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Monday, March 19, 2012

The New Yorker’s John Seabrook tells us how hit pop songs are made. Abel Ferrara and Willem Dafoe discuss their new film “4:44 Last Day on Earth” and other projects. A History of the World in 100 Objects explores the silk road through a 7th-century Chinese painting. Dr. Ira Byock looks at ways to reform end-of-life care. Plus, James Kunen tells us about going through the process of losing a corporate PR job and, as a result, finding a life.

The Song Machine

New Yorker staff writer John Seabrook talks about the relatively small number of producers and top-liners who create a disproportionately large share of contemporary hits, which may explain why so many songs sound the same. His article “The Song Machine” appears in the March 26 issue of The New Yorker.

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Abel Ferrara and Willem Dafoe on "4:44 Last Day on Earth"

Director Abel Ferrara and actor Willem Dafoe discuss the new film “4:44 Last Day on Earth.” It’s about a New York couple who cycles through anxiety, ecstasy, and torpor as the end of the world approaches. “4:44 Last Day on Earth” opens at IFC Center.

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The Best Care Possible

Palliative-care physician Dr. Ira Byock argues that end-of-life care is one of the biggest national crises facing us today, and that politics has trumped reason when it comes to addressing the issue. In The Best Care Possible: A Physician’s Quest to Transform Care through the End of Life Dr. Byock explains what palliative care is and why he believes we must reform our health care system and move past our cultural aversion to talking about death.

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Losing a Job, Finding a Life

James Kunen chronicles his adventures on the road to finding meaning in work and life. His memoir Diary of a Company Man: Losing a Job, Finding a Life is the story of a 1960s radical turned corporate PR man who finds himself, along with his fellow baby boomers, in a place he calls “too young to retire and too old to hire.”

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Guest Picks: Abel Ferrara

Director Abel Ferrara, along with actor Willem Defoe, was on the Lopate Show recently to discuss his new film, "4:44 Last Day on Earth." He told us about what he likes these days, including the Dalai Lama and eggplant parmigiana.

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