Saturday playlist


Dar Williams was one of Kerri Miller's guests on Midmorning this week.

Photo by Traci Goudie

Despite all the talk of elections, we still managed to get in quite a few interviews with authors, musicians, and even a gal who's living in a museum for a month! You've got some catching up to do...

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Rooted in tradition, the face of Halloween continues to change

As Halloween approaches and people begin loading up on candy supplies and selecting costumes, it's almost as traditional for older people to begin complaining that Halloween isn't what it used to be.

Living for a month in a museum

This morning, Twin Cities native Kate McGroarty woke up in Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. In fact, she's been living inside the museum for the last week-and-a-half. McGroarty won a contest that gave her the opportunity to live in the museum for an entire month.

Dracula through the ages

A lawyer has turned his obsession with Victorian times and its most prominent characters into a new book that catalogues everything one might hope to know about Dracula.

Ian Frazier explores the lure of Siberia

For almost 20 years writer Ian Frazier has been obsessed by a place which many people use as a metaphor for unpleasantness: Siberia.

A doctor struggles with mental illness

Physician and author Mark Vonnegut (son of Kurt Vonnegut) has a new memoir which chronicles his struggle to lead a normal life as a pediatrician and family man while conquering his own demons.

Where do good ideas come from?

Best-selling author Steven Johnson talks about his new book, "Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation," in an event hosted by APM's John Moe in MPR's UBS Forum.

Art Hounds

Each week Minnesota Public Radio News asks three people from the Minnesota arts scene to be "Art Hounds." Their job is to step outside their own work and hunt down something exciting that's going on in local arts. This week they fill us in on an internationally-known artist brings his juxtaposed prints to Highpoint, a play about Alabama slave descendants and their glorious quilts is at Park Square, and top-notch Twin Cities improv artists congregate at the BLB.

Singer-songwriter collects friends along the way

Dar Williams' latest album is a retrospective with a twist. On "Many Great Companions," the coffee-house veteran collaborates with some of her contemporaries to breathe new life into some of her old favorites.

The Dinner Party Download featuing Noomi Rapace

This week on the Dinner Party Download, a joke from pop legend Tom Jones -- yes, the Tom Jones -- and Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, star of a series of films based on the blockbuster books by Stieg Larsson.

From The Current:

The Dandy Warhols perform in The Current studio

They took time out of their schedule before their show in Minneapolis and stopped by The Current studio.

The Black Angels perform in The Current studio

The band's latest offering, titled "Phosphene Dream," was released earlier this fall. They stopped by The Current to hang out with Bill Deville.

From National Public Radio:

'Tamil Pulp': Sexy, Gory Fiction, Now In English

by Sandip Roy, National Public Radio

Tamil is a language known for its poetry, but commentator Sandip Roy knows it has another side. Dime-store pulp fiction has a large Tamil-speaking following -- and a newly translated anthology is coming to America.

High-Tech Ghouls Haunt Stores, Homes

Halloween is decidedly high-tech these days, with stores selling zombie babies or animatronic Freddy Krueger dolls. But many Halloween purists prefer a DIY approach. As technology gets cheaper, more people are experimenting with robots, microcontrollers and movement detectors.

Fans Show Their LeBron Love -- Through Poetry

NPR's Michele Norris talks to Dan Grech, radio news director of WLRN Miami Herald News, about the LeBron James Poetry contest. In honor of James coming to Miami, folks are invited to submit poetry to mark this event. They have received more than 1,000 submissions.

Manuscripts Suggest Jane Austen Had A Great Editor

Can't remember the "i before e" rule? Don't worry, neither could Jane Austen. Oxford University professor Kathryn Sutherland has studied more than 1,000 pages of the beloved novelist's handwritten text. Sutherland's found some surprising differences between the manuscripts and the finished works.

Taylor Swift Poised For One Of 2010's Biggest Sellers

The pop superstar, one of the music industry's biggest money-makers, released a new album Tuesday. The Wall Street Journal's Christopher John Farley discusses his recent interview with Swift.

Vijay Iyer Blends The Old With The New

Anointed the next bright hope of jazz, last year's breakout pianist took only two days to record his first solo album of originals and covers. Does it live up to high expectations? NPR's Tom Moon reviews the album here.

Madonna To Open A Chain Of Gyms

Madonna is opening a worldwide chain of gyms. The first Hard Candy Fitness opens next month in Mexico City. Ten more are planned in countries like Russia, Brazil and Argentina. None here in the United States.

Book Review: 'The Turquoise Ledge'

Author Leslie Marmon Silko is a successful novelist and story writer. Now, she's published a memoir describing her Native American heritage and experiences growing up and living in the Southwest U.S.

A Common Thread: Music Of Spain And Mexico

When Spain invaded the Americas in the 15th century, the cultural collision caused reverberations on both sides of the Atlantic. A new recording by Jordi Savall and Tembembe Ensamble Continuo turns an ear to the musical results of that clash.

The Sweet, Social Legacy Of Cadbury Chocolate

When Deborah Cadbury was a child, an enormous box of Cadbury chocolates arrived on her doorstep every Christmas. It was just one of the perks of being related to a famous chocolate dynasty: the Cadburys. Cadbury delves into her family's legacy in Chocolate Wars.

Master Of The Leaf: Preserving China's Music

Dadawa, a Chinese pop star and ambassador for the United Nations Development Program, is on a mission to help preserve minority music. Her travels took her through six of China's most far-flung provinces to find masters of vanishing musical traditions.

Noomi Rapace: Finding Lisbeth, And Letting Her Go

The actress who has played Stieg Larsson's punk-hacker heroine in a trilogy of thriller films tells NPR's Melissa Block that it was strangely easy to identify with the character -- and harder than she expected to get Lisbeth out of her head.