Studio 360 looks at the places "where art and real life collide," exploring the creative influence and transformative power of art in modern life through richly textured stories and insightful conversation. Hosted by Kurt Andersen. Get the latest issue or subscribe!
"Stimulating and Diverse - always interesting"
When Malcolm X was assassinated at 39, his life story nearly died with him. Today The Autobiography of Malcolm X — a favorite of President Obama and Justice Clarence Thomas alike — stands as a milestone in America's struggle with race. The autobiography is also a Horatio Alger tale, following a man's journey from poverty to crime to militancy to wisdom. Muslims look to Malcolm as a figure of tolerance; a tea party activist claims him for the political right; Public Enemy's Chuck D tells us, "This book is like food. It ain't McDonald's — it's sit down at the table and say grace".
"Just plain cool"
The Metamorphosis, first published in 1915, has captivated readers and artists for 100 years. Studio 360's Kurt Andersen leads spirited conversation exploring the classic story and its impact on arts and culture with guests Ben Marcus (Leaving the Sea), Helen Phillips (The Beautiful Bureaucrat), Eric Jarosinski (NeinQuarterly), and translator Susan Bernofsky. With a reading by Heather Burns (Bored to Death).
Redefining the classic essay, this modern edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s most famous work, Self-Reliance, includes self-reflections from both historical and contemporary luminaries. With quotes from the likes of Henry Ford and Helen Keller to modern-day thought leaders like Jesse Dylan, Steve Pressfield, and Milton Glaser, we're reminded of the relevance of Emerson’s powerful words today. Emerson’s words are timeless. Persuasive and convincing, he challenges readers to define their own sense of accomplishment and asks them to measure themselves....
"Must re listen to this a few time! Classic"
In this smart and refreshingly hopeful book, Andersen - a brilliant analyst and synthesizer of historical and cultural trends, as well as a best-selling novelist and host of public radio's Studio 360 -shows us why the current economic crisis is actually a moment of great opportunity to get ourselves and our nation back on track.
Ron Howard's latest film, In the Heart of the Sea, puts us in the whaling ship whose catastrophic sinking inspired Moby Dick. Kurt gets a sneak preview of the future of virtual reality storytelling – and finds the future is a bit disorienting. And the songwriter and musician Son Little plays live.
Charlie Brooker was inspired by The Twilight Zone to create his sci-fi series Black Mirror, in which digital technology keeps biting us back in the spookiest ways. And we hear about folklorist Alan Lomax, who brought the blues to a wider audience, but enforced his own kind of musical segregation. And a conversation with the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith about her obsession with David Bowie.
As the lead singer of The Gap Band, Charlie Wilson had huge hits – as well as a debilitating drug habit. He tells his story of recovery and rebounding to the top of the charts with the help of Snoop Dogg, Justin Timberlake, and Kanye West in the new memoir I Am Charlie Wilson.
What do you do after founding one of the most beloved bands ever? If you're Carrie Brownstein, you become the star of Portlandia and satirize one of the most beloved cities. Also, former Saturday Night Live political writer Jim Downey explains how a sketch comedy show came to shape American political discourse. Plus, how the novelist Emma Donoghue adapted her bestselling novel, Room, into a movie – with a little help from director Lenny Abrahamson.
Authors and actors including Stephen Colbert, Libba Bray (award winning young-adult novelist Going Bovine, winner of 2010 Printz Award), Oskar Eustis (Artistic Director at The Public Theater), Kurt Andersen (novelist and Studio 360 Host), Jayne Anne Phillips (novelist and National Book Award finalist Lark & Termite), filmmaker Mary McDonagh Murphy (author of the upcoming book Scout, Atticus, and Boo), and others pay tribute to the Pulitzer prize-winning classic novel about racial injustice and loss of innocence in a small Southern town.
"This is not the full story."
Enya started out in her family’s traditional Irish band, Clannad, before she discovered the layered vocal sound that launched her pop career. Plus, the starship Enterprise seeks out new life and new civilizations in Washington, DC. And movie critic A.O. Scott sticks up for all the haters out there.
Kurt Andersen finds out how Big Data is helping us decode our culture. The mobile video app Vine brings us six-second dispatches from soldiers in Afghanistan. Thirty years ago, Sue Grafton started a series of novels named for the alphabet, with W if for Wasted out next month. She looks ahead to the end of the series — then, “a long nap.”
This week, Studio 360 gets weird. For one thing, there’s "Weird Al," playing a totally normal cover version of an Elvis Costello hit. Carl Hiaasen tries, once again, to convince America to revile Florida as much as he does. And we get an exclusive preview of Jack Handey’s tropical adventure, The Stench of Honolulu. Plus, rocker Thao Nguyen checks out some listener submissions in the Battle of the High School Bands contest, and we talk NSA leaks with Walter Kirn, who says we’re more 2001 than 1984.
Universe not big enough for you? There's always the multiverse – many universes, scattered through time and space. In one world, you might drive a bus; in another, you might be a Formula One racer. If the idea sounds familiar, that could be because it has obsessed science-fiction and comic-book writers for decades. But artists and writers aren't the only ones fascinated by multiples – some physicists think the multiverse could be very real.
The actor Lucy Liu talks about her decision to reveal her secret second career as a painter – and her struggles with being typecast. Also, Charles Schulz's biographer on how one of the most beloved comic strips of all time made us more open about depression. And the radio play "Sorry, Wrong Number" puts us inside the frantic mind of the victim of a murder plot.
Part visionary, part mad scientist, and absolute genius, Tesla should be as famous as Edison - but he's been largely forgotten. Kurt talks with Samantha Hunt about her novel The Invention of Everything Else. Then, Tesla's biggest innovation was introducing alternating current as the standard for modern electric power, breaking Thomas Edison's monopoly on DC power.
Comedian Maria Bamford is primed for a well-deserved breakthrough with her new show, Lady Dynamite. We get a live performance from Fantastic Negrito, who sings about hot-button issues like race and gentrification. And we find out what it really takes to get tickets to Hamilton.
Hipster aliens! Existentially aware smart toilets! Instant genital swapping! The future will be all of these things and so much more in Conan/Daily Show writer Rob Kutner's collection of "quick hits" on what could be but probably shouldn't.
Actor Viggo Mortensen brings some of his own outdoorsy skills to his role as a dad raising his kids off the grid in Captain Fantastic. Also, with a new exhibit of her early photographs, it’s time to reconsider Diane Arbus’ conflicted legacy. And Kurt gets a lesson on speaking like a proper Brit from an accent coach. [Broadcast Date: July 21, 2016]