We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the ironic promotional cassingles is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, how a regretful fan of vinyl records can re-create her discarded collection.
Kirsten Elbourne Mathieson writes: "I'm big-time regretting getting rid of all of my record albums years ago. Any advice for someone starting from scratch with vinyl after all these years? What albums must be heard on vinyl rather than CD/digital?"
In 2008, Rebecca Posamentier visited StoryCorps with her mother, Carol Kirsch.
"My mom was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, and I was hoping to get her voice and her thoughts on tape before she couldn't express them anymore," Posamentier said recently during a second visit to StoryCorps.
Kirsch died in March 2011, but during that first visit, Posamentier chatted with her mother about well, motherhood.
Monday night was the big night for unusual dresses (you may remember a previous post about Madonna's bunny ears): the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, known as the "Met Ball." It had a loose punk theme (because the costume exhibit it's celebrating is punk-centric), but everyone got up to quite a bit of her own thing.
[CAUTION: This is all about Sunday night's Mad Men. Obviously, if you haven't seen Sunday night's Mad Men and you still intend to, you might hold off.]
It's reductive to conclude that on far too many episodes of Mad Men, nothing happens. Of course something always happens: someone feels something, or learns something, or is locked in a continuous internal struggle with something. A dynamic continues to simmer, a memory comes to the surface, angels and demons battle for somebody's soul.
Ray Harryhausen, who died Tuesday in London at age 92, became fascinated with animation after seeing King Kong in 1933. He went on to create some of the most memorable monsters of old Hollywood, from dinosaurs to mythological creatures.
His monsters, however, were never completely divorced from the real world.
During World War II, the Nazis plundered tens of thousands of works of art from the private collections of European Jews, many living in France. About 75 percent of the artwork that came back to France from Germany at the end of the war has been returned to their rightful owners.
But there are still approximately 2,000 art objects that remain unclaimed. The French government has now begun one of its most extensive efforts ever to find the heirs and return the art.
It's been more than eight decades since Show Boat -- the seminal masterpiece of the American musical theater — premiered on a stage in Washington, D.C. Now the sprawling classic is back, in a lush production put on by the Washington National Opera.
Credit Todd McClellan / Courtesy of Thames & Hudson
Todd McLellan must have a lot of fun at his job.
How else to explain someone who meticulously dismantles, then painstakingly rearranges hundreds of tiny parts of machinery. And that's before he throws everything into the air.
The Toronto-based commercial photographer was the kind of kid who always took things apart, including an entire 1985 Hyundai Pony in secondary school. He said that if an object interested him, it would soon be in pieces.
"I've always had a technical grounding trying to figure out how things work," he said in a phone interview.
Even if you haven't been to Venice, you're probably familiar with the city's famous tourist gondolas: With baroque silver ornaments, shiny black lacquer, and sumptuous red seat cushions, they're unabashedly fancy, not to mention ubiquitous. A ride with a gondolier costs at least 80 euros (about $105), rain or shine (and it's 110 — $144 — more to be serenaded).