Saturday playlist

It’s hard to know when a great arts story or interview is going to air on MPR, so chances are you missed a few this week. Here’s a re-cap to help you catch up:

Author writes about a different kind of traveling

Tony Hiss writes about travel, but not in terms of exotic spots to visit. He writes about the actual movement from place to place.

Talking Volumes with Anita Shreve

Author Anita Shreve has written a dozen novels, including the Oprah’s Book Club pick “The Pilot’s Wife.” Her latest book is “Rescue.” She joined Kerri Miller at the Fitzgerald Theater on December 8th.

The intriguing pairing of percussionist and DJ

Even in a musical world which prizes innovation, a percussionist playing tuned brake drums paired with a DJ creating stories by spinning yarns by spinning disks is unusual.

Behind Ol’ Blue Eyes

Legendary singer Frank Sinatra was a larger-than-life figure whose career straddled five decades. A new book looks at the first half of Sinatra’s career, and how the skinny young crooner who could sell a song like no one else became an American icon.

Chris Osgood on First Avenue’s 40th anniversary

Osgood reflects on the changing status – and smells – of Minnesota’s most popular music venue.

Music with Minnesotans: Steve Heitzeg

Steve Heitzeg writes music that beats and breathes with the rhythm of the earth. His evocative and lyrical music is inspired by the natural world, even going so far as to introduce ‘instruments’ of found objects like stones, bones and shells. He shares an unusual collection of music he loves for this season.

Opera for a modern audience

The incoming director of the Minnesota Opera is an accomplished musician in his own right, with compositions performed at Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center. He joins Midmorning to talk about the challenge of bringing opera to 21st century audiences.

AND: A New York Times ballet critic caused an uproar recently when he criticized a ballerina performing in “The Nutcracker” for being overweight. Did his criticism cross the line?

Art Hounds: Chinese fashion, The Shiny Lights, and a feast at Fezziwig’s

The hounds hunt down an exhibition about Mao suits and modern Chinese fashion, a veteran rock band that resurrects a ’70s sound, and “The Christmas Carol” re-told by the family Scrooge clerked for as a young man.

Bob & Ray, masters of subtle satire

A pioneering radio duo who some say laid the groundwork for modern American comedy has been captured on a new four-disc set.

The Dinner Party Download featuring Christian Lander

This week on the Dinner Party Download, David Hidalgo of Grammy-nominated band Los Lobos leads us to a punchline, KPCC’s Patt Morrison tells us how the California prison system discovered Festivus isn’t kosher, and “Stuff White People Like” creator Christian Lander.

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