Since getting together in Minneapolis in 1985, The Jayhawks' members have ranked among the most lauded figures in alternative country, having perfected their bar-band style with years of touring and inspiration from Gram Parsons, The Louvin Brothers, Tim Hardin and Bob Dylan.
It's been eight years since her last studio album, but Gillian Welch has been busy. She and her longtime musical partner David Rawlings are deeply involved in each other's music, so when Welch had trouble writing new material for her own record, the two turned their focus to Rawlings' first solo album under the moniker Dave Rawlings Machine.
Facing a financial crisis that threatens Europe, Italy's lower house of parliament got down to important business. They passed a rule to save themselves from themselves. Photographers use long lenses to capture lawmakers making rude gestures, passing notes — or voting for absent colleagues, a practice that has been called "playing the piano," as they press several buttons at once. So, lawmakers have banned photographers from taking "personal images."
They battle international villains. And "when it comes to giving away their hearts, they'll risk everything." That's according to "SEAL of my Dreams, a short story collection by 18 romance novelists, celebrating Navy SEALS. Story titles include "SEALed with A Kiss," "SEALed by Fate" — you get the idea. Proceeds from the book will fund medical research for wounded veterans.
Originally published on Thu November 24, 2011 3:12 pm
Nation-building has gone out of style.
The U.S. effort in Afghanistan has lasted a decade, and it's been nearly as long in Iraq. Now, there's little appetite in American political circles for large-scale attempts to build up the economies or political institutions of other countries.
Most U.S. troops will be pulled out of Iraq by the end of the year. And the Obama administration has been careful not to take on responsibility for rebuilding Libya after the NATO bombing campaign that helped drive Moammar Gadhafi from power.
Republican David Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, is seriously upset with the state of his party. He's written an article in the current New York magazine, titled "When Did the GOP Lose Touch with Reality?"
As he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep, one of Frum's complaints is the idea that his fellow Republicans insist on having their own set of facts.
Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 8:52 am
Thanksgiving has all the makings of a uniquely American tradition: parades, football, pumpkin pie, roasted turkey. But for Americans living in other countries, observing the traditional way can be a challenge. We asked those who will be abroad this Thanksgiving how they'll be spending the holiday — and what changes they'll have to make to their celebrations. We received more than 1,200 responses from our Facebook followers. Some of the most common issues? Finding an inexpensive turkey or locating canned pumpkin. Here's a sample of what you said. Responses have been edited for space.
In 1956, two icons — Marilyn Monroe and Sir Laurence Olivier — got together in London to make a movie, The Prince and the Showgirl. It was a comedy about the lonely Prince Regent of Carpathia, who meets a flirty American showgirl. The film was a royal flop. Now a new movie, My Week With Marilyn, recounts the miserable time had by all on the set. It's the story of one week during the film shoot, with behind-the-scenes clashes, misaligned acting styles, and the pursuit of personal ambitions. Michelle Williams plays Monroe and Kenneth Branagh plays Olivier.