NPR News

When it comes to maligning the news media, Morrissey has few peers. As he sings in "Spent The Day In Bed," a song from his most recent album Low In High School: "I recommend that you stop / watching the news / because the news contrives to frighten you / to make you feel small and alone / to make you feel that your mind isn't your own."

I don't believe in ghosts, but sometimes when I walk through my house I think I hear the forlorn cries of all the books, movies and TV shows that I've loved over the past few months but never got around to talking about. And so, every December, I try to silence those cries with my annual "Ghost List" of favorites I've ignored — a group that in 2017 ranges in spirit from cosmic surrealism to ripped-from-the-headlines immediacy.

National Treasure, Hulu

Couples therapist Esther Perel is an expert in cheating. She's spent the past six years of her career focusing on couples who are dealing with infidelity — and she's heard a lot of stories.

"It's never been easier to cheat — and it's never been more difficult to keep a secret," she says. "The majority of affairs would normally have died a natural death. Today they are discovered primarily through the phone or through social media or though the computer."

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This has been tough year for America's west coast vineyards. Wildfires in October in Northern California and this month in Southern California have left acres of wine country scorched and black. While California's 2017 grapes have been safely harvested already, winemakers around the world are wary about a threat that is growing along with the frequency of wildfires: smoke taint.

When Rory Graham was 19 or 20 years old, he sang in public for the first time. And he didn't really think there was anything special about his voice. Turns out, the world disagrees.

Brendan Francis Newnam and Rico Gagliano say they don’t get invited to many parties. That’s because they’re self-made experts on the art of hosting, and folks worry they’ll be judgy guests. (Spoiler alert: they are.)

Newnam and Gagliano co-hosted “The Dinner Party Download,” a popular public radio show in the style of a dinner party, for six years. The show recently ended production, just in time for them to go public with their true feelings about the Millennial generation’s favorite meal.

A lot of women have come forward in the past few months with stories of being sexually harassed, and often the perpetrators have lost their jobs. But in other cases, women have shared their experiences and there has been no change.

Silicon Valley engineer Niniane Wang wanted to be certain that when she came forward the man responsible paid a price.

Wang has the kind of pedigree that should equal dollar signs for any investor: a master's in computer science, founder of Google Desktop and lead engineering positions at Microsoft.

The 100 Best Songs Of 2017

Dec 13, 2017

The best songs we heard this year reflected a deep sense of collective need. For safety, for respect, for self-definition. For money or sex or revolution. Maybe we just hear what we crave, but on huge hits and semi-obscure album cuts alike, it seemed that musicians in 2017 were facing down eternity or the possibility of annihilation. Both Sylvan Esso and Jason Isbell linked love with death. Kendrick Lamar gave us his most tender song yet, as well as his harshest condemnation. Ibeyi and Kesha gave us righteous anger and forgiveness. Sharon Jones faced the end.

The 100 Best Songs Of 2017

Dec 13, 2017


80. Gracie and Rachel

The 100 Best Songs Of 2017

Dec 13, 2017


60. Father John Misty

The 100 Best Songs Of 2017

Dec 13, 2017


40. Margo Price

The 100 Best Songs Of 2017

Dec 13, 2017


20. MUNA
"I Know A Place"

This L.A.-based trio released its debut album, About U, with fierce focus this year, claiming its place on the pop spectrum with a synth- and guitar-driven sound, and building a community in the process. With "I Know A Place," the band created a musical safe space and an anthem for otherness, letting its joy speak as loudly as its defiance. —Sarah Wardrop (WFUV)

Listen to "I Know A Place"

Updated at 7:18 p.m. ET

President Trump said thank you Wednesday evening to Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice contestant turned White House aide, who is stepping down from her post.

"I wish you continued success," Trump posted on Twitter.

Continuing a beloved New York tradition, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis warms up the House of Swing with soulful renditions of holiday classics.

Two years ago yesterday, Dec. 12, nearly 200 countries came to a consensus that greenhouse emissions — mostly caused by the burning of fossil fuels — had to be drastically cut if we were to halt the planetary-changing consequences of a choking atmosphere.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Gifts

Dec 13, 2017

Whether you're looking for gift ideas or simply looking for an hour of fine music, we have the perfect blend, featuring Cherish the Ladies, Nicola Benedetti and Pete Clark.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Nina Simone, Bon Jovi, The Moody Blues, The Cars and Dire Straits — along with guitar pioneer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, with an award for early influence — have been named as next year's inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

In September, WGBH traveled a few hours west on the Mass Pike to capture Brooklyn-based Big Thief performing live at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke, Mass.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, BYLINE: Yeah, so one of the themes of Republican Roy Moore's campaign has been that he's never going to stop fighting, right? He's said that time and again. Now he says he is not going to concede.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Right Won Over Wrong In Alabama, Perez Says

Dec 13, 2017

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Alabama's election result caught even the winner, Democrat Doug Jones, off guard.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DOUG JONES: I got to tell you...

(CHEERING)

It was just another sad story on the Los Angeles evening news: a homeless man in his mid-50s, found stabbed to death in a park in the San Fernando Valley, his body in a pool of blood behind the softball fields. It took several days for him to be identified as Frederick Smith, a musician known to friends, fans and colleagues as "Freak," someone who had left an indelible mark on the epochal '80s hardcore punk scene of Washington, D.C.

Pat DiNizio, a singer and songwriter who made popular rock songs as the leader of The Smithereens, died on Tuesday at age 62, his fellow band members say. No cause of death was provided.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is ready to talk about talking to North Korea.

"We're ready to talk anytime North Korea would like to talk. And we're ready to have the first meeting without precondition," he said, in remarks Tuesday at the Atlantic Council, a think tank in Washington, D.C.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Not a great time for Philadelphia Eagles fans. You were dominating this season, but now you've lost your quarterback to injury. This may cheer you up. It's your fight song.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

If you're a noted chef and invited to a holiday party, it's kind of assumed that you'll bring something homemade along. At least that's how it usually goes for Yotam Ottolenghi, who admits his success can sometimes intimidate hosts.

But you don't have to be a world-class chef to make showstopping desserts this holiday season: We asked him to suggest recipes that home cooks of all skill levels can tackle.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Pages