Arts & Culture

• Check out our list of New Hampshire museums, galleries, performance venues & independent bookstores, sorted by region.

• You can also find art exhibits, book readings, live music and more on our Public Events Calendar.

Jeremy Goodwin for NEPR

This story originally published by NEPR.

Joel Christian Gill

Whether it’s a catchy theme song, or a single image - think Mary Tyler Moore tossing her cap into the air – some TV credit sequences are etched in our minds. Today we listen for the greatest TV opening sequences of all time. Plus, a look at a graphic novel that reveals the untold stories of African-American history…including that of Richard Potter, for whom the New Hampshire town of Potter Place is named. Then, tis the season for mosquitoes, black flies, and ticks. How are you preventing pesky bites? We sample the rainbow of bug repellant…from witch hazel to DEET.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.


hitchBOT.me

Looking for a gripping summer read? How about The Crucible, with text messaging? Writer Megan Abbott discusses her new novel The Fever, which is based on a true story of mass hysteria among high school girls. And then, rebellious teens take note: hitchhiking is ill-advised…but what if you’re a machine? We’ll chat with the developers of Hitchbot, a robot that is set to hitch rides across Canada.  Plus, we visit the Audio Orchard to select to pluck the month’s best new songs.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.


Sara Plourde

Every month producer Zach Nugent picks a fresh bushel of new music for The Audio Orchard Playlist. Check it out below.

Sean Hurley

Last Saturday Plymouth joined 800 cities around the world to celebrate Make Music Day. The general idea - music performed by anyone, anywhere they like.  

Bob King has a day job but he hosts open mics at Tony's Restaurant on Thursdays. Today, he's standing in front of Thomas Roberts Hair Salon playing some of his favorite songs.

"It must be beautiful for people to walk around town and hear a different song every ten feet."

Word Of Mouth Voted Best N.H. Radio Talk Show

Jun 26, 2014

We are so proud to have been voted Best New Hampshire Radio Talk Show by the readers of New Hampshire Magazine.

Six years after launching Word of Mouth, we still feel like upstarts and appreciate our listeners coming through. Thank you!  It's pleasure to bring you stories that spark curiosity and wonder about the world around us, and will continue spreading interesting information the best way we know how: through Word of Mouth.

And not only was Word of Mouth voted Best New Hampshire Radio Talk Show, but NHPR was voted Best FM Radio Station!

With all that in mind, here is a look back at some of your favorite Word of Mouth stories from the past year.

Word of Mouth presents a special rebroadcast of Writers on a New England Stage with Bill Bryson, presented by NHPR and The Music Hall and recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. He joined Virginia Prescott on stage last October to talk about his book “One Summer: 1927.” It is now available in paperback.

Lady Liberty
Lorianne DiSabato / Flickr Creative Commons

Today's the big day at the 14th Annual Master Sand Sculpting Competition at New Hampshire's Hampton Beach.   Sculptures by some of the continent's best sand artists will be on display and be professionally judged for $15,000 in prizes that will be announced at 8 p.m. Saturday.  Sculpture fans also get to vote from 1 to 4 p.m. for the People's Choice Award.   A sand sculpting lesson will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. to those who sign up at the Chamber of Commerce office near the sculptures.    Fireworks cap off the day at 9:30.

 Southern New Hampshire University and the New Hampshire Institute of Art are considering a merger.

A memo from SNHU President Paul LeBlanc to the university's faculty and staff says a merger would "instantly expand" SNHU's offerings in the arts and give it a greater presence in downtown Manchester.

For the arts institute, joining SNHU could promote its programs better online and it could benefit from the larger university's marketing and recruitment capabilities. Additionally, NHIA students could access SNHU class offerings and facilities.

Mark Dumont via Flickr Creative Commons

There’s a film festival coming to New Hampshire, but it’s not what you might expect. Instead of featuring independent films by aspiring artists, this festival will screen videos that have been stuffed into storage bins and garbage cans. Today we have a conversation with the curators of the Found Footage Festival. But first, biologist Frans de Waal on altruism, empathy, kindness and ethics among bonobo chimps. Plus, we catch you up with the Granite State Music Festival, coming to Concord this weekend.

Listen to the whole show and click Read more for individual segments.


Michael Salerno via flickr Creative Commons

Going up? Today on Word of Mouth, we're lifting you to new cultural heights with a look into the history of two architectural advancements in history - the elevator and escalator. We'll hold the door for you when we stop on a story about a family of mannequins. Last stop, a discussion about why we should all stop singing that pervasive birthday song.

Listen to the whole show and click Read more for individual segments.

The Other Songs Of The Summer

Jun 16, 2014
butler.corey via Flickr Creative Commons

There’s always debate about what will be the ‘song of the summer,’ a title usually determined by airtime and download statistics. But what about all the other songs that deserve a chance at becoming your summer anthem? Here is an alternative summer playlist, with songs from all across the board. Pick your favorite and listen until you get sick of it, hopefully sometime around September.

Kaytee Riek via flickr Creative Commons

According to the calendar, it’s still spring for a few more days, but some music critics have already anointed the song of the summer. Today on Word of Mouth we’ll reveal the warm-weather anthem you’ll be hearing all summer long. Plus, for soccer-loving countries, the World Cup inspires passion, patriotism, and songs, bad ones. We’ll listen to a selection of the worst songs also inspired by the World Cup, from around the world.

Listen to the full show and click Read More for individual segments.


6.14.14: To Twee Or Not To Twee

Jun 13, 2014
Zachary Nugent

First there was rock & roll, then punk, then hip-hop. Today, we’re living in the age of “twee”.  And boy is it precious. We'll explore the gentle revolution that is “twee” from artisanal pickles to Wes Anderson films and why this nostalgia for home-spun innocence is thriving.  And, New Hampshire guitarist Michael Blum talks about making a name for himself in the world of Jazz, and plays some music live in Studio D. Plus, a conversation with comedian Todd glass. He’s been performing stand-up for decades, but made his boldest move a year and a half ago when he came out as gay on the WTF podcast.


The Debate: Should Adults Be Embarrassed To Read YA?

Jun 10, 2014
rachelkramerbussel.com via Flickr Creative Commons

When Ruth Graham published the Slate article “Against YA” there was an immediate push back. Here we’ve compiled some of our favorites for both sides of the debate.

Nay to YA

Against YA,” by Ruth Graham for Slate.

Here it is, the original article. It’s well-reasoned with a lot of good points, even if it’s getting billed with the uber-polarizing line, “you should be embarrassed to read YA.”  Many criticisms seem to skip straight to the part where Graham says adults shouldn't be reading YA, but there's more in here, so take a look.

Thomás via Flickr Creative Commons

The world cup kicks off in Sao Paulo this Thursday amid controversy, corruption, and protest. Today, a profile of the neuroscientist behind a bionic exoskeleton that will make a miraculous kickoff at the world cup possible. But first, Stephen Dubner, co-author of Freaknomics, explains some of the decisions that are part of playing in the world cup. And then, a conversation with Ruth Graham, who triggered a fury among young adult fans by claiming "Adults should be embarrassed about reading literature for children".

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.


What Is "Twee"?

Jun 9, 2014
Waponi via Flickr Creative Commons

We spoke with Marc Spitz about his new book Twee, in which he tries to give a comprehensive and explanatory history of “the gentle revolution.”

(You can hear that conversation here.)

The tenants of Twee are varied but they come down to this: there is darkness in this world that can only be overcome by cultivating passions that foster beauty and evoke a sense of innocence, goodness, and childhood.

In other words, when the world gets scary, just put a bird on it.

As with any cultural movement, the question of Twee can spark long debates (and trying to sort through “Twee vs. Not Twee” makes an awesome party game). To get you up to speed, here’s a handy list of things that are definitively Twee. As Twee defies categorization, we present this to you as a holistic experience, books mixing with music mixing with…hairstyles?

laverrue via Flickr Creative Commons

We are in the midst of a cultural movement…it’s called Twee and boy is it precious. Today we look into the gentle revolution that is Twee…from artisanal pickles to Wes Anderson films, why this retro wish for innocence is thriving. Then, we hear from a local jazz musician who has just released his debut album to good reviews. He has a long career ahead of him since he’s only 20 years old. Plus, a conversation with comedian Todd Glass. He’s been performing stand-up since 1982, but he made his boldest move in 2012 when he came out publicly as gay on Marc Maron’s podcast WTF.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.


6.07.14: The Power of Music

Jun 6, 2014
Molly Donahue

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, there’s nothing quite as divisive as the movie musical. Word of Mouth goes behind the glimmering façades and dance numbers to examine how movie musicals reflect American culture. Then, a conversation and in-studio performance from David Kontak, a New Hampshire musician who makes instruments out of found objects. Plus, Sean Hurley shares the story of a band that deliberately created the world's most endangered song.


Must-Read Books For Summer 2014

Jun 4, 2014

As the warm weather finally arrives, we’re looking at what’s new this season in books suited for coming days at the beach, in the mountains, or even your backyard. There’s a new series from New Hampshire children’s author Paul Durham, a memoir from Mariano Rivera, and a new novel from perennial favorite JK Rowling. (digital post by Faith Meixell)

GUESTS:

Memorable Moments From Movie Musicals

May 29, 2014
prongsie_babie14 via Flickr Creative Commons

No matter your opinion on them, grand musical numbers are notorious earworms. Here we’ve compiled some of the most famous, beloved, and recognizable movie musicals. Go on, sing along, everyone else will too.  

Top Hat (1935)

This was the first screenplay that was written specifically for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, though they would go on to do at least 6 more movie musicals together. The movie helped to save RKO from bankruptcy with $3 million in box office revenues and it was only beaten by Mutiny on the Bounty, which would go on to win the 1935 Best Picture.  

Live From Studio D: David Kontak Ensemble

May 29, 2014

The David Kontak Ensemble invaded Studio D with a bevy of strange instruments and put on quite a show. Check out the performances to see the group "playing" Slinkys, original instruments called 'Babels', and glow in the dark handheld fans.

DMY/sandbox via Wikimedia Commons

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, there’s nothing quite as divisive as the movie musical. We go behind the glimmering façades and dance numbers to examine how movie musicals reflect American culture. Then, a conversation and in-studio performance from David Kontak, a New Hampshire musician who makes instruments out of found objects. Plus, Sean Hurley shares the story of a band that deliberately created the world's most endangered song.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.


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