Commentary

Not quite a memoir, not quite a collection of essays, Maggie O’Farrell’s I Am, I Am, I Am is a group of personal narratives recounting the times when her life edged dangerously close to death. The subtitle, “Seventeen Brushes with Death,” is powerful in itself, but even more so when you read what she experienced.

Marginalia: Jojo Moyes

Feb 2, 2018

When Jojo Moyes wrote Me Before You in 2012, she wasn’t expecting to write a follow-up. But the unlikely heroine of that book, Louisa Clark, just wouldn’t leave her. So Moyes penned After You, which was published in 2015. Louisa Clark kept speaking to her, so Moyes wrote Still Me, which hit the shelves this week.

Jojo Moyes is on tour this week, but I caught up with her via phone to talk about the unplanned series, her research, and what she’s working on next. Here’s our conversation:

And here's the shorter commentary from on-air:

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Weston Townsley

Weston Townsley plays drums with Not Cops and The Somber Arrows. He is also a photographer and sous chef at Siena Tuscan Steakhouse.

The director Ernst Lubitsch said, “Any good movie is filled with secrets. If a director doesn’t leave anything unsaid, it’s a lousy movie.” It’s a good bet, then, that Lubitsch would have loved Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film, Phantom Thread, where what’s left unsaid is weaponized and turned into the artillery of a smoldering power struggle.

I attended the opening of Kansas painter William Counter’s exhibition last Friday night at City Arts. The show is entitled “Red Stripe” and is an explosive exhibition. The show beckons the viewer through the front door with great color and message. 

Weirdly, one of this country’s most popular musical events is a football game - the annual Super Bowl Halftime show. It gets ratings far higher than any concert broadcast - five times the viewers of the Grammy Awards. A sports tournament is not the ideal time and place for an artistic statement. But still it’s worth asking: can the halftime show be a good musical experience?

Jonathan Huber

Kansas was the 34th state admitted to the Union on January 29th, 1861. The Kauffman Museum, in North Newton, annually holds a Kansas Day celebration. KMUW’s Jonathan Huber paid a visit on Saturday and found demonstrations of statehood-era equipment and methods. Bandanas were tied into baskets, twine turned into rope, and a machine that removed kernels of corn off of the cob, and, of course, carriage rides.

Brian Tamborello

Among the many critical perspectives that are useful in listening to and thinking about hip hop, two in particular are relevant to a lot of the music being produced recently: Afro-pessimism and Afrofuturism.

I Love You Because is a musical in two acts, reportedly inspired by Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice, with music by Joshua Salzman and book and lyrics by Ryan Cunningham. The pair met while attending NYU as graduate students in musical theater writing, and began writing the songs for this show while they were still students.

Marginalia: Peter Heller

Jan 26, 2018
John Burcham

Peter Heller’s book, Celine, is a book about a private eye who is anything but typical. She’s 68 years old, part of the New York aristocracy, is highly educated, and her petite and sophisticated form can barely peer over a steering wheel. And she not entirely fictional. The character Celine is very much based on Peter Heller’s mother. 

The book was recently released in paperback, and I caught up with Heller to visit about the book, his mother, the writing process, and what’s next.  Here’s our conversation:     

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