interviews

StoryCorps

StoryCorps is an oral history project based on the idea that the stories of everyday people are the most important and interesting of all. This week, Kyle Williams talks about “one of the most mortifying moments that anyone can have in their high school career.”

Sweet Crude. l to r Jonathan Arceneaux, Jack Craft, Alexis Marceaux, Marion Tortorich, Stephen MacDonald, Sam Craft, Skyler Stroup.
Zack Smith

Onstage, they don’t look like a traditional rock ‘n roll band. Sure, the seven members of Sweet Crude are kinda young and kinda scrawny and their clothes suggest a GAP-meets-Garanimals flare.

But they carry no guitars. Five of them play percussion. And yes, there’s a glockenspiel in the mix.

Sweet Crude sounds different too. They produce a sophisticated mixture of rhythm, classical strings, and musical theater that’s highly danceable and even educational. That’s because the band sings in English and Louisiana French – a language they’re learning on the job.

David Simon.
American Library Association via Music Inside Out

For most of his working life, David Simon has been telling an epic story of the American city — one corner at a time. First on the pages of The Baltimore Sun, then in the books Homicide: Life on the Killing Streets and The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood.

But it was on television that David Simon found his biggest and most devoted audience. NBC’s Homicide: Life on the Street and HBO’s The Corner and The Wire presented crime and punishment in an entirely new way. Detectives and criminals became extraordinarily ordinary people.

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina ushered in massive change to New Orleans' education system. What lessons have we learned since then? Today the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans (ERA) kicks off a conference trying to answer that question. ERA's director, Douglas Harris, sat down with WWNO's Mallory Falk to discuss how the conference - and his organization - came about.

Support for education reporting on WWNO comes from Baptist Community Ministries and Entergy Corporation.

Jason Marsalis
Music Inside Out

As a child, Jason Marsalis watched old television shows as much for the music as for anything the characters were doing onscreen.

“I became a big fan of reruns of the tv show, The Monkees,” he tells Gwen. “My father thought it was just hilarious that I was into this. But when I look back on it, that was music from the 1960s.”

Mallory Falk / WWNO

Rowan Shafer is a third grade teacher at Morris Jeff Community School. She's committed to teaching a social justice curriculum... which she knows can sound abstract.

"Yeah, those are easy words to say that mean a lot of things," she says.

In this month's Voices of Educators segment, Shafer describes one of her favorite social justice units and explains why, after years of teaching fourth grade, she switched to third.

Do you know a great teacher to include in our series? Send us an email: comments@wwno.org

Music Inside Out

At their best, pop songs conjure exactly what it’s like to be young. The stories are often simple. But they’re not so easy to write.The best pop songs take on the same themes as a great epic poem or a Wagnerian opera. Pop is about the loss of innocence.

Caleb Elliott is a singer-songwriter in Lafayette, Louisiana whose debut pop album is called, Where You Wanna Be. (Check out the video for “Speaking Of.”) He’s new to pop music, but as a classical cellist Caleb Elliott has already played Carnegie Hall.

Joe Shriner

Author Andrew Lawler sits down with us on this week’s Louisiana Eats! to discuss Why Did The Chicken Cross The World, which is also the title of his new book. You’ll be amazed by the many ways that simple bird has impacted humanity over the ages. Even Queen Victoria gets into the act, with her fascination for fancy hybrid chickens helping to bring about the “chicken bubble.” Would you pay thousands of dollars for a clucker? Nineteenth century Europeans did!

Zack Smith / Music Inside Out

Onstage, they don’t look like a traditional rock ‘n roll band. Sure, the seven members of Sweet Crude are kinda young and kinda scrawny and their clothes suggest a GAP-meets-Garanimals flare.

But they carry no guitars. Five of them play percussion. And yes, there’s a glockenspiel in the mix.

Sweet Crude sounds different too. They produce a sophisticated mixture of rhythm, classical strings, and musical theater that’s highly danceable and even educational. That’s because the band sings in English and Louisiana French – a language they’re learning on the job.

This week on the Reading Life: Jim Grimsley, author of How I Shed My Skin: Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood

Plus, City librarian/New Orleans Public Library executive director Charles Brown talks about the high stakes of this week’s upcoming millage election.

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