Music

In Trance 95: The Old New Wave

May 31, 2012

A recently reconstituted Greek duo active from the late '80s to the mid-'90s, In Trance 95 specializes in a self-explanatorily named electronic subgenre called "minimal wave." Now that bare-bones synth-pop has drifted closer to the mainstream — as reflected by the Stones Throw label's well-received Minimal Wave Tapes compilations — the duo ended its nearly 15-year hiatus in 2010.

'Me The People': A Less Than Perfect Parody

May 31, 2012

At the beginning of Me the People: One Man's Selfless Quest to Rewrite the Constitution of the United States of America, Kevin Bleyer calls our founding document "a God-sanctioned, fully realized, blessed, immutable, rock-solid, entirely glorified and purely calcified ... piece of [censored]." And despite what our current batch of lawmakers might have you believe, he's not alone in that opinion.

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Our last word in business today is: Big Gulp. Actually, make that moderately-sized gulp.

Happy 50th Birthday Incredible Hulk

May 31, 2012

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Transcript

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This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

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And I'm David Greene. Many families who lost artwork during the Holocaust have spent decades trying to reclaim their treasures. Now they could face a new obstacle: proposed legislation that would protect American museums from these families' claims. David Maxon of member station WNYC has more.

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NPR's business news starts with a downturn in India.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Bill Internicola, a 91-yar-old World War II veteran, was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., and now lives in Florida's Broward County. He recently received a letter from county elections officials asking him to show proof he was a U.S. citizen or be removed from the voting rolls.

Internicola says he was "flabbergasted."

"To me, it's like an insult," he says. "They sent me a form to fill out. And I filled out the form and I sent it back to them with a copy of my discharge paper and a copy of my tour of duty in the ETO, which is the European Theater of Operations."

U.S. and Afghan forces are fighting to gain control of a major crossroads in a part of Afghanistan that has seen so few NATO troops that one village elder mistook the Americans for Russians — from the long-ago Soviet war.

"It's an absolutely crucial area," says NPR photographer David Gilkey, who has been embedded with U.S. troops involved in the offensive in eastern Afghanistan's Ghazni province.

New York's historic Algonquin Hotel has been famous for a lot of things: the roundtable where some of the greatest American wits, from George S. Kaufman to Dorothy Parker, held forth in the 1920s and '30s; generations of cats — named either Hamlet or Matilda — who haunt the lobby; and, since 1980, the Oak Room, one of New York's most loved cabaret spaces.

When Marriott purchased the hotel and closed it for renovations early this year, they announced that the Oak Room would not be reopening — instead, it will be a lounge for preferred customers.

Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, tells us what she's been reading in a feature that Morning Edition likes to call "Word of Mouth." This month, Brown shares reading recommendations on Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family. The Diamond Jubilee takes place over the weekend, marking 60 years of the queen's reign in Britain.

A Queen At 25

The unemployment rate is 8.1 percent, but the underemployment rate — that's people who work part time but want full-time work — is much higher. For many people, making ends meet means cobbling together various part-time jobs. And there are some apps for that.

Shannon Mills has blanketed the floor in a spacious home in Corte Madera, Calif., with protective plastic. Now she's taping off the trim, getting ready to paint over the peach-colored living room walls with the more neutral "bisque" shade waiting in cans at her feet.

Brick by brick, Guenther Demnig is working to change how the Holocaust is publicly remembered in Germany.

On a recent afternoon, the 62-year-old Berlin-born artist is on his knees on a sidewalk in a prosperous section of Berlin's Charlottenburg district, working a hammer and small trowel. He is installing dozens of small, square brass bricks, each one inscribed with the name — and details about the death of — people who once lived in apartment houses on Pestalozzi Strasse.

Hearts Wide Open is the name of guitarist Gilad Hekselman's latest album, released last fall. The title is about emotional connections to music, for both performers and audiences. Modern jazz tends to get a bum rap in this department, but Hearts is filled with engaging original tunes over big beats. It's the third record from Hekselman, who moved from Israel to New York in 2004 and quickly found his way into bands led by drummer Ari Hoenig and clarinetist Anat Cohen.

Seattle police say a gunman suspected of killing three people at a café and one in an apparent carjacking may have shot himself Wednesday as officers closed in on him.

As NPR's Martin Kaste is reporting for our Newscast unit:

"It's not confirmed that the man who shot himself in west Seattle is, in fact, the suspect, but right now that's certainly how things are looking, in terms of what the Seattle Police Department is saying."

Perhaps Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker's gaffe on NBC's Meet the Press has caused collateral damage, with the resignation Tuesday of his communications director.

The aide, Ann Torres, insists her departure isn't related to the mayor's remarks, or his subsequent clumsy backpedal, saying on Twitter that such rumors are "ridiculous...come on folks."

Thistle And Shamrock: Underneath The Stars

May 30, 2012

As the days grow longer our music looks to the Northern and Western skies for inspiration and draws meaning, guidance and solace from the sun, moon and stars.

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Note: As you may have guessed from the headline, there is disturbing content in this post.

It's that kind of news day: First Mark reported the latest in Florida's face-eating attack. And now there's a significant development in a crime story that has gripped Canada.

Some of us missed the Jeff Barth video when it first hit the Internet last week, which is like a year ago in web time.

Growing Up And Grasping Gone With The Wind

May 30, 2012

Jesmyn Ward's novel Salvage the Bones was the 2011 winner of the National Book Award for Fiction.

When I was 13 I went to a small, mostly white, Episcopalian, junior high school.

Much of my free time was spent lurking in the library. I'd transferred from a more diverse public school, and as a working-class black kid, I felt out of place.

That's about the time I pulled Gone With the Wind from the library shelf.

Summer Books 2012: Cool Reads For Hot Days

May 30, 2012

Summer is glorious and far too short to waste on the wrong book. Let the NPR critics you know and trust help you find the year's best fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, cookbooks and more.

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Jodi Picoult's latest novel is Between the Lines.

One of my first childhood memories is of the moment I got my own library card, so it's clear that I grew up in a family of readers. I always had a book in my hand, and as I grew into my preteen years I began to veer away from the All-Of-A-Kind Family series to more modern Judy Blume novels, whose heroines held a mirror up to my own life. You can imagine my shock, then, when one day I came home from the library with Forever by Judy Blume — and was told by my mother that I wasn't allowed to read it.

A Sticky Situation: Baking the Tapes

May 30, 2012

With more than 40 years of audio, preserving and archiving the hundreds of interviews, reports, specials, and programs produced by NPR is no small task. It gets even more complicated when old reel-to-reel tape starts sticking together. Fortunately the NPR librarians know just the trick to get them unstuck: bake 'em.

Yesterday evening, All Things Considered host Robert Siegel lent his interview skills to an event sponsored by the Washington, D.C.'s Politics and Prose bookstore, the 6th & I Historic Synagogue, and NPR.

In front of a capacity crowd, Siegel talked to former Secretary of State Colin Powell about his life, career and new book, It Worked for Me.

Here are a few shots from the event:

The situation in Syria is obviously at a crossroads. After the massacre in Houla that killed more than 100 people — many of them women and children — the diplomatic engine has picked up steam.

Introducing the Planet Money iPhone App

May 30, 2012

Today we're proud to announce the launch of our Planet Money iPhone app, which represents a new direction in our mobile strategy.

You can find many of the features of the app in Caitlin Kenny's blog post this morning or you can download it for free from iTunes and try if for yourself.

Old People Smell Different, Not Worse

May 30, 2012

If you've ever spent time where the elderly congregate, you may have wondered: Do old people smell different?

German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who died earlier this month at age 86, was a paragon of excellence for generations of singers and fans. After his passing, we called American baritone Thomas Hampson for his memories of Fischer-Dieskau, whom he has called "a Singer for the ages, an Artist for eternity."

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