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Artist Profiles

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Artist Profiles - Bassist Esperanza Spalding

Hailed as a prodigy on the acoustic double bass within months of first touching the instrument as a 15-year-old, Esperanza Spalding has emerged as a fine jazz bassist, but has also distinguished herself playing blues, funk, hip-hop, pop fusion, and Brazilian and Afro-Cuban styles as well.

Born in Portland, OR on October 18 1984, Spalding was not well served by the public school system and soon dropped out of classes to be home-schooled. Returning to the public school system at 15...

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Futuristic Dreams Turn To Nightmare In 'Electric State'

20 minutes ago

Most of the time, when I read a Simon Stålenhag book, I spend days scanning the trees around my house, looking for a shudder in the leaves; for the hump of a giant robot rising over the treeline, just beginning to stand.

Most of the time, I see them everywhere.

Jill Soloway is the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning creator of the show Transparent, and also the co-creator and director of the show I Love Dick.

Their new memoir is called She Wants It: Desire, Power and Toppling the Patriarchy. And despite that title, let's note right away: "She" is not their preferred pronoun.

For years now, my mother has been a fan of Barbara Kingsolver's work, urging me to read it when I had time. I finally found those elusive moments recently and dug into Kingsolver's newest novel, Unsheltered. It is incredibly relevant, painfully familiar, gorgeously written — plus, there's a mother-daughter relationship at its center that so perfectly encapsulates a particular middle class, largely white generational divide that it could be used as a teaching tool for Baby Boomer parents and their Millennial children across the nation.

As Amandla Stenberg prepared for her lead role in the film adaptation of The Hate U Give, she devoured Angie Thomas' 2017 young adult novel. "Reading the book became this strange, spiritual thing because it started to feel like I was reading my own diary," she says.

Given what's going on most days in the headlines, Tahereh Mafi's new novel A Very Large Expanse of Sea — longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature — feels resonant in its somber portrayal of Shirin, a 16-year-old Muslim girl making her way in post 9/11 America. It's a cerebral, impassioned, and zeitgeisty bildungsroman that follows two young people ahead of their time but trapped by a society that strips them of any real power.

Joan of Arc is an emblem: a saint of the Roman Catholic Church, the inspiration of so many novels and films and George Bernard Shaw's iconic play Saint Joan.

She was also once a real teenage girl. She did farm work. And she had parents, who loved her and were with her until her end — when she was burned at the stake in 1431.

What can an old piece of cloth tell us about the rise and fall of a kingdom? Quite a lot, if you know how to read it.

Forty years ago, horror fans were introduced to the masked killer Michael Myers, stalker of babysitters in a small Illinois town. The film was, of course, Halloween. And it was the debut of Jamie Lee Curtis, who played the bookish babysitter, Laurie Strode — the original "final girl" character who narrowly escapes the slaughter. Curtis appeared in three more sequels and even died in one. She thought she'd left that character behind.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Empress Of Pivots From 'Me' To 'Us'

Oct 18, 2018

When Lorely Rodriguez first shared her music with the world, she did it anonymously. The East L.A. native uploaded short snippets of experimental pop to YouTube under the name Empress Of. Those demos turned into a record deal and a debut album in 2015 titled Me; on her new record, it's all about Us.

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