There’s a new movie hitting theatres this week called “Strange Powers.” It follows a band that, according to the film’s disclaimer, is iconic to some and completely unknown to others.
The band is called The Magnetic Fields. And though they’ve been making albums since 1989, their founding member, Stephin Merritt, is still a mystery to many.
Meritt and Claudia Gonson (who provides vocals and instrumentals for the band, and also serves as the band's manager) join us in studio, to give us a small glimpse into their lives, their music, and the film.
After the jump, an extended version of our studio interview with Merritt and Gonson.
We frequently talk about retired people living on limited budgets. But what about their adult children?
It turns out that many people with aging parents are struggling financially, and even facing professional setbacks. But are their sacrifices really for the best? And is there a time when they should just cut their aging parents loose to fend for themselves?
With special guest Mary Ann Winkowski, paranormal investigator, Rafer and Kristen talk about the ghosts that show up in Hollywood films.
More than a few famous people made themselves over in prison. Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, Jesus Chris. In a way, so did Avi Steinberg.
A recent college grad who was floundering with his place in life and his career, Ari responded to an ad on Craigslist a few years back. The job listing was for a prison librarian at the Suffolk County House of Corrections in Boston. He was hired almost immediately.
"Paranormal Activity 2" is arguably the most highly anticipated horror movie sequel of the year. Like its predecessor, it follows regular people who are being haunted by menacing spirits. In an attempt to determine what’s really happening, the protagonists set up cameras in their home. But they inevitably find that the truth is scarier than anything they imagined.
The telling of history is a monumental task and responsibility that all historians hold sacred. Historian Thomas C. Holt has gained prominence as the one of the foremost respected historians of American and African-American History.
In addition to being the former frontman and drummer of the legendary band Genesis, Phil Collins has had one of the most coveted solo careers in the music industry — with record sales surpassing 150 million, and numerous awards under his belt, including an Oscar, seven Grammys, and two Golden Globes. His newest album is a collection of remakes called “Going Back.” John talks with Phil Collins about his inspiration for the album and his career with Genesis.
Why put off until tomorrow what you can postpone until next week? It’s the motto of many a procrastinator and something that most of us have said at one point or another.
Is procrastination such a bad thing? Don’t some of us actually work better under pressure?
And we're asking you: Do you procrastinate? And what do you do to overcome it? Weigh in and read the stories and tips.
Rafer and Kristin discuss Clint Eastwood's new film 'Hereafter' and the way American cinema deals with death and the afterlife.
This weekend, some of Hollywood’s biggest stars have movie openings. To help help guide us through the weekend’s theatre picks, including "Red," "Conviction," and "Hereafter," we speak with Kristen Meinzer, co-host of The Takeaway podcast “Movie Date.”
Sixty-five years ago, the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany, set to work seeking justice for the horrendous crimes committed by the Nazis during World War II. The Allies charged Hermann Göring, Martin Bormann, Rudolf Hess and 21 other members of the Nazi Party with war crimes and crimes against humanity.
As the proceedings began, film cameras clicked on and captured the entire trial. The lead prosecutor for the U.S., Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, used as evidence the Nazis' very own shocking films, movies showing the abuse and persecution of Jews under Nazi rule.
In 2007, Dinaw Mengestu became something of a literary star when his first novel – “The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears” – garnered him awards from the National Book Foundation, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, and other prestigious organizations.
His new book is called “How to Read the Air.” It centers on a young Ethiopian-American named Jonas. In a failed marriage, and seeking to better understand his family history, Jonas attempts to retrace the migration of his parents from eastern Africa to the American Midwest. Along the way, we see Jonas retelling and sometimes fabricating the histories of strangers, his parents, and himself.
Rafer and Kristen look at this week's "It's Kind Of A Funny Story" and the history of movies set in psych wards, insane asylums and cuckoo's nests.
When we look back on the wild west of American history, we frequently celebrate cowboys and Indians, wild buffalo and wide open country. But what we often leave out are the thousands of Chinese-Americans who worked on the Union Pacific railroad, lived in the many coal-mining towns, and struggled against the prejudices of their white neighbors and employers.
There’s so much focus put on homeowners and the problems they're facing in our current economic climate, but what about all the renters out there? There’s been a 10 percent increase in renters in the past five years according to the Census Bureau, and a whole new world of problems as landlords face the threat of foreclosure and instability. What are these issues? And what are a renter’s current rights?
John Lennon would have turned 70 this weekend. A movie coming out Friday looks back fifty-some years ago, before anyone knew Lennon's name, when he was simply a teenager growing up in Liverpool, England.
The film, called "Nowhere Boy," focuses on John Lennon’s youth: growing up, discovering music, becoming reacquainted with his estranged mother and being raised by his fiercely protective Aunt Mimi.
The world may best know Glenn Beck and Rand Paul as Tea Party leaders. But Beck and Paul also happen to be avid readers, and both have mentioned their fondness for Ayn Rand and her dystopian novel "Atlas Shrugged."
Widely celebrated by Tea Party leaders, Ayn Rand's books have become centerpieces of the Tea Party’s literary canon; over the last year and a half, sales of her books have tripled as a result over the past year and a half.
How did this happen? What other books are on the Tea Party’s list of favorites? And what similarities does their canon bear to those of other political movements?
A case coming up before the Supreme Court today will test the limits of free speech.
In Snyder v. Phelps, the anti-gay protestor Fred Phelps is being sued by the father of Matthew Snyder, a 20-year-old Marine who died in Iraq. In 2006, Phelps' group, the Westboro Baptist Church, picketed 1,000 feet from Snyder’s funeral with signs saying “You are Going to Hell” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.” The father wants to see the WBC punished for "intentional infliction of emotional distress."
Rafer and Kristen discuss this past weekend's hit, "The Social Network."
Since its publication in 2005, millions of people have read "Freakonomics." The best selling book, written by economist Steven Levitt and New York Times reporter Stephen Dubner, examines pop culture and everyday life through the economic lens of incentives. The result was unexpectedly funny and popular enough to have spawned a newly emerging media empire, including Freakonomics Radio and "Freakonomics: The Movie."