Home Before Dark, the 46th album from singer-songwriter Neil Diamond, is No. 1 on the pop charts. It’s the first time Diamond has had a No. 1 debut in a career that’s spanned nearly five decades. For the new album, he enlisted producer Rick Rubin, who also worked on Diamond’s 2005 album 12 Songs — but who’s known more for his work with groundbreaking rap acts. Diamond’s guilty-pleasure hits include “Sweet Caroline,” “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” and “Cherry Cherry.”
Writer Michael Chabon won a Pulitzer Prize in 2000 for his novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, in which he imagined the lives of people working on some of the earliest superhero comics. He rewrote another chapter of history in The Yiddish Policemen’s Union— a novel Publishers Weekly described as a “murder-mystery speculative-history Jewish-identity noir chess thriller.” It’s based on an eye-opening premise: What if the fledgling state of Israel had collapsed in 1948 — and in the wake of the Holocaust, part of Alaska had been set aside as a temporary refuge for Jews? The novel is set 60 years later; Jewish rights to the district are running out, and it’s about to revert to Alaskan control. Main character Meyer Landsman is a homicide detective, living in this temporary Jewish homeland and investigating a murder. Chabon joins Terry Gross to read briefly from the book, and to talk about the inspiration for the novel — an asylum proposal (requires a PDF reader) that, in the real world, died in a Congressional committee.
We continue our weekly Friday discussion on the Presidential election. Today, The Hillary Clinton campaign… is it over? We’ll get an update on the campaign with SUZANNE SMALLEY a National Correspondent for Newsweek, then we’ll check in with CAMILLE PAGLIA a columnist for Salon.com, and ELLEN MORAN the Executive Director of Emily’s List. Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3
The Black Keys
With their newest record, Attack & Release, the two-man band of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney has created a spot-on mix of blues and rock. The Black Keys left the comfort of vacant buildings and basements and enlisted Danger Mouse as producer of their first album recorded in a real studio. The resulting collection takes their minimalist sound into a new dimension with unexpected arrangements and expanded instrumentation. Despite their success with terse, soulful rock, The Black Keys were in search of a new sound that would enhance their style. Producer Danger Mouse’s fresh insight helped integrate the subtle sounds of the organ, piano and synthesizers. Though these small changes have modified the sound of the album, they never once compromise the raw talent of The Black Keys.
THE BLACK KEYS: Set You Free