Jan 1, 2009 — It was an unusually strong year for great unknown artists. While bigger, more established bands continued to attract the most attention, smaller, lesser-known acts made the most memorable music of 2008. All of the great unknown artists featured here made music that was inspired, original and heartfelt.
Jan 1, 2009 — There are so many books published these days that it's often hard for readers to plow through everything that's available. That's when Nancy Pearl, librarian extraordinaire, swoops in for the rescue.
Dec 31, 2008 — How can a movie-loving critic pick only 10 films? Morning Edition and Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan names his favorites — and sneaks a few extra choices in for good measure. Tops on the list: Slumdog Millionaire.
Dec 31, 2008 — Critic Mark Jenkins says never mind the posh Brit accents and the somber themes crowding the holiday multiplex; they're awards-bait: The year's genuinely superb films came from all over, and in many languages.
Dec 31, 2008 — The economy may have turned sour, but with a total take of $9.5 billion at the box office — and 22 films on our critic's year-end best-movies list — Hollywood can look back at 2008 without shame.
Dec 31, 2008 — Cross-pollination of excellent musicians made for some amazing jazz in 2008. The year's best CDs feature numerous musicians collaborating with each other on a wide variety of recordings. Hearing the best musicians work with other geniuses is a wonderful thing to witness. Here are 10 of the best jazz CDs of the year.
Dec 30, 2008 — One of the best years for kids' music in recent memory includes releases from artists with feet firmly in both kid-friendly and adult-oriented worlds. Old favorites went in new directions, while emerging artists gave a glimpse of the future of a genre as diverse and unpredictable as kids themselves.
Dec 29, 2008 — If previous years' bookshelves were crowded with woeful tales of single living, 2008 marked the year of marriage; even Anna Karenina, the ne plus ultra of domestic dissatisfaction, got back into the act, returning as a resident of Rego Park in Irina Reyn's What Happened to Anna K.
Dec 29, 2008 — For the past month, NPR Music producer Lars Gotrich laid out multiple strips of paper on his desk, with names like Uncle Owen Aunt Beru, Extra Life and Erykah Badu printed on them. It turns out he was working on his list of the year's top CDs, analog-style. He shares his unique sense of music in this episode of All Songs Considered.
Dec 29, 2008 — This has been a strong year for African music, with two big trends emerging: the continuing integration of African music into the U.S. and European mainstream, as well as the ongoing unearthing of treasures from Afropop's "golden era," particularly the '70s.