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Features on our favorites in arts and culture!

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Quick Spin: Author Bret Anthony Johnston

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Bret Anthony Johnston’s outward appearance oozes fiction writer. You see his thick-rimmed glasses and often solemn photos and you think, Yup, this is what they’re all like. But Johnston (whose name sounds a little like a member of a boy band, doesn’t it?) is so much more than the scarf-wearing stereotype you might associate with the typical writer.

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Rock and Roll and Rene Redzepi: A Work in Progress

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Books that cook have really evolved over the last few years. A few – like David Chang’s tale in the Momofuku cookbook of fighting anger and shingles – plunge even deeper into the cooking/storytelling vein, revealing the heart of the kitchen where memoir and measuring cup collide.

René Redzepi: A Work In Progress is teetering on that fine line as well. The Copenhagen chef’s latest release, a raw glimpse into a leader and chef, part cookbook, part year-in-the-life tale of its star player and his role within the greater team.

The Head and the Heart at MusicfestNW [DAILYBLENDER.COM]

The Head and the Heart at Portland’s Musicfest NW

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On a random weekday evening, as I was flipping through the channels, I came across a showing of Austin City Limits, a grand performance series on PBS showcasing some of the finest musicians in the country. The episode featured a Seattle ensemble named The Head and the Heart, and with their stunning ACL studio performance, I was instantly a fan. Formed in 2009 thanks to an open-mic night at a local bar, the folky, heartfelt tunes from Josiah Johnson, Jonathan Russell, and Charity Rose Thielen are touching but not overwrought, detailing the universal struggles between the head and the heart.