360 Staff Pick: Big Fan

Monday, February 01, 2010

Big Fan follows a guy (Patton Oswalt) who lives to watch the New York Giants and then bloviate on sports-talk radio.  But it's not a football movie — it's a fascinating exploration of fandom: what we get from worshiping public figures and what happens when we glimpse ...

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Good Manners

Friday, January 29, 2010

Last week the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York opened its exhibition on 'The Drawings of Bronzino,' showcasing the work of a man who may just be the best painter nobody cares about.

Agnolo Bronzino was one of the leading painters and poets of sixteenth-century Italy.  But ...

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Colombian Music (Way) Beyond Shakira

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Colombia has a very wide range of musical styles, reflecting the country's strong regional cultures and diverse roots - African, indigenous, and European.  It's similar to Brazil, and that shows in the music.  But I think many of us are more conscious of the richness of Brazilian music.  Here are ...

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Be Elizabeth Gilbert's Valentine

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Valentine’s Day is just two weeks away – and we're hoping that 2010 can be the year of the new-and-improved Valentine.  We’re thrilled that so many talented folks have submitted their ideas to “Be My Valentine: A Studio 360 Design Challenge.”

And doesn't a competition merit a celebrity ...

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Nobody Puts Jane Austen in a Corner

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's Friday night, and I'm sweating on the dance floor. Am I at some chic nightclub? Not exactly. Instead of a techno beat, the sounds of fiddles, guitars, recorder, dulcimer, and banjo hang in the air.

Okay, I confess: I love Contra dancing. It's a rowdy mix ...

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Kidding Around

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Last week, singer-songwriter Zee Avi brought her ukulele by the studio. From what we’ve been hearing from listeners, she has a bunch of new fans since the broadcast – including me.

Hearing her play the uke took me back. I can picture the one we had lying around ...

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360 Staff Pick: Memoir of a Friendship

Monday, January 25, 2010

With a million bromance movies exploring male friendships (usually at the expense of the shrewy women who stand in the way), Let's Take the Long Way Home is refreshing. The memoir by former Boston Globe book critic Gail Caldwell sketches her quiet, funny, intimate friendship with fellow-writer ...

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YouTune – Bill Flanagan’s “Evening’s Empire”

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ready to unleash your inner rock star? We want you to help bring a fictional rock band to life. This week, Kurt talked with author and MTV big wig Bill Flanagan. His new novel Evening’s Empire tells the rollicking story of The Ravons, an imaginary British ...

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Busted!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Indie-pop's next big hit could be in Manglish.

That's the blend of Malay and English singer-songwriter Zee Avi favors for her song “Kantoi.” The YouTube sensation visited Studio 360 recently and she performed the song live for us.

Zee Avi explained that "Kantoi" means "busted." ...

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Helping Haiti: Relief through Music

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The human tragedy in Haiti is overwhelming, and it's hard to know what we can do from hundreds or thousands of miles away. Here's one thing…

January 20 through 25, New York's City Winery (155 Varick Street) is holding a series of four emergency benefit concerts ...

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360 Staff Pick: The Original Crossover Act

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Last weekend Kurt interviewed Owen Pallett, a violinist who makes indie-electro-classical-pop, either as a one-man band or with a live orchestra.  This weekend, one of Brooklyn’s coolest clubs hosted Miracles of Modern Science, who play violin, cello, mandolin, and double bass, and cite Tears for Fears ...

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Can Art and Football Mix?

Monday, January 18, 2010

George Plimpton famously combined letters and football when he took a break from his day job as editor-in-chief of The Paris Review to try out for the Detroit Lions - as a 36-year-old rookie quarterback.  He documented the sobering experience in his classic book, Paper Lion.  ...

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Change of Heart

Friday, January 15, 2010

Have you noticed how the rituals of Valentine's Day seem to be designed for children? The red hearts, the overload of candy, and that weird baby Cupid. It's all so bizarre, and may I say -- nauseating?

We here at Studio 360 think the so-called holiday is due for a ...

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Do the Golden Globes Have a Glass Ceiling?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Golden Globe Awards are this Sunday, and I'm excited, especially for one nominee. The buzz is all over director Kathryn Bigelow and 'The Hurt Locker,' an action film about a bomb-defusing squad in Baghdad.

Last summer, Bigelow talked to Kurt about her transition from ...

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Quiet Beauty on the Nile

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cairo is dirty, loud, and almost unbearably noisy.  When I was there over the winter holidays, I had to work not to become overwhelmed by it all.  When I needed a respite from the din, I spent the afternoon at the legendary Egyptian Museum.

Still, there was a ...

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About that "Negro dialect"...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is in political hot water this week for past remarks he made about President Obama's race. According to the new book Game Change, Reid encouraged Obama's run for the White House, in part, because he was “light-skinned” and had “no Negro dialect, ...

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360 Staff Pick: Blame

Monday, January 11, 2010

This gorgeously written novel tracks young history professor Patsy MacLemoore through her alcoholic blackouts, vehicular homicide, prison sentence, and rehabilitation. Don't let the grim subject matter turn you away. The story's exploration of responsibility, punishment, and the ways our self-perceptions determine our behavior is authentic ...

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Love Virtually

Friday, January 08, 2010

A couple weeks ago, Kurt spoke with director James Cameron about his spectacular new movie Avatar.  He told Kurt that while the technology he used to craft the movie is important, at heart it's a love story: it's just that instead of boy meets girl, it's boy meets twelve-foot blue humanoid-cat... by posing as a virtual twelve-foot blue humanoid cat, himself.

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Lessons in Enjoying Tea

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Instead of drinking my daily 8 cups of water, I've kept myself hydrated (and warm) this winter with tea. I once thought making tea was as simple as boiling water. Oh, how wrong was I. Everything I now know about tea I learned on Malian Dao, a mile-long street in Beijing exclusively devoted to the wholesale of tea. When my legs were tired, I picked a random store and asked the sales clerk to pin cha or tea taste. What I thought would be a 20-minute errand turned into a three-hour lesson in how to enjoy a cup of tea.

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L'Amour

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

New Year's Eve in New York City may be know for Times Square silliness, but I was lucky enough to partake in a culture-lover’s dream come true: a night at the Metropolitan Opera! And not just any night, but the premiere of a new staging of Bizet’s “Carmen.”

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