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This week MPR’s Euan Kerr reports on the latest body of work by ARENA Dances, “I hate myself, will you please love me?”

BadNrad perform in the Current Studio

BadNRad has been thumping a keytar-sized dent in the Minneapolis music scene over the past year, culminating in a showcase at First Avenue’s Best New Bands of 2010.

Oscars recap with the Movie Maven Stephanie Curtis

Minnesota Public Radio’s Movie Maven Stephanie Curtis joins Midday to discuss the highs and lows from Sunday’s Academy Awards broadcast.

Smith Westerns perform live in The Current studio

Formed in high school, The Smith Westerns are a four-some from Chicago that have been touring the country and wowing audiences. Their buzz began in 2009 with their self-titled first record. Inspired by garage rock, their follow up “Dye It Blonde” was released this year.

Nicole Atkins performs in The Current studios

Singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins has gone through a lot of life changes in the last couple of years, and they’re all laid bare on her new album, “Mondo Amore.”

New Classical Tracks: A Little Evening Music

The pieces on Janine Jansen’s new disc trace an arc in time, from sunset to sunrise, beginning with Debussy’s Violin Sonata and ending with a new piece written in the home of Ravel.

Oscar-winning director of ‘Inside Job’ at the Commonwealth Club

Academy-Award winning filmmaker Charles Ferguson talks about his documentary, “Inside Job,” at the Commonwealth Club of California. It looks at the causes of the financial crisis that pushed the world economy to the brink and is a scathing critique of the financial and banking industries.

Dancers explore the darker side of the Carpenters’ story

For people of a certain age, the prospect of an evening of Carpenters music probably raises some mixed emotions. The brother-sister team of Richard and Karen Carpenter pumped out hit after hit in the 1970s. However behind the scenes the Carpenters were troubled. Karen struggled with an eating disorder which was to claim her life in 1983. That facade of pop music happiness covering a real life tragedy forms the basis of a new dance presentation in Minneapolis this weekend.

Faith and suffering in song

Conductor and composer Andre Thomas says that when choirs perform spirituals, they need to understand both the joy and the pain of the slave experience. He joins Midmorning to discuss the legacy of spirituals and their meaning for modern-day audiences.

Music with Minnesotans

Collaborating chef for Mixed Precipitation’s Picnic Operetta Nick Schneider shares some of his favorite music.

An Evening of Spiritual Arrangements

Back when Dr. Andre Thomas was the only black boy in an all-white Kansas school, he “shrank with embarrassment” when his high school choir sang spirituals. Now Andre Thomas is among the world’s experts on the history and performance of spirituals.

Rodney Crowell in the Maud Moon Weyerhauser Studio

What do you get when you grow up poor, as an only child of a drunk father and a holy-rolling mother? How about an acclaimed musician, songwriter and now author of the book “Chinaberry Sidewalks.” Hear Rodney share his story, through words and songs.

The Cube Critics

Stephanie Curtis the Movie Maven and arts reporter Euan Kerr discuss Oscar fatigue, Norman conquests, spy stories, and certain big movies in 3D.

Red Wing: carving a violin

John Reed teaches arch top instrument building at Minnesota State College/Southeast Technical. Give him about 9 months, and you will walk out of his shop with a violin, cello, viola, or mandolin that you made with your very own hands.

Parenting the tiger mom way

Amy Chua’s new memoir, in which she describes and defends the tactics of the “Chinese mother”, has earned her both plaudits and death threats. She joins Midmorning to explain the meaning of being a tiger mom, and what she’s learned from the backlash.

From the Frank Theatre, a fresh ‘Cabaret’

When an iconoclastic theater company like Frank Theatre tackles a musical like “Cabaret,” you can almost bet it won’t be anything like the original.

Paper Darts defies literary magazine logic

Logic would suggest, with the magazine and publishing world in a tailspin, this would be the absolute worst time to start a literary magazine. But three recent University of Minnesota graduates disagree. The trio behind a new publication called “Paper Darts” has big plans — and the support from the Twin Cities literary community.

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