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Chion Wolf

Are there countries where harmonica players are BIG stars? Why don't more women play it? How many different musical styles can you squeeze out of one of these things? Guests include a lot of the pros: Howard Levy, Don DeStefano and Chris DePino whose odd career arc has taken him from railroad conductor to chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party to professional harmonica player.

Also, Wolfie gets an on-air harmonica lesson from these gods of the harp.

Kishi Bashi playing violin outdoors
Max Ritter

Violinist and singer Kishi Bashi is Japanese American. His most recent musical project, Omoiyari, takes a look at the history of Japanese internment, when 120,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated, fueled by xenophobia during World War II.

This hour, we sit down with Kishi Bashi to talk about why he’s turning to history to better understand our present, and we ask him about his unique musical style.

A24

Every year around this time, we like to take a look at just what's frightening us in the present moment. This year, we start with our present take on a past horror classic, Ridley Scott's Alien, which has its 40th anniversary this year.

Plus: Ari Aster's Hereditary follow-up, Midsommar, is set at a pagan retreat in rural Sweden. As such, it's seen as a bit of a reinvigoration of the folk horror genre, which includes classics like The Wicker Man and more contemporary titles like The VVitch.

Bartek Buczkowski / Facebook

NPR Tiny Desk Contest winner Gaelynn Lea was a fiddle teacher and performer in Duluth, Minnesota when she was encouraged by a friend to submit her song " Someday We'll Linger in the Sun" to the second ever NPR Tiny Desk contest in 2016. All Songs Considered Host Bob Boilen told NPR that when the judges of the competition heard Lea’s song they were completely floored.

McFadden Publications / Wikimedia Commons

A hard-boiled private eye, a glamorous blond, and a hapless drifter all sit at a bar on the seamy side of town. It's night, the streets are wet, the shadows are long. They each nurse a drink to the notes of a mournful saxophone and a lonely piano.  Smoke from the cigarettes swirls in the darkness. 

Netflix

Martin Scorsese is a grump. He doesn't like Marvel movies. He says they aren't "cinema." He says they aren't even narrative films, and "we shouldn't be invaded by it." The internet, as you can imagine, has takes.

And: The Eddie Murphy comeback is on. He appeared on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee this summer. He's hosting Saturday Night Live in December. He's got multiple standup comedy specials in the works. And right now he's starring in the briefly-in-theaters-but-hitting-Netflix-next-weekend biopic Dolemite Is My Name.

Sasa Tkalcan / Jimmy Webb

.Jimmy Webb was possibly the most successful songwriter of the 1960's and 1970's. Classics like "Galveston," "Wichita Lineman," "Up, Up, and Away," and "MacArthur Park," were recorded by hundreds of artists from Glen Campbell to Donna Summer. Webb wrote the songs that others made famous.

HarshLight / Dapper Dans

We’re exploring the world of Barbershop Harmony; from its roots in the African American community to its influence in other genres, Barbershop is an important piece of the puzzle in the American music scene.

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? 

Sasa Tkalcan / Jimmy Webb

On September 5, our team traveled to Glen Cove, New York to interview legendary songwriter, Jimmy Webb

The interview has been on our "to do" list for four years, and it was worth every minute of the wait. For the first time in CMS history, we've decided to create two shows from Webb's stories and music.

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.

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.

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?

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