Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
In this episode: Duke Ellington is one of the towering figures in American music, but there's more to his story than hits like "Take The A Train." Cultural critic and writer Terry Teachout discusses his comprehensive biography about the iconic jazz composer and bandleader.
Plus: Amy Tan is best known for her literary achievements with books The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God's Wife. But the acclaimed author has a musical side as well: she's written an opera libretto and performs as "lead rhythm dominatrix" in the literary garage band The Rock Bottom Remainders. In an interview with Soundcheck host John Schaefer, Tan talks about her latest book, The Valley Of Amazement, and about the family-related obsession that inspired her to delve into the world of Shanghai courtesans in the early 1900s. Plus, she shares three of her favorite songs.
And: Matana Roberts grew up in Chicago hearing stories about her family, from its roots in Louisiana and Mississippi, to the Great Migration north early in the 20th century. These stories and her love of history have become the basis for her recent works for sextet, the ambitious COIN COIN project. Hear Roberts play accompanied by a slightly smaller quartet live in the Soundcheck studio.
This is an encore episode of Soundcheck.
Francine Prose Picks Three; White Hinterland Plays Live; Perfect Pussy On Gender, SXSW And Kool Keith
Friday, May 02, 2014
In this episode: Author Francine Prose recently released a novel called Lovers At The Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 -- a kaleidoscopic portrait of one very complicated woman's life and those affected by it in the lead-up to World War II. She joins us to talk about the actual Parisian club and Henry Brassai photograph that inspired her tale -- and shares three songs that helped her get into her characters' heads while writing it all down.
And: Musicians and songwriters on Soundcheck often say that “getting out of your comfort zone” is a good way to create fresh and surprising work. For Casey Dienell, who records under the name White Hinterland, getting out of her comfort zone meant scrapping her new album (twice), moving back to her hometown, and building a studio in her parents’ basement. Hear the dynamic songwriter perform songs from that album, Baby, in the Soundcheck studio.
Then: The noise-punk band Perfect Pussy, led by singer Meredith Graves, recently lent Soundcheck host John Schaefer a pair of earplugs and let loose in our studio. Watch them play in the Soundcheck studio and talk about everything from the term “cisgender” to Kool Keith.
Friday, December 20, 2013
By Katie Bishop : Producer, Death, Sex & Money
Monday, August 05, 2013
Karaoke and the idea of becoming whole again are at the heart of Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield’s newest memoir, Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love and Karaoke.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Pulitzer Prize winnier Edmund Morris' new book This Living Hand, consists of 40 years of essays, lectures and notes from Morris. He tells Soundcheck about the brilliance of Beethoven, and why it's so hard to write about music.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Herman Wouk, appearing in this 1955 Books and Authors Luncheon, contests what he perceives as the common view of his being "a conformist."
Friday, January 18, 2013
A funereal air hangs over the proceedings at Rebecca West's 1966 Book and Author's Luncheon appearance.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Calling himself a "Broadway wise-cracker and a Hollywood hack," Robert Sherwood, author, soldier, pacifist, and speechwriter, gives a stirring account of his wartime work for the Roosevelt administration at this 1948 Books and Authors Luncheon.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
In this speech at a Books and Authors Luncheon in 1965, the former special assistant to the president answers his critics and defends his insider's view of the Kennedy administration.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Before the controversy of the American publication of Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov cuts a different figure at this 1958 Books and Authors Luncheon.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
National Book Award-winning author Andrew Solomon joins to discuss his new book, Far From The Tree, and shares how the families of musical geniuses such as Joshua Bell and Lang Lang struggled to cope with their children's tremendous talents.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Ken Follett is the author of more than a dozen best-selling novels, including "Eye of the Needle," "The Pillars of the Earth" and most recently, "Winter of the World." He is also a passionate music lover.
Friday, October 26, 2012
Martin McDonagh has made a career writing dark comedies in which blood flows by the gallon, but his own story reads more like a Dickens novel. The son of working-class Irish immigrants in London, he dropped out of school at 16. Just ten years later, McDonagh was ...
Friday, October 12, 2012
David Halberstam briefs this 1964 meeting of the Overseas Press Club on what he sees as a "sharp conflict" between America's official optimism and the reality experienced by reporters embedded in Vietnam.
Friday, October 05, 2012
In May 1965, the Overseas Press Club hosted the German novelist Günter Grass, who had arrived in New York to teach a seminar at Columbia University.