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Linda Marklund / Flickr Creative Commons

Since 2014, we've gathered some of our heaviest hitters in the jazz world to talk about the year in jazz. From concept albums to masked musicians to tunes unlike anything you've ever heard, enjoy some great songs from this last crazy trip around the sun!

Universal Pictures

Cats -- the new feature film based on the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and starring James Cordon, Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, and others -- opened last weekend and grossed $6.6 million in the U.S. It is the 19th-worst opening for any movie in very wide release in history. The 18 movies that opened to less money on a similar number of screens are mostly a bunch of stuff that you don't remember ever existed: Hoot, The Seeker: Dark Rising, Fun Size, Hardcore Henry, Keeping Up with the Joneses, The Wild Thornberrys Movie, etc.

Oh, and I forgot to say: In addition to being a financial disaster, Cats is also... terrible. It earned a C+ CinemaScore from audiences (which is really bad). And it's at 18% on the Tomatometer (which is really rotten). It's so bad that Universal released an updated version to theaters early this week that has hopefully slightly less bad special effects.

Chion Wolf (file photo) / Connecticut Public Radio

Don't miss -- for what might just be the seventh year we've done this (though it might also be some other number too) -- a very badly planned Christmas Eve special featuring chaos muppet and music legend , the great Jim Chapdelaine, and State Troubadour Nekita Waller!

There's actually some question whether President Trump has officially been impeached, it turns out.

In any case, on Wednesday, December 18, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two Articles of Impeachment charging the president with abuse of power and obstruction of congress.

On our third full episode, we talk to the founder of Politico about the huge difference a tiny bit of self-control would make to the Trump presidency and a Yale historian about what those crazy founders were thinking when they put impeachment in the Constitution in the first place.

Plus: Our first AccuFrankie report from the Target parking lot in New Britain, Conn., and a song performed live in our studios by Nekita Waller, "Big Al" Anderson, Jim Chapdelaine, and The Shinolas.

Chion Wolf photo / Connecticut Public Radio

The holidays are traditionally a time of celebration and good cheer. But for many, this season of joy compounds feelings of sadness, stress, and loneliness. Many places of worship respond to those who are hurting during the holidays with what’s called a “Blue Christmas” worship service.

Why Are We So Fascinated By Scams?

Dec 17, 2019
Rusty Clark / Flickr Creative Commons

Fyre Festival, Theranos, Anna Delvey, the college admissions scandal... the list goes on. And whether explored on the news or as a book, podcast, documentary or feature film, consumers can't seem to get enough of this 'scamtent.'

 

This hour, we'll talk about scams and scammers, and discuss why we as a culture can't seem to look away.

Denise Gordon / Cuatro Puntos

The Music Moves Hartford Street Choir is a musical group with a difference. The choir members are all part of the downtown homeless community.

The project is a collaboration between Hartford’s Christ Church Cathedral and arts organization Cuatro Puntos.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The grief and sadness of Dec. 14, 2012, has been expressed through countless poems, songs and other works of art, including the choral work “Solace,” a simple, solemn remembrance of the victims of Newtown, written by one of America’s leading poets and set to music by a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer.

Yale University

For a brief time during World War II, big-band leader Glenn Miller was stationed at the Army Air Force Technical Training Command at Yale University. During his stint in the Elm City, Capt. Miller and his Army Air Force Band made six live radio broadcasts at Woolsey Hall. 

Historians still debate when groups of Africans were first taken by Europeans and brought against their will to the Americas. Many say 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the start of slavery in the U.S. 

Yuichi Kosio / Creative Commons

Ralph Nader's niece died when Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 max 8 jet crashed in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, in March 2019.  Since that day, her family has been trying to prove that Boeing put profits before public safety when they failed to ground the plane when they recognized the danger it posed. 

Errin Duane Brooks / Facebook

African-American tenor Errin Duane Brooks performs the title role in Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde with Connecticut Lyric Opera this weekend. The Detroit native is on tear recently. This year alone he made his Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center debuts.

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.

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