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Plus student debt relief updates, conservative outrage, movie reviews, Matt Gaetz, and more.
Two Academy Award nominated dramas centered on difficult family drama. Plus music from The Black Black and E. Woods.
The renowned biographer’s definitive portrait of a literary titan.
MJ's rise and Matt Gaetz's downfall. photo courtesy of Mark Foley via Wikimedia Commons
Ashley is an elementary school art teacher at a New York City public school in an underserved area. She shares the difficulties she faced while teaching students remotely after the city locked down during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This week Kimberly spoke with Augustine Boyce Cummings, a new York-based artist who works with sculpture, painting, drawing and assemblages. During the conversation, Kimberly and Boyce spoke about Boyce's project titled An American Dream, a massive multi-media installation that was exhibited in an abandoned school building in Grand Rapids Michigan. All images courtesy of the artist
Christopher Nolan’s latest is a confounding, yet impressive, big screen spectacle. Plus music from Faith & Majesty and Pearl Charles.
Inspired by the true World War II history of the few bookshops to survive the Blitz, ‘The Last Bookshop in London’ is a timeless story of wartime loss, love and the enduring power of literature.
Conservative media outrage is predictable, but by invoking Satan, Lil Nas X has managed to break their brains almost entirely.
Lil Nas X sparks a 90s style satanic panic and a check in on border and immigration policy under Biden. photo courtesy of Fabebk via Wikimedia Commons
After researching the benefits of veganism, Milagros decided to transition to a vegan diet. What she didn’t expect was a negative reaction from her family – especially her mother. Since meat is a central part of Peruvian cuisine and food is at the heart of every social event, Milagros’s mother worried that her daughter’s exclusion of animal products would also mean her exclusion at family gatherings.
This week Kimberly spoke with Chip McCall, a New York-based artist whose playful sculptures explore ideas of capitalism and object functionality. Throughout the conversation Kimberly and Chip speak about online identities, Chip's repurposing of household products and the role humor and language play in his work. All images courtesy of the artist I'd eat the whole damn child just to taste the thing it came out Of Dense with sunspots and a hairline that makes no definitive Conclusion Well if I can't be president, I guess I'll get my d*ck sucked by a snake Excited about the McRib coming back
Plus Trump's social media, Amazon's bad tweets, and Queen Elizabeth's favorite pirate.
A somewhat unprecedented director's cut… for better or worse. Plus music from Sunny War.
Francis Drake, Elizabeth I, & the Perilous Birth of the British Empire.
The deep societal rot that's routinized mass shootings has pervaded our ability to consume information.
Racism, sexism and xenophobia intersect after the shooting targeting Asian Americans in Georgia, listener thoughts on the transphobic statehouse bills, and the economist who became a prominent voice on school reopening causes backlash in the Atlantic.  photo courtesy of U.S. Secretary of Defense/ Lisa Ferdinando via Wikimedia Commons
After a visit to Nigeria, Nigel learned about the country’s rich culture and appreciated how it differed from the U.S. He shares how traveling can broaden one’s outlook, foster empathy, and lead one to appreciate things that are often taken for granted.
Somehow we’ve been telling stories for fifteen years now. Don’t ask us where the time went, we don’t know. But for our fifteenth anniversary we’ve gathered a trio of our favorite storytellers and we asked them to tell their favorite stories. Watch out for dead fish, aspiring models, and high school boners. You’ve been warned. Most importantly, thank you for listening all these years. Here’s to fifteen more.
In the span of a few tweets, a gross cereal discovery turned into a full-blown Twitter scandal.
This week Kimberly spoke with New York-based artist Audrey Ryan about the collection of intimate paintings depicting members of the punk, hard core BDSM communities that are currently on view at Field Projects in NYC. All images courtesy of the artist
Plus "energized" Trump, progressive influence, Seuss cancellation, and more on the Helen Keller TikTok hoax.
The president makes progress. A governor descends further into scandal. The Oscar-nominated film, ‘Another Round.’ Plus music from Bartees Strange and Mala Vista.
The Helen Keller hoax possesses the toxicity of a traditional conspiracy theory even if it doesn't quite fit the definition.
“To remove them from the market, however distasteful they may be, is censorship, pure and simple,” one says. Another opines, “The guardians of Dr. Seuss’s literary legacy made the right call.”
Cora Currier joins us to discuss the new Lux Magazine, a new magazine of feminism for the masses. Also, Molly takes a closer look at the barrage of bills targeting trans athletes, and a good old fashioned listener mail! Cora Currier via Twitter (@Coracurrier)
Ben details his experience of contracting the coronavirus back in late February/early March of 2020, before lockdowns shut NYC down. He also shares how the city and local indie rock scene he’s a part of reacted to the pandemic.
This week Kimberly spoke with New York based artist Madeleine Fia Matson about her process of making plein air paintings while in residence at LMCC's artist residency initiative in response to COVID-19. All images courtesy of the artist
Plus political capital, minimum wage talk, TikTok vs. Helen Keller, and more.
Researcher Mikey Biddlestone on a conspiracy theory aimed at an icon. Regina King’s film, One Night in Miami...’ Plus music from Soul Honey Records.
A heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over.
The new CDC guidelines say that vaccinated people can be together indoors, and a stimulus bill round-up including the highs and lows of the Democratic Party. Krysten Sinema Photo courtesy of The United States Senate - The Office of Krysten Sinema via Wikimedia Commons
When she was eleven, a tumultuous age when the need to fit in is strong due to a lack of self-confidence, Courtney befriended the “cool kids” at the local pool. When her neighborhood friends, who did not fit the ideals of coolness, asked to play with Courtney and her clique, she actively excluded them in fear that she would be rejected by the popular crowd. Years later, she still regrets her actions and shares how the experience taught her to never compromise who she is just to be accepted.
When a television format lends itself to memes— like, say, a back-and-forth interview—posters strike quickly.
Parker Thornton is an artist and writer who lives and works in Atlanta, GA. She earned her BA in English Literature and Studio Art from Oglethorpe University in 2013 and her MFA in Photography from Georgia State University in 2020. Her practice ranges from lens-based media to sculpture, writing, and performance. She has exhibited work nationally at Whitespace, Historic Oakland Cemetery, and SOUP Experimental. Parker was the 2020 winner of the Andrew M. West Scholarship at Georgia State University. In 2019, she was an artist in residence at Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan, Ireland. That year she was also granted a scholarship to attend Anderson Ranch Art Center, and won Best in Show at Day and Night Projects. All images courtesy of the artist Skinned Boulder. Latex, moss, camel hair, 2019. Body Of. Rendered animal fat, birdseed. 5” x 4” x 9”. 2020. Defrosting a Chicken. Archival inkjet print. 13" x 19". 2019. Skinned Tree (Flesh side, detail). Latex, ivy. 2019. Skinned Tree (Bark side, detail). Latex. 2019.
Plus stupid cancel culture wars, author interviews, low-energy Trump, and more.
Journalist Ryan Cooper on NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent troubles. Lee Isaac Chung’s film, ‘Minari.’ Plus music from T.V.O.D. and Kaz Mirblouk.
With Trump gone, the right has intensified in a culture war that exists mostly in their own minds.
I often wonder if we are living the wrong life in the wrong country.
We spend the hour on the latest round of anti-trans bigotry. Photo courtesy of  Kai Medina (Mk170101) via Wikimedia Commons  
States rushing to reopen now feels a bit like starting your end zone dance at the 20-yard line.
While working at a summer camp, Jeff invented a game that became popular amongst the kids. Upsetting the “bros” in charge of sports at the camp was an unexpected benefit.
This week Kimberly spoke with Lesley Wamsley, a New York artist whose observation-based paintings work to document life in the present moment. Throughout the conversation, they spoke about Lesley's desire to document life through painting and the benefits that allowing herself to paint en plein air had on her art and life. Images courtesy of the artist
Chloé Zhao’s gorgeous new docudrama resonates today. Plus stories of traveling the road. Also, music from Jonas Carping and Hoorsees.
The Butcher Shop Girl’ is a compelling memoir of resilience and persistence that captures the vivacious spirit of a small-town girl determined to succeed by any means necessary.
It's your late winter, late pandemic, extremely over it Covid roundup. Plus, lessons from the communist party in Alabama in the 1930s. photo courtesy of Fulbert via Wikimedia Commons
When Penny was sick in the hospital, she asked Ollie not to tell her family out of worry that the news would hurt her ailing and elderly mother. But after Penny passed away, Ollie traveled to New Mexico to meet with Penny’s mother and talk to her about Penny’s final years. During this trip, Ollie learns about serendipity and how it can be found.
We don’t love snow but we do love love. At least that’s what we claim during our round-table discussion. We hope, you love this month’s show, since our theme is, well, love. We explore love in all its facets: near death experiences, Humvees, and “the one who got away.” Here’s looking at you, kid.
This week Kimberly speaks with Brianna Harlan, a multi-disciplinary artist who works conceptually in multiform, socially and self-engaged art.  In the episode Kimberly and Brianna speak about Brianna's need to confront, though art engagement, how systems violently condition our identity and how that influences the quality of life, health and habits. They also speak about Brianna's projects Black Love Blooms, Black Girl Telephone and Creative in the Grey. All images courtesy of the artist
Plus movie reviews, artist and author interviews, minimum wage discussion, impeachment acquittal, and more.
In this episode, Joe Virgillito and Charles Hinshaw to discuss the new movie 'Judas and the Black Messiah' directed by Shaka King and starring Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield. Later in the show, Charles speaks with Jacqueline Soller about 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' directed by George C. Wolfe and starring Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis. Plus we’ll hear live performances from OK Cowgirl and Lindsay Reamer, both recorded exclusively for BTRtoday.
From acclaimed spy novelist Paul Vidich comes a taut new thriller following the attempted exfiltration of a KGB officer from the ever-changing—and always dangerous—USSR in the mid-1980s.
Trump was acquitted again, the CDC issued new guidance for school reopening, and another vaccine roundup. Photo courtesy of TapTheForwardAssist via Wikimedia Commons
Joe discusses the difficulties of officiating the wedding of close friends and gives advice on how to overcome any pressure one might have while taking on a big role for the first time.
This week Kimberly spoke with Berlin-based artist Rubén González Escudero, whose work examines the complexity of urban spaces, social and cultural structures and how they interact. Throughout the conversation they talk about Rubén's relationship with Berlin as well as the hometown of his mother in Spain. All videos courtesy of the artist Eadem mutata resurgo from Rubén González Escudero on Vimeo. Walking around (Excerpt) from Rubén González Escudero on Vimeo.
Joe Biden has a plan, but is it enough? Trump needs to be held to account, but will he be? Plus music by Thick and Bruisey Peets.
A brilliant and novel examination of how Abraham Lincoln mastered the art of leadership.
Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and the rest of the freshman Congress-- your questions, answered! Also, AOC's accounting of her experience on January 6th. Photo courtesy of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene via Wikimedia Commons
Growing up, Morgan always thought that their family was made up of just them, their mother, and their father. But when their mother passed away, they received a message from their mother’s half-sister — one that neither Morgan nor their father even knew existed — which unlocked a part of their mother’s life that they never could have imagined. 1st Person is presented by Urban Outfitters. Music featured in the episode: "Kisses" by Lomelda
This week Kimberly spoke with Maxim Ryazanksy about his portrait series Artist Portraits: Volume 1 (2015-2020)  All images courtesy of Maxim Ryazansky Nicasio Fernandez, 2017 Stephanie Slate, 2015 Shona McAndrew, 2018 Doreen Garner, 2016 Mitchell Cooper, 2017 Elliot Purse, 2019 Baseera Khan, 2017 Adrienne Gaither, 2017 Margaret Cross, 2016 Ashton Ogbomoneu, 2018
Turns out a trippy halftime show during a dystopian pandemic Super Bowl is perfect fodder for social media jokes. Who would've thought?
Revisiting previous topics: free college, misinformation, immersive moviegoing, prediction markets, and polling. Plus music from Hollyy.
A debut collection from an extraordinary new talent, a vivid portrayal of the men and women of modern China and its diaspora.
Vaccine Guy checks in, and GameStop is not the revolution. Photo courtesy of U.S. Secretary of Defense via Wikimedia Commons
If you thought it didn't get dumber than betting Gatorade color, you thought wrong.
Val recalls the trauma of having bed bugs and roommates who placed the blame on her. She discusses the measures she took to rid herself of the pests, and how she exterminated the bed bugs, too. 1st Person is presented by Urban Outfitters. Music featured in the episode: "These Are The Days, My Friend" by It Could Be Franky
This week Kimberly spoke with Adam Chau, a ceramic designer who investigates the hybridization of handcraft and digital technology. Throughout the conversation they speak about the techniques Adam uses to insert hand-crafted elements into digital processes and they also reflect on the effects of digital culture on society. All images courtesy of Adam Chau  
The 4th installment of Steven McQueen’s series. A long-delayed revenge film. Plus music by Tommy Sherrod and MC WhiteOwl.
Online brokerages like Robinhood have sparked outrage by delisting popular meme stocks.
Pike Logan must divert two world powers from engaging in a major conflict that could ignite a war in this pulse-pounding thriller from New York Times bestselling author and former Special Forces officer Brad Taylor.
A look at the cautious optimism of the first few days of the Biden administration, and a check in on schools as Chicago teachers vote to refuse to return. COVID-19 School closure sign in Williamsport, PA photo courtesy of Brinacor via Wikimedia Commons
Despite experiencing traumatic events, Jennifer has always brushed them off. It was only when Jennifer finally spoke about what happened to her that she realized they affected her a lot more than she thought.
Did you ever achieve sports glory? Me neither. So live vicariously through our performers this month as they regale us with such past triumphs as getting promoted to assistant bat boy, coaching a losing youth volleyball team, and pooping in a McDonald’s bag to get back at a crosstown rival. We only find the classiest storytellers for you!
Hall W Rockefeller is an artists writer who holds both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in the history of art. She is the founder of "Less Than Half" and "50 Women Project," works of art writing honoring the life and work of women artists
Trump slinks away as his impeachment trial looms. Biden hits the ground runnings with executive orders and a pandemic plan. Plus music by The Electric Grandmother and Comfy.
This spare, graceful narrative chronicles the flux of parenthood, marriage, and the day-to-day practice of love. As challenging as it is vulnerable, as furious as it is tender, as touching as it is darkly comic, Peter Ho Davies’ new novel is an unprecedented depiction of fatherhood.
John’s piece at the Prospect about the historical ebb and flow between police and the far right, and public health advocates are underselling the vaccine. Crowd of Trump supporters marching on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 photo courtesy of TapTheForwardAssist via Wikimedia Commons
Maggie shares some of the ups and downs of parenting during the pandemic and acknowledges that even while their family’s basic needs were always met, there has been a lot to balance over the last 10 months.
Hyun Jung Ahn is a Korean painter who creates work that investigates personal connection through enigmatic, abstract forms. Ahn earned her first MFA from Duk-Sung Women’s University, Seoul in 2013 and she received her second MFA in painting and drawing from Pratt Institute in 2017. Ahn’s work has been exhibited internationally in Seoul, Tuscany, Miami, San Francisco, and New York City. She participated in residencies including Studio in Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and Vermont Studio Center. Ahn currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. All images courtesy of the artist
A big screen spectacle on our TVs. The 3rd In Steve McQueen’s remarkable series.. Plus music by Sanya N’Kanta.
"There’s nothing like a Black salesman on a mission."
We spend the hour on the fascist takeover of the Capitol building on January 6th. Photo courtesy of TapTheForwardAssist via Wikimedia Commons
Stephen detais his experience of contracting the coronavirus back in late February/early March of 2020, before lockdowns shut NYC down. He also shares how the busy Brooklyn music scene he’s a part of may have helped to spread it among his friends before people knew how serious the pandemic would turn out to be–and perhaps already was, in retrospect–along with his thoughts on the response to the crisis and how, while hard to live through, it’s confirmed why he loves the city. 1st Person is presented by Urban Outfitters. Music featured in the episode: "Featherweight" by Fleet Foxes
This week Kimberly spoke with NY-based artist, curator and MFA candidate SiSi Chen. Throughout the conversation they spoke about SiSi's new role as the director of Trestle Gallery and her task of fundraising in order to keep the gallery doors open. They also about the work she is producing for her thesis project at Hunter College and also about her programs efforts to decolonize their MFA program. All images courtesy of the artist
Certain election defeat for Trump fueled armed insurrection. Meanwhile, Dems will now hold both chambers of Congress along with the White House. Plus music by Erin Frisy and Gold Connections.
I’m not giving anything away. You need to tune in to listen to clips from my Top Five interviews of 2020!
We spend the hour on the disastrous vaccine rollout.
Atlanta-native Kaddy describes his firsthand experience participating in Black Lives Matter protests compared to the media’s portrayal.
This week Kimberly spoke with Sheilah Restack, an Ohio-based artist whose work explores the intersection of photography, sculpture and human relationships. She also collaborates on video work with her wife, Dani Restack. Sheilah is currently an associate professor of studio art at Denison University and has attended residencies at MacDowell, Banff Center for the Arts, and Struts and Faucet Media Center, among others. She has exhibited widely nationally and internationally, including countries such as New Zealand, Germany, Newfoundland, Romania, South Korea, Portugal and Spain, among others. All images and videos courtesy of the artist Installation view Hold Hold Spill at Interface Gallery, Oakland, CA. Curated by Suzanne L’heureux. July 17-August 23, 2020. Back view Hold House Walking prints on fiber photo paper, plexi, water, wild dill from Headlands, yellow acetate, plant material, angle iron, rock, rubber bands, plexi, thread, 30 x 50 x 60”, 2020 Hold Rose Photogram on RC paper, 4 x 5 glassplate negatives of historical events (snowflake letter from Jeffry inside the negatives), rein, angle iron, plexi and metal clips, 40 x 24 x 4”, 2019 Detail Rabbit Felt blanket, fiber walking prints, acetate, note on FGT paper, chalk line, cement wedge, thread. 32 x 52 x 6,5”, 2020
2020 In Review! We revisit our chat about the 2011 movie, ‘Contagion’ from way back in March. Plus music by Lisel, Activity, Shamir, Felicia Douglass… and Allison Langerak and Wyatt Tuzo.
The classic sitcom has changed streaming homes, but in case you don't want to download Peacock, we've got options for you.