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Fred Astaire: Music Made Him

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fred Astaire is best known for his dance and tap numbers on the silver screen – but he also had passion for the music that accompanied his steps. Today, the case for Astaire as a forward-thinking jazz artist. Plus, a live performance from British rock band Wild Beasts. And, a new study looks at the links between creativity and egotism.

Song and Dance Man

Fred Astaire is best known for his dance and tap numbers in films like "Top Hat" and "The Gay Divorcee." But he also had passion for the music that accompanied his steps. Todd Decker, author of the new book “Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz,” joins us to make the case for the legendary hoofer as a progressive-minded jazz artist.

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Pride and Prodigy

Creative types have long had a reputation for ego - and it certainly takes a strong belief in self to pursue an art form. Now, a new study suggests that the connection between inventiveness and arrogance can be measured. Psychologist Paul Silvia of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro headed up the study - and he joins us to explain his findings.

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In Studio: Wild Beasts

British rock group Wild Beasts have a thing for the tormented torch song - and their third album, called “Smother,” delivers faithfully. The new release from the Mercury prize nominees features minimalist electronic beats and singer Hayden Thorpe’s vocalizing, which ranges from falsetto to growl. The band joins us in studio to perform live.

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Playlist: Song and Dance Man + Wild Beasts

Click through to see today's Soundcheck playlist!

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Marques Toliver

Gig Alert: Marques Toliver

Violinist Marques Toliver went from L Train busker to Adele's "favorite new artist." On Wednesday night, he takes the stage at LPR. Download his "Deep in My Heart" here.

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