4:52pm

Thu May 12, 2011
Monkey See

Culturetopia: Good Old Girl Edition

This week's roundup of NPR's best arts and cultural story includes a Scott Simon interview with country star Shania Twain described as a "killer listen" by peerless rock critic Ann Powers (who recently defected to NPR after decades of outstanding work at the country's top newspapers). She points out that little of their conversation revolves around Twain's actual music, but over the course of the chat, it becomes obvious how music has come to function as a haven for Twain from her extraordinarily tumultuous life.

Tumultuousness certainly feeds the creativity of the scores of young Libyan musicians, graphic artists and multi-media types frenetically responding to the revolution by making art and throwing concerts. An NPR producer in Benghazi hung out with a bunch of 20 and 30-somethings heady with the country's change --and changing culture. We've also got a great piece about how publishers speedily churn out books ripped from the headlines — like about the death of a certain scary international supervillain.

Mandalit Del Barco reports from Los Angeles about the establishment of a brand new cultural center that honors the city's deep, complex Mexican roots. And a profile of artist Glenn Ligon takes you though the artist's politically provocative new show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

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