Art and Culture

Art and culture

If you're looking for something to immediately lift your spirits, give a listen to "Rain Down Fire" by The Rev. Joseph D. Linton and the Progressive Baptist Church Choir of St. Louis, Missouri.

Hear the full track here!


I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and biographies.

On occasion, I like to dip into some unusual novels referred to as “Chick Lit.”  This popular genre seems to be everywhere I see readers.  Tracey Garvis Graves has written eight novels.  The Girl He Used to Know is her ninth.  Aside from an occasional romp in the bedroom of a pair of students, I found the story amusing with a truly gripping twist.


Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis

People who play a musical instrument are witnesses to the power of art.

I was walking through the music building the other day at the university and I passed down a long hallway lined with practice rooms. Over the course of a just a couple of minutes—I was walking slowly just to take it all in—I heard violins, pianos, flutes, clarinets, a French Horn, percussion, and a bassoon.  All of the players were working on pieces that sounded difficult, but all were likewise nailing them pretty well, at least when I took my walk.

"Moving on Up the King's Highway" by the otherwise unknown Mellotones is both surprisingly and remarkably tuneful gospel. 

Hear the full track here!


I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and biographies.

As the companion of two affectionate and smart Labrador Retrievers, I was happy to run across Clive D. L. Wynne’s fascinating story of dogs and their relationship to humans.  Professor Wynne is the founding director of the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University.  He has published a number of articles, and he has appeared on National Geographic Explorer, PBS, and the BBC.  He lives in Tempe, Arizona.  Dog is Love is his first full length book.

 


David and Art - "No Twitter"

Mar 9, 2020
Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis

A culture that wants its information in tweet-sized packages is going to have trouble appreciating art.

 

When the number nine hitter comes to the plate with one on and no outs in a close game, he’ll often square to bunt. As the pitcher begins his windup the first and third basemen charge in and the person playing second wheels over to cover first.  It’s a complex series of events that unfolds quickly but because it’s not immediately evident what’s going on, those who aren’t familiar with baseball are often left scratching their heads. But if you’re patient and take time to figure it out or ask someone, you’ll gain a greater appreciation for the subtleties that go on between every pitch. (read more)

Little Richard pours as much gleeful energy into the children's spiritual "Joy, Joy, Joy" as he does into any of his better-known pop hits!

Hear the full track here!


Events: March 6 - 12

Mar 6, 2020

Ashley Bean Thornton with Act Locally Waco and Brodie Bashaw talk about a few events happening in the coming week.  From spring breaks activites to a lecture on mosquito control, Wacotown in buzzing.


I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and biographies.

According to the Penguin notice, Stewart O’Nan is the author of eleven novels and two works of nonfiction.  I first read his work in, Last Night at the Lobster, which became a national bestseller.  He has won a number of awards, and Granta named him one of the twenty Best Young American Novelists.  He lives with his family in Connecticut.   Just finished Songs for the Missing.  This novel is intense.  The story carries the lives of a family through immense trauma, and the heartache rides with them to the end.

 


Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis

A word that musicians have long used to refer to performances is today being heard far from the arts world.

Sometimes during my senior year in high school, I would slip out of one of my elective classes and go hang out in the band hall.  Very often only the assistant band director and I would be in there talking or listening to jazz or whatever, and any time he had to leave the room for something, before he walked out he would say “If my manager calls, take the gig.”  I didn’t know exactly what it meant, but thought it was just about the coolest thing I’d ever heard anyone say. (read more)

Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis

A word that musicians have long used to refer to performances is today being heard far from the arts world.


The otherwise unknown Capitol City Star Singers channel the O'Jays on the uptempo gospel song, "What He's Done for Me."

Hear the whole track here!


Hosting this week is Kennedy Sam.  Kennedy talks with Eric Shephard of the Waco Civic Theater on their upcoming programming. Also on the program, Kennedy speaks with Fiona Bond about the local art scene and the events coming up in Waco.  Lastly, we'll hear from David Smith with another installment of David and Art.


I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and biographies.

Kent Haruf died a few years ago, and I only learned of him when I came across his last novel, Our Souls at Night.  This tender dance between a widow and a widower who—in an effort to ward off loneliness--joined together struck me to the bone.  I immediately sought out the other five.  Where You Once Belonged leaves me with only one more.  And that makes me sad, because this collection of short novels is nothing more than magnificent.  All six of these stories deserve 10 stars as a group.

David and Art - "Federal Architecture"

Feb 24, 2020
Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis

In what way could the architecture of government buildings say anything about the government itself?

Last week, I mentioned former President Theodore Roosevelt’s harsh disapproval of some contemporary art in a 1913 New York exhibit.  He was critical of paintings that he felt didn’t meet his standard of what art ought to look like, and was particularly dismissive of European Modernists.  You will have noticed perhaps that the current President is likewise outspoken in his cultural opinions. (read more)

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