Stephen Thompson http://krwg.org en Pop Culture Happy Hour: Recycling Franchises And Judging Books By Their Covers http://krwg.org/post/pop-culture-happy-hour-recycling-franchises-and-judging-books-their-covers With Glen Weldon tweeting from the various paradises of Barcelona, this week's <em>Pop Culture Happy Hour</em> calls on the services of two familiar <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/">Code Switch</a> pals — Kat Chow and Gene Demby — to discuss the eternal recycling of unlikely pop-culture franchises. Fri, 30 May 2014 15:03:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 67254 at http://krwg.org Pop Culture Happy Hour: Recycling Franchises And Judging Books By Their Covers Indie-Pop Albums That Make The Cut Are More Than Mere Collections http://krwg.org/post/indie-pop-albums-make-cut-are-more-mere-collections Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>At NPR Music, they're wrapping up the year the best way they know how, with their hotly contested list of their 50 favorite albums of 2013. Now, all this week, we'll get a peak of that list from our in-house experts, including NPR Music writer and editor Stephen Thompson, whose beat is the ever amorphous indie pop, which - Stephen, what exactly is that these days?<p>STEPHEN THOMPSON, BYLINE: I have absolutely no idea. It used to mean accessible but unpopular.<p>CORNISH: OK. Tue, 10 Dec 2013 21:29:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 55598 at http://krwg.org John Legend: Tiny Desk Concert http://krwg.org/post/john-legend-tiny-desk-concert At 34, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15838633/john-legend">John Legend</a> has sold millions of records, won nine Grammys, collaborated with many of the biggest stars in music (<a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/16318474/jay-z">Jay-Z</a>, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/14889532/kanye-west">Kanye West</a>, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15194299/alicia-keys">Alicia Keys</a>, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15121130/the-roots">The Roots</a>, et al), and achieved the kind of statesmanlike musical-ambassador status usually afforded to artists twice his age. Sat, 16 Nov 2013 23:53:12 +0000 Stephen Thompson 54073 at http://krwg.org John Legend: Tiny Desk Concert Pop Culture Happy Hour: Requested Reboots And 'Duck Dynasty' http://krwg.org/post/pop-culture-happy-hour-requested-reboots-and-duck-dynasty With intrepid host Linda Holmes trapped in the air-conditioned movie theaters of Toronto, the <em>Pop Culture Happy Hour</em> gang was forced to reconstitute itself yet again for this week's episode — this time with our old pal Tanya Ballard Brown, who returns via the power of popular demand. Fri, 13 Sep 2013 12:03:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 49616 at http://krwg.org Pop Culture Happy Hour: Requested Reboots And 'Duck Dynasty' Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Blue Jasmine' And A Summer Movie Postmortem http://krwg.org/post/pop-culture-happy-hour-blue-jasmine-and-summer-movie-postmortem As summer was giving way to fall, preseason football was giving way to actual football, and Linda Holmes' week was giving way to the Toronto International Film Festival, the <em>Pop Culture Happy Hour</em> gang managed to gather just long enough to look back on a divisive summer full of big, loud, robot-on-robot movies. Our own postmortem can't help but skim past other postmortems — was <em>Man of Steel</em> a hit or a flop? Fri, 06 Sep 2013 12:03:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 49070 at http://krwg.org Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Blue Jasmine' And A Summer Movie Postmortem Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'The Bridge' And The Doctor's Many Faces http://krwg.org/post/pop-culture-happy-hour-bridge-and-doctors-many-faces For one more week, our host and pal Linda Holmes has been roaming the desolate plains of Los Angeles at the Television Critics Association press tour, with only catered lunches and lavishly appointed meet-and-greets to provide sustenance.<p>So the rest of the <em>Pop Culture Happy Hour</em> gang must soldier on in her absence, with the aid of a scrappy young newcomer who'd been waiting for her big break in front of a microphone: <em>All Things Considered</em> co-host Audie Cornish. Fri, 09 Aug 2013 14:20:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 47237 at http://krwg.org Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'The Bridge' And The Doctor's Many Faces Hurray For The Riff Raff, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2013 http://krwg.org/post/hurray-riff-raff-live-concert-newport-folk-2013 The New Orleans band Hurray for the Riff Raff exists as a vehicle for the powerhouse songs of singer-songwriter Alynda Lee Segarra, whose gigantic voice conveys the grit of bluesy soul while still fitting within the realms of rootsy folk and country. Sat, 27 Jul 2013 23:14:59 +0000 Stephen Thompson 46358 at http://krwg.org Hurray For The Riff Raff, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2013 Pop Culture Happy Hour: Fan Gatherings And Fall Television http://krwg.org/post/pop-culture-happy-hour-fan-gatherings-and-fall-television We recorded this week's episode during the brief interregnum between the end of Glen Weldon's trip to the San Diego Comic Con and the beginning of Linda Holmes' two weeks at the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles. So it seemed a perfect time to mine the two events for inspiration.<p>First, we get a sense from Glen — whose name is Welsh for "he who is uneasy around people" — of what it was like to be flushed into a sea of 130,000 enthusiastic souls; his answer may or may not surprise you. And, from there, we talk about fan gatherings of many different stripes. Fri, 26 Jul 2013 17:06:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 46284 at http://krwg.org Pop Culture Happy Hour: Fan Gatherings And Fall Television The Good Listener: When You Make Someone A Mix, What Do They Owe You? http://krwg.org/post/good-listener-when-you-make-someone-mix-what-do-they-owe-you We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the shampoo samples we accidentally tossed into the fireplace is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, the etiquette surrounding the giving and receiving of mix CDs.<p><em><strong>Kevin writes: "I've been thinking a lot about mix CD etiquette. I love giving them and receiving them, and my friends have made some stellar ones, but is it appropriate to follow up on whether they like the ones I make? I put a lot of thought into them. Thu, 11 Jul 2013 20:29:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 45183 at http://krwg.org The Good Listener: When You Make Someone A Mix, What Do They Owe You? The Good Listener: How Do You Pick The Songs For Your Wedding? http://krwg.org/post/good-listener-how-do-you-pick-songs-your-wedding <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCadcBR95oU</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpPSBzGEklE</p> Sun, 07 Jul 2013 13:31:20 +0000 Stephen Thompson 44844 at http://krwg.org The Good Listener: How Do You Pick The Songs For Your Wedding? Jittery Jams: 10 Songs For Coffee Lovers http://krwg.org/post/jittery-jams-10-songs-coffee-lovers <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sb5qqoQgPlk</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVGXcjM9SOQ</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUx5z9O2ZGk</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WfQN_M1pQc</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZk2LYsBIi8</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRxS7Q64xUQ</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFURd_EOIuU</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nzMS_YrgFk</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk_wVO7NBMQ</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oqXVx3sBOk</p> Thu, 25 Apr 2013 01:52:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 39792 at http://krwg.org Jittery Jams: 10 Songs For Coffee Lovers Baby Bands, Pop Stars And Room-Filling Joy: What To Expect At SXSW 2013 http://krwg.org/post/baby-bands-pop-stars-and-room-filling-joy-what-expect-sxsw-2013 <em>Listen to Stephen Thompson's conversation with Audie Cornish on </em>All Things Considered<em> by clicking the audio link.</em><p><hr /><p>The South by Southwest music festival kicked off Tuesday with the first of five straight nights of music overload: The clubs, makeshift music venues and front porches of Austin, Texas, were overrun with little-known discoveries-in-waiting and big names alike, as well as tens of thousands of fans who have flocked to the city in search of epiphanies.<p>Finding a prevailing trend at SXSW isn't easy; the festival is like 50 events in one, so it's possible t Wed, 13 Mar 2013 20:50:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 36937 at http://krwg.org Baby Bands, Pop Stars And Room-Filling Joy: What To Expect At SXSW 2013 Play-By-Play: Read Along With The Grammy Awards http://krwg.org/post/sunday-8-pm-et-spend-grammy-night-staring-screens-us <em>With the conclusion of Sunday night's ceremony, Linda Holmes and I have now live-blogged fully one-eleventh of the Grammy Awards' 55 annual incarnations. Below is our original post and an archived live blog of the telecast:</em><p>For the fifth straight year, whether we're marveling at Taylor Swift's capacity for surprise or trying to figure out what to type during the combined 37 minutes of Bruno Mars performances, we're here to serve your reading-along needs. Fri, 08 Feb 2013 20:49:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 34797 at http://krwg.org Play-By-Play: Read Along With The Grammy Awards Another Year, Another 'Christmas With The Chipmunks' http://krwg.org/post/hail-chipmunks-holiday-classic-re-revisited <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rnPHlOHb7g</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQ_9bL7i-Zs</p> Mon, 24 Dec 2012 20:22:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 32067 at http://krwg.org Another Year, Another 'Christmas With The Chipmunks' Pop Culture Happy Hour: How Long Is Too Long? http://krwg.org/post/pop-culture-happy-hour-how-long-too-long Half of the Pop Culture Happy Hour crew is scattered to the four winds — if, by "the four winds," you mean "an assortment of <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2012/09/04/160530138/toronto-we-wish-to-go-to-the-festival-the-film-festival">movie theaters in Toronto</a>" — but before parting ways, the old gang met up to discuss a question that's been vexing me. What are the tipping points, I vex, that push various forms of entertainment over the line between "long enough" and "too long"? Fri, 07 Sep 2012 17:23:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 25755 at http://krwg.org Pop Culture Happy Hour: How Long Is Too Long? Pop Culture Happy Hour: Of 'Avengers' And The Other A-List http://krwg.org/post/pop-culture-happy-hour-avengers-and-other-list Our intrepid host, Linda Holmes, is wrapping up her self-imposed isolation in the mountains of North Carolina, so the rest of the <em>Pop Culture Happy Hour</em> crew was forced to soldier on without her for one harrowing episode. Fri, 11 May 2012 16:48:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 18007 at http://krwg.org Pop Culture Happy Hour: Of 'Avengers' And The Other A-List For Fans Of The NFL Draft, A Heady Cocktail Of Hope And Sloth http://krwg.org/post/fans-nfl-draft-heady-cocktail-hope-and-sloth <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ5jXIJTEic</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmuKGcgVaMU</p> Thu, 26 Apr 2012 13:03:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 16991 at http://krwg.org For Fans Of The NFL Draft, A Heady Cocktail Of Hope And Sloth This One's For The Chicken: A Super Bowl Party With A Purpose http://krwg.org/post/ones-chicken-super-bowl-party-purpose This Sunday will mark the 16th annual installment of "Chicken Bowl," my Super Bowl party, which doubles as a grand fried-chicken-eating contest. As many as 80 friends, coworkers, enablers and hangers-on will cram into my long-suffering house for this noble occasion.<p>But even with all the extravagances I've cobbled together to keep them happy — large TVs, vintage arcade machines, working toilets — there has never been a shred of doubt that chicken is king.<p>I spend more at Popeye's on this particular Sunday than I spend on my wardrobe in a year, so great is the demand. Sat, 04 Feb 2012 11:49:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 3390 at http://krwg.org This One's For The Chicken: A Super Bowl Party With A Purpose Bon Iver On World Cafe http://krwg.org/post/bon-iver-world-cafe <em>This session, from Sept. 2, 2011, is part of our </em>Vintage Cafe<em> series, in which we revisit some of our best studio performances.</em><p>It's a stretch to call "Beth/Rest" 2011's most divisive song, but it's hard to discuss <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/18073513/bon-iver" target="_self">Bon Iver</a>'s second album without weighing in on its '80s-style closer. Wed, 28 Dec 2011 07:30:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 1875 at http://krwg.org Bon Iver On World Cafe