K. Ishibashi opens his second solo album, Lighght, by taking a tone-setting 48-second violin solo. Titled "Début - Impromptu," it skids and squeaks with accelerating abandon until the notes distort and smash together chaotically; by the end, the instrument has become largely indistinguishable from the machines he so often uses to loop and manipulate it. It's equal parts introduction and mission statement for Lighght, in which technique and experimentation collide in high-spirited, even disorienting ways.
Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 4:14 pm
The Offense of the Drum is one of those moments when the course of music with a long tradition is altered slightly — when music moves forward in a subtle and graceful way that's likely to have a lasting impact.
The music of Pacifika draws you in almost immediately: The Vancouver trio's musicianship is superb, buoyed by a voice that stopped me in my tracks the first time I heard it. Pacifika's sound has been labeled as world fusion, but that label is more of a restriction than a description. The group's acoustic base and subtle electronic flourishes provided a great way to start its musical journey, but Amor Planeta raises the stakes with an electric-guitar bite that adds a crucial dimension.
Many young singers are stalked by an ill-fitting, virtually unshakable descriptor, whether it's a limiting and vaguely dismissive adjective ("quirky," for example) or a limiting and vaguely dismissive noun ("songstress," to pick one that should be banished from the language and buried under 10,000 pounds of rock salt). For Nikki Lane, that descriptor seems to be "outlaw country" — a generally defensible expression, but one that can subtly imply an element of posturing, even posing.
This is what an inclusive classroom looks like: Children with disabilities sit next to ones who've been deemed "gifted and talented." The mixing is done carefully, and quietly. Students don't necessarily know who's working at what level.
Despite a court ruling 25 years ago that gave children with disabilities equal access to general education activities, change has been slow.
Today, about 17 percent of students with any disability spend all or most of their days segregated. Children with severe disabilities can still expect that separation.
This month, NASA revealed new details of the plan to send humans to Mars by 2030. It's an elaborate and expensive mission, involving a giant deep-space rocket, and roping an asteroid into the moon's orbit to use as a stepping stone to Mars.
But there are still some serious questions about a manned expedition to Mars. Namely, is it safe? That's where astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly come in. The Kelly brothers are identical twins, and the only siblings ever to both fly in space.
Nearly 90 percent of Syria's chemical weapons have been removed from the country for destruction. At the same time, there are unconfirmed reports of chlorine bomb attacks by the Syrian government. NPR's Eric Westervelt talks to chemical weapons expert Amy Smithson.
Sam Dagher of the Wall Street Journal, reporting from the front lines of the war in Syria, talks to NPR's Eric Westervelt about his recent trip to Aleppo. Once a showcase of the country's diversity and culture, today it represents the ghastly, grinding stalemate of Syria's civil war.
There is a grim mood of outrage in Nigeria. In the faraway, northeastern town of Chibok, more than 200 girls were kidnapped from their boarding school dorms in the dead of night nearly two weeks ago.
Chibok is a mixed Christian and Muslim community in predominately Muslim northern Nigeria. The attackers are suspected Islamist extremists. Under pressure, the Nigerian government is vowing to rescue the missing students, but the military is being blamed for failing to free the teens and crush an increasingly deadly insurgency.
Saying the Seattle Seahawks kept San Francisco 49ers fans from being able to pull for their team in January's NFC title game, a 49ers fan is suing the NFL, claiming the practice of limiting ticket sales to pro-Seahawks markets amounts to "economic discrimination." He is seeking $50 million in damages.
As hosts of the playoff game, the Seahawks limited credit-card sales of tickets to accounts with billing addresses in a list of nearby states. California wasn't on that list, which included parts of Canada and Hawaii. As a resident of Nevada, John E. Williams III was shut out.
By the time the Nazis got around to taking Hungary in 1944, the country was already fatally compromised by its economic alliance with Fascist Germany and Italy on the one hand, and a shaky pact with Stalin on the other. Imagining that its loyalty to a protective leader, Regent Horthy, would save them from the fate suffered by other European Jews, Hungary's highly assimilated Jewish community fell prey (along with the Regent himself) to the extreme right-wing Arrow Cross party.
One of the eight military observers who were arrested by pro-Russian separatists has been freed, reportedly for medical reasons. The observers were detained Friday after separatists accused them of being NATO spies.
As you might have gathered from our blog's title, the Code Switch team is kind of obsessed with the ways we speak to each other. Each week in "Word Watch," we'll dig into language that tells us something about the way race is lived in America today. (Interested in contributing? Holler at this form.)
Originally published on Sun April 27, 2014 11:45 am
President Jacob Zuma led Freedom Day celebrations in Pretoria Sunday, as South Africa marked the 20th anniversary of democratic rule. The nation held its first general elections in 1994, when voters sent Nelson Mandela to the presidency with a resounding win that helped the country distance itself from the scourge of apartheid.
Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
Iraq is suffering the worst spate of violence in many years — some say the worst since the height of the U.S. war in 2008. On Friday, dozens of people were killed at an election rally in Baghdad. This Wednesday, Iraqis will go to the polls in the first parliamentary election since the U.S. pulled combat troops out in 2011.