Saturday playlist

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There’s much to trumpet in this week’s arts stories…

Check out the week’s radio stories, from in studio performances with Mason Jennings and Aaron Neville, to an hour of completely ridiculous holiday tunes and the “lost notebooks of Oz.”

On frozen northern campuses, tradition of choral music brings warmth

At this time of year, even those without Scandinavian roots can feel a kinship with F. Melius Christiansen. Commentary by Philip Bryant

A tale of suffering and survival

While researching her best selling book “Seabiscuit,” Laura Hillenbrand stumbled across an article on Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete who endured incredible hardships during World War II. She reached out to him and forged a connection that she chronicles in her latest book.

The forgettable songs of Christmas

Philip Brunelle and members of VocalEssence give their annual Midmorning performance of ridiculous, ill-conceived, and nearly unsingable Christmas carols.

Superchunk performs in The Current studios

The band Superchunk formed in Chapel Hill, N.C. in 1989 and have done more to promote the indie-pop movement than any other band, including forming their own record label, Merge Records.

Aaron Neville’s songs of faith

Grammy-winning singer Aaron Neville has seen good times and bad in more than 50 years in the music business. His new album is a celebration of those five decades and the influence of gospel on his music.

Mason Jennings performs in The Current studiosMason Jennings was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and spent some of his younger years in Pittsburgh before moving to Minneapolis. After Mason’s father gave him a series of tapes featuring bands from the Twin Cities music scene, Mason started writing songs and by age 19, booking agencies and record labels starting making offers.

Hanukkah Lights

The Jewish festival if Hanukkah begins Wednesday night at sundown. On this perennial National Public Radio favorite, Hanukkah stories and memoirs written by acclaimed authors are read by NPR’s Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz. Hanukkah Lights celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, with four brand new works: “Finding Golda” by Margot Singer, “Legacy” by Lev Raphael,” “Geek Week” by Rebecca O’Connell, and “Moon Landing,” by Shira Nayman.

Scarecrow on Fire: The Lost Notebooks of Oz

A special broadcast of Kevin Kling’s play, “Scarecrow on Fire.” Based on the classic tale “The Wizard of Oz,” the play picks up where that story left off. The production was commissioned by Minnesota Public Radio as part of the Fitzgerald Theater’s 100th anniversary. The ensemble cast features Dan Chouinard as the Tin Man, Stephen Yoakam as the Lion, the Wizard, and others, Simone Perrin as Dorothy, and Kevin Kling as the Scarecrow.

Art Hounds: Hip Harlem, Toys in the Attic and a night of dance

The hounds follow their art-sensitive noses to a show by, for, and about toys, an exploration of the Harlem Renaissance led by a centenarian and a nonagenarian, and an unforgettable evening of dance.

Longer, raunchier, and with a dash of poetry – The 2010 British TV Advertising Awards

One of the Twin Cities longest running holiday traditions gets underway tonight — and we don’t mean the Guthrie’s “Christmas Carol.” Even Peter Bigg, who organizes the annual screening of the British Television Advertising awards at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, admits he can’t quite explain the popularity.

Dinner Party Download featuring Diplo

This week’s edition of Dinner Party Download features a conversation with Diplo — whose name sounds more like a global brand than a DJ — and that’s fitting.

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