During the Great Depression, the federal government purchased hundreds of thousands of works by American artists. But in the decades since, much of that art has gone missing.
A crackling new translation of Giorgio Scerbanenco's crime novel Private Venus has just been released. Critic John Powers read it in a single sitting.
Music nerds: gather round! This week, our show is dedicated to celebrating one of the most joyous days of the year. No, not Flag Day. Record Store Day! This Saturday, Apr. 19, is the day when masses of music lovers wait in long lines at local independent records stores, hoping to score exclusive releases on vinyl.
To mark the occasion, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share six Record Store Day exclusives, starting with a cut by Bruce Springsteen, from an EP he's releasing called American Beauty. The 12" EP features four unreleased, never-heard songs from The Boss. Three were recorded during sessions for his High Hopes LP. The fourth, and one we've got, is an earlier, electrified cut called "Hurry Up Sundown."
Bob follows with a live recording of Devo made during a 1977 concert at Max's Kansas City. The song, "Uncontrollable Urge," shows the punchier side to the band's sound.
One of those very music fans who waits in line on Record Store Day, Ben Kessler, shares his meticulously planned list of "needs" and "wants," and explains his unbridled spending habits this time of year. On his list: A live recording from 1991 of The Pogues with Joe Strummer of The Clash (who had temporarily replaced singer Shane MacGowan in the band) on vocals, including "If I Could Fall From Grace With God." Ben then shifts gears and unearths his love for Ke$ha and Lydia Loveless. Loveless is releasing a 7" single with a new original song backed by a surprising cover of Ke$ha's "Blind."
We close the show out with a strangely textured Dana Falconberry song produced by Spoon drummer Jim Eno, and "Always N Forever" by Chicago's brash, young rock group The Orwells. Merry Record Store Day, everyone!
We do grouse about the weather, it's true. But it's miraculous, if you think about it, that we still manage to get excited about spring at all, given that it happens every year.
The color of food can affect how we perceive its taste, and food companies aren't afraid to use that to their advantage. An artist tests perceptions by dousing familiar foods with unorthodox colors.
Libby Hill looks at the worlds of televised drag competition and professional wrestling, and finds that the flash, art and gender performance of the forms make them more alike than they might seem.
Ian McEwan talks about having dinner with Salman Rushdie, who had a fatwa out against him; Man Booker winner Eleanor Catton writes about the process of finding inspiration.
The racism Gandhi encountered in South Africa helped spark a lifetime of activism. Historian Ramachandra Guha says without that experience, "he would never have become a political animal."
This cooking method — a strange mix of the precise and the forgiving — means never having to worry about rubbery, overcooked meats. But mind your eyebrows while you're holding the blowtorch.
For the past decade Pakistan has faced war, political instability and the rise of religious extremism. But those crises have fueled a new generation of Pakistani writers and artists.
Even 2,000 years ago, people seemed to know that the egg could be a source of life. And an ancient art form has been passed down, transforming a symbolic source of food into a dazzling decoration.
The cable network premieres a new drama series tonight. It's called Fargo, and has the same title as the 1996 Coen Brothers movie. Critic David Bianculli says it's very definitely a wonderful show in that same wacky spirit – but it's just as important to note what this new Fargo is not. It's not a remake — and it's not a sequel.
In a new book, New York Times correspondent Carlotta Gall offers new information about how Pakistan has helped the Taliban in Afghanistan, and may have helped hide Osama bin Laden.
When TV decides to adapt a movie, it can do it in a couple of different ways. The success of FX's adaptation of Fargo and the problems with CBS's adaptation of Bad Teacher make telling examples.
The violence of Captain America is very different from the martial-arts violence of The Raid 2. Chris Klimek considers how the nature and explicitness of violence changes the way we perceive it.
The Address follows an intensive program that teaches kids with learning difficulties to recite the Gettysburg Address. And in doing so, it raises some tough questions about resources.
Muslim pop star Yuna shares some of her favorite songs for Tell Me More's series "In Your Ear."
Tell Me More continues its national poetry month series "Muses and Metaphor." Regular contributors Michael Skolnik and Laura Martinez share their Twitter poems.
Marc Hirsh looks at the direction of the Fox comedy and wonders: why can't it leave well enough alone? Or, in fact, leave anything alone?
Also: Willy Blackmore writes about the several identities of his grandfather, John Farrar of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and research on reading comprehension for printed vs. digital books.