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The Peabody Award-winning Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, from PRI, is a smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt introduces the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy – so let Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life. Produced in association with Slate.
 
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Hello Studio 360 fans! We're sharing the first episode of a new podcast project, Nixon at War, hosted by Studio 360's Kurt Andersen. Nixon at War is a seven-episode history, a fresh new kind of chronicle about how Richard Nixon turned Vietnam into a war at home… that we’re still fighting today. Most accounts of the collapse of Richard Nixon’s presi…
 
After 20 years, Studio 360 is switching off the ON AIR light one last time. Alec Baldwin conducts Kurt Andersen’s exit interview and they listen to some of Kurt’s favorite moments with guests. Since it’s this show’s finale, Kurt talks with TV showrunners David Mandel and Warren Leight about the art of writing a finale — and some of their favorites …
 
From 1910 to 1970, 6.6 million African Americans migrated from the rural south – a dramatic movement that would permanently change the social, political and cultural fabric of our nation. In 1941, Jacob Lawerence’s iconic series The Migration of the Negro (now generally referred to as The Great Migration) rocked the art world with its depictions of…
 
Studio 360 broadcast its first episode on November 4, 2000, just before we elected George W. Bush as President and we all learned what a “hanging chad” was. Fittingly, that first program was an exploration of art and politics hosted by a newcomer to radio, author and journalist Kurt Andersen. Originally produced out of WNYC Radio, and most recently…
 
How Public Enemy brought the revolution to hip-hop with “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.” Plus, our Americans Icons segment on Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” which broke boundaries when it was published and still profoundly resonates with readers today. And Young Adult author Angie Thomas on how the late TLC perfor…
 
New York was the original center of American moviemaking. But soon filmmakers figured out it was cheaper and simpler to work in California’s open spaces and good weather. With the westward migration, however, certain types of filmmakers were still drawn to New York. They found a home at Paramount’s “Big House,” a grand movie studio built by Adolph …
 
Where do you turn when you’re heartbroken in the dead of night? Delilah, of course. Her radio call-in show pairs romantic advice with the perfect song. Plus, how Yanni, John Tesh and others discovered an improbable vehicle to ‘90s stardom: the PBS pledge drive. For our Guilty Pleasures series, the writer and “This American Life” producer Bim Adewun…
 
It’s all about the Oscars. Kurt talks with Thelma Schoonmaker, the longtime editor for Martin Scorsese who’s up for an Academy Award for “The Irishman”; Adam Driver, who’s a contender for his performance in “Marriage Story”; Quentin Tarantino, nominated for his film, “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”; and Antonio Banderas, nominated for his performa…
 
This Woman’s Work is a series of stories from Classic Album Sundays and Studio 360, highlighting classic albums by female artists who have made a lasting impact on music and pop culture. This time: the Grammy nominated live album “Black Gold” by singer and pianist Nina Simone. It was recorded in front of a packed audience at Philharmonic Hall in Ne…
 
For our latest installment of American Icons, Studio 360’s Sam Kim explores “12 Angry Men,” the courtroom drama that has inspired jurists — and Hollywood script writers — for decades. And how Kris Maddigan, a first-time video game composer, wrote a 3-hour long jazz album for the popular indie game Cuphead. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit me…
 
He’s a jazz icon, but Wynton Marsalis has always been drawn to classical music as well. Marsalis talks with Kurt Andersen about composing symphonies and performing with orchestras. And the newest installment in our series about influential albums by women, This Woman's Work, features “Hounds of Love” by Kate Bush, with performers as varied Outkast’…
 
The final eight episodes of “BoJack Horseman” — Netflix’s animated series about a washed-up ’90s sitcom star living in the Hollywood Hills — will be released on January 31. Its protagonist is half-horse, half-man, and its tone is half-jokes, half-existential-angst. That’s a study in contrasts that seems inexplicable—until you talk with the show’s c…
 
Six decades after it premiered on Broadway, “West Side Story” is everywhere again, with a revival on Broadway and a movie in the works. But many still are troubled by the way Puerto Ricans are depicted. Plus, the story behind Garry Winogrand’s 1967 photo, "Central Park Zoo," which featured a white woman and a black man holding chimpanzees dressed i…
 
Ranky Tanky performs live in our studio, and explains to Kurt Andersen how their music is rooted in the regional Gullah culture — descendants of West African slaves who lived on isolated islands along the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas. For our Guilty Pleasures series, comic Tig Notaro says why she loves the widely loathed band Nickelback, esp…
 
Garry Winogrand was a master of street photography, even though he disavowed that label. He photographed across the United States, including Texas and California, but his hometown, New York City, remained his greatest inspiration. His 1967 Central Park Zoo photo, of a white woman and a black man holding chimpanzees dressed in human clothes, is one …
 
A half century later, Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” is still shaping our future. With no help from CGI, the movie predicted private space travel, artificial intelligence and much of Apple’s product line. It showed the promise and perils of technology and explored life’s biggest mystery: Are we alone in the universe? In Part Two of our l…
 
A half century later, Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” is still shaping our future. With no help from CGI, the movie predicted private space travel, artificial intelligence and half of Apple’s product line. It showed the promise and perils of technology and explored life’s biggest mystery: Are we alone in the universe? In Part One, we look…
 
Our latest New York Icons segment is about Midtown Manhattan’s Brill Building era, when songwriters like Carole King, Ellie Greenwich and Cynthia Weil churned out hit after hit for artists like The Shirelles, The Crystals and Little Eva. And producer Evan Chung investigates the strange story of a song from that era about a craze that was most defin…
 
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Tennessee Williams’ classic play, “The Glass Menagerie,” Studio 360 is devoting a whole hour to the art of glass. Kurt Andersen and architect Frances Bronet tour the glass towers of Midtown Manhattan to see firsthand the architectural legacy of the Bauhaus. After Hillary Clinton failed to break the glass ceiling…
 
For a few years in the late 1950s and early ‘60s, the heart of the music industry was an 11-story structure in midtown Manhattan: The Brill Building. There, and at the nearby 1650 Broadway, a group of very young songwriters including Carole King, Ellie Greenwich, and Cynthia Weil crafted their own take on rock and roll that was heavily influenced b…
 
Our latest American Icons feature explores Patricia Highsmith’s series that began with “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” and how Tom Ripley fits into an American tradition of protagonists struggling with identity and morality. Kurt Andersen visits perfumer Tanwi Nandini Islam as she concocts a fragrance based on Toni Morrison’s “Beloved.” And a favorite f…
 
On this Studio 360 extra, we’re sharing a podcast called “Aria Code.” Produced by WQXR and the Metropolitan Opera, it features singers and opera observers revealing the magic of a single song from an opera, followed by the aria uninterrupted. In this episode, host Rhiannon Giddens and her guests explore the power of hope in Puccini's tragic “Madama…
 
Kurt Andersen talks with director Jennifer Reeder about her path from making short arthouse films in the 1990s to her new film, “Knives and Skin.” Producer Sam Kim has the story of erotic potboiler “Naked Came the Stranger,” which climbed The New York Times bestseller list in 1969 but, it turns out, was meant to be a parody of the very bodice-rippe…
 
Wynton Marsalis is a jazz icon — a renowned trumpet player and composer, he is also the music director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. But since the very beginning, classical music has been a part of his musical makeup. Marsalis tells Kurt Andersen about how a chance encounter on a New Orleans streetcar began his love of classical music an…
 
Cartoonist Lynda Barry is famous for drawing the darkly funny strip “Ernie Pook’s Comeek” that appeared in alternative newsweeklies for three decades, but for the latest installment in our Guilty Pleasure series, she makes a case for why she loves perhaps the most mainstream and most mocked comic of all: “The Family Circus.” Our latest American Ico…
 
West Side Story, the tragic musical about star-crossed lovers from two rival gangs, was a hit on Broadway in the 1950s and then exploded across the country when it came to the silver screen. At the time, New York City’s demographics and landscape were rapidly changing, and choreographer Jerome Robbins, composer Leonard Bernstein, author Arthur Laur…
 
Studio 360’s American Icon series has explored dozens of influential works of art and entertainment that have shaped who we are as Americans. Now we turn to our hometown of New York for a new batch of Icons stories about works of art that were born in the city and impacted the lives of people everywhere. This hour: the 1963 book “The Bell Jar” by S…
 
The childlike, cartoonish typeface Comic Sans is the most hated font in the world. Twenty-five years after its release, it's become notorious for showing up in seemingly inappropriate contexts, from office memos to newspapers and government documents. But librarian and technology educator Jessamyn West argues that hating on Comic Sans is elitist. L…
 
Kurt Andersen talks with the choreographer Mark Morris about how music has always been central to his work. The author Carmen Maria Machado reveals how an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” had the unlikely effect of helping her write her new book about domestic abuse. And how the cartoon "Rocky and Bullwinkle" was strangely prescient abou…
 
Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton is a rising opera star, performing on some of the world’s most venerable classical music stages. In concert halls from London to New York, Barton not only flaunts her velvety rich tone, but also her commitment to social justice as an openly queer performer. Now, Barton and pianist Kathleen Kelly have put together a recita…
 
Edgar Allan Poe’s stories are so familiar they’ve become part of our cultural wallpaper. A raven croaking “nevermore?” An enemy bricked up in a cellar? A heart beating under the floorboards? These images are the stuff of our collective nightmares, but Poe dreamed them all up first. For better and worse, Poe’s themes and obsessions continue to crop …
 
The Bell Jar is often read as a sort of literary suicide note by poet Sylvia Plath. The autobiographical novel memorably follows her first attempt at taking her own life and her experiences living in a mental institution and undergoing electroshock therapy, but its accounts of weeks spent in New York City preceding the breakdown provide a captivati…
 
Kurt Andersen talks with Amy Sherald, who painted the official Michelle Obama portrait, about her strict religious upbringing, the surreal experience of interviewing with the Obamas and why she’ll only ever paint African Americans. Our latest American Icons feature: “96 Tears” by ? and the Mysterians, and how the band of Mexican American teens mana…
 
Charleston band Ranky Tanky draws on the musical traditions of the Gullah culture from the Lowcountry region of the Southeastern U.S. They perform live in Studio 360 and then break the music down into its essential components, explaining what exactly makes this “Gullah” and how that cultural heritage has informed American jazz. Learn more about you…
 
Two highlights from our American Icons special series. First, producer Arun Venugopal revisits “The Searchers,” the John Ford film starring John Wayne that is widely regarded as a masterpiece, but which many see as racially problematic in the way that Wayne’s character pursues revenge against the Comanche who killed his family in a raid. Then, prod…
 
This Woman’s Work is a series of stories from Classic Album Sundays and Studio 360 highlighting classic albums by female artists who have made a lasting impact on music and pop culture. This time we’re looking at the artist who inspired the name of this series: the singer-songwriter, dancer and producer Kate Bush. With its sophisticated arrangement…
 
Our latest Americans Icons segment is about “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” Maya Angelou’s first book broke boundaries when it was published 50 years ago and still profoundly resonates with readers today. And Kurt Andersen talks with Liz Phair, the trailblazing indie rocker who’s just published a memoir. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit m…
 
Kurt Anderson talks with Antonio Banderas about “Pain and Glory,” where he plays his longtime friend and collaborator –– and the director of this same movie –– Pedro Almodóvar. With the opening of “Joker,” starring Joaquin Phoenix, Kurt talks with Rick Baker, the celebrated makeup artist, about how Hollywood has clowned around with the character ov…
 
David Byrne’s stage show “American Utopia” is heading to Broadway in October. The show will feature songs from his latest album of the same name, as well as some older works from his former band, Talking Heads. This month also marks the 35th anniversary of “Stop Making Sense,” the brilliant Talking Heads’ concert film, made by Jonathan Demme. Kurt …
 
Conceptual artist Fred Wilson has spent much of his career examining how museum collections are chosen and exhibited, so Kurt Andersen meets Wilson at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a chat and a tour. With this year marking the centennial of the birth of Uta Hagen, the actress who also became a revered acting teacher, we hear from her students …
 
Stepping in for Kurt Andersen this week, guest host Hari Kondabolu, the stand-up comic, gets the hour started with a conversation with fellow comic Hannah Gadsby. They discuss the success (and blowback) from Gadsby’s Netflix special last year, “Nanette,” her new show that she’s currently touring in the US, and her hilariously surreal encounter with…
 
Studio 360’s American Icon series has explored dozens of influential works of art and entertainment that have shaped who we are as Americans. Now we turn to our hometown of New York for a new batch of Icons stories about works of art that were born in the city and impacted the lives of people everywhere. This time: the album “Siembra” by Willie Col…
 
The writer and poet Hanif Abdurraqib fills in for Kurt Andersen. Hanif talks to fellow writer — and fellow proud Midwesterner — Ashley C. Ford about some of her inspirations, including Toni Morrison (who, yes, was also from the Midwest). Then, with the Notorious B.I.G.’s hip hop classic “Ready to Die” turning 25 this week, we hear from one of its p…
 
Writer and comedian Maeve Higgins fills in as guest host this week, interviewing playwright Michael R. Jackson about his new musical “A Strange Loop” and artist-journalist Molly Crabapple about her illustrations of ISIS-occupied Syria. Plus, the creators and cast of “Felix Starro,” a new musical from the Ma-Yi Theater Company, which is celebrating …
 
Most artists have to lead a sort of double life: holding down a steady job during the day that allows them to do what they love in their free time. Alex Kramer is an actor who lives in Brooklyn, but he moonlights as an “unannounced standardized patient”: someone who goes into hospital clinics undercover to evaluate residents on their performance. A…
 
“The Handmaid’s Tale” is getting a sequel, “The Testaments,” so it’s a good time to look at what originally influenced Margaret Atwood, and how the book continues to influence others. First, Atwood herself talks about her inspirations for the book — the rise of the Christian right in the 1980s and a woman in New England in the 17th century who was …
 
When noir haunts and inspires. Portishead’s seminal album “Dummy,” which came out 25 years ago this week, was inspired by the band members’ obsession with mid-century spy movies. Karen Russell was struggling writing her first novel when she saw the classic noir film “The Night of the Hunter.” It helped her pull off the critically acclaimed “Swampla…
 
Laura Lippman is an Edgar Award-winning author of detective fiction, most famously for the Tess Monaghan series. And this summer, she has a new book on the New York Times Best Seller list called “Lady in the Lake.” Kurt Andersen recently visited Baltimore to talk to her for another story we’re working on: an American Icons hour about the tales of E…
 
Fifty summers after Woodstock. First, Kurt Andersen talks with Sha Na Na co-founders Robert Leonard and George Leonard about the utter incongruity of a ’50s throwback band taking the stage at the festival. The Jimi Hendrix version of the national anthem on the last day of the festival that embodies the chaos and distortion of the time. How the Sly …
 
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