Cover image of Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen
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Rank #4 in Visual Arts category

Arts
TV & Film
Visual Arts

Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen

Updated 9 days ago

Rank #4 in Visual Arts category

Arts
TV & Film
Visual Arts
Read more

The Peabody Award-winning Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, from PRI, is a smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt introduces the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy – so let Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life. Produced in association with Slate.

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The Peabody Award-winning Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, from PRI, is a smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt introduces the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy – so let Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life. Produced in association with Slate.

iTunes Ratings

602 Ratings
Average Ratings
446
84
30
15
27

The Best

By Rmelcher - Sep 13 2019
Read more
Simply the best survey and review of American culture available anywhere.

Great show

By DTLA Troll - Mar 19 2019
Read more
Anderson has great taste in subject matter as well as film. A weekly go to.

iTunes Ratings

602 Ratings
Average Ratings
446
84
30
15
27

The Best

By Rmelcher - Sep 13 2019
Read more
Simply the best survey and review of American culture available anywhere.

Great show

By DTLA Troll - Mar 19 2019
Read more
Anderson has great taste in subject matter as well as film. A weekly go to.

Listen to:

Cover image of Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen

Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen

Updated 9 days ago

Read more

The Peabody Award-winning Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, from PRI, is a smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt introduces the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy – so let Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life. Produced in association with Slate.

All Shakespeare All the Time

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On the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, we look at the ways his work continues to change and adapt. In the 19th century, Shakespeare’s work got caught up in minstrel shows — and African-American actors are still struggling to claim the Bard as their own. Also, we find out how a father-son team is changing the way Shakespeare sounds by bringing back his original pronunciation. And we go inside the pioneering immersive theater experience “Sleep No More,” which might be the longest-running Shakespeare adaptation ever.

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Nov 24 2016

52mins

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American Icons: ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ — Part One

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A half century later, Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” is still shaping our future. With no help from CGI, the movie predicted private space travel, artificial intelligence and half of Apple’s product line. It showed the promise and perils of technology and explored life’s biggest mystery: Are we alone in the universe? In Part One, we look at the movie’s origins in 1960s New York and how it went from opening night bomb to counterculture icon. We’ll hear from effects wizard Doug Trumbull, actor Keir Dullea and superfan Tom Hanks, who has seen the movie more than 200 times.

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May 09 2019

54mins

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Harvard’s Full of Morons

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Steven Spielberg doesn’t like to talk about filmmaking much, but he talked (and talked, and talked) to documentary filmmakerSusan Lacy, who sits down with Kurt Andersen to discuss her definitive portrait of the master. Any classical musician will tell you the worst place to hear a concert is not from the nosebleed seats – it’s from the stage. And BoJack Horseman” creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg tell Kurt about how cartoon characters can get away with saying particularly despicable things, and why Harvard Lampoon alumni are not always the smartest or the funniest. 

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Sep 21 2017

55mins

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American Icons: ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ — Part Two

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A half century later, Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” is still shaping our future. With no help from CGI, the movie predicted private space travel, artificial intelligence and much of Apple’s product line. It showed the promise and perils of technology and explored life’s biggest mystery: Are we alone in the universe? In Part Two of our look at the movie in our American Icons series, we visit the same IBM research lab that helped inspire HAL. We meet CIMON, a real-life AI robot on the International Space Station and Garrett Reisman, a former NASA astronaut who blasted the “Blue Danube” in the space shuttle. Plus we speak to New York Times critic Wesley Morris, filmmakers Christopher Nolan and Tom Hanks, artist James Turrell and U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith.

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May 30 2019

53mins

Play

American Icons: The tales of Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe’s stories are so familiar they’ve become part of our cultural wallpaper. A raven croaking “nevermore?” An enemy bricked up in a cellar? A heart beating under the floorboards? These images are the stuff of our collective nightmares, but Poe dreamed them all up first. For better and worse, Poe’s themes and obsessions continue to crop up throughout pop culture. He showed us the dark side of the American dream, and that’s something we can’t unsee.


American Icons is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


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Oct 31 2019

54mins

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American Icons: The Wizard of Oz

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This is America’s dreamland.

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Jan 19 2017

52mins

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American Icons: Monticello

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Monticello is home renovation run amok. Thomas Jefferson was as passionate about building his house as he was about founding the United States; he designed Monticello to the fraction of an inch and never stopped changing it. Yet Monticello was also a plantation worked by slaves, some of them Jefferson’s own children. Today his white and black descendants still battle over who can be buried at Monticello. It was trashed by college students, saved by a Jewish family and celebrated by FDR. With Stephen Colbert, filmmaker James Ivory and artist Maira Kalman.

(Originally aired October 22, 2010)

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Jul 05 2018

53mins

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One tall woman

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Kurt Andersen speaks with Laurie Metcalf, the actor who is striking gold everywhere: she was nominated for an Oscar for her role as the mother in “Lady Bird,” stars in the Broadway play “Three Tall Women,” and, with most of the rest of the original cast, has returned to the reboot of “Roseanne” on ABC. Wes Montgomery is a legend of jazz guitar, and much of that notoriety first came from a 1960 album, “The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery.” Somewhere between theater and installation art, “Flight” tells a story of child migrants entirely through miniature models. Kurt talks with Jamie Harrison, co-creator of the piece. And Yesika Salgado breaks down her poem “What I Know,” a love letter to her home of Los Angeles.

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Apr 26 2018

53mins

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American Icons: Monticello

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The home of America’s aspirations and deepest contradictions.

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Mar 09 2017

51mins

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Everyone’s a comedian

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Ken Jennings got famous for his record-breaking run on “Jeopardy!” But he stayed famous for his keen wit, and he joins Kurt Andersen to talk about his new book on the history and future of comedy, “Planet Funny.” Mira T. Lee explains how a Picasso painting, “Girl in a Mirror,” found its way into her debut novel. And the versatile 8-person vocal ensemble, Roomful of Teeth, performs their hauntingly beautiful music in our studio.

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Aug 02 2018

53mins

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Mark Morris, Carmen Maria Machado and ‘Rocky and Bullwinkle’

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Kurt Andersen talks with the choreographer Mark Morris about how music has always been central to his work. The author Carmen Maria Machado reveals how an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” had the unlikely effect of helping her write her new book about domestic abuse. And how the cartoon "Rocky and Bullwinkle" was strangely prescient about the Cold War.

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Nov 07 2019

53mins

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Sex seen

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As Cupid takes aim this week, a look at how sex and sexuality are handled — and mishandled — on-screen. Kurt Andersen speaks with Slate’s Jeffrey Bloomer on depictions of first-time sex. Intimacy-scene consultant Alicia Rodis describes how she helps actors who are virtual strangers seem like they are deeply and lustilly in love during sex scenes. Desiree Akhavan’s show “The Bisexual” takes on what she sees as an anti-bisexual bias, a bias she demonstrates with clips from shows including “Sex and the City” and “Orange is the New Black.” Plus a look back at how “Reality Bites,”which hit theaters 25 years ago this week, helped channel the Gen X zeitgeist.

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Feb 14 2019

51mins

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American Tricons

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Three stories from the American Icons series. How “Amazing Grace,” a song written by a slave trader, came to be a civil rights anthem. Plus, a novel that featured “Amazing Grace” and helped popularize it, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book helped promote the abolitionist cause, yet the term “Uncle Tom” became a pejorative for people who betray their race. And far from glorifying small-town life, Edgar Lee Masters’ “Spoon River Anthology” shocked readers when it came out in 1915 and tackled subjects like suicide and sex. 

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Apr 19 2018

49mins

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Filth

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Filth in all its forms: whimsical and mundane, literal and figurative. Kurt talks to America’s auteur of the scatological, filmmaker John Waters. Writer Henry Alford and comedian Dave Hill visit a museum exhibit where all the art is made of dirt or trash. Who’s selling and who’s reading the smutty bestseller, “Fifty Shades of Grey”? We get to the bottom of the the shockingly complex world of diaper design. And indie rock band Dirty Projectors performs live in our studio. 

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Jun 28 2018

54mins

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Muppet regime

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The latest installment in Studio 360’s American Icons series: The Muppets — how the world fell for Jim Henson’s troupe of puppets. Plus, teleprompters were supposed to make cue cards obsolete, but not on “Saturday Night Live,” where “Cue Card Wally” Feresten is indispensable. And singer Angélique Kidjo talks about her new album “Remain in Light,” a track-by-track cover of the 1980 Talking Heads album.

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May 24 2018

52mins

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Can You Ever Forgive Lee Israel?

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Lee Israel’s memoir, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” tells the story of her years forging letters by famous writers like Dorothy Parker and Noel Coward. Her book has recently been adapted into a new film starring Melissa McCarthy as Israel. Kurt Andersen interviewed the real Lee Israel in 2008, and with the film adaption now in theaters, he revisits his conversation with the literary con artist.

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Dec 11 2018

14mins

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‘Fahrenheit 451’ rekindled

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An American Icons special segment about “Fahrenheit 451,” the cautionary tale about authoritarianism and free speech that has seen a sales surge since the 2016 election. How Tony Visconti, Bowie's longtime producer, captured the artist's career in a 15-minute remix for the exhibit “David Bowie is.” And why filmmaker Bart Layton included documentary elements in his feature “American Animals.”

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Jun 07 2018

54mins

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American Icons: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

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This is the story of America’s fight against authority.

Ken Kesey had worked in a mental hospital, but his first novel was really a parable of what happens when you stand up to the Man—a counterculture fable that doesn’t end well. Despite his far-reaching influence, Kesey was shut out by filmmakers who turned the story into an Oscar-sweeping phenomenon.Cuckoo’s Nest” changed how many people thought about mental illness and institutions. Sherman Alexie debunks the myth of the silent Indian; we visit Oregon State Hospital, where the director played himself on screen; a psychiatrist explains how the movie gave mental hospitals a bad name, with tragic consequences; and actress Louise Fletcher takes us into the mind of one of the most fearsome movie villains, the sweet-faced Nurse Ratched. “She doesn’t see her behavior as it really is. Who does? Who sees that they’re really evil?”

(Originally aired September 20, 2013)

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Oct 12 2017

54mins

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American Icons: The Disney Parks

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Generations of Americans have grown up with Walt Disney shaping their imaginations. In 1955, Disney mixed up some fairy tales, a few historical facts, and a dream of the future to create an alternate universe. Not just a place for fun, but a scale model of a perfect world. “Everything that you could imagine is there,” says one young visitor. “It's like living in a fantasy book.” And not just for kids: one-third of Walt Disney World’s visitors are adults who go without children. Visiting the parks, according to actor Tom Hanks, is like a pilgrimage—the pursuit of happiness turned into a religion.

Futurist Cory Doctorow explains the genius of Disney World, while novelist Carl Hiaasen even hates the water there. Kurt tours Disneyland with a second-generation “imagineer” whose dead mother haunts the Haunted Mansion. We’ll meet a former Snow White and the man who married Prince Charming—Disney, he says, is “the gayest place on Earth. It’s where happy lives.”

(Originally aired October 18, 2013)

Special thanks to Julia Lowrie Henderson, Shannon Geis, Alex Gallafent, Nic Sammond, Steve Watts, Angela Bliss, Todd Heiden, Shannon Swanson, Katie Cooper, Nick White, Marie Fabian, Posey Gruener, Jason Margolis, Chris DeAngelis, Jenelle Pifer, Debi Ghose, Maneesh Agrawala, and Tony DeRose.

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Nov 30 2017

55mins

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Taking stock of Woodstock

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Fifty summers after Woodstock. First, Kurt Andersen talks with Sha Na Na co-founders Robert Leonard and George Leonard about the utter incongruity of a ’50s throwback band taking the stage at the festival. The Jimi Hendrix version of the national anthem on the last day of the festival that embodies the chaos and distortion of the time. How the Sly and the Family Stone album "Stand!"  dropped at a moment of intense cultural and political change, and provided a soundtrack for that fight. And the surprising power of the other Woodstock — the “Peanuts” character named after the festival.

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Aug 15 2019

53mins

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Extra: New York Icons: The Brill Building

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For a few years in the late 1950s and early ‘60s, the heart of the music industry was an 11-story structure in midtown Manhattan: The Brill Building. There, and at the nearby 1650 Broadway, a group of very young songwriters including Carole King, Ellie Greenwich, and Cynthia Weil crafted their own take on rock and roll that was heavily influenced by their New York City setting. They churned out hit after hit for artists like The Shirelles, The Crystals, and Little Eva. But when the British Invasion hit in the mid-1960s, the Brill Building songwriters’ moment was over almost as soon as it began.

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Dec 10 2019

31mins

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‘The Talented Mr. Ripley,’ perfumer Tanwi Nandini Islam, and say “moist,” everybody!

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Our latest American Icons feature explores Patricia Highsmith’s series that began with “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” and how Tom Ripley fits into an American tradition of protagonists struggling with identity and morality. Kurt Andersen visits perfumer Tanwi Nandini Islam as she concocts a fragrance based on Toni Morrison’s “Beloved.” And a favorite from our Guilty Pleasures series: Writer Sadie Stein on the word that so many find icky but that she really likes: “moist.”


American Icons is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Dec 05 2019

54mins

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Extra From ‘Aria Code’: The shattered illusions of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly

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On this Studio 360 extra, we’re sharing a podcast called “Aria Code.” Produced by WQXR and the Metropolitan Opera, it features singers and opera observers revealing the magic of a single song from an opera, followed by the aria uninterrupted. In this episode, host Rhiannon Giddens and her guests explore the power of hope in Puccini's tragic “Madama Butterfly,” as well as in a real-world Butterfly story. Then, you'll hear Ana María Martínez sing the complete “Un bel dì vedremo” aria onstage at the Metropolitan Opera.



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Dec 03 2019

33mins

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Jennifer Reeder, ‘Naked Came the Stranger’ and ‘Love Actually’

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Kurt Andersen talks with director Jennifer Reeder about her path from making short arthouse films in the 1990s to her new film, “Knives and Skin.” Producer Sam Kim has the story of erotic potboiler “Naked Came the Stranger,” which climbed The New York Times bestseller list in 1969 but, it turns out, was meant to be a parody of the very bodice-rippers it was outselling. And Richard Curtis’ 2003 movie “Love Actually” is much parodied for its cheesy gimmicks and accelerated marriage proposals, but screenwriter Oliver Butcher makes a case for why it is actually a deft work of screenwriting and direction.

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Nov 28 2019

53mins

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Extra: The Symphonic Side of Wynton Marsalis

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Wynton Marsalis is a jazz icon — a renowned trumpet player and composer, he is also the music director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. But since the very beginning, classical music has been a part of his musical makeup. Marsalis tells Kurt Andersen about how a chance encounter on a New Orleans streetcar began his love of classical music and guides us through the composition of his “Swing Symphony.”

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Nov 26 2019

25mins

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‘My Ántonia,’ Lynda Barry and Roger Deakins

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Cartoonist Lynda Barry is famous for drawing the darkly funny strip “Ernie Pook’s Comeek” that appeared in alternative newsweeklies for three decades, but for the latest installment in our Guilty Pleasure series, she makes a case for why she loves perhaps the most mainstream and most mocked comic of all: “The Family Circus.” Our latest American Icon installment is about “My Ántonia” by Willa Cather, and why that novel — and author — have never really gotten their due. And Kurt Andersen talks with Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins about working on so many Coen brothers films, why he still operates the camera himself and more.

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Nov 21 2019

54mins

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Extra: New York Icons: West Side Story

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West Side Story, the tragic musical about star-crossed lovers from two rival gangs, was a hit on Broadway in the 1950s and then exploded across the country when it came to the silver screen. At the time, New York City’s demographics and landscape were rapidly changing, and choreographer Jerome Robbins, composer Leonard Bernstein, author Arthur Laurents, and lyricist Stephen Sondheim wanted an updated Romeo and Juliet that wrestled with what that meant. Who could belong in this new America?

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Nov 20 2019

28mins

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New York Icons: ‘The Bell Jar’ & ‘Siembra’

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Studio 360’s American Icon series has explored dozens of influential works of art and entertainment that have shaped who we are as Americans. Now we turn to our hometown of New York for a new batch of Icons stories about works of art that were born in the city and impacted the lives of people everywhere. This hour: the 1963 book “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath, and the 1978 salsa album “Siembra” by Ruben Blades and Willie Colón.

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Nov 14 2019

54mins

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Extra: Guilty Pleasure: Comic Sans

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The childlike, cartoonish typeface Comic Sans is the most hated font in the world. Twenty-five years after its release, it's become notorious for showing up in seemingly inappropriate contexts, from office memos to newspapers and government documents. But librarian and technology educator Jessamyn West argues that hating on Comic Sans is elitist.

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Nov 12 2019

10mins

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Mark Morris, Carmen Maria Machado and ‘Rocky and Bullwinkle’

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Kurt Andersen talks with the choreographer Mark Morris about how music has always been central to his work. The author Carmen Maria Machado reveals how an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” had the unlikely effect of helping her write her new book about domestic abuse. And how the cartoon "Rocky and Bullwinkle" was strangely prescient about the Cold War.

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Nov 07 2019

53mins

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Why Should Tenors Have All the Fun?

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Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton is a rising opera star, performing on some of the world’s most venerable classical music stages. In concert halls from London to New York, Barton not only flaunts her velvety rich tone, but also her commitment to social justice as an openly queer performer. Now, Barton and pianist Kathleen Kelly have put together a recital program that celebrates women, currently on tour. The pair perform three songs from the feminist recital tour live in Studio 360.

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Nov 05 2019

22mins

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American Icons: The tales of Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe’s stories are so familiar they’ve become part of our cultural wallpaper. A raven croaking “nevermore?” An enemy bricked up in a cellar? A heart beating under the floorboards? These images are the stuff of our collective nightmares, but Poe dreamed them all up first. For better and worse, Poe’s themes and obsessions continue to crop up throughout pop culture. He showed us the dark side of the American dream, and that’s something we can’t unsee.


American Icons is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


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Oct 31 2019

54mins

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Extra: New York Icons: ‘The Bell Jar’

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The Bell Jar is often read as a sort of literary suicide note by poet Sylvia Plath. The autobiographical novel memorably follows her first attempt at taking her own life and her experiences living in a mental institution and undergoing electroshock therapy, but its accounts of weeks spent in New York City preceding the breakdown provide a captivating picture, not just of Plath’s mental state, but of the impossible demands made of women in 1950s.

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Oct 29 2019

32mins

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Michelle Obama’s portraitist and ‘96 Tears’

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Kurt Andersen talks with Amy Sherald, who painted the official Michelle Obama portrait, about her strict religious upbringing, the surreal experience of interviewing with the Obamas and why she’ll only ever paint African Americans. Our latest American Icons feature: “96 Tears” by ? and the Mysterians, and how the band of Mexican American teens managed to top the charts and help fuel the growing Latin influence on pop music in the 1960s.

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Oct 24 2019

55mins

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Extra: Ranky Tanky: Live in Studio 360

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Charleston band Ranky Tanky draws on the musical traditions of the Gullah culture from the Lowcountry region of the Southeastern U.S. They perform live in Studio 360 and then break the music down into its essential components, explaining what exactly makes this “Gullah” and how that cultural heritage has informed American jazz. 

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Oct 22 2019

28mins

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‘The Searchers’ and ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’

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Two highlights from our American Icons special series. First, producer Arun Venugopal revisits “The Searchers,” the John Ford film starring John Wayne that is widely regarded as a masterpiece, but which many see as racially problematic in the way that Wayne’s character pursues revenge against the Comanche who killed his family in a raid. Then, producer June Thomas on the unlikely history of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” the movie that flopped in theaters when it was released in 1975, only to become an interactive movie experience where audiences shouted back at the screen, brandished water pistols and delighted in the film’s risqué raucousness.

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Oct 17 2019

54mins

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Extra: This Woman’s Work: ‘Hounds of Love’ by Kate Bush

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This Woman’s Work is a series of stories from Classic Album Sundays and Studio 360 highlighting classic albums by female artists who have made a lasting impact on music and pop culture. This time we’re looking at the artist who inspired the name of this series: the singer-songwriter, dancer and producer Kate Bush. With its sophisticated arrangements and embrace of technology, her self-produced 1985 album “Hounds of Love” pushed the boundaries of musical structure and personal expression. Classic Albums host Colleen “Cosmo” Murphy discusses Kate Bush's “Hounds of Love” with singer Julia Holter and Outkast’s Big Boi. 

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Oct 15 2019

29mins

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‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ and Liz Phair

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Our latest Americans Icons segment is about “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” Maya Angelou’s first book broke boundaries when it was published 50 years ago and still profoundly resonates with readers today. And Kurt Andersen talks with Liz Phair, the trailblazing indie rocker who’s just published a memoir.

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Oct 10 2019

55mins

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Antonio Banderas, the Joker’s makeup and ‘I Want You Back’ at 50

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Kurt Anderson talks with Antonio Banderas about “Pain and Glory,” where he plays his longtime friend and collaborator –– and the director of this same movie –– Pedro Almodóvar. With the opening of “Joker,” starring Joaquin Phoenix, Kurt talks with Rick Baker, the celebrated makeup artist, about how Hollywood has clowned around with the character over the decades. This week marks 50 years since the release of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” a remarkable pop song recorded when Michael Jackson was so young that, in the wake of the latest allegations of molestation against him, even some people who stopped listening to his solo work still enjoy.

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Oct 03 2019

55mins

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Extra: David Byrne and the birth of Talking Heads

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David Byrne’s stage show “American Utopia” is heading to Broadway in October. The show will feature songs from his latest album of the same name, as well as some older works from his former band, Talking Heads. This month also marks the 35th anniversary of “Stop Making Sense,” the brilliant Talking Heads’ concert film, made by Jonathan Demme.

Kurt Andersen spoke with David Byrne in 2012 about the group’s early years. In an era of punk decadence, Talking Heads created a pop revolution by combining tight, funk-based rhythms, a clean-cut image, and themes of anxiety and social isolation. Kurt brings up the early song “I’m Not in Love,” in which Byrne wonders, “Do people really fall in love?” “I was just asking all the most super-obvious questions,” explains Byrne, who has said that he may have had Asperger’s syndrome as a young person. “Why do humans, people, we do these things? And how does it work?”

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Oct 01 2019

15mins

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