altogether.
In the hippest building on what has been called the coolest block in America, Venice Beach's Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Jeff Bhasker is wearing white jeans and a T-shirt, smoking an American Spirit cigarette. He's seated at his brand new piano in his brand new apartment.
Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 7:59 am
City Manager Chris Traeger came in to... wait, I mean, Rob Lowe came in to NPR West for a talk with KPCC host Alex Cohen about his new political thriller Knife Fight. It's pretty easy to mistake the seasoned actor for his Parks and Recreation character, as Lowe's friendliness and enthusiasm are not lost on his TV counterpart.
After chatting with Cohen about his latest project and his long career in TV and film, we asked if he'd mind posing for a quick photo.
Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 1:04 pm
Well, this was a surprise. The boundaries between indie rock and electronic music have been dissolving for a while now, but who could have foreseen Ducktails' Matt Mondanile — also a guitarist in the straightforward indie-pop band Real Estate — seeking out cult icon DJ Sprinkles for a deep house remix of his new single "Letter of Intent"?
Police in Jerusalem on Monday detained 10 women for wearing the tallit, a Jewish prayer shawl traditionally worn by men, while praying at the Western Wall.
The Women of the Wall have been fighting for years for permission to worship in the manner that men do at the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism for prayer. The stone structure is part of the retaining wall that surrounded the Second Jewish Temple, which was destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70.
The trumpeter and educator Donald Byrd, a top jazz practitioner in the '50s and '60s whose later work shaped black pop music through multiple generations, died Feb. 4 in Dover, Del. Haley Funeral Directors near Detroit confirmed the news, which was first circulated online last week. He was 80.