The All-Female Band That Made History and More: The Week in Narrated Articles

This weekend, listen to a collection of narrated articles from around The New York Times, read aloud by the reporters who wrote them.

Written and narrated by Mark Yarm

In spring 2015, the documentary filmmaker Bobbi Jo Hart came across a short profile of June Millington, the singer and lead guitarist for the pioneering 1970s all-female rock group, Fanny. Despite growing up in a hippie household in California, Hart had never heard of them or that Fanny was the first all-female rock band to release an album on a major label.

When she first learned about Fanny online, she had a visceral reaction: “It really pissed me off,” she said. “It was just another example of amazing women that we don’t know about.” Hart reached out to former band members about the possibility of a documentary but determined at the time that the Fanny story didn’t have the “forward-momentum narrative” she was looking for.

Then, in January 2017, Hart spotted June Millington at the Women’s March on Washington. The sighting spurred Hart to call Millington, who had some news: Three members of Fanny were about to make a new album on an indie label. The moment for a film had arrived.

“Top Gun: Maverick” turns and burns its way into theaters this week, landing 36 years after the 1986 original.

That’s a lot of time to form a lot of questions about the new film and its relationship to its predecessor: How similar are the stories? Who’s back? Do we hear “Danger Zone”?

Here are the answers.

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Written and narrated by Molly Young

The culture has an enduring fascination with sharks: “Jaws” and its sequels; the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week; the movie where Samuel L. Jackson gets eaten by a shark; the movie where Blake Lively almost gets eaten by a shark; the movie where Ian Ziering dives into a shark’s mouth with a chain saw and then chainsaws his way out.

“I have shielded myself from shark information under the logic of ‘What I don’t know might be able to hurt me, and that’s precisely why I don’t want to know it,’” Molly Young writes.

Molly waded into unwanted territory thanks to the gentle guidance of David Shiffman, a marine conservation biologist at Arizona State University, whose new book is called “Why Sharks Matter: A Deep Dive With the World’s Most Misunderstood Predator.”

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Written and narrated by Jesse McKinley

He is a postdoctoral fellow from Pittsburgh, a bartender turned political mapmaker. Now, Jonathan Cervas is suddenly New York’s most unforeseen power broker.

Last month, a New York State judge chose Mr. Cervas to create new district maps in New York for the House and State Senate after maps approved by state Democratic leaders were declared unconstitutional.

Mr. Cervas’s new maps radically reshaped several districts, scrambling the future of the state’s political establishment for the next decade.

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Written by Dan Barry and Karen Zraick | Narrated by Dan Barry

In 2018, Marco Martínez, a teenager newly arrived from Ecuador, died after being crushed against a ceiling by a mechanical lift. A year later, Michael Daves, who was living in a men’s shelter and struggling with substance abuse, died after falling through a hole.

And now Yonin Pineda, a 29-year-old from Guatemala, lies unconscious and gravely injured. His diligent Mexican foreman, Mauricio Sánchez, 41, is sprawled dead beside him, his face mangled, his chest torn open, his blood staining broken concrete.

The men were transforming a century-old Bronx ice house into a charter school.

No other construction site in New York City has had this many separate fatal incidents since at least 2003, when the Department of Buildings began keeping electronic records. But despite the pattern of deaths, the consequences have been negligible.

Want to hear more narrated articles from publications like The New York Times? Download Audm for iPhone and Android.

The Times’s narrated articles are made by Tally Abecassis, Parin Behrooz, Anna Diamond, Sarah Diamond, Jack D’Isidoro, Aaron Esposito, Dan Farrell, Elena Hecht, Adrienne Hurst, Elisheba Ittoop, Emma Kehlbeck, Marion Lozano, Tanya Pérez, Krish Seenivasan, Margaret H. Willison, Kate Winslett, John Woo and Tiana Young. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Ryan Wegner, Julia Simon and Desiree Ibekwe.

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