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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for September 2022: Martin interviews Mark Clague, author of O Say Can You Hear?: A Cultural History of The Star Spangled Banner.

Wed, 09/07/2022 - 3:47pm

Most Americans learn the tale in elementary school: During the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key witnessed the daylong bombardment of Baltimore’s Fort McHenry by British navy ships; seeing the Stars and Stripes still flying proudly at first light, he was inspired to pen his famous lyric. What Americans don’t know is the story of how this everyday “broadside ballad,” one of thousands of such topical songs that captured the events and emotions of early American life, rose to become the nation’s one and only anthem and today’s magnet for controversy.

In O Say Can You Hear? Mark Clague brilliantly weaves together the stories of the song and the nation it represents. Examining the origins of both text and music, alternate lyrics and translations, and the song’s use in sports, at times of war, and for political protest, he argues that the anthem’s meaning reflects―and is reflected by―the nation’s quest to become a more perfect union. From victory song to hymn of sacrifice and vehicle for protest, the story of Key’s song is the story of America itself.

Each chapter in the book explores a different facet of the anthem’s story. In one, we learn the real history behind the singing of the anthem at sporting events; in another, Clague explores Key’s complicated relationship with slavery and its repercussions today. An entire is chapter devoted to some of the most famous performances of the anthem, from Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock to Jose Feliciano at the 1968 World Series. At every turn, the book goes beyond the events to explore the song’s resonance and meaning.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for July 2022: Martin interviews Alex B. Hill, author of Detroit in 50 Maps

Tue, 07/05/2022 - 9:38am

Detroit in 50 Maps shows you the Motor City from entirely new perspectives, from neighborhood coffee shops to the legacy of redlining.

There are thousands of ways to map a city. Roads, bridges, and railways help you navigate the twists and turns; topography gives you the lay of the land; population growth shows you its changing fortunes. But the best maps let you feel what that city's really like. Detroit in 50 Maps deconstructs the Motor City in surprising new ways. Track where new coffee shops and co-working spaces have opened and closed in the last five years. Find the areas with the highest concentrations of pizzerias, Coney Island hot dog shops, or ring-necked pheasants. In each colorful map, you'll find a new perspective on one of America’s most misunderstood cities and the people who live here.

A conversation starter for Detroiters past, present, and future, Detroit in 50 Maps is for anyone keen to understand the city in new and surprising ways.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for June 2022: Martin interviews Scott A. Small, author of Forgetting: The Benefits of Not Remembering.

Fri, 06/03/2022 - 3:59pm

Dr. Scott Small has dedicated his career to understanding why memory forsakes us. As director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Columbia University, he focuses largely on patients who experience pathological forgetting, and it is in contrast to their suffering that normal forgetting, which we experience every day, appears in sharp relief.

Until recently, most everyone—memory scientists included—believed that forgetting served no purpose. But new research in psychology, neurobiology, medicine, and computer science tells a different story. Forgetting is not a failure of our minds. It’s not even a benign glitch. It is, in fact, good for us—and, alongside memory, it is a required function for our minds to work best.

Forgetting benefits our cognitive and creative abilities, emotional well-being, and even our personal and societal health. As frustrating as a typical lapse can be, it’s precisely what opens up our minds to making better decisions, experiencing joy and relationships, and flourishing artistically.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for May 2022: Martin interviews Scott Eyman, author of 20th Century Fox: Darryl F. Zanuck and the Creation of the Modern Film Studio

Thu, 05/05/2022 - 2:06pm

From New York Times bestselling author Scott Eyman, 20th Century Fox: Darryl F. Zanuck and the Creation of the Modern Film Studio is the story one of the most influential studios in film history, from its glory days under the leadership of legendary movie mogul Darryl F. Zanuck up to its 2019 buyout by Disney.

March 20, 2019 marked the end of an era -- Disney took ownership of the movie empire that was Fox. For almost a century before that historic date, Twentieth Century-Fox was one of the preeminent producers of films, stars, and filmmakers. Its unique identity in the industry and place in movie history is unparalleled -- and one of the greatest stories to come out of Hollywood.

This narrative tells the complete tale of the films, stars, intrigue, and innovations of the iconic studio that was.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for April 2022: Martin interviews Lenny Kaye, author of Lightning Striking: Transformative Moments in Rock and Roll.

Thu, 03/31/2022 - 1:16pm

Martin Bandyke Under Covers for April 2022: Martin interviews Lenny Kaye, author of Lightning Striking: Transformative Moments in Rock and Roll.

“We have performed side-by-side on the global stage through half a century…. In Lightning Striking, Lenny Kaye has illuminated ten facets of the jewel called rock and roll from a uniquely personal and knowledgeable perspective.” –-- Patti Smith

An insider’s take on the evolution and enduring legacy of the music that rocked the twentieth century

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for February 2022: Martin interviews Marc Ribot, author of Unstrung: Rants and Stories of a Noise Guitarist.

Thu, 02/03/2022 - 2:59pm

Throughout his genre-defying career as one of the most innovative musicians of our time, iconoclastic guitar player Marc Ribot has consistently defied expectation at every turn. Here, in his first collection of writing, we see that same uncompromising sensibility at work as he playfully interrogates our assumptions about music, life, and death. Through essays, short stories, and the occasional unfilmable film "mistreatment" that showcase the sheer range of his voice, Unstrung captures an artist whose versatility on the page rivals his dexterity onstage.

In the first section of the book, "Lies and Distortion," Ribot turns his attention to his instrument--"my relation to the guitar is one of struggle; I'm constantly forcing it to be something else"--and reflects on his influences (and friends) like Robert Quine (the Voidoids) and producer Hal Willner (Saturday Night Live), while delivering an impassioned plea on behalf of artists' rights. Elsewhere, we glimpse fragments of Ribot's life as a traveling musician--he captures both the monotony of touring as well as small moments of beauty and despair on the road. In the heart of the collection, "Sorry, We're Experiencing Technical Difficulties," Ribot offers wickedly humorous short stories that synthesize the best elements of the Russian absurdist tradition with the imaginative heft of George Saunders. Taken together, these stories and essays cement Ribot's position as one of the most dynamic and creative voices of our time.

Martin’s interview with Marc Ribot was recorded on September 9th, 2021.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for January 2022: Martin interviews Eddie Muller, author of Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir (Revised and Expanded Edition).

Fri, 01/07/2022 - 1:49pm

The new edition of Eddie Muller's Dark City (first published in 1998) is a film noir lover's bible, taking readers on a tour of the urban landscape of the grim and gritty genre in a definitive, highly illustrated volume.

Dark City expands with new chapters and a fresh collection of restored photos that illustrate the mythic landscape of the imagination. It's a place where the men and women who created film noir often find themselves dangling from the same sinister heights as the silver-screen avatars to whom they gave life. Eddie Muller, host of Turner Classic Movies' Noir Alley, takes readers on a spellbinding trip through treacherous terrain: Hollywood in the post-World War II years, where art, politics, scandal, style -- and brilliant craftsmanship -- produced a new approach to moviemaking, and a new type of cultural mythology.

Martin’s interview with Eddie Muller was recorded on November 18, 2021.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for December 2021: Martin interviews Michael Spitzer, author of The Musical Human: A History of Life on Earth

Wed, 12/01/2021 - 2:01pm

165 million years ago saw the birth of rhythm.

66 million years ago was the first melody.

40 thousand years ago Homo sapiens created the first musical instrument.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for October 2021: Martin interviews Charles Casillo, author of Elizabeth and Monty: The Untold Story of Their Intimate Friendship.

Mon, 10/04/2021 - 8:31am

Violet-eyed siren Elizabeth Taylor and classically handsome Montgomery Clift were the most gorgeous screen couple of their time. Over two decades of friendship they made, separately and together, some of the era's defining movies--including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Misfits, Suddenly, Last Summer, and Cleopatra. Yet the relationship between these two figures--one a dazzling, larger-than-life star, the other hugely talented yet fatally troubled--has never truly been explored until Elizabeth and Monty: The Untold Story of their Intimate Friendship.

When Elizabeth Taylor was cast opposite Montgomery Clift in A Place in the Sun, he was already a movie idol, with a natural sensitivity that set him apart. At seventeen, Elizabeth was known for her ravishing beauty rather than her talent. Directors treated her like a glamorous prop. But Monty took her seriously, inspiring and encouraging her. In her words, "That's when I began to act."

To Monty, she was "Bessie Mae," a name he coined for her earthy, private side. The press clamored for a wedding, convinced this was more than friendship. The truth was even more complex. Monty was drawn to women but sexually attracted to men--a fact that, if made public, would destroy his career. But he found acceptance and kinship with Elizabeth. Her devotion was never clearer than after his devastating car crash near her Hollywood home when she crawled into the wreckage and saved him from choking.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for September 2021: Martin interviews Jonathan Taplin, author of The Magic Years: Scenes from a Rock-and-Roll Life

Fri, 09/03/2021 - 1:27pm

Martin Bandyke Under Covers for September 2021: Martin interviews Jonathan Taplin, author of The Magic Years: Scenes from a Rock-and-Roll Life.

Jonathan Taplin’s extraordinary journey has put him at the crest of every major cultural wave in the past half century: he was tour manager for Bob Dylan and the Band in the ’60s, producer of major films in the ’70s, an executive at Merrill Lynch in the ’80s, creator of the Internet’s first video-on-demand service in the ’90s, and a cultural critic and author writing about technology in the new millennium. His is a lifetime marked not only by good timing but by impeccable instincts―from the folk scene to Woodstock, Hollywood’s rebellious film movement, and beyond. Taplin is not just a witness but a lifelong producer, the right-hand man to some of the greatest talents of both pop culture and the underground.

With cameos by Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Martin Scorsese, and countless other icons, The Magic Years is both a rock memoir and a work of cultural criticism from a key player who watched a nation turn from idealism to nihilism. Taplin offers a clear-eyed roadmap of how we got here and makes a convincing case for art’s power to deliver us from “passionless detachment” and rekindle our humanism.