Arts

Arts and culture

  • "Serial" Live with Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder
  • March 18, 2017
  • Paramount Theatre, Seattle

"Serial" is a podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. "Serial" tells one story—a true story—over the course of a season. Each season, we follow a plot and characters wherever they take us. We won’t know what happens at the end until we get there, not long before you get there with us. Each week we bring you the next chapter in the story, so it's important to listen to the episodes in order.

Fox Searchlight Pictures

The film stars Anna Kendrick, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson and (the wonderful) June Squibb.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

Al Jarreau, a versatile vocalist who defied categorization for decades, died Sunday morning at the age of 76. Earlier this week, Jarreau had been hospitalized in Los Angeles "due to exhaustion," according to his official Facebook page.

Seattle Symphony

The Seattle Symphony put on a concert celebrating immigrants. The performance, which took less than a week to assemble, was called "Music Beyond Borders: Voices From The Seven."

The title refers to President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily banning travel from seven majority-Muslim countries. The concert sold out, and more than a million and a half people watched it online. 

Seattle Symphony President and CEO Simon Woods talked about the concert with knkx on the phone.

Mary Tyler Moore played the girl who could turn the world on with her smile. The actress is beloved for two TV roles: the single young professional Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and before that, the earnest homemaker Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Moore died Wednesday at the age of 80, her longtime representative told NPR.

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When the nominees for the 2017 Academy Awards were announced this morning, La La Land racked up 14 nods, tying records held by Titanic and All About Eve.

With no shortage of material to work with, Saturday Night Live satirized a packed week in American politics, reiterating themes imparted by critics for months.

The episode kicked off by lampooning Russia's role in influencing the U.S. election.

Buzzed-about projects like the musical film La La Land and FX's TV comedy Atlanta won big at Sunday's Golden Globe awards. But the most powerful moment of the night belonged to Meryl Streep, who used her acceptance speech for the honorary Cecil B. deMille Award of the 2017 Golden Globes, to deliver a harsh rebuke of President-elect Donald Trump and to advocate for press freedom.

Lara Lavi stands in the atrium of the Columbia City Theater, celebrating its centennial in 2017. She's co-owned and managed this space for about a year.
Ed Ronco / knkx

The Columbia City Theater, in Seattle, turns 100 years old this year. At various times throughout its history it's been part of Seattle's booming 1940s jazz scene, a neighborhood movie theater, a home for the punk movement, and an art commune. 

It closed.

It reopened in 2010.

Today, it's a music venue and bar. Its owners plan to celebrate its centennial throughout the year.

Early in the New Year, when most people are trying to stick to their resolutions, bakers are finalizing plans for gingerbread house contests nearly 12 months away. There are recipes to tinker with—a choice between "construction grade" gingerbread and the more delicious, softer variety—blueprints to create, and often hundreds of hours of work before houses are ready to be entered in a contest.

Amy Harris / Invision/AP

The late rapper Tupac Shakur and Seattle-based rockers Pearl Jam lead a class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees that also include folkie Joan Baez and 1970s favorites Journey, Yes and Electric Light Orchestra.

The rock hall also said Tuesday it would give a special award to Nile Rodgers, whose disco-era band Chic failed again to make the cut after its 11th time nominated.

Baez will be inducted only months after her 1960s paramour, Bob Dylan, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Updated at 11:41 p.m. ET

Zsa Zsa Gabor — the woman who probably inspired the term "famous for being famous" — died on Sunday, according to multiple media outlets. She was 99 years old, just two months shy of her 100th birthday.

NPR confirmed Gabor's death with her publicist, Edward Lozzi, who issued the following statement:

She was one of the great female protagonists of the late-Renaissance art world. Forgotten in the 18th and 19th centuries, she was rediscovered in the 20th as a feminist icon.

Thirty paintings by Artemisia Gentileschi are on view at Rome's Palazzo Braschi, in a major new exhibit running through May 7, 2017, that aims to showcase the female artist as a great painter — one of the most talented followers of Caravaggio.

Gail Pettis and Dr. David Deacon-Joyner perform at the Christmas Jam back in 2010.
Justin Steyer / knkx

The KNKX Holiday Jam happens this weekend, at the Rialto Theater in Tacoma. The event itself is sold out but you can hear it live on the air or through the streaming link on this site, starting at 7:30 Sunday night.

The annual concert features jazz vocalist Gail Pettis. Longtime listeners know Gail’s music, but her first career was as an orthodontist. She sat down with 88.5’s Ed Ronco to talk about how she ended up singing jazz.

Interview Highlights

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Growing up in Seattle in the 1930s, it was Bonnie Buckingham’s brothers who played the guitar. But Bonnie coveted it, and would take any opportunity to get her hands on the instrument. Soon, she says, “they couldn’t get it away from me.” So began the musical life of the woman who would become known as Bonnie Guitar.

Bonnie showed herself to be a prodigy and, in spite of having hardly any female role models, she busied herself playing local gigs and slowly getting better and better. 

provided by the Compline Choir

The Compline service at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church feels very traditional – ancient, even. But the all-male Compline Choir chants its monastic prayers and hymns to a pretty eclectic flock. Elders bent with age mix with people who live on the street, families with small children and young adults in a pretty obvious drug haze.

They’re all there to feel the thrum of sacred music, ringing through this soaring, 90-foot-high cathedral.

Courtosey of Hachette Book Group

 

Seattle-based writer Lindy West writes a lot about culture and feminism. She’s called out comedians for telling rape jokes. She’s shouted her abortion and she’s faced down many, many internet trolls. She’s written and thought a lot about her body. She went from feeling ashamed of being heavy – she usually uses the term fat – to accepting who she is, without hesitation.

Influential singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82, according to a publicist for his U.S. record label.

Cohen died Monday, but news of his death came out late Thursday. His Facebook page had this announcement:

"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away.
We have lost one of music's most revered and prolific visionaries.

In a surprising press release NBC announced Friday that Dave Chappelle will host Saturday Night Live on Nov. 12 with musical guest A Tribe Called Quest. This will be the first episode after the presidential election, and an SNL debut for both Chappelle and A Tribe Called Quest.

After much criticism around last year's round of '70s rockers and no women, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its nominees for the class of 2017 this morning, which include first-time nominees Tupac Shakur, Pearl Jam, Bad Brains, Joan Baez and Depeche Mode.

The Nobel committee made a bit of a surprising announcement Thursday morning: Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature for, according to the Swedish Academy, "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."

Matt Slocum / AP Photo

Bryan Cranston can now add a new title to his resume: author. He’s out with a new memoir called “A Life in Parts,” which is a series of short stories focused on his personal and professional life. The actor is best known for his role as meth kingpin Walter White in the television show “Breaking Bad.” He’ll be at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall Sunday Oct. 16 to read from his new book and to talk with writer Sherman Alexie. Cranston spoke with 88.5's Ariel Van Cleave ahead of his appearance. 

Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. The prolific musician is the first Nobel winner to have forged a career primarily as a singer-songwriter. What's more, he's also the first American to have won the prize in more than two decades. Not since novelist Toni Morrison won in 1993 has an American claimed the prize.

Tax records and literary criticism are strange bedfellows. But over the weekend, the two combined and brought into the world a literary controversy — call it the Ferrante Furor of 2016.

To put it briefly: Elena Ferrante, an admired and cherished Italian novelist, has always made it clear that her name is a pseudonym and her true identity is not for public consumption.

Courtesy of John Waters

What you think of the film director John Waters might depend on how you came to know him. Maybe you first saw his work “Hairspray,” a 1988 film with Ricki Lake as a plucky Baltimore teen fighting segregation. It was later the subject of a remake and also adapted as a bright and bouncy musical. Or maybe you know his earlier work, which earned him a reputation for depicting shocking things, like bodily functions, sex acts, and more.

From the lingering sins of a nation's snarled roots to the complexities of mental illness and even to the colorful quest for a name of one's own, the books that round out this year's Kirkus Prize shortlists won't let you easily forget history — on whatever scale it's defined.

William Patrick Kinsella, the Canadian author whose award-winning book Shoeless Joe was adapted into the beloved film Field of Dreams, had died at the age of 81.

His literary agent Carolyn Swayze issued a statement Friday confirming his death, calling him "a unique, creative and outrageously opinionated man."

And as NPR's Rose Friedman tells our Newscast unit, the most famous line he ever wrote was whispered – "If you build it, he will come," in 1982's Shoeless Joe.

If Hari Kondabolu cracks you up, you may actually have his mother to thank — he says she's the one who taught him to be funny. Uma Kondabolu was a doctor in India who "left everything behind," her son explains. "That's difficult, and yet she laughed her way through it."

It was only recently that he began to appreciate that his mom's life outlook was at the root of his own comedy. His dark sense of humor and his ability to transform negative things into positive? "That comes from her," he tells NPR's David Greene.

In the world of literary prizes Britain's Man Booker stands out as one of the most prestigious and lucrative. So every year writers and their publishers and agents are eager to learn who made the final cut. Today the six writers who made it to the short list were revealed. Two Americans, two Brits and two Canadians are now competing for the award which is given each year for a novel written in English which has been published in the U.K.

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