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Andrew Limbong

Andrew Limbong is a reporter and producer for NPR's Arts Desk, where he reports, produces, and mixes arts and culture pieces of all kinds. Previously, he was a producer and director for Tell Me More. He originally started at NPR in 2011 as an intern for All Things Considered.

Updated Thursday at 3:40 p.m. ET

The Arkansas Department of Health has issued a cease-and-desist letter for what could have been the first indoor concert with an audience of more than 200 of the coronavirus era. The show was set to take place in Fort Smith, Ark., on Friday — three days before the state is set to allow businesses to open in a limited capacity.

Updated at 4:21 p.m. ET.

The coronavirus pandemic has completely shut down the business of concerts and other live events. Some people, including Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, are even predicting that live events won't resume until next year.

Brian Dennehy could go from viciously intimidating on film to weak and weary on stage. The actor died yesterday of cardiac arrest. His family says his death was not related to COVID-19. He was 81 years old.

Ellis Marsalis, jazz pianist, educator, and patriarch of the Marsalis family, has died at the age of 85. His death was announced in tweets from New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Jazz at Lincoln Center, where his son Wynton is managing and artistic director.

He reportedly went into the hospital over the weekend with symptoms of pneumonia. The New York Times reports that his son Branford says the cause of death was complications from COVID-19.

Mobile carrier T-Mobile announced today that it's officially completed a merger with Sprint. The deal, which was announced in 2018, means that the previously third and fourth largest wireless companies in the United States have now become the third — rivaling AT&T and Verizon. The new company, just called T-Mobile, is hoping to use its new pool of resources to expand its 5G capabilities, aiming to provide faster internet speeds to 99% of the population within the next six years.

The spiritual leader and author Ram Dass has died at the age of 88. He was an icon of the psychedelic drug movement of the '60s and '70s, as well as a champion of a mindful philosophy.

According to his official Instagram account, he died Sunday at his home in Maui.

Robert Evans – the once vice president of production at Paramount who was responsible for critically acclaimed films such as The Godfather parts 1 and 2, Chinatown, and Serpico – died Saturday at the age of 89.

While Evans was known for his string of '70s cinema hits, he was also convicted of cocaine possession in 1980. He detailed his own rise and fall in the industry in his 1994 memoir The Kid Stays in the Picture.

By my count, Brittany Kaiser mentions the TV show Mad Men four times in her new memoir Targeted. But her story tracks closer to that of another big TV show — Breaking Bad.

Ever get mad online? Think about publicly dunking on someone's take on politics or race or some ongoing cultural conversation?

Turns out that while it may not be personally productive in the end, it could potentially lead to much bigger problems: a gap in democracy, say, thanks to hackers who might be watching, recording and taking notes — making it their mission to build millions of personality profiles.

Enter, Christopher Wylie.

Influential photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank has died at the age of 94. He died of natural causes on Monday night in Nova Scotia, Canada. His death was confirmed by his longtime friend and gallerist Peter MacGill.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

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The rapper A$AP Rocky is out of Swedish jail and back in the U.S. this morning after a monthlong saga that's drawn the attention of music fans, celebrities and President Trump. And as NPR's Andrew Limbong reports, it's not quite over yet.

A Stockholm judge has ordered the release of rapper A$AP Rocky from jail today, in connection with an alleged assault case. While the trial has ended, reports say that the judge won't hand down a verdict until August 14.

A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, has been detained for a month now, since Jul. 2, after being accused of assaulting a 19-year-old man.

When President Trump tweeted his racist remarks Sunday, asking why certain Democratic congresswomen don't just "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came," he did not just take aim at the four women of color — three of whom were born in the U.S.

Two different philanthropic arms of the Sackler family have announced they will temporarily stop all new gifts in the United Kingdom.

The Sacklers are major donors to museums, galleries and theaters in the U.K. and the U.S — between 2013 and 2017, the Mortimer D. Sackler Foundation alone gave away more than $6 million, according to tax records.

Arata Isozaki spent much of his childhood in the shadow of World War II. As a native of the city of Oita, the Japanese architect grew up just across a slim body of water from Hiroshima, where the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb — and he says he saw firsthand the ease with which proud human achievements could be leveled.

Trevor Paglen writes the kinds of books that get you into weird conversations with strangers. He takes the kinds of pictures that are slightly unnerving until you read the title card, and then it becomes a regular amount of unnerving.

He also just sent a giant inflatable mirror up into space.

That last one is just the latest art piece in a career all about being watched by things you can't see.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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A piece by the artist Kerry James Marshall was auctioned off this week and became the highest selling piece by a living black artist. "Past Times," which is part painting and part collage, features black people relaxing, boating, playing croquet along a river.

Also in that auction were works by Andy Warhol and Franz Kline — they were being sold by the Baltimore Museum of Art, which is planning to use the money from the sales to acquire more pieces specifically by women and artists of color (and maybe their own version of a Kerry James Marshall.)

The Weinstein Co. has been cleared to sell its assets to Texas-based private equity firm Lantern Capital Partners.

That was the ruling from a federal bankruptcy court judge in Delaware today. The terms of the deal don't offer a fund for the victims of alleged sexual abuses by the movie studio's co-founder.

A medical company is trying to make hospital gowns less terrible — maybe even good. The company is called Care+Wear and it's currently testing out the new gowns at MedStar Montgomery in Olney, Md.

You know the old gown, sometimes called a "johnny": It's got the flimsy ties and the exposed back.

Mark E. Smith, founder and frontman of the UK band The Fall, has died at the age of 60. The band's manager, Pam Vander, said in a written statement, "He passed this morning (24th January) at home. A more detailed statement will follow in the next few days."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The ice bucket challenge became a viral sensation a few years ago.

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER SPLASHING, LAUGHTER)

Twenty-five years ago Tuesday, a career-defining single was born — and with it, endless sitcom jokes and rap homages. It was referenced in Sing, the 2016 animated children's movie, and in Shrek years before that. But when it debuted in 1992, there were those who took it to heart as an anthem of body positivity.

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(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

YEVGENY YEVTUSHENKO: (Speaking Russian).

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Gospel singer Joe Ligon died Sunday at the age of 80. He was the electric and vibrant frontman for the Grammy award-winning group Mighty Clouds of Joy, which helped bring gospel to the mainstream.

Phil Chess, co-founder of the iconic Chicago blues and rock 'n' roll label Chess Records, died Wednesday in Tucson, Ariz. He was 95.

Phil and his brother, Leonard Chess, emigrated to the U.S. from Poland in 1928. Chess Records biographer Nadine Cohodas told their story to NPR in 2000.

Chuck Berry turns 90 Tuesday. I know he's a very important person in music history, but he's never been a guy I listened to much. I mean, I've heard hits like "Maybellene" from 1955, but I wanted to learn more.

So I called Tony Trov. He's an artist out of Philadelphia, but more important, he plays in a Chuck Berry cover band called It's Marvin, Your Cousin Marvin Berry, a reference to a memorable scene in Back to the Future.

Updated at 6 p.m. with judge's ruling

Usually when there's a question about who created a piece of art, the artist is dead and can't speak for himself — he can't say, "Hey, I made that," or "Nope, not mine." But this is a story about a living artist who went to court to prove that a painting in fact is not his. And on Tuesday, a judge in Chicago agreed.

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