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Studio 360: The Creativity Crisis, Dean & Britta

Written by: Kurt Andersen
Narrated by: Kurt Andersen
Length: 50 mins

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Publisher's Summary

A new study shows that young Americans are getting less creative. Ashley Merryman co-wrote "The Creativity Crisis," a Newsweek article that looks at the ramifications of this decline. Merryman tells Kurt that creative thinking, often neglected by schools, is not just for the arts — it's actually the key to solving some of the most difficult challenges we face today, from the gulf oil spill to fighting terrorism.

Next, the novel God Says No is about a gay African-American evangelical Christian who struggles to reconcile his identity with his beliefs. The author, James Hannaham, tells Kurt why he wanted make comedy out of a weighty subject: "My friend and I invented a term for what I was trying to do with this book: 'horrorlarious,' something that is right on the line between being completely horrendous and very funny."

Then, this year symphonies around the world are celebrating the 150th birthday of Gustav Mahler. The composer's path to success was a bumpy one. After he made his American debut at Carnegie Hall in 1908, and a year later he was hired to conduct the New York Philharmonic. But Mahler soon fell out of favor in New York, and died suddenly. Studio 360's Eric Molinsky looks into the rumors swirling around the composer's New York years and the torment he endured.

Finally, when guitarist Dean Wareham needed a new bassist for his band Luna, he placed an ad in the classifieds. Britta Phillips answered, and the two have been making rainy day indie-rock ever since. Back in 2007, Dean & Britta performed songs from their album Back Numbers live in our studio. Their new record is called 13 Most Beautiful. [Broadcast Date: July 24, 2010]

©2010 Public Radio International, Inc.

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