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Alice Boman (Courtesy of the artist)

Alice Boman, 'Be Mine'

Aug 29, 2014

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Take a deep breath, in black & white. Alice Boman's fragile singing, mixed with ethereal images from the Swedish countryside, make for a small laptop vacation, in her new video for the song "Be Mine."

Filmmaker Anders Weberg, know for his "slow cinema" films with running times of literally hundreds of hours, directed the video. Unlike his more elaborate projects, he used a cellphone to shoot, with a run time under three-and-a-half minutes.

Alice Boman is also bit of a minimalist, making spare lo fidelity music. "Be Mine" first appeared on her EP II, which came out earlier this year. Boman is also about to come to the U.S. for a tour, and I know I'll make a trip to my local club to hear her remarkable voice.

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Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell arrives at federal court in Richmond, Va., on Aug. 28, 2014. (AP)

Bob McDonnell: A Recap Of The Juiciest Bits To Come Out Of The Trial

by Eyder Peralta
Aug 29, 2014

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The trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell went into closing arguments today. At issue are serious allegations of corruption, but the trial has also unveiled seriously juicy details about McDonnell's personal life.

We haven't given the trial much coverage around here. So, before the jury hands down its verdict, we wanted to catch you up on some of the juiciest bits to emerge from the testimony.

— First Lady Is A Screamer:

One of the recurring themes of the trial has been how Maureen McDonnell — the state's former first lady — is a screamer, who terrorized her staff.

On day eight of the trial, McDonnell's chief of staff described her as a "nutbag."

Here's how the Richmond Times-Dispatch recapped that testimony:

"Mary-Shea Sutherland's testimony on day eight of the McDonnells' federal corruption trial portrayed a frustrated first lady placated by Jonnie R. Williams Sr., a free-spending dietary-supplement impresario, then CEO of Star Scientific.

"Sutherland depicted Maureen McDonnell as so undone by her privileged surroundings and financial limitations that the first lady grabbed at gifts, raged at staff, and even falsely accused the Executive Mansion chef of trying to ruin her Christmas by serving 'bad shrimp.'

"The tawdry testimony led some courtroom spectators to roll their eyes, shake their heads and snicker in disbelief."

— The Letter:

The big strategy in this trial for the defense has been to paint this couple as so dysfunctional and uncommunicative that they could not have possibly formed a conspiracy. Remember they are accused of taking gifts from the CEO of a pharmaceutical company in exchange for the "prestige of the governorship."

In any case, late in the trial, a letter from McDonnell to his wife was entered into evidence. It is cringe inducing.

The AP has the whole text. We'll leave you with only one small portion:

"I know I am a sinner and keep trying to do better. But I am completely at a loss as to how to handle the fiery anger and hate from you that has become more and more frequent. You told me again yesterday that you would wreck my things and how bad I am. It hurt me to my core. I have asked and prayed to God so many times to take this anger away from you and heal whatever hurt is causing it....some going back years and years. He has not yet answered those prayers."

— 'Tic Tac Man'

Speaking of the CEO of Star Scientific. Testimony from McDonnell's eldest daughter revealed that Mrs. McDonnell had a "mild obsession" with Jonnie Williams.

The AP wrote at the time of the testimony:

"Jeanine McDonnell said her parents rarely spoke to each other in private, going back decades. She also said her mother developed an unusually close friendship with Williams.

"Bob McDonnell testified that he viewed Williams as a personal friend and was comfortable accepting his gifts because he never sought any favors from him.

"Jeanine McDonnell made clear she no longer thinks highly of Williams, who earlier testified under immunity that was not friends with the McDonnells and he spent lavishly on them only to gain acceptance for Anatabloc. The immunity agreement bars Williams' prosecution not only for his dealings with the McDonnells, but also for potential securities violations.

"The judge mildly rebuked Jeanine McDonnell when she said she returned a $10,000 check from Williams, intended as a housewarming present, 'once we learned that Jonnie himself was a criminal.'"

Anatabloc, by the way, is the supplement that prosecutors allege McDonnell promoted illegally in exchange for money from Williams.

Earlier in the trial, it was revealed that Health policy aide Molly Huffstetler referred to Williams mockingly as the "tic tac man." According to the Washington Post, Huffstetler also said that she would have never met with Williams had the governor not asked her to.

— The Reality Circus:

Perhaps the detail that shows what a circus this trial has been is that at one point the names of two big reality TV stars came into the official court record.

WVEC-TV takes us there:

"Williams has testified that, on at least two occasions, he purchased a $5,000 bottle of cognac while entertaining a group that included the McDonnells.

"One of those occasions—at a restaurant in the lobby of the Four Seasons in New York City—defense attorneys claim Williams also broke out his cell phone and bragged about having the cell phone numbers of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan."

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It's A Dog's Life In 'Finding Neverland'

Aug 29, 2014 (Here & Now / WBUR-FM)

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The musical “Finding Neverland” is said to be headed for Broadway, after its run at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass.

The show, based on the 2004 film, is about J.M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, and his relationship with a widow and her four young sons.

One of the actors in the A.R.T. production is stepping out of his comfort zone: Thayne Jasperson channels his canine side to play Porthos, the family dog.

But as Jasperson tells Here & Now’s Sacha Pfeiffer, it’s been an enjoyable ride.

“I think in my past life I was a dog,” he says. “It seems so natural to come in and have my tongue out and feel happy and be like ‘what do you want to do? Want to play? Let’s go, throw the ball, c’mon, throw me the ball’”

Guest

  • Thayne Jasperson, singer, dancer and actor who plays Porthos the family dog in the A.R.T. production of “Finding Neverland.” He tweets @thaynejasperson.
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Flirty Racism

Aug 29, 2014 (Latino USA / WBUR-FM)

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Seeing Ourselves in Stock Photos

Aug 29, 2014 (Latino USA / WBUR-FM)

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