Singer/songwriter and guitarist Chris Vallillo loves the slide guitar—so much so that his new CD features 17 different vintage instruments in original songs and covers of Americana roots music. One of his collaborators on that CD, multi-percussionist Rocky Maffit, will join Chris for a CD release program in Urbana Saturday, and they’ll both play for us live on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.”
From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to the blockbusters of today, Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society's anxieties about women's liberation.
The film goes behind the scenes with TV stars Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman) and Lindsay Wagner (The Bionic Woman), comic writers and artists, and real-life superheroines such as Gloria Steinem, Kathleen Hanna and others, who offer an enlightening and entertaining counterpoint to the male-dominated superhero genre.
Wonder Women! explores the nation’s long-term love affair with comic book superheroes and raises questions about the possibilities and contradictions of heroines within the genre. Reflecting our culture’s deep-seated ambivalence toward powerful women — even in this so called post-feminist era — women may be portrayed as good, or brave, or even featured as “action babes,” but rarely are they seen as heroes at the center of their own journey.
Detroit was the birthplace of the middle class, an industrial utopia where anyone who worked hard enough could experience the American dream. But today, the Motor City, which has essentially been taken over by the state of Michigan, is on the brink of bankruptcy.
In the past 10 years this Midwestern icon has lost one-fourth of its population and half of its manufacturing jobs. City officials are in the midst of the most dramatic “downsizing” of an American city ever seen — demolishing thousands of homes, reconsolidating massive tracts of excess land, cutting basic services, and encouraging Detroiters in marginal neighborhoods to move.
This is a city in the throes of transition. Those who have stuck with the city are at the breaking point while artists and curious outsiders flock to the city in search of inspiration and opportunity.
Racial tension, globalization, greed, and lack of innovation have led to a moment of truth for Detroit. How the Motor City reboots itself will set the example for countless other post-industrial cities with similar fates. And today the entire country is watching to see if this storied metropolis has the courage, creativity, and grit to reinvent itself — or if it will instead implode.
Detropia is a cinematic tapestry that chronicles the lives of several Detroiters trying to survive and make sense of what is happening to their city. An owner of a blues bar, a young blogger, an auto union rep, a group of young artists, an opera impresario, and a gang of illegal “scrappers” make up an unlikely chorus that illuminates the tale of both a city and a country in a soul-searching mood, grasping for a new identity.
This week marks the 60th anniversary of the release of Ian Fleming’s “Casino Royale” that introduced the world to the now infamous mystery man, James Bond. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Michael VanBlaricum, a UIUC alumnus and co-founder of the Ian Fleming Foundation, about Bond’s legacy. John Cork, another co-founder of the foundation and a documentary film maker known for his knowledge of the character, also joins us.
VanBlaricum is also an avid Bond memorabilia collector and is donating a large collection of materials for research purposes to the University, making the Midwest an unlikely hotspot for Bond research. There are several events taking place next weekend in Urbana on campus. Find more information here.
Virtuosic American violinist Nick Kendall has a widely varied career, as a member of the ground-breaking trio Time for Three and co-founder of the Dryden String Quartet and the East Coast Chamber Orchestra. He’ll make his second appearance as soloist with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra this weekend, in the world premiere of music by Steve Hackman. Kevin Kelly talked with both of them on the Tuesday edition of Live and Local.
We'll have an Evening Concert Special from Illinois Public Media: A Classical All-Fool’s Day. Vincent Trauth is your host for two hours of musical humor and jokes including Mozart’s famous A Musical Joke, Johann Strauss Jr.’s Joke Polka, works by P.D.Q. Bach and others.
Learn to create the finest desserts and goodies in your own home. Martha Stewart shares the best baking tips and techniques, giving you the confidence to create delectable baked goods — from scratch — in your own kitchen. Martha’s updated versions of the classics set the standard, while her uses of flavors and ingredients add new angles to some familiar favorites.