Arts and Culture

Cody York via cloudcult.com

You may know the band cloud cult from an animated commercial that aired during the Super Bowl a few years ago. In exchange for the work, e-Surance helped fund some of the band's costs for greening the recording of album. The fact that Cloud Cult chooses deals like that--writes heart-warming songs, and travels across the country to perform for good causes--may have you wondering if they are for real. But doing good and staying positive are deeply embedded in the DNA of Cloud Cult. This evening the band will perform a live acoustic set during a yoga class at the At Om Yoga studio in Concord. It’s a benefit for a local child with pediatric cancer. I talked with Craig Minowa, singer, guitarist, and leader of Cloud Cult before they headed to New Hampshire and can say that the whole kind-hearted thing is not just PR. In fact, I told him that they are just about the least cynical indie band I can think of.

Arts On Trial

Apr 9, 2013
afsart via flickr Creative Commons

Throughout history, pieces of art – and their creators, have been hauled into the courtroom. They stood accused of obscenity, extramarital dalliances, societal intermingling, and blasphemy – among other equally verbose charges. Government agencies championed their prosecution as a righteous public service – but maybe they just needed to gain a little sense of humor. Regardless, these pieces of art fought the law. Here to discuss whether the law won is Clay Wirestone, arts editor for the Concord Monitor and author of an article in an upcoming issue of Mental Floss called, “Arts on trial.”

Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

We bring you a collection of tasty segments we know you'll love, using the powers of public radio telepathy. 

IFC Films

Central Park was New York City’s place of refuge and openness until April 19, 1989 when a woman was brutally assaulted and left for dead. Author Sarah Burns turned her research about the event into a documentary film detailing the racially charged convictions of five black and Latino youth. They were exonerated over a decade later when another man confessed to committing the crime.

The Audio Orchard Podcast for April

Apr 1, 2013

1. Generationals, Ten-Twenty-Ten

April 24, State Theatre, Portland, ME

2. Alice Smith, Fool For You

April 9, Brighton Music Hall, Allston, MA

Jimmy MacElroy

You may have heard the news on the show today that our Arts & Culture Producer, Zach Nugent will be leaving our team to join the touring cast of Disney on Ice. We are so sad to be losing such a talented member of our team, but we fully support Zach and his quest to follow his dream.

Zach was scouted for the cast during a recent interview he did with a New Hampshire native, who is also a member of the cast. Unbeknownst to Zach, the producers were incredibly interested in his abilities and only agreed to the interview so they could witness his talent in person. Take a listen to a bit of audio Zach captured after Disney on Ice's Kaitlyn DeRoy saw one of his signature moves up close and personal.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Zach, we will miss you terribly and wish you the best of luck as you capture the dream.

This Weekend's Arts and Culture Scene

Mar 21, 2013

You can treat yourself or another person to a random act of kindness this weekend. there are plenty of things happening around the state worth checking out.

Bring the little ones to Jean’s Playhouse in Lincoln to see three-time Grammy-winner Tom Chapin. He’s sure to play some funny, family-friendly cuts from his new album, Give Peas A Chance, about healthy eating and green living.

And if the snowy spring has got you down, check out the feel good, Tony Award-winning musical from 1961, Bye Bye Birdie. Performed by the Anselmian Abbey Players this weekend at The Dana Center in Manchester …Or for something a little more biblical, head on over to the Palace Theatre to see Andrew Lloyd Webber’s pop classic, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Also this weekend, the Annual Spring Craft and Specialty Food Fair is on at Rockingham Park in Salem… offering a range from pottery to specialty dog treats to make everyone happy…including those of the four-legged variety.

And, it’s NH Maple Weekend…with more than 100 sugarhouses open statewide, all offering samples, some with pancakes to eat, entertainment to enjoy and animals to pet.

This Weekend's Arts Scene

Mar 21, 2013

You can treat yourself or another person to a random act of kindness this weekend. there are plenty of things happening around the state worth checking out.

Bring the little ones to Jean’s Playhouse in Lincoln to see three-time Grammy-winner Tom Chapin. He’s sure to play some funny, family-friendly cuts from his new album, Give Peas A Chance, about healthy eating and green living.

And if the snowy spring has got you down, check out the feel good, Tony Award-winning musical from 1961, Bye Bye Birdie. Performed by the Anselmian Abbey Players this weekend at The Dana Center in Manchester …Or for something a little more biblical, head on over to the Palace Theatre to see Andrew Lloyd Webber’s pop classic, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Also this weekend, the Annual Spring Craft and Specialty Food Fair is on at Rockingham Park in Salem… offering a range from pottery to specialty dog treats to make everyone happy…including those of the four-legged variety.

And, it’s NH Maple Weekend…with more than 100 sugarhouses open statewide, all offering samples, some with pancakes to eat, entertainment to enjoy and animals to pet.

Logan Shannon

The moniker, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper came to Mainer Aly Spaltro in a dream, and has been popping up on marquees up and down the East coast ever since. Not to mention online, where we read reviews of her captivating – almost spellbinding --  live performances and steady output of original, idiosyncratic music that we’re calling a mix between Feist and Nirvana.  Ripely Pine is her first studio album, and has already been featured by Time Magazine and NPR setting Lady Lamb well on her way to becoming a national name.

njj4 via Flickr Creative Commons

The Eiffel Tower has inspired countless t-shirts, souvenirs and sentimental works of art. A new Kickstarter project aims to turn the iron and lattice landmark into a gigantic instrument. That’s the dream of composer Joseph Bertolozzi, who proved that he can tackle projects on a mammoth scale when he wired and then played New York’s Mid Hudson Bridge.

via the Museum of Science website

Love dinosaurs?  Want to learn more about the latest in paleontology?

This Saturday, the Museum of Science, Boston offers dinosaur enthusiasts the rare opportunity to hear first-hand from paleontologists from around the U.S. about their research and theories.  Dinosaur Day begins at 10 am, with presentations and panel discussions throughout the afternoon. The not yet annual event, will focus on the Ceratopsidae family—frilled and horned dinosaurs—much like “Cliff”, the 65-million-year-old Triceratops fossil currently on-loan at the Museum.

The Makem & Spain Brothers' Rory Makem

Mar 14, 2013

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, we get a visit from Rory Makem of The Makem & Spain Brothers, a new generation of Celtic music royalty with roots right here in New England.

Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

Our favorite content from the program, delivered in one sound-errific package.

This week, why robot interrogators might beat humans at getting to the truth. Mass shooter Amy Bishop's first victim...her brother, back in 1986. Why jury duty matters. The diverse cast of a New Hampshire production of "To Kill A Mockingbird." And the active social media lives of long-dead celebrities.

This Weekend's Arts Scene

Feb 28, 2013

Violin virtuoso Joshua Bell performs at The Music Hall in Portsmouth Friday night, accompanied by pianist Sam Haywood

If you’re feeling Shakespearean, the Keene State College Theatre Department performs The Tempest this weekend at the Redfern Arts Center

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre perform at the Hopkins Center in Dartmouth through the weekend; the San Francisco Chronicle referred to a company production as “spectacular dancing that thrills you to your marrow”.  The program includes Ailey’s signature work, “Revelations.”

And right here in Concord…jazz pianist and composer Pamela Hines will be playing at the Purple Pit.

Sean Hurley

This weekend, the stage version of “To Kill a Mockingbird” premieres at the Rochester Opera House. Reporter Sean Hurley introduces some of the cast and crew members to us in an audio version of a playbill.  In this case, their stories go a little deeper than the blurb in an average program.

Listening For The Elusive Sound Of Ice Chimes

Feb 22, 2013
Ice Chimes
Amanda Loder / NHPR

This year, the Dartmouth College campus has become temporary home for a mixed-media menagerie called Ice Chimes.  And the 20-foot tall pagoda-like structure outside the Life Sciences building gets a lot of curious stares from students.

Ice Chimes is supposed to be interactive.  But it isn’t exactly intuitive.

Everett Collection via newyorkmag.com

Which year would you call the single most important in US cultural history? Try 1993—life before the internet and pop star designer fragrances.  The year that marked the beginning of NAFTA, hope for peace in the Middle East, and a saxophone playing president.

“NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash, and No Star” is a new exhibition at the New Museum exploring the year they argue changed everything about art, culture, and politics.  Margot Norton is Assistant Curator at the New Museum and joins us to talk about the art and historical context of the work featured in the show.

Photo courtesy Moonmilk.com

Ranjit Bhatnagar is no stranger to cool projects...he's made iambic pentameter from tweets, and is creating a bunch of instruments out of unexpected items, like a robo- toy piano.  Now, the sound artist can add one more feather to his cap...coming on our show.

In 1981, playwright, performer and theater company director Carlyle Brown decided on a whim to take a trip to Africa. That launched a journey of self-discovery and an adventure that became the basis for a one-man show called “The Fula from America: An African Journey," which Brown performs tonight at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. It’s a fund-raising event for Portsmouth’s African Burying Ground, and will be followed by a candelight procession to the site where the design for a memorial will be unveiled.

New Hampshire Native Skates With Disney

Feb 19, 2013
Greta Rybus

Earlier this month, “Disney on Ice” glided into  Manchester’s Verizon Wireless Arena with a parade of princesses, Peter Pans,  and talking mice on skates.  We sent Word of Mouth producer Zach Nugent to meet a cast member with New Hampshire roots.  Zach arrived a few hours before the show and managed to get in a little bit of ice time.

Mark Larson via Flickr Creative Commons

Nearly half a century ago, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood detailed the savage murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas. That book is regarded as a literary landmark… the first so-called “nonfiction novel” that brought the true crime genre to the mainstream and cemented Capote’s celebrity status. It’s inspired three films, among them, “Capote,” in 2005, which earned a best actor Oscar for Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

Our shiniest and sparkliest content, all in one show-tacular program. This week, a Salon writer contemplates the history of "white Southern defeat," a foremost expert on gluten explores the hype around the latest food trend, New Hampshire author Ben Nugent talks about his new novel, "Good Kids," and illustrator Danny Gregory explains how grief was overcome with art. Oh, and Sean Hurley contemplates the danger of skating on thick ice.

You can also hear the show on SoundCloud:

Tan Vampires

Feb 13, 2013

When the band Tan Vampires came to our studios last week, we found them to be mostly pale, and pretty lively…it turns out that their name was a bit of a lark invented long before the whole vampire saga.  The other surprise about Tan Vampires is noted…with some disbelief… in just about every review of their well-crafted, soaring, folk-rock songs…they’re from New Hampshire.

This week marks the start of the Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year. This fifteen-day celebration is the longest and most important holiday in China, featuring family reunions, fireworks, traditional meals, red lanterns, and the traditional gift of the Hong Bao, or Red Packet.

This Week's New Hampshire Arts Scene

Feb 8, 2013

The Saint Anselm Abbey Players say this weekend's highly original one act play festival never fails to delight. The festival features three one-act experimental plays directed by students including "Here She Is!" by Joyce Carol Oates, "Wasp" by comedian Steve Martin and "November" written and directed by Saint Anselm senior Matthew Hurd.

Maine painter Meghan Howland has an exhibition in Rochester this weekend.  You can visit the downtown gallery where a few of Meghan’s painting are hanging.

The Audio Orchard Podcast for February

Feb 4, 2013

It’s not often you get to hear authentic world music in New Hampshire, especially in the dead of winter. But on February 6th at the Spaulding Auditorium in Hanover, the southern Italian band Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino will be bringing their high energy pizzica tarantata music and dance.  Leading a new wave of young Italian artists reinventing and invigorating traditional Italian music, CGS includes six singers/musicians and a dancer.

I think it would be impossible not to have fun at a show like this:

This Week's New Hampshire Arts Scene

Feb 1, 2013

Opening this weekend is the exhibition Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor. It features the work of over 30 different master craftsmen from as far back as the 1200s.

chrisinplymouth via Flickr Creative Commons

The best of the best of Word of Mouth's content, rolled up into one awesome program. This week, why your company's rules about social media could be impinging on your rights, how the NFL is dealing with their foray into social media, and our Facebook find: the greatest used car ad we've ever read.

Plus, printmaker Amos Kennedy, the oldest snowshoe race in New Hampshire, and the films that won't get Oscars, yet still deserve a second look.

This Weekend's Arts Scene

Jan 25, 2013

We start off the weekend with a critically acclaimed documentary that has no dialogue, narrative, or text. The film is Samsara, filmed over five years in twenty five different countries; it’s a combination of music and imagery full of life and culture from all over the world.  The film will be playing Friday, January 25 at Dartmouth’s Spaulding Theater.

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