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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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Great Migration Interview - Betty Thomas

Mon, 08/08/2022 - 3:23pm

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Great Migration Interview - Janet Haynes

Mon, 08/08/2022 - 3:15pm

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Great Migration Interview - Roger Doster

Mon, 08/08/2022 - 3:11pm

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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.