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Joerg Neuner / CreativeCommons.org

Though country music is considered the most popular genre of music in America, its influence is profoundly regional. The style is known for appealing to the white working class, and is largely sequestered in southern and midwestern pockets of the country.

Meanwhile, coastal elites tend to regard the genre with disdain. "I like everything but country" is a popular refrain.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Something Governor Ned Lamont had been promising for 10 months finally happened Friday in Woodstock.

In the absence of an official Woodstock 50th anniversary concert in New York, Lamont invited the general public up to the Woodstock Fair for Connecticut’s own Woodstock tribute show.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Sticks & Stones is Dave Chappelle's fifth standup comedy special for Netflix in three years. All four previous specials won the Grammy for Best Comedy Album, and one of them won the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special. The critical response to this latest special, though, has been a bit more muted.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (out this week on DVD/Blu-ray/iTunes/Amazon/etc.) tells the semi-autobiographical story of Jimmie Fails, a man just trying to get his grandfather's house back. It's Joe Talbot's directorial debut, and it's been called the best film of the first half of 2019.

Also this hour: an AccuFrankie dispatch live from Nedstock.

Stephanie & Sean Ware / Creative Commons

Chuck Klosterman is a man for all seasons. He's a pop culture icon. He's a sports geek. He's interviewed Jimmy Page. He appears as himself in other people's movies. He was part of a rock band. He's an author of fiction, nonfiction, and fictional nonfiction. Top that!

Today, an hour with someone at least one person would call, the smartest man on earth. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The Nose has this odd habit of covering basically every new Taylor Swift single/video. And so there's a new Taylor Swift single/video. And so The Nose is covering it.

And: As this is the way the world works now, a Facebook post has started a backlash against Frank Pepe Pizzeria over... politics. Sigh.

And finally: In the great tradition of A Bug's Life/Antz, Deep Impact/Armageddon, and The Prestige/The Illusionist, this year gives us Yesterday/Blinded by the Light. This week's Nose has seen the latter, a coming-of-age story about the music of Bruce Springsteen and a British-Pakistani teenager whose life is forever changed by it.

Cimafunk.
La Pistola de Moník

Despite ongoing tensions between the U.S. and Cuba, the music of Cimafunk reaches out and connects the sounds of Africa and Cuba with the rhythms of black America. Cimafunk performs Thursday in Hartford.

Daniel Case / Wikimedia Commons

Not only is Charles Ives a revered American composer, but he is also Connecticut's native son. This hour, we take an in-depth look at Ives’ life and profound musical output, and we ask: What is his legacy today? 

John Voci / NEPR

After 50 years, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair is remembered for the crowd of some 450,000, the fields of mud from the intermittent rain, the historic rock 'n' roll performances by musicians that went on to become legends, and the festival’s logo: a white bird perched on a blue and green guitar neck against a red background. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The official Woodstock 50th anniversary concert was cancelled Thursday. Festival organizers had trouble locking down a venue and then, several artists that had committed to the event pulled out.

Bleecker Street Media

Last weekend, Marvel unveiled its plans for Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (along with a few hints and winks and nods about Phase Five -- which is mostly notable 'cause it means they're planning a Phase Five).

And we're currently in the middle of a year when, when it's all said and done, the top eight highest-grossing movies may well have all come from Disney or Marvel or both. The top eight. That's not a typo. Here, look:

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

There's kind of a lot going on this week: There's rumored to be a new 007. The Emmy nominations are out. There's a new dating trend called 'Caspering.' Farhad Manjoo thinks we should all use the singular 'they.' 1.7 million people want to raid Area 51. Anthony Fantano (or an animated version of Anthony Fantano, really) is in the new "Old Town Road" video. During the New York City blackout, Star Wars fans helped direct traffic... with their lightsabers. And: The Cats trailer is out, and it's maybe kind of, uh, horrifying?

Marco Verch / flickr creative commons

We live in an Everything Should Take Twenty Minutes world. Movies are too long. SundanceTV has a show that airs in ten-minute episodes. Tierra Whack has a fifteen-minute album made of fifteen sixty-second songs. Todd Rundgren's memoir has 183 one-page, three-paragraph chapters.

So today, we turn our hour over to five short, little shows about short, little things.

Hartford's Artists Collective is among the many arts organizations contributing to the Greater Hartford's "Arts Ecosystem"
Shana Sureck / WNPR

The Greater Hartford art scene is thriving in many ways, but challenges persist. That's the conclusion of a new comprehensive report.

HBO

No one is surprised to hear that Disney is planning a live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Some people were surprised, though, at the announcement that Halle Bailey, who is African American, has been cast as the titular Ariel. And probably the least surprising part of the whole thing is that part of the internet (the racist part) is mad about it.

And: Rapper Lil Nas X came out on the last day of Pride month. Is this news?

Generation Bass / Flickr Creative Commons

It's SUMMER! And every year around this time, we gather up a few music mavens who help us analyze and celebrate the kind of music that gets us dancing and singing as soon as it comes on the radio.

Wikimedia Commons

Joni Mitchell is a singer-songwriter from Alberta, Canada. In 1968, her debut album, Song to a Seagull, was released and since then, Mitchell has become one of the most influential, and greatest recording artists. Mitchell has won nine Grammys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award, countless musical awards, and her albums are considered as among the best ever made.

We’re big fans. It turns out we’re not alone.

Gov. Ned Lamont delivered his first budget address to the legislature on February 20, 2019.
Tucker Ives / Connecticut Public Radio

Music by the Hevreh Ensemble blends Western classical flutes, oboe, clarinet and keyboards with an array of indigenous instruments including Native American flutes. They’ll be performing this weekend in West Cornwall. Here's our audio postcard.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Rocketman is the sort of movie where (tiny spoiler ahead here, I suppose) "Elton John," at one point, becomes an actual "rocket man"... and blasts off into the sky... with fire shooting out of his feet. I mean, what else do you need to know really, right?

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Graduation season is upon us. Your niece is finishing high school. Your neighbor's son is graduating from Tulane. Your boss just got her second Master's. How did it get to be that the obvious gift for all of these people is... a Dr. Seuss book?

And then: Vulture, this week, published a click-bait listicle ranking all the HBO shows ever. The Nose took the bait and clicked. And... Six Feet Under didn't make the top ten? Girls isn't in the top 25? John from Cincinnati made the top 30? Did anybody even understand that show?

And speaking of shows, George Clooney and Grant Heslov's new Hulu miniseries is a four-and-a-half-hour, six-episode adaption of Joseph Heller's Catch-22. Is that what the world needed right now?

EwS / Flickr Creative Commons

For the past few months, Nose regular Jacques Lamarre has been posting debate-starting, head-to-head style Facebook posts.

Taylor Swift vs. Katy Perry. Ketchup vs. mustard vs. mayonnaise. When Harry Met Sally vs. Sleepless in Seattle. That kind of thing.

And so now, we've decided to try to turn the concept into a radio show. This hour, YOU MUST CHOOSE.

Kimberly Wilson / YouTube

Maya Angelou, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks. These are three of the eight Black women whose experiences are recounted in Kimberly Wilson’s “A JOURNEY: Musical One-Woman Show”.

This hour, Wilson, a Westport, Connecticut resident, joins us to talk about her experience writing and performing the show. 

HBO

It's been a rough week for the famous. Last Saturday, Peggy Lipton died at age 72. On Monday, Doris Day died at 97. Then on Tuesday, it was Tim Conway at 85. And yesterday, I. M. Pei died aged 102.

And the week's gone kind of the same way for TV shows too. On Sunday, Veep finished its seven-year run on HBO. Last night, The Big Bang Theory aired its 279th and final episode. And Game of Thrones's series finale is set to air this coming Sunday.

Courtesy: Palestinian Museum

Classical musicians of Palestinian origin live and perform throughout the world.

Palestinian/Japanese soprano Mariam Tamari and Palestinian pianist Fadi Deeb present a recital this weekend in Connecticut as part of a three-city U.S. tour. The program includes a wide range of musical styles, from Puccini to Debussy to original settings of Palestinian poetry.

Garrett Ziegler / flickr creative commons

Father of the Bride is Vampire Weekend's fourth studio album, their first in nearly six years, and their first for a major label. It has been called a "masterpiece" and a "multi-layered dissertation on the world's ills." It's also been called "mild" and "some of the worst ideas the band has ever put to tape." The real question is, though: Is Vampire Weekend still cool?

And then: Gorman Bechard's Pizza, A Love Story has its New Haven premiere in a few weeks at this year's NHdocs documentary film festival. The Nose talks Pizza, specifically, and pizza, more generally, from the pizza capital of the world.

Jonathan McNicol

Elvis left two legacies. Musically, he pulled several American musical traditions out of the shadows, braided them together, and made them mainstream. Personally, he created a far darker template for the way a musical celebrity could be devoured by the very fame he avidly sought.

Recorded live in front of an audience -- and with a band! -- as part of Colin's Freshly Squeezed series at Watkinson School, an hour about the artist who defined the birth of rock and roll and was the genre's first superstar.

Melanie and Kyle Elliott / Creative Commons

NPR has a new theme song. The new theme is much like the old theme with new embellishments created by a "sonic studio" instead of one artist and a "creative director" instead of a composer or arranger. After 40 years, is it time to update or do you miss the old song?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Avengers: Endgame is the 22nd feature film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is the fourth Avengers movie and the fourth MCU entry directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. It is the 10th film in the MCU's Phase Three and the last part of its Infinity Saga. I didn't understand very much of that stuff I just wrote, but I totally get this last bit: Avengers: Endgame may well be on its way to becoming the highest-grossing movie ever made.

And then: Taylor Swift's new single/video, "Me," is setting records of its own. Never mind that the duet with Panic! at the Disco's Brendon Urie is maybe kinda... terrible?

ilkan şahin / Flickr

To say Beyoncé's performance at Coachella was historic feels like an understatement. In about the span of a week, Queen Bey released a two hour Netflix exclusive film (part one of her deal with the streamer) of the entire concert, a 40-track live album from the same show, which was released unexpectedly, and just for fun, she released her 2016 pop culture smash album "Lemonade" on all streaming platforms, which was originally exclusive to just Tidal.

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