Arts & Culture

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Last month at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, WXPN and World Cafe hosted the fifth annual Nuevofest, a celebration of the new sounds of Latin alternative music, produced in association with AfroTaino Productions.

Seven bands took over the stages at World Cafe Live for a long day of music that mixed together varying musical styles including punk rock, electronic beats, mariachi, son, cumbia, salsa, and classic Cuban. Watch complete sets from Nuevofest 2018 below.

If you were to try and fit Erykah Badu into a neat little box, you might say she's a soul singer/songwriter and leave it at that.

But you'd fail to acknowledge her many other talents, from her work as an actress (Cider House Rules and the upcoming What Men Want), to her otherworldly grasp of social media, to her work helping babies into the world as a certified doula.

When I began reviewing books and movies many years ago, I recall the editor at the magazine where I freelanced telling me that the rule of thumb was not to say too much about any given title. This was long before reviews appeared with the word "spoilers" at the top; the age of ink on paper.

Crazy Rich Asians is a love story on multiple levels. On its surface, it's about the love between Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) and Nick Young (Henry Golding), two very attractive thirty-something NYU professors. But it's also a story about love of family: Nick's mother's love for him, and for the family she married into and for which she is prepared to sacrifice everything (perhaps even her personal happiness.) And it's about a love of Asian culture, which, like all cultures, can be an embrace or a prison, depending.

Right before the start of the second leg of his 2018 North America Tour, Dublin-hailing Dermot Kennedy stopped by NPR to play his very own Tiny Desk Concert. And before he left to back out on tour, he shared his personal bank of familiar music he likes to turn to when he's on the road.

Interview Highlights

On naming the playlist

Some folks around the NPR Music office said they felt an almost spiritual connection to Erykah Badu during her visit to the Tiny Desk. And that was before she and her band even played a single note. It came from the waft of earthly scents that followed in her wake, to the flowing dreads and clothes that hung on her like robes.

Director Crystal Moselle made waves three years ago when her documentary The Wolfpack won the grand jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival. The film told the true story of six brothers growing up in confinement in Manhattan's Lower East Side — and it all began from a chance encounter Moselle had with the brothers on the street.

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Discord Over Non-Disclosure Agreements

Aug 14, 2018

Omarosa Manigault Newman, a reality television show star and former political aide, got the boot from the White House in December of 2017.

Over the course of her press tour promoting her book, Manigault Newman has made some astonishing claims. Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, has confirmed one of them. Speaking to ABC News last Sunday, she said senior administration officials had been asked to sign non-disclosure agreements, or NDAs. And on Monday, the president confirmed it, too.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Jukebox the Ghost is the type of band you want to play your party. Why? For one, Because they're talented, but that's just table stakes. The second reason gets us a little closer. The band members are excellent entertainers, but even that doesn't really capture it. What I think is that singer/piano player Ben Thornewill, guitarist Tommy Siegel, drummer Jesse Kristin, enjoy each other's company. And when three friends are good at what they do, and having a lot of fun with each other doing it, we're in for a good time.

The first time you see 'sand piracy,' it might sound surreal — a misguided Pixar villain whose lackeys race down the beach with empty buckets and sinister intent, doomed to fail in the face of a resource that spans the whole ocean.

Then you find out about someone stealing 1,300 feet of sand from a beach in Jamaica, or the many sand miners whose dredgers suck sand from the ocean floor by the ton and, suddenly, it doesn't sound as funny — or as impossible — as it did before.

Kate Walbert's most powerful novel yet is a case study in the perversities of power imbalances. This slim but by no means slight novel continues Walbert's explorations of how society's sexual biases and constraints have hampered women, a theme that has driven all six of her books, including A Short History of Women (2009) and her most recent, The Sunken Cathedral (2015). But with a timeliness so acute it feels ripped-from-the-headlines, His Favorites amps up the outrage and packs a punch far greater than its weight class.

The history of jazz in the 20th century is well known, but the course of the genre in the 21st century is still being charted. According to Nate Chinen, music critic for NPR Music and WBGO, jazz in the new millennium has enjoyed a type of Renaissance thanks to some key players.

I first saw Crazy Rich Asians at an advance press screening at a small, newish theater in Manhattan's Chinatown, and let me tell you: I arrived a little anxious and skeptical.

If you've spent more than five minutes with me, you'll know that I am predisposed to those two emotions. It did not escape me that the theater holding the press screening could be considered still another gentrifying force in rapidly changing Chinatown. The fact that I and the friend I brought were one of the few Asian-Americans in the theater also did not escape me.

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This summer, All Things Considered is on the hunt for great reading recommendations. In our third installment — you can find the first here and the second here — children's book author Jon Scieszka shares some kid-friendly selections with NPR's Audie Cornish. Click the audio link above to find out what Scieszka loves about these books:

Nico Walker is in jail for robbing banks.

He can use the pay phone for 15 minutes at a time, and then he has to wait a half-hour. It took a while to do an interview.

That's also sort of the way he wrote his debut novel, Cherry — on a typewriter, with a hundred-or-so other guys looking over his shoulder.

"It was something that I was doing when I was locked up," he says. "Something to pass the time. But I didn't — I wasn't planning to write a novel, you know, autobiographical or anything like that."

Sarah Davachi's electro-acoustic compositions seek the corners of quiet with a studious and patient curiosity. Gave in Rest, her second album of 2018, takes its inspiration from early church music, in particular "the quietude, the air of reverence, the openness of the physical space, the stillness of the altars," she writes in a press release. From "Matins" (morning prayers) to "Evensong" (evening prayers), the L.A.-based composer fills the day with moments of peace.

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