It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep, with Renee Montagne. Good morning.
Let's try again, shall we, to explain what it means when we hear that the U.S. economy shrank in the fourth quarter of 2012. As we've discussed elsewhere in the program, the decline was slight - just one-tenth of a percentage point - but it is the first contraction of the economy since the Great Recession officially ended in 2009. NPR's Jim Zarroli is with us once again in New York. Jim, good morning.
Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 11:16 am
Can Mark Sanford make a comeback? Right now, it appears quite possible.
The Republican ended his career as South Carolina's governor in disgrace after revealing in 2009 that he'd been surreptitiously spending time in Argentina visiting his mistress. But Sanford now hopes to return to his first job in politics, representing coastal South Carolina in the House.
"As soon as Sanford jumped in, he was the presumptive front-runner, simply because of his money and name recognition," says Scott Huffmon, a pollster based at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.
Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly makes his fifth appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live in Charleston, W.V. Kelly has been recording for more than 25 years, earning awards back home for his film and TV compositions and a cult-like following in the U.S. and abroad. Though Rolling Stone has called him "Australia's rock icon," Kelly has diversified through the years, recording albums that borrow from country, rock, folk and bluegrass.
Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 7:57 am
David Virelles moved to New York in 2009 — and, following in a long line of Cuban-born pianists before him, quickly found himself in several bands led by elite jazz musicians. But Virelles also moved to study composition with iconoclast Henry Threadgill, and what he's come up with as a bandleader extends beyond music.
Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 12:03 pm
There are three phrases that are almost always bad news for a piece of cultural writing.
1. "The masses."
2. "Middle America."
3. "The lowest common denominator."
All three are ways to separate the writer and her sensibility — which are presumed to be congruent with the reader and her sensibility — from invisible and undefined others, for whom bad cultural content is produced and by whom it is unquestioningly gobbled up.
Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 11:16 am
Few pianists have been as influential to modern jazz practice as McCoy Tyner. His harmonic and rhythmic conceptions, notably displayed as a member of John Coltrane's "classic" quartet, are instantly recognizable. And at age 74, you can still hear his driving left hand and dense chordal suggestions in fine form.