Books and Music Review
Host Steve Inskeep talks to writer Hart Seely about
his new book, Piece of Intelligence: The Existential Poetry of Donald
Rumsfeld. Seely finds the Defense Secretary's ramblings at Pentagon
NPR's Steve Inskeep talks with Patrick Dillon, author of Gin:
The Much Lamented Death of Madam Geneva. It's a book about 18th century
London's liquid equivalent to the crack cocaine epidemic. (Justin, Charles &
Alan Cheuse's Summer Reading List
All Things Considered book reviewer Alan Cheuse -- also a published author and creative writing professor at George Mason University in Virginia -- presents a list of summer reading suggestions. This year's list is a mix of new editions of old classics and exciting new works by fresh authors. Cheuse says that he asks writers to read from their work so that listeners "might get the flavor of the books from the waft of their voices."
CD Compiles Three Decades of Bollywood Hits
Seventy-two years ago, the very first Indian "talkie" premiered, featuring seven songs. Ever since, music and movies have been woven tightly together in Bollywood, India's prolific film industry. The CD The Best of Bollywood collects some of the biggest film-soundtrack hits from the past 30 years. Chris Nickson has a review.
'Looking for America'
The music of bandleader and composer Carla Bley is sure to catch your ear. She's famous for crafty arrangements of familiar tunes. Music critic David Greenberger has a review of her latest album, Looking for America.
Irish Troubadour Damien Rice
Even Irish music sensation Damien Rice doesn't know exactly how to describe his own songs -- part folk, part rock, a little chamber music, tied together with his unique, passionate singing voice. NPR's Melissa Block talks with the European music sensation on the eve of his first American tour -- hear samples of his debut solo CD, O.
'The Mercury 13': Training U.S. Women for Space
Twenty years ago Wednesday, Sally Ride became the first U.S. woman to go into space. But a new book, The Mercury 13, reveals a secret female astronaut program decades earlier, eventually scrapped by NASA's "boy's club." NPR's Melissa Block talks with author Martha Ackmann.
'Everybody Loves You'
Music Critic Tom Moon reviews Everybody Loves You, the debut CD from Kaki King, a twenty-three-year old self-taught guitarist. The album is available from Velour Records.
Music Review: 'Body Kiss' from the Isley Brothers
Music critic Jim Fusilli takes a listen to the new Isley Brothers record, Body Kiss, available on the Dreamworks label. The Isley Brothers have had many hits since the 1950s, including "Twist and Shout," "This Old Heart of Mine" and "Who's That Lady." Now they have a new record of romance and soul produce by R. Kelly. Fusilli says the album is best when it sticks to seduction and works least when it treats women as pampered objects.
Geno Delafose, Keeping Zydeco in the Family
NPR's Melissa Block talks with zydeco musician and singer Geno Delafose about learning how to play zydeco -- a rollicking Louisiana musical tradition -- from his legendary father. Hear cuts from Delafose's latest CD and a live track heard only on npr.org.
'Shadow Without a Name'
Alan Cheuse reviews Shadow Without a Name, by Ignacio Padilla, who is the cultural attache at the Mexican Embassy in London. Padilla tells a story of historical intrigue in 20th-century Europe over the time of the two world wars.
Slatkin Helps Protegés Learn to Conduct Themselves
In Washington, several aspiring conductors get a chance to learn from a maestro. Leonard Slatkin, music director of the National Symphony Orchestra, offers his young charges advice ranging from clothing tips to the physicality of the job. NPR's Steve Inskeep reports.
NPR's Robert Siegel talks with accordionist Daniel Barski. As a youngster, Barski was fascinated with the accordion and classical music. His hope was to put together an accordion ensemble, but he was discouraged by a high school music teacher. Barski put down the accordion for 30 years. Now he has a small studio in his basement, and has revived his love for the instrument, recording music by Gluck, Satie, Vivaldi and others by overdubbing his own parts on to tape and mixing them down. His homemade cd is called Free Reed Odyssey. If you are interested in more information, on how to find the CD, Daniel encourages writing to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appetites: Why Women Want
Writer Sandra Shea offers an appreciation of her longtime friend Caroline Knapp's last book, Appetites: Why Women Want. Knapp died before her book was published this past May.
Chris Nickson reviews the CD Ghana Soundz: Afro-Beat, Funk and Fusion in 70s Ghana. The disc brings together rare and previously unreleased tunes influenced by American 1970's funk. It's the first of three volumes.
Jewel's New SoundAlan Cheuse's Book Review for 2001
Alan Cheuse's Summer Reading List
The Top 100 Books Since 1900
On Tuesday, singer-songwriter Jewel will release her latest album, 0304. If you've turned on MTV any time in the past month, you've already had a taste of the first single. The electronic dance song "Intuition" bears little resemblance to Jewel's big acoustic hits like "Who Will Save Your Soul." How did Jewel get from point A, folksy singer-songwriter, to Point B, dance-pop diva? Commentator Erika Dalya has an answer.
Books & Music Review Archive