Music

Not playing

John Cage’s "4’33” was first performed on August 29th, 1952, by pianist David Tudor. He came out on stage, sat at the piano, and did not play. The audience was not impressed. Kyle Gann tells the story in “No Such Thing as Silence."

Jukebox hero

In 1985, The New Yorker writer Susan Orlean started traveling around the country to find out how Americans spend their Saturday nights. One thing she discovered? How many Saturday night songs there are.
 

Germany

The refugee crisis is front and center in Germany. So when German novelist Jenny Erpenbeck met a group of African refugees camping out in Berlin, she started asking questions about the lives they were forced to leave behind.

Paramount Theatre in Newark, NJ
Air Dates:
  • January 26, 2019
  • March 31, 2018
  • October 21, 2017

Home entertainment options have never been richer, but public places like movie theaters and performance spaces are suffering. What do we lose when everyone stays home?

Making music online and off

If you’re a music-loving teen in a tiny town with no music scene, Bandcamp is a lifesaver. Jes Skolnik, editor of the Bandcamp Daily, weighs the pros and cons of online music communities.

Death By Audio

Matt Conboy, co-founder of one of NYC’s most famous indie music venues, tells us how “Death By Audio” died.

listening intently

A listener reminds us that it wasn't just teenage boys listening to Pink Floyd in 1973. 

Flowering headphones

NPR music critic Ann Powers reflects on how Americans have used music to talk around their awkward feelings related to sex and race.

Making notes
Air Dates:
  • September 16, 2017

If everyone’s a critic online, does it mean that cultural criticism doesn’t matter anymore?

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