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Updated: 1 hour 49 min ago

New Mix: The Antlers, EMA, Yann Tiersen, Sturgill Simpson, More

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 12:33pm

On this week's show, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton ask big questions about the world we live in via new music from the singer known as EMA, a head-turning cut from the young country crooner Sturgill Simpson and more.

 

EMA's beat-heavy "Neruomancer" takes a critical look at the state of humanity in a world dominated by narcissistic social media and virtual realties. Sturgill Simpson's "Turtles All The Way Down" is a strange and transfixing ode to other dimensions, space, time, reptile alien autopsies and other curiosities in his endless search for meaning in the universe. They're probably not the first things you think of when considering contemporary country music.

 

Not everything on the show is so existential. There's a gorgeous, soaring new song from The Antlers; idiosyncratic folk singer Jolie Holland decides to plug-in her guitar; The San Francisco-based band Papercuts has a sweetly shimmering piano pop song full of hope and wistful melancholy and French orchestra-pop artist Yann Tiersen returns with a batch of broody tunes that start small and dark, but bloom into big and bright wonder.

'Cuddly Toy' On Nonstop Rotation For Margaret Cho

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:35am

Comedienne and actress Margaret Cho shares some of her favorite songs for Tell Me More's series "In Your Ear."

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Waxing Poetic About Politics And Jimmy Choos

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:35am

Tell Me More continues its national poetry month series "Muses and Metaphor." Regular contributors Mikki Kendall and Bridget Johnson share their Twitter poems.

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Book News: Ex-Supreme Court Justice Wants 6 Changes To Constitution

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 7:13am

Also: The battle over the word "literally," Claudia Rankine won the $50,000 Jackson Poetry Prize.

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'Chameleon Club' Takes On Too Many Colors

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 6:03am

Francine Prose's new Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 concerns itself with the malleability of truth — but stumbles with characters who are flamboyantly quirky, rather than truly engaging.

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Exclusive First Read: Colson Whitehead's 'The Noble Hustle'

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 6:01am

Colson Whitehead's account of his anhedonic adventures at the World Series of Poker is tough and tasty — like a good piece of beef jerky.

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The Tawdry Ballad Of A Man, A Casino And A Game Of Chance

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 4:28pm

The Ballad of a Small Player is set in the murky underworld of Macau's casinos. Reviewer Tash Aw calls the novel a masterful and thrilling collision of old Asia and 21st century glamour.

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For Comic Hari Kondabolu, Explaining The Joke IS The Joke

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 1:14pm

Many comedians think that explaining jokes ruins jokes, but Hari Kondabolu doesn't mind. Especially when it comes to jokes about race and ethnicity, he's willing to explain until everyone gets it.

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Library Of Congress, How Could You Forget Run-D.M.C?

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 11:21am

The Library of Congress recently added 25 new recordings to its National Recording Registry, but none of them were hip-hop or rap songs. Did it miss a beat?

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Shirley, This Is The Dawn Of A New 'Mad Men'

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 8:21am

Sunday night's episode capitalized at last on the show's notoriously ambivalent, slow-burning approach to paying any attention to race.

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Book News: 'Rabbit-Proof Fence' Author Doris Pilkington Garimara Dies

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 6:34am

Also: a poem by Michele Glazer; the best books coming out this week.

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Far From 'Infinitesimal': A Mathematical Paradox's Role In History

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 4:00pm

It seems like a simple question: How many parts can you divide a line into? The troublesome answer was square at the root of two of Europe's greatest social crises.

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From 'Field Of Dreams' To 'Draft Day': Who Cares About The Front Office?

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 12:11pm

Sports movies seem to have made a strange turn from focusing on players to focusing on agents and managers. It makes for a sad progression from magical realism to yelling about money.

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Exploring The Secret History Of The Cubicle

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 7:05am

NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Nikil Saval about his new book Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace. It's a look at how the white-collar world came to be the way it is, and what it might become.

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Restaurants Put Everything From Soup to Nuts Over The Fire

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 7:05am

It is not only smoked meat that's in all the hottest restaurants. It's actually anything edible that is being smoked.

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Woody Allen's 'Fading Gigolo' Full Of Loneliness And Longing

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 7:05am

In the new comedy Fading Gigolo, John Turturro plays the title character, and Woody Allen plays his pimp. This story originally broadcast on All Things Considered on April 18, 2014.

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A BBC Icon Finds Adventure In An Element Hunter

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 7:05am

Simon Mayo, a veteran broadcaster for the BBC, has written a series of children's books about a boy obsessed with the periodic table. He talks to NPR's Rachel Martin about the latest, Itch Rocks.

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'Traveling Pants' Author Tries Traveling In Time

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 7:05am

NPR's Petra Mayer profiles YA author Ann Brashares, whose new book The Here and Now follows a young girl and her community who've escaped a terrible future via time travel and landed in our present.

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All Grown Up? Three Books About The Mystery Of Coming Of Age

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 4:11am

Author Craig Nova recommends three books that take a fresh approach to the age-old bildungsroman. The experience of growing up is both universal and unique — and, in these books, timeless.

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All Grown Up? Three Books About The Mystery Of Coming Of Age

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 4:11am

Author Craig Nova recommends three books that take a fresh approach to the age-old bildungsroman. The experience of growing up is both universal and unique — and, in these books, timeless.

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