David Krasnow

David Krasnow is the Senior Editor of Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, working with Kurt, the producers, and contributing reporters to set the editorial direction and tone of the show.

He oversees the program's award-winning American Icons and Science & Creativity series.  He began filing stories as a freelance producer for Studio 360 in 2001, and joined the staff in 2003.  Among his stories are features on Andy Warhol’s soup cans, “John Henry,” Jimi Hendrix’s “Star-Spangled Banner,” and Bill Frisell on Buster Keaton. Formerly the reviews editor of Artforum, he has written for the Village Voice, Jazz Times, Metropolis, The New York Observer, and The Wire, and remains a contributing editor for Bomb.  He covered music, design, science, land use, and health care as a print editor.  David teaches radio writing at Mediabistro and has discussed cultural journalism and pitching features at the Public Radio Program Directors conference, Third Coast International Audio Festival, City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, Transom Story Workshop, the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies.  He was first on air at 17 on his college station, WESU-Middletown, Conn.

David Krasnow appears in the following:

Live In-Studio: Vijay Iyer, Jazz’s Incredible Hulk

Friday, April 18, 2014

The pianist and MacArthur genius Vijay Iyer is one of the great living jazz musicians, although a lot of his music isn't what you'd recognize as jazz. In addition to leading a trio and playing duets with a saxophonist, Iyer programs laptops, and writes chamber music. The heart of Iyer’s ...


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American Icons: I Love Lucy

Friday, March 28, 2014

It set the model for the hit family sitcom. Lucy's weekly antics and humiliation entered the DNA of TV comedy: from Desperate Housewives to 30 Rock — writers can’t live without Lucy.

Bonus Track: Mindy Kaling Hearts Ricky

Comments [8]

Laura Cantrell Sings Kitty Wells

Friday, February 21, 2014

When she died in 2012 at age 92, Kitty Wells was the oldest living member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Her music can still surprise unsuspecting listeners. 

Video: Laura Cantrell performs "I Don't Claim to Be an Angel"

Comments [1]

Live In-Studio: Neneh Cherry’s Soul Punk Project

Friday, February 07, 2014

Neneh Cherry has floated between underground acclaim and pop stardom. She has the life of a musical Zelig: raised by jazz great Don Cherry among cultural luminaries like Allen Ginsberg and Miles Davis, she left home early to join a first-generation punk band in London, the Slits ...

Videos: "Blank Project" and "Weightless" live in Studio 360

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Beyond Koyaanisqatsi: A New Film from Godfrey Reggio

Friday, January 31, 2014

Godfrey Reggio’s films “are like a cat that barks. They’re unusual, the names of the films are off the wall,” he tells Kurt Andersen. Most people know Reggio for the 1982 film Koyaanisqatsi, a word from the Hopi language meaning “life out of balance,” and its two sequels. Reggio’s new film Visitors is in black-and-white ...

Video: Trailer, Visitors

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Exclusive Videos: Neneh Cherry Is Back

Monday, January 13, 2014

Neneh Cherry has floated between underground acclaim and pop stardom. She’s gone decades without releasing an album, but when she does, it matters. But Blank Project (coming in February), produced by Four Tet, is a soul record that will rip your eardrums a new one.

Videos: "Weightless" and "Blank Project" (live)

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Jesmyn Ward: Waiting for Katrina

Friday, January 03, 2014

Jesmyn Ward was an unknown novelist when her second book, Salvage the Bones, won the National Book Award in 2011. She’s recently written a memoir called The Men We Reaped that ended up on a lot of best-of 2013 lists. Both books look at the rough parts of life in a small town ...

Bonus Track: Jesmyn Ward reads from Salvage the Bones


Aha Moment: The Dream Syndicate

Friday, January 03, 2014

For 20 years, Sam Coomes has led the band Quasi along with the drummer Janet Weiss, carrying the torch for a punk music that’s relevant, funny, and hard-hitting well into middle age. Coomes was born in Texas and moved with his family to southern California, which is where he found his calling ...


American Icons: The Scarlet Letter

Friday, November 01, 2013

One of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ancestors was a judge in the Salem witch trials. In his novel of early America, Hawthorne explores the tension between our deeply ingrained Puritanism and our celebration of personal freedom. Hester Prynne was American literature’s first heroine, a fallen woman who’s not ashamed of her sin ...

Bonus Track: Tom Perrotta on Nathaniel Hawthorne's influence

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American Icons: Uncle Tom's Cabin

Friday, October 25, 2013

Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin to promote the abolitionist cause. So how did Uncle Tom become the byword for a race traitor — a “shuffling, kowtowing, sniveling coward”? A scholar traces Tom’s unfortunate journey through pop culture, and a controversial writer who’s been called an Uncle Tom decides to own it ...

Slideshow: Uncle Tom in popular culture

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American Icons: The Disney Parks

Friday, October 18, 2013

Generations of Americans have grown up with Walt Disney shaping our imaginations. We’ll tour Disneyland with its art director, a second-generation Imagineer, who explains why even the trash cans are magic. In Florida, urban planner Andres Duany shows how a theme park helped reimagine city life; Tom Hanks, the first person to play Walt Disney on screen, and futurist Cory Doctorow explain how Disney made them kids for life.

Bonus Track: Cory Doctorow on the Disney theme parks

Comments [24]

American Icons: Untitled Film Stills

Friday, October 11, 2013

In the 1980s, Cindy Sherman began taking self-portraits that showed her in costumes and scenarios that looked just like movie stills, although they were her own inventions. In a media-saturated age, Untitled Film Stills have influenced a generation of artists as well as pop stars who play with identity as a kind of performance.

Slideshow: Cindy Sherman's Untitled Film Stills

Comments [2]

American Icons: Leaves of Grass

Friday, September 27, 2013

Walt Whitman set out to invent a radically new form of poetry for a new nation. His book was first viewed as bizarre and obscene — one reviewer said that the author should be publicly flogged. But revising and adding to the book until his death, Whitman accomplished his goal, creating a new Bible for American poets.

Slideshow: The changing editions of Leaves of Grass

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American Icons: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Friday, September 20, 2013

Ken Kesey had worked in a mental hospital, but his first novel was really a parable of what happens when you stand up to the Man – a counterculture fable that doesn’t end well. We visit Oregon State Hospital, where the film was shot, Louise Fletcher describes what it was like to play one of the top movie villains, and Sherman Alexie debunks the myth of the silent Indian.

Slideshow: Behind-the-scenes of the film

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American Icons: Anything Goes

Friday, September 13, 2013

Cole Porter lived in Europe during the 1920s, and returned to American to write a sharp satire of this freewheeling era that has outlived the people and events it referred to. Music historian Will Friedwald explains how Frank Sinatra saved the song, and we hear a new version written by Joe Keenan.

Exclusive Bonus Track: An updated version of "Anything Goes"

Comments [21]

American Icons: Native Son

Friday, September 06, 2013

The story of a young man in the ghetto who turns to murder was an overnight sensation. But some think Native Son exploited the worst stereotypes of black youth. We trace the line from Bigger Thomas to Notorious B.I.G., and visit a high school drama class acting out Native Son, and struggling to grasp the racism their grandparents experienced.

Video: Author Richard Wright's screen test for the film adaptation of Native Son

Comments [6]

The Stench of Honolulu, by Jack Handey: Part 4

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Stench of Honolulu is the first novel by Jack Handey, the creator of Saturday Night Live’s “Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey.” In this final excerpt from the book, our narrator is attacked by natives shooting blowdarts. “I don’t know if you’ve ever had a blowdart hangover ...

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Eric Fischl Bares His Soul (Explicit)

Friday, June 28, 2013

When Eric Fischl was first described as a painter of the suburbs, it wasn’t meant as a compliment, but he tells Kurt Andersen, “I wear it proudly.” Fischl grew up on Long Island, outside New York City, and then in Phoenix. He finds the suburbs artistically fertile ground. In his memoir Bad Boy ...

Slideshow: Eric Fischl's Paintings


The Stench of Honolulu, By Jack Handey: Part 2

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Stench of Honolulu is the first novel by Jack Handey, the creator of Saturday Night Live’s “Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey.” In this second excerpt from the book, our narrator and his friend Don embark for “the vast, untamed vastness” of Hawaii. But what is a swarm of vicious bats ...

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The Stench of Honolulu, By Jack Handey: Part 1

Friday, June 21, 2013

“When my friend Don suggested we go on a trip to the South Seas together, and offered to pay for the whole thing, I thought, Fine, but what’s in it for me?” From a simple male-bonding vacation, two feckless friends hatch a plan to steal a precious piece of cultural patrimony ...