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Detroit singer Mike Posner's latest hit on the pop charts is — ironically — about the down sides of having a hit on the pop charts. It's called "I Took a Pill in Ibiza."

Esmé Patterson is one of several young women — others include Frances Quinlan of Hop Along, Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield, and Julien Baker — making music that could be called synapse-rock.

Ben Harper recorded with the Innocent Criminals from 1997 through his 2007 album, Lifeline. Since then, he's worked solo and with Relentless7 — until now. The Innocent Criminals join Harper on his new album, Call It What It Is.

The Canadian band Grindmother last week released its debut album, Age of Destruction. The group gets its name in part from the style of music it plays, known for short songs with blistering tempos and heavy distortion.

Ra Ra Riot On Mountain Stage

May 3, 2016

Ra Ra Riot returns to Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Led by guitarist Milo Bonacci, Ra Ra Riot formed while the band's six members were attending college in Syracuse, N.Y. Combining indie rock with chamber-pop flourishes (courtesy of a small string section), the band quickly picked up a local and regional following. After pulling up stakes and relocating to New York City, Ra Ra Riot recorded a self-titled EP and prepared to release it during the summer of 2007.

Two-time Grammy winner Jason Isbell opens his sold-out show at House Of Blues Boston with a searing version of his blues-rock song "Palmetto Rose." With lyrical references to the "Iodine State," "Sullivan's Island" and "bull**** stories 'bout the Civil War," Isbell plants listeners square on the sidewalks of Charleston, South Carolina, where street vendors hawk roses to tourists.

Winterpills On World Cafe

May 3, 2016

Two distinct strains of music might come to mind when one thinks of the western Massachusetts hamlet of Northampton and the surrounding area. One is the singer-songwriter scene centered around the venue The Iron Horse and the Signature Sounds label. The other is the loud rock scene conjured by J Mascis and Dinosaur Jr.

Blood Visions was, for many, the first exposure to the jimmy-legging tunefulness and frantic musicianship of the late Jay Reatard, and it was the record that pushed him into a spotlight that at times seemed more like a moving target than like anything that might bring focus to the person behind the music. But there had been a path to that solo career, one that led from myriad earlier projects and one-offs which showcased a talent that couldn't be reined in.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

World Cafe Next: Black Pistol Fire

May 2, 2016

Black Pistol Fire is the stomping, blues-inflected duo of Kevin McKeown on guitar and lead vocals and Eric Owen on drums. Originally from Toronto, the two now call Austin home. Black Pistol Fire's fourth album, Don't Wake The Riot, comes out later this month.

As a co-founder of the band X, John Doe helped define the punk scene that emerged in Los Angeles in the late 1970s. Doe tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that punk was about breaking rules and challenging the norms of the existing music scene.

The Chicago new-music ensemble Eighth Blackbird is on a roll. Just after winning its fourth Grammy in February, the group received a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions; the prize came with a $400,000 grant. Hand Eye — Eighth Blackbird's second album in seven months — just came out, and this season the group marks its 20th anniversary. The celebration includes an extensive tour, with world premieres of music by Bryce Dessner and David T.

Metropolis: 4/30/16

May 2, 2016
This Week's Playlist

  • Boys Noize, "Starchild (feat. Polica)" (Boys Noize)
  • DJRUM, "Honey" (2nd Drop)
  • Astrid S, "Hyde" (Island)
  • Autograf, "Heartbreak" (Autograf)
  • Kraak & Smaak, "Hands Of Time (feat. Alxndr London)" (Jalapeno)
  • Anderson .Paak, "Am I Wrong" (Steel Wool/Obe)
  • Purple Disco Machine, "Magic" (Exploited)
  • Sharam Jey, Kolombo, "Nonstop!" (Bunny Tiger)

Big Black Coat is the first album in nearly five years for KEXP favorite Junior Boys, and it revisits the duo's favorite pop sounds: house, techno, soul, disco, R&B. The Hamilton, Ontario, duo of Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didemus, joined by touring drummer Dale Butterfield, recently returned to KEXP to share the welcoming vibe of "So This Is Goodbye."

SET LIST

  • "So This Is Goodbye"

Late in 1968, it was astounding to me how one of the best-loved bands could create one of the least-liked songs. It was "Revolution 9," near the end of The Beatles' sprawling White Album.

But then, I was only 7 years old and, frankly, those eight minutes of chaotic sounds and mumbled words were positively frightening. And who was that guy who kept intoning "number nine?"

Charles Bradley cultivated his booming voice for years as a James Brown impersonator. It wasn't until he was 62 years old that he found mainstream success, singing his own music. Now, he's out with his third album, called Changes.

Parquet Courts On World Cafe

May 1, 2016

It turns out that Parquet Courts' most recent two albums were actually recorded at the same time. As guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Andrew Savage explains, the band's 2015 EP, Monastic Living, was a mostly instrumental "palate cleanser" that prepared him and songwriting partner Austin Brown to record this year's Human Performance.

Beyoncé's 'Lemonade' Still Has Us Talking

May 1, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Cyndi Lauper, that girl power icon of the eighties, has a new album. Her latest collection of songs takes a distinctly southern turn: It's an album of classic country covers.

"It could have spelled the end for us."

The San Francisco duo of Maria Quiles and Rory Cloud got together in 2011 after meeting via the songwriting circuit in the area. They've been touring together ever since, crisscrossing the country in their Volkswagen Golf. In 2014, Quiles & Cloud won the Duo Contest at the Freshgrass Festival at MassMoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts — a prize that included working on a record with Allison Brown at Compass Records in Nashville.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Electronic musician Tim Hecker has been dismantling sounds, turning traditional song structures inside out and bending sonic worlds for nearly 20 years. For his latest album, Love Streams, he applies his unique vision to the human voice, making it the centerpiece of a deeply textured and profoundly warped collection of songs.

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