My Morning Jacket has been tricky to peg lately, especially after the 2008 release of Evil Urges, which saw the band's cavernous rock sound sprawl out to include absurd forays into loopy funk. At its best, Evil Urges is a monster, but it's not exactly consistent.
When we got our first taste of the Brooklyn band Cults earlier this year, winter was still holding on strong. The group's self-released Go Outside 7" sailed in like a welcome, balmy breeze. No one knew much about the mysterious then-duo, which sported no official website and a nearly un-Googleable name. (Seriously, if you're looking for biographical information, searching "Cults members" won't help.) But that didn't matter — what wasn't to like? We warmed our hands over Cults' summery groove, with its twinkling xylophone and girl-group vocals, without a second thought.
It's been fascinating to watch the evolution of the Duluth, Minn., band Low in the 17 years since the release of its wonderful debut album, I Could Live in Hope. Renowned for being one of the slowest and quietest acts in indie-rock, Low has nevertheless found ways to experiment with new ways to sound alternately (and even simultaneously) swoony and unnerving.
Middle East Politics, Remembering Macho Man, And Post-Rapture Pet Sitting
In this week's podcast of Weekends on All Things Considered, President Obama leaps into the mind field of Middle East politics. Plus, remembering Macho Man, legendary director Norman Jewison, and what it means to be a psychopath. Also, Priscilla Ahn and a post-rapture pet sitting business.
This week, the Film Society of New York's Lincoln Center begins a 15-film, six-day retrospective of director Norman Jewison's work. The series is called "Norman Jewison: Relentless Renegade," an apt title for a man whose career has spanned more than 50 years and includes such classics as In the Heat of the Night, Fiddler on the Roof and Jesus Christ Superstar.
President Obama stirred passions on all sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict last week. Guy Raz talks with Maen Rashid Areikat, the Palestinian Liberation Organization's envoy in Washington; Daniel Kurtzer, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel; and Jerusalem Post editor in chief David Horovitz about reaction to the speech.
One TV network is serving the fastest-growing consumer population in the country — at times edging out ABC, NBC and CBS in the coveted 18- to 49-year-old viewer demographic. And it isn't broadcast in English.
It's Spanish-language network Univision, which began as a small TV station in San Antonio in 1961. Now, with millions of viewers tuning in each week, it's growing faster than any other broadcast network on television.
President Obama leaves Sunday night on a weeklong trip to Europe. He'll visit with the Queen of England, attend a summit meeting of the Group of 8 nations in France and sit down with a group of Central European leaders in Poland. But his first stop, in Ireland, may hold the biggest thrill for both the president and the destination.
There once was a man. His name was Thales. He lived a long, long time ago in Miletus an ancient Greek city on the western coast of Turkey. Thales had an idea. It was a new and dangerous idea. He thought that events in the world could be explained not as the consequence of supernatural gods (and their whims) but as the result of purely natural forces.