Chance The Rapper’s Bathtime Playlist Is Right here To Cleanse Your Spirit

Music is important. Hygiene is also essential. Chance the Rapper knows this, so he’s provided the globe but another blessing in the type of a bathtime playlist that’ll cleanse your spirit while you cleanse, nicely, the rest of oneself.

Monday (December 12), Opportunity shared the link to an Apple Music playlist just titled “Yup,” and delved into the specifics on Twitter. “I been neglecting myself, not taking care of me,” he wrote. “I take a shower each day. But when is it bath time? Now. Take pleasure in a bath each as soon as in a although.” His instructions: “Get in the tub, press shuffle, and treat your self.”

As for the playlist itself, it is packed with songs by Frank Ocean, Bon Iver, Gucci Mane, D.R.A.M., Solange, and, yes, Opportunity himself. There’s also some praise music from Kirk Franklin and Smokie Norful thrown in for all your self-care needs. The entire thing’s 26 tracks extended, so you might turn into a prune by the time it is carried out, but it’ll be worth it. Just look at Opportunity singing Ocean’s “Self Control” with a loofa in hand, and tell me you do not want that in your life.

Stream the playlist under by way of Apple Music, and get your spirit-cleansing soak on.

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‘Here Comes Washer’ Is Thoughtful Punk For A New Generation

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It is lotto season in New York and everyone’s looking to win big. All week extended, folks have hit corner bodegas in hopes of scoring that winning ticket — but I’m feeling a lot more lowkey. I’m at Washer drummer Kieran McShane’s Brooklyn apartment, hanging with a cat named Dogmeat and watching “Adventure Time,” when Mike Quigley enters with a case of beer and his extremely personal (and maybe fortunate) lotto ticket.

Quigley plays guitar and bass and sings in Washer, a punk duo whose brilliant debut, Right here Comes Washer, is out today (Jan. 22) on Exploding In Sound Records. We crack open the beer and discuss what we’d each do with the winning funds.

“I’d pay off my student loans,” Quigley says with no hesitation. McShane thinks for a moment ahead of declaring, “I’d get some arable land.” We order takeout prior to digging into the new record, and also talk tour — soon, they’ll hit the road with pals and fellow punks Massive Ups — but on the complete, the band don’t have a lot of “good” tour stories in their arsenal. The very best they can muster is a tale of getting drunk and playing with some dogs at an artist loft in Philadelphia, but as Quigley admits, “There’s not really a story there. It was largely just a nice time.”

Not that tour isn’t amazing — it is just not what most individuals consider. “You do not truly have time to get f–ked up and be irresponsible,” McShane says. “You have to be places on time. You can’t spend as well significantly funds. Then at the end of the day, you are like, ‘Sh-t, I truly have to play now, too.’”

A week later, I hope I’m not spoiling considerably by revealing that, however, Quigley didn’t hit the jackpot. Still, there’s the matter at hand — Right here Comes Washer — and the revelation that Washer couldn’t possibly have produced a a lot more winning debut 1 that expertly analyzes fear, anxiety, being in enjoy and being alone, providing its listener something relatable to “latch” onto (like the uneasy protagonists of the driving “Pet Rock Vs. Healing Crystal”). There’s the physicality of actually feeling alive (“I spit, I suck, I shake, and all my bones they break,” Quigley confesses on “Human”) and also the uncertainty of living, in a broader sense (“fear of the outside” on epic album opener “Eyelids”). There’s also the stress of getting a excellent individual, of carrying out the proper point, and of functioning challenging, even if you are young, and nevertheless unsure of what you are in fact functioning towards.

Here Comes Washer is the human experience for a new generation introspective and extremely intelligent, a small confused, but by no means amiss.

Of course, in our speak, we didn’t just watch cartoons and daydream about imaginary riches — we touched upon all these subjects, in a thorough discussion that helped define (and redefine) some of the issues we’re all just attempting to figure out.

MTV News: I not too long ago saw a publication refer to Washer as “slack punk.” What do you feel of the “slacker” label in basic — would you say it applies to your sound?

Mike Quigley: I think that term stems from the inflection of the vocalist. When that description gets utilised, it’s when the vocalist talks, or sing-talks sort of monotone… despite the fact that I have some true melodies, and the record has a lot of screaming. But slack-punk is type of the [Stephen] Malkmus factor. Sounding sort of bored.

It’s sort of lazy on behalf of music writers.

Kieran McShane: We both have complete time jobs.

MQ: Not only that, but we’ve also place out several releases in two years [of existence], we play shows a lot… but I think it’s really effortless to just tag a genre to a band and then talk about the very same items that everybody likes about that genre. It sucks due to the fact it’s not always true.

If you just listened to it and talked about the lyrics or the actual sound…

It is like, “Oh, this band wants to stick it to The Man.” Precisely, absolutely everyone wants to stick it to The Man! Nobody desires to be The Man!

KM: I consider The Man guidelines.

MTV News: Most “slacker” bands write very apathetic lyrics, but yours are pretty much the exact opposite. You appear to care a lot.

MQ: Yeah, I’d say the record’s pretty urgent.

It is mainly about me trying to figure out how to be excellent. I feel I’m extremely self-essential, and it comes across in the songs. Lyrically, it is a lot of me attempting to figure factors out.

Embedded from w.soundcloud.com.

MTV News: You are typically worried, and there’s a lot of seeking inward. [Album opener] “Eyelids” includes a lot of Catholic imagery — “collections,” “daylight,” and you sing, “lead us not into annihilation, but deliver us from rubble…”

MQ: That’s a quote from a Don DeLillo book, Americana. It is about an insane radio DJ who has a show at three AM for crazy people, and he has these chapter-extended rants… in one of the rants he’s discussing nuclear war, and he begins reciting “Our Father,” but reworked with these words as an alternative of the true words. I stole that simply because the song is about getting scared of the planet outside.

MTV News: What are you afraid of?

MQ: It is mainly about my connection, and how that is a small world that’s existed for a lengthy time for me, and so I’ve constructed up a basic fear about the outdoors world that isn’t what’s already understood amongst myself and my companion. When you have this one particular steady factor in your life, you are always going to be scared of not obtaining that around.

A lot of the record is about that: me and my partnership, and its relation to other things.

KM: And me.

MQ: And Kieran.

MTV News: You and Kieran have also identified each and every other a genuinely long time.

MQ: We first met as little youngsters in Boy Scouts, but Kieran went to a different higher college.

KM: We had mutual friends, and I would see him about occasionally even even though we went to various schools.

MQ: I was in bands with some little ones who had been middle school friends of Kieran’s. Then we both occurred to go to NYU. And then the last two years of college we lived together.

KM: When we lived together, Quigley had an additional project referred to as Clownface. That band kind of just petered out.

MTV News: Would you say you’re best pals?

MQ: Kieran’s probably my very best friend.

KM: Quigley’s one of my ideal buddies.

MQ: I have extremely couple of close relationships outside the particular person I’ve dated for ten years.

KM: And me.

MQ: And Kieran.

KM: That is why he gets mad anytime I say that I’m quitting the band.

MQ: I live in perpetual worry of Kieran quitting the band. I was so unfulfilled in the music aspect of my life ahead of this band.

MTV News: When did you initial start off writing music?

MQ: High college. I did a weird arrangement of a Pinback song on saxophone. The very first song I ever wrote for myself… I forgot what it was named, but I place it on Myspace.

I started Clownface in high school. My other band in high school was referred to as Whales Incognito. We have been the sickest band ever.

MTV News: How would you say your songwriting has evolved as you’ve gotten older?

MQ: The songs on the record have more substance. That is on purpose. I’ve attempted to place a small a lot more effort into lyrics. I in no way just commence with words — I usually create riffs, or perhaps a phrase from a book or what ever, but the song constantly gets completed initial, and then I sort of pull up scraps to make the lyrics. I’m trying to do that with a small much more thought.

Embedded from w.soundcloud.com.

MTV News: In “Safe Spot,” you make a fairly political statement: “You can express yourself without having getting violent/You can be a greater particular person by not keeping silent.” Is this some thing you are purposefully trying to address by way of your music?

MQ: I would like to believe that, but I think in the end I’m not that altruistic. I’m not making the globe a far better location by making my record. Most of the record for me is just receiving some sh-t off my chest. It’s selfish in that way.

I’m not like, carrying out specific items to move my community forward. Some bands do that and it is sick as hell. I’m just not that kind of person, at least not right now. Lots of bands are overtly political proper now and are doing such a good job of addressing issues like social injustice. It is amazing and quite empowering for a lot of people.

I just don’t have that significantly to complain about. If items had been various, maybe I would.

MTV News: The lyrics and title reminded me of the idea of the DIY “safe space.” How do you really feel about that notion?

MQ: I’m the most privileged dude in the planet — I’m a straight white male. A lot of individuals don’t have the exact same luxuries as I do. I can be myself anywhere, simply because the world was built by men and women like me. That’s not necessarily the case for a lot of other folks, and so that’s essential so that other people are welcome, and to remind folks like myself that they’re welcome, too.

KM: A lot of times those rules and guidelines are meant for folks who are not me, so my opinion shouldn’t matter.

It’s like, don’t be an ass—- at a show and hit somebody, but also don’t hit anyone anyplace, ever.

MTV News: For our generation, becoming punk isn’t getting violent and self-destructive. It is getting responsible and wise, and caring about the planet.

MQ: What it implies to be punk has definitely changed more than time, but what hasn’t changed is the underlying theme that you’re just doing you. You can be you and it does not matter what any person else thinks.

And I think with our generation, it is much less of like, “get f–king drunk all the time,” and, “Anarchy!” and hating the government… folks nevertheless like the idealism of punk, but are a small far more practical now.

We’re practical and we’re also a tiny disaffected. Nothing’s really changed in a long time. It’s like, “Okay, I can’t alter this or that, but at least I can be a great particular person. And that’s all I can control.” That is sort of a punk thing.

MTV News: Being a excellent particular person is essential to punk, simply because by not getting a excellent particular person, you’re not advancing the result in.

MQ: The factors that matter are not the specifics of what the mentality is applied to. Like, “Reagan sucks.” Yeah, we know Reagan sucks. That is not what matters. What matters is that you are empowering oneself and your peers to make the alterations that you want to make, so that you’re living the life you want to live.

MTV News: Would you say you have a good outlook on the world — even if it is scary?

MQ: In my normal life, I attempt to be practical and more or much less constructive about things. Perhaps because music is a break from that, I create about the issues I attempt to feel about less. It is a way to let the steam out.

The world is terrifying. Everything feels really charged. I don’t think humans are the worst… [turns to Kieran] what do you think?

KM: About what?

MQ: Your outlook on the world.

KM: There’s a lot of bad stuff and not much I can do about it.

MQ: That part’s a bummer. But you can always do some thing like go to a soup kitchen! Or give a person your jacket! You could do that.

KM: It’s just good that as soon as a week at practice, I get to hit factors genuinely hard.

Stream Right here Comes Washer in its entirety right here.

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Right here Are The 2015 Medal Of Freedom Winners, In Their Personal Voices

Baseball player Willie Mays, singer Barbra Streisand and politician Shirley Chisholm will all be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom this year.

Jed Jacobsohn/Kevin Winter/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

On Tuesday, President Obama will be handing out the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the U.S. The list of winners this year brims with both household names and virtual unknowns — artists, athletes and activists of just about every stripe.

With 17 winners, there are 17 personal histories, 17 highlight reels of accomplishments — and 17 stories of service worth recognizing. Inspiring, sure, but also quite a bit of homework for the average American looking to learn more about the honorees.

So, NPR’s here to help. Click a name on the list below to find a brief introduction to the life and works that helped define a legacy — and more often than not, a conversation with the actual person. Because who better to tell you who these people are than the folks themselves?

Medal Of Freedom Winners

Yogi Berra
Bonnie Carroll
Shirley Chisholm
Emilio Estefan
Gloria Estefan
Billy Frank Jr.
Lee Hamilton
Katherine G. Johnson
Willie Mays
Barbara Mikulski
Itzhak Perlman
William Ruckelshaus
Stephen Sondheim
Steven Spielberg
Barbra Streisand
James Taylor
Minoru Yasui


Yogi Berra

Yogi Berra, during spring training in 1954, at the height of his career.

AP

Berra, that master of the bat and malapropisms, won 10 World Series championships — more than any other major league player — and spent four decades as a professional catcher, manager and coach. Born Lawrence Peter Berra, Yogi was also named league MVP three times in the course of his career. He died earlier this year at the age of 90.

He also was widely known for his twisty turns of phrase, which managed to mine wisdom from apparent nonsense — stuff like “it ain’t over till it’s over,” and “when you come to a fork in the road, take it.” He was also quite the conversationalist on the diamond, apparently, which wasn’t always appreciated by batters such as Ted Williams.

“Oh, he would get mad,” Berra told NPR’s Robert Siegel in 2003. “You know, I used to say, ‘Where you going tonight, Ted? What are you doing? When you going fishing?’ And he’d say, ‘Shut up … I’m up here to hit, not to talk about fishing or hunting.’ “

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Yogi Berra On ‘All Things Considered’ (2003)

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Yogi Berra On ‘All Things Considered’ (2003)


Bonnie Carroll

In this 2012 photo, Bonnie Carroll, president and founder of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, known as TAPS, poses in her office in Washington, D.C.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Carroll, a retired major in the Air Force Reserve, founded the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or TAPS, an organization that provides support for those affected by the death of a loved one serving in the U.S. armed forces. Carroll started the group after her husband, Brig. Gen. Tom Charles Carroll, died in a plane crash in 1992.

Since its founding, TAPS has stepped in to help survivors cope with grief and feelings of guilt — and seeks to prevent suicide with therapy and mental health treatments.

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Bonnie Carroll’s TAPS on ‘All Things Considered’ (2010)

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Bonnie Carroll’s TAPS on ‘All Things Considered’ (2010)


Shirley Chisholm

Rep. Shirley Chisholm, during her 1972 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

James Palmer/AP

Running behind the slogan “Unbought and Unbossed,” the New York Democrat won her first term in the House in 1968, becoming the first black woman elected to Congress. But she didn’t stop there: In 1972, Chisholm undertook a bid for the presidency. That campaign made her not only the first African-American woman, but the first African-American to run for a major-party presidential nomination in the U.S.

She lost her party’s nomination to Sen. George McGovern that year, but she continued to serve in Congress for another decade, during which she also became a founding member of the Congressional Women’s Caucus. Chisholm died in 2005.

Perhaps Chisholm described herself best when she told NPR’s Tavis Smiley, in 2003: “I was very outspoken, very articulate, and I wouldn’t take any guff from anybody.”

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Shirley Chisholm’s 1972 Presidential Candidacy Announcement, Rebroadcast On ‘Tell Me More’ (2008)

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Shirley Chisholm’s 1972 Presidential Candidacy Announcement, Rebroadcast On ‘Tell Me More’ (2008)


Emilio Estefan

Emilio Estefan, in Miami Beach, Fla., in February.

Sergi Alexander/Stringer/Getty Images

The multiple Grammy winner, who is married to fellow Medal of Freedom winner Gloria Estefan, built a music empire rooted in Miami. The founding member of the group Miami Sound Machine — which also featured Gloria — Estefan made his name as a producer and songwriter foremost. He also created his own label, Crescent Moon Studios.

“What Emilio Estefan has done in this country to promote Latin music is without dispute,” said Mauricio Abaroa, the executive vice president of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, in 2000. “As a producer, as a composer, as a manager, he is one of the greatest ambassadors we have ever had.”

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Gloria Estefan

Gloria Estefan, during a performance in Washington, D.C., on Memorial Day this year.

Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Gloria Estefan rose to prominence at the head of Emilio Estefan’s band, the Miami Sound Machine. By the ’80s and ’90s, the singer was in the vanguard of the booming Latin music scene. Now, decades and dozens of albums later, Estefan is still performing and recording.

But at the start, Gloria Estefan told NPR’s Rachel Martin in 2013, it wasn’t so easy.

“They would say you’re too American for the Latins; you’re too Latin for the Americans; lose the drums; lose the percussion; change your name,” Estefan said. “And the fact that we had this fresh, different sound, and that we stuck to it, is the reason we had success. So, we were very happy that we were our own cheerleaders.”

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Gloria Estefan On ‘Weekend Edition’ (2013)

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Gloria Estefan On ‘Weekend Edition’ (2013)


Billy Frank Jr.

Billy Frank Jr. walks along the Nisqually River near Olympia, Wash., in 2005.

Ted S. Warren/AP

Born on a Nisqually reservation in Washington state, the Native American activist resisted state fishing regulations in the 1960s and early ’70s, arguing that the imposed laws violated 19th-century treaties signed between the U.S. and Native Americans. Frank was arrested numerous times, and his argument was eventually upheld by the Supreme Court in the mid-’70s.

In the decades after, he continued to help lead efforts for Native Americans’ rights and environmental conservation in the Pacific Northwest — efforts for which he was recognized with the Albert Schweitzer Award and the Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award for Humanitarian Achievement.

Frank died last year at the age of 83. At the time, The Seattle Times put together an interactive timeline of Frank’s life — including his efforts during the “salmon wars” in the ’60s and ’70s.

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Lee Hamilton

Rep. Lee Hamilton speaks during the release of a Bipartisan Policy Center report in Washington, D.C., in 2013.

Rep. Lee Hamilton speaks during the release of a Bipartisan Policy Center report in Washington, D.C., in 2013. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Hamilton spent decades in public service. First elected to Congress in 1964, the Indiana Democrat served in the House until 1999 — including a notable stint in the ’80s as chairman of the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran, otherwise known as the Iran-Contra committee. After retiring, he kept going: Hamilton was vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Still, despite his decades in government as a widely respected voice in foreign policy, Hamilton told NPR’s Steve Inskeep in 2010 that one thing, especially, left an impression on him:

“I think that you come filled with ambition and drive and energy and wanting to accomplish great things, and you find the system is very hard to move, to make it work,” he said. “And I think what has impressed me over the years is the sheer complexity and difficulty of governing this country.”

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Lee Hamilton On ‘Morning Edition’ (2010)

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Lee Hamilton On ‘Morning Edition’ (2010)


Katherine G. Johnson

YouTube

A research mathematician for NASA in its earliest years, Johnson worked on projects such as calculations for interplanetary trajectories. Her calculations were behind the space flight of Alan Shepard — a first for America — and the Earth Resources Satellite.

“Early on, when they said they wanted [Shepard’s] capsule to come down at a certain place, they were trying to compute when it should start,” Johnson told NASA’s news service in 2008. “I said, ‘Let me do it. You tell me when you want it and where you want it to land, and I’ll do it backwards and tell you when to take off.’ That was my forte.”

Throughout her career with NASA, Johnson helped pave a path for African-American women in the space program. She is 97.

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Willie Mays

Willie Mays, on the field before a World Series game in San Francisco, in 2012.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Say Hey Kid was an outfielder for the New York and San Francisco Giants for more than two decades. The Hall of Famer’s feats on the baseball diamond — including one legendary catch in the 1954 World Series — provided ample fodder for photographers and plenty of entries in the record books.

Though some question whether he could have owned even more records if he hadn’t spent two years in the military during the middle of his career, Mays told NPR’s Bob Edwards in 2000 that he doesn’t have any regrets about it.

“I’m not a type of guy that look back and says, ‘Boy, if I had this, or if I could have did that, I would have been ahead of guys.’ I’m fine with what I have, you know,” Mays said.

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Willie Mays On ‘All Things Considered’ (2010)

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Willie Mays On ‘All Things Considered’ (2010)


Barbara Mikulski

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., speaks to the media in May 2015, in Baltimore.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

When Mikulski was elected to the Senate in 1986, she roared, “We elected a Democratic woman named Barbara and somebody named Mikulski, and the Senate won’t be the same from now on!”

It set the tone for the energetic Mikulski, who was the first Democratic woman to serve in both houses of Congress, the first woman to win a statewide senatorial election in Maryland — and, eventually, the longest-serving woman in Congress, before announcing her retirement earlier this year.

“I am a fighter,” she told NPR’s Renee Montagne in March. “And when you’re going to fight, you have to be specific. You have to be tenacious. You have to be insistent and persistent. And that’s what it takes to get the job done.”

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Barbara Mikulski On ‘Morning Edition’ (2015)

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Barbara Mikulski On ‘Morning Edition’ (2015)


Itzhak Perlman

Itzhak Perlman performs during the annual national Hanukkah menorah lighting ceremony on the White House Ellipse in 2010.

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Perlman has been playing the violin since he was 3 years old — which means, for those following along at home, that he’s been a violinist for more than 67 years. So Perlman, who was paralyzed by polio at an early age, has decades of material to delve into — including a performance at President Obama’s second inauguration and a stop by the set of Sesame Street.

“I always say that my goal is to not be bored by what I do,” Perlman told NPR’s Steve Inskeep this week. “The only way that I cannot be bored by what I do is if I play something and it’s all new to me.”

Happily, NPR’s Tom Huizenga put together a reel of Perlman’s many highlights — such as his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show at the age of 13.

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Itzhak Perlman On ‘Morning Edition’ (2015)

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Itzhak Perlman On ‘Morning Edition’ (2015)


William Ruckelshaus

William Ruckelshaus, the first administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, poses for photos in 2009 at his office in Seattle.

Ted S. Warren/AP

Picked by President Nixon in 1970 to be the first head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Ruckelshaus steered the EPA through the passage of the Clean Water and Clean Air acts in the early ’70s. Later, as acting director of the FBI, Ruckelshaus refused an order from Nixon to fire the Watergate special prosecutor, choosing instead to resign in protest. He even returned to the EPA in the mid-’80s, at the request of President Reagan, to help guide the agency during a time of upheaval.

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Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim talks with Adam Gopnik during the New Yorker Festival in October 2014, in New York City.

Thos Robinson/Getty Images for The New Yorker

He held the pen behind Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He had a hand in Gypsy and West Side Story. He’s won Grammys, Tonys, an Oscar and a Pulitzer. And he’s at it still, lending his advice and encouragement to the Broadway smash of the moment, Hamilton.

In between performances of his songs such as “Send in the Clowns,” Sondheim told Marian McPartland of Piano Jazz a lesson he learned along the way: “That’s the whole point, is to keep the listener surprised.”

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Stephen Sondheim On ‘Piano Jazz’ (2001)

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Stephen Sondheim On ‘Piano Jazz’ (2001)


Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg arrives for a screening of Bridge of Spies in Berlin on Nov. 13, 2015.

John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan — even if, by some fluke of fate, you haven’t heard of Steven Spielberg, you know his movies. The director and producer has won Academy Awards, founded a movie studio — and, remarkably, managed never to be interviewed on NPR’s airwaves.

So, I’ll just leave this to NPR’s Bob Mondello, who recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of Jaws, the film that he says “put Spielberg on the map.”

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NPR’s Bob Mondello On Spielberg’s ‘Jaws’ (2015)

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NPR’s Bob Mondello On Spielberg’s ‘Jaws’ (2015)


Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand speaks on stage during the Women in the World Summit held in New York City, in April 2015.

Andrew Toth/Getty Images

The acclaimed singer and star of Yentl and Funny Girl began her career as a performer at a nightclub in 1961. The headliner of Broadway hits has since won Oscars, a Tony and plenty of Grammys and Emmys. It’s been a long and eventful career, but as she told Fresh Air’s Terry Gross in 2012, Streisand is still wondering what comes next.

“You reach a certain age and you wonder, well, do I give it up? Do I retire? Or do I get more in before my time is up?” she asks. “I could just travel around the world. But then I think I’d get bored and I’d need to create. I need to be creative, and time is going so fast.”

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Barbra Streisand On ‘Fresh Air’ (2012)

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Barbra Streisand On ‘Fresh Air’ (2012)


James Taylor

James Taylor performs at the iHeartRadio Theater in June 2015, in New York City.

Cindy Ord/Stringer/Getty Images

Taylor released his first album in 1968, but it wasn’t until Sweet Baby James came out in 1970 that his popular success caught up with his critical acclaim. Since then, he’s put out more than a dozen albums and earned Grammys — but “Fire and Rain,” the single off that second album, remains one of his best-known works.

Back in 2000, Taylor broke down the song for NPR’s Noah Adams.

“It was a great relief. That song relieved a lot of sort of tension. There was things that I needed to get rid of or at least get out of me or get in front of me or at least have some other relationship than feeling them internally, either by telling somebody else or by just putting them out in a form in front of me so that I could say, ‘There they are’ — you know, externalizing it somehow.

“And that part was hard, having the feelings that needed to be
expressed in that way. But it was actually a relief, like a laugh or a sigh.”

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James Taylor On ‘World Cafe’ (2015)

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James Taylor On ‘World Cafe’ (2015)


Minoru Yasui

Minoru Yasui – Citizen Min from mdgold33@yahoo.com on Vimeo.

At the height of World War II, the U.S. government forcibly placed more than 100,000 Americans of Japanese descent in internment camps and pursued other discriminatory policies such as race-based curfews — out of fear that the Japanese-American population could prove a threat.

Minoru Yasui, then a recent law school graduate, violated the curfew in order to get his case heard in court. “I walked these two or three or four times, as I recall that evening, trying to get arrested,” Yasui said — and finally, he had to walk down to the local police department to turn himself in.

That’s when his case began. As NPR’s Michel Martin reports:

“Ultimately, the case made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Yasui lost. Despite that, he continued to work on civil rights cases throughout his life on behalf of Native Americans, Latin Americans, wherever he found injustice. Minoru Yasui died in 1986, too soon to witness a victory he had sought for decades when the U.S. granted reparations to interned Japanese-American families in 1988.”

Now, a new recognition of his efforts will be handed down Tuesday — a reminder that it’s never too late to honor hard-fought victories.

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NPR’s Michel Martin On Minoru Yasui

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NPR’s Michel Martin On Minoru Yasui


Arts & Life : NPR