Your weekly playlist


Nat King Cole is the subject of a new production at Penumbra Theatre, featured on Midmorning this week.

A singer, and the struggle for civil rights

A new production at the Penumbra Theatre examines the significance of the Nat “King” Cole Show, one of the first network TV programs hosted by an African American, and the role it’s star played in the modern civil rights era.

Artist captures Walker history in a tapestry

For centuries Europeans used tapestries to depict the history of families and institutions. Now the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis is getting in on the game.

Noah Webster, the man who shaped American language

Noah Webster might be known best for his dictionary, but a new biography details the key policy role that Webster played in the early days of the nation and the establishment of America’s cultural independence.

Author delves into the eccentric teenage mind

In his first three novels Twin Cities author George Rabasa tackled human-trafficking, police brutality and opera singing. Now he’s moved on to teenage eccentricity.

The importance of a good sentence

In his new book, Stanley Fish celebrates the craft of writing a great sentence, and the pleasure of reading one. He joins Midmorning to discuss the art of the sentence.

The Cube Critics: Books to the big screen

As cube mates at Minnesota Public Radio News, arts reporter Euan Kerr and Movie Maven Stephanie Curtis find no cinema-related topic uninteresting. Turning well-received novels into great movies is the topic of the latest edition of Cube Critics.

Dinner Party Download Easter menu

Hosts Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam usually equip you with jokes, unusual news items and cocktail recipes. But in honor of the feasts of Passover and Easter, this week they bring you stories about unconventional food – including World War II-era cuisine from London, and California’s sushi burrito. It’s everything you need to “win” this weekend’s dinner party.

Haley Bonar performs live in The Current studio

From Duluth to the Twin Cities to Portland and back, local singer-songwriter Haley Bonar, has used her change of scenery as inspiration on her fourth album, Golder.

Royal Bangs perform live in The Current studio

The Knoxville, TN trio Royal Bangs have come a long way after playing an old soccer arena and coffee shops as teenagers. After starting their band in high school, growing to a five-member band that played SXSW in 2009, they decided to downsize their band to the current three piece. In recording their latest effort, “Flux Outside” the band enlisted the help of Scott Minor of Sparklehorse to engineer and help produce the record. They also had help from Dave Fridmann, who has worked with the Flaming Lips, Tapes ‘n Tapes, MGMT, and Low, on the mixing.

Iron and Wine perform live in The Current studio

It’s been nearly 10 years since Sam Beam donned the Iron and Wine moniker and released his debut “The Creek Drank The Cradle” in 2002. Since then, he’s expanded the arrangements from his voice and an acoustic guitar to including a variety of other instruments, and he continues the trend on his newest album “Kiss Each Other Clean.”

New Classical Tracks: Enchanting Works by Josef Suk

Conductor JoAnn Falletta is known for seeking out unfamiliar and intriguing repertory for her recording projects. On her latest disc, she explores the music of the Czech composer Josef Suk–Dvorak’s son-in-law, but a masterly composer in his own right.

Music with Minnesotans: Paul Thissen

In this week’s edition, Alison Young talks with Minnesota House Minority Leader Paul Thissen. Work is tough at the capitol these days, so Thissen listens to Copland to soothe his frazzled nerves and Shostakovich to prepare for a tough day.

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