Studio 360

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The Peabody Award-winning Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, from PRI and WNYC, is public radio’s smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt Andersen introduces you to the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy – so let Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life.
Updated: 56 min 30 sec ago

Creepers, Golliwog, Spalding

January 18, 2038 - 11:14pm
Kurt Andersen talks to novelist Anne Rice about the mystery and allure of monsters across movies, art, and literature.
Categories: NPR Feeds

Sideshow Podcast: Pogo is YouTube's Favorite Musician

July 29, 2014 - 8:00am

Pogo might be one of the most popular musicians in the world, but there’s a fair chance you’ve never heard of him. He doesn’t drop surprise albums like Beyoncé or fill stadiums like the Boss, but he rules on YouTube. His channel has well over 300,000 subscribers, and his pop culture mash-up music videos have been viewed more than 100 million times.

Pogo’s real name is Nick Bertke. Where some mash-up artists stun with clever technique or surreal juxtapositions, Pogo is first and foremost a fan, passionate and careful with his sources. He grew up in New Zealand immersed in American culture – Back to the Future, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, all things Disney. Even as a child, he was fascinated by the small sounds that made up the bigger pictures he would watch over and over. As an adult, he found a way to make music with them: “What if you made this kind of collage of all of these sounds and voices?” Bertke wondered. “So that you’re actually using a film and the essence of that film to make a song?”

His first attempt was posted in 2007, when YouTube was a toddler. He dismantled Disney’s Alice in Wonderland and put it back together in under three minutes:

“Alice” won Pogo millions of views and a letter from Disney – not a takedown notice, but an invitation to Pixar’s California headquarters. He left with a copy of Up before it was released and sent back “Upular.” Since then he’s made a career out of commissioned videos, with original work for Warner Brothers, Showtime, and a number of car companies.

But Pogo makes pop music, and his white whale is the live show, which he says he has yet to perfect. He dreams of costumed dancers and remixing his work live. In the meantime, he confronts “a terrible bucket of stress, having to go on that show with this dinky laptop,” he says. “On the other hand, it is immensely invigorating and inspiring as well.”

Categories: NPR Feeds

Tupac on Broadway & Mad Magazine

July 25, 2014 - 12:00am

Holler If Ya Hear Me, the Broadway musical based on the work of Tupac Shakur, closed after just one month of performances. Reviews were lackluster and ticket sales disappointing. But the show’s star, poet and actor Saul Williams, says Broadway audiences need to get over recycled shows like Rocky and start dealing with real stories. And we take a serious look at Mad Magazine, the goofy, bawdy, sarcastic kids’ magazine that made America snarky. Also, a live performance from Lydia Loveless, the 23-year-old country belter who has to choke back tears when she sings about losing her family’s farm.

Categories: NPR Feeds

Will Sci-Fi Save Us?

July 18, 2014 - 12:00am

What does today’s sci-fi mean for our real-life future?  Cyberpunk author Neal Stephenson argues that it’s time to get over our love of dystopia. A class at MIT searches sci-fi classics for technologies they can invent right now, although maybe they shouldn’t. Geoengineers take a tip from Carl Sagan – who saw a green future for Mars – to see if we can save Earth.  And we meet some scientists who think that if we ever want to see the stars, we’d better start building the starship.  

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