WUIS Xponential

Mountain Stage
4:35 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Amy LaVere On Mountain Stage

Amy LaVere.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Born to musician parents in a small town near the Texas-Louisiana border, Amy LaVere moved with her family 13 times before she finished high school in Detroit. She maintained her interest in music throughout; one of her first gigs was playing drums for the punk band Last Minute while in her mid-teens. After time spent in Louisiana and Nashville, LaVere settled in Memphis, where she began performing solo and released three solo albums, including 2012's decorated Stranger Me. Her latest, Runaway's Diary, is inspired in part by her experiences as a teenager.

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Music Interviews
3:11 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

In The Still Of The Night, There's A Riot In Garth Brooks

In his early 50s, after a long hiatus, the country singer has a new album and is touring. "Music keeps you eternally young," he says. "It just does."
Daniel Boczarski Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 4:04 pm

There was a long stretch in country music when there was no bigger star than Garth Brooks. He ruled the country charts throughout the '90s, filled stadiums, played 250 to 300 shows a year. In 2001, he called it off. He retired from the road and the studio, and went back home to Oklahoma to be a dad to his three young daughters.

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The Thistle & Shamrock
12:53 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

The Thistle & Shamrock: Alan Reid

Alan Reid.
Courtesy of the artist

Three decades after her journey into national radio started, host Fiona Ritchie meets up with the man who was her very first interview: Alan Reid, known for his long career with the legendary Battlefield Band.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

All Songs TV
8:58 am
Fri December 19, 2014

First Watch: La Dispute, 'Woman (Reading)'

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 9:10 am

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A Blog Supreme
8:57 am
Fri December 19, 2014

An Upset Either Way: Steve Lehman And Wadada Leo Smith Triumph

Wadada Leo Smith finished second in the NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, separated by only 12 points from surprise winner Steve Lehman.
Scott Groller Courtesy of the artist

Could anyone have predicted that Steve Lehman and Wadada Leo Smith would place first and second in this year's NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, among a field including previous winners Sonny Rollins, Vijay Iyer and Jason Moran, plus 2011 runner-up (and favorite going in) Ambrose Akinmusire? Not me, and I even had Lehman and Smith on my ballot, along with Rollins and Akinmusire.

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World Cafe
4:42 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Latin Roots Essentials: Latin Alternative

Los Fabulosos Cadillacs.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 1:20 pm

Another segment in our new Latin Roots series on the Essentials, the songs you need to know in each genre. We have a pretty good guide for our Latin alternative segment today. It is Josh Norek, who is the co-founder of the annual Latin Alternative Music Conference, and former head of Nacional Records.

He discusses the evolution from the original term "Rock En Espanol" and shows the variety of music under the name alternative.

World Cafe
4:33 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Parquet Courts On World Cafe

Parquet Courts.
Ben Rayner Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 7:52 pm

It has been a prolific year for our guests today, the punk band Parquet Courts. They have released two albums this year: Sunbathing Animal under their own name and Content Nausea as Parkay Quarts. We will talk with two founders of the band, Andrew Savage and Austin Brown, and hear performances from the stage of World Cafe Live. We also find out that the new songs are inspired by influences as diverse as Russian history and Louisiana prison songs.

Music Reviews
3:53 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Music Review: Lori Henriques' 'How Great Can This Day Be'

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:32 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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The Record
2:57 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

On 'The Pinkprint,' Nicki Minaj Speaks The Language Of Love

Nicki Minaj, in a still from her video for "Only."
Courtesy of the artist

The Pinkprint is just a record, as far as hip-hop is concerned. Nothing more, nothing less. But for Nicki Minaj, it's a career-defining moment. Even after she weathered a storm of rap critic scolds unhappy with her for completely crossing over the line she once straddled so well, the dance-pop successes of her last album, Roman Reloaded, overshadowed her artistic credibility. How would she bounce back? As Nicki well knows, hip-hop will only take it so far.

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Mountain Stage
11:38 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Marti Jones On Mountain Stage

Marti Jones.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Marti Jones appears on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. A multi-talented artist with a multi-faceted career, Jones began playing in bands in her native Ohio before issuing several solo albums. She performs frequently with her husband, Don Dixon, but has occasionally taken breaks from music to pursue her other career as a visual artist.

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Alt.Latino
11:01 am
Thu December 18, 2014

The Best Of 2014: Alt.Latino Listeners' Picks

In 2014, Alt.Latino listeners loved the L.A. band Chicano Batman.
Itzel Alejandra Martinez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 9:30 am

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Music News
5:25 am
Thu December 18, 2014

How Tchaikovsky's 'Nutcracker' Became A Holiday Tradition

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 11:31 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Here is a holiday tradition that seems as old as Christmas trees and mistletoe.

(SOUNDBITE OF PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY SONG, "NUTCRACKER OVERTURE")

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Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts
11:57 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Highlights From Winter Jazzfest 2014

Donald Harrison performs at Winter Jazzfest 2014.
John Rogers for NPR

In the dead of January in the Northeast, New York City's Winter Jazzfest manages a minor miracle. Over the course of two marathon nights, it brings crowds in the thousands out to jam-packed theaters and clubs to see dozens of varied and sundry bands.

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Mountain Stage
7:40 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Catherine Russell On Mountain Stage

Catherine Russell.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 9:39 am

Catherine Russell makes her fourth visit to Mountain Stage, recorded live in Charleston, W.Va. Even though she's widely regarded as one of the best contemporary jazz and blues vocalists working today, Russell is endowed with the kind of voice that doesn't limit her to any one genre.

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World Cafe
2:38 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

David Dye's Top 10 Albums Of 2014

Hiss Golden Messenger's Lateness Of Dancers was one of World Cafe host David Dye's favorite albums of 2014.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 4:10 pm

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World Cafe
2:37 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Hailu Mergia On World Cafe

Hailu Mergia & Low Mentality.
Courtesy of the artist

Hear an unusual session today with Hailu Mergia, a keyboard player and Ethiopian music star who now lives in the U.S. He came to World Cafe's attention through Awesome Tapes From Africa, the website where Brian Shimkovitz posts cassette tapes of African music he discovers. That's what led Shimkovitz to Mergia.

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All Songs Considered
12:26 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Poll Results: Listeners Pick Their Favorite Albums Of 2014

Clockwise from upper left: Spoon, Sharon Van Etten, St. Vincent, Future Islands, Flying Lotus.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:28 pm

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All Songs TV
7:03 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Watch 'Road Dawgs,' A Mini-Documentary About Future Islands

Winners chronicles Future Islands' success following the band's performance of "Seasons (Waiting On You)" on Letterman.
Courtesy of the artist

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Mountain Stage
2:27 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Junior Brown On Mountain Stage

Junior Brown.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Junior Brown returns to Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Wielding his custom-made double-necked electric-guitar/steel-guitar hybrid known as the "guit-steel," Brown has been one of country music's wildest and most incendiary guitarists for several decades now. He's a gifted songwriter and singer, as well, with a rich baritone made for telling tales like "My Wife Thinks You're Dead" and "Broke Down South Of Dallas."

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Music Reviews
2:16 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Charli XCX And The Year's Most Fabulous Pop Record

Charli XCX's new album is titled SUCKER.
Bella Howard Charli XCX

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:46 pm

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World Cafe
2:13 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Lily & Madeleine On World Cafe

Lily & Madeleine.
Julien Bourgeois Courtesy of the artist

Lily & Madeleine, two sisters from Indianapolis, made their name — and their first EP, The Weight Of The Globe — on the strength of covers uploaded to YouTube. Now, the duo's second album (Fumes) builds on its combination of sibling harmonies and haunting, lilting arrangements.

Hear the full segment at the audio link and individual songs from Lily & Madeleine's set below.

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The Record
2:11 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Redman On Music And Marijuana: Now Is The Time For Some Action

Redman onstage at the Best Buy Theater in New York City on November 26th, 2014.
Polina Yamshchikov for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 2:23 pm

Quick survey: you're going to the Word Wide Rollers Tour, presented by a group of weed connoisseurs called the Smoker's Club. Among the featured performers is a rapper named Berner and a DJ named TreeJay. The tour poster shows a Smokey the Bear type blunting in the woods. What do you pack?

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Songs We Love
2:07 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Låpsley, 'Falling Short'

Låpsley, a young singer from Liverpool, is one of BBC Music's favorite new artists.
Courtesy of the artist

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The Best Music Of 2014
12:38 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

2014: The Year In Tiny Desk Concerts

T-Pain's Tiny Desk Concert has been viewed 6.6 million times on YouTube alone.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 4:11 pm

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The Best Music Of 2014
11:59 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Ken Tucker's Top 9 Albums Of 2014, Plus A Book

Elizabeth Grant is better known by her stage name, Lana Del Rey.
Neil Krug Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 1:24 pm

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The Record
10:58 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Listen To 'The Eye,' A New Song By Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile's fifth studio album, The Firewatcher's Daughter, will be out on March 3.
David McClister Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 11:45 am

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The Two-Way
1:03 am
Tue December 16, 2014

2015 Rock Hall Of Fame Class Includes Lou Reed, Joan Jett, Green Day

Billie Joe Armstrong (left) and Mike Dirnt of Green Day play the Reading Festival. Green Day and five other acts will join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year.
Yui Mok PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 7:49 am

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Music Reviews
2:47 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Worth The Wait: The Transcendent Groove Of D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah'

Talk about a long-awaited holiday gift: D'Angelo's Black Messiah was released Monday, nearly 15 years after its predecessor.
Greg Harris Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 4:12 pm

There's usually reason to be apprehensive when an artist spends years in the workshop on a single set of songs. The results can seem joyless; think Chinese Democracy, which took Guns N' Roses 14 tortured years to finish. D'Angelo spent nearly as much time crafting his new record. He took his time and loaded up some of the tracks with everything from the audio candy store. Incredibly, the music rarely sounds cluttered or overwrought.

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World Cafe
2:37 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

World Cafe Next: Elliott Brood

Elliott Brood.
Courtesy of the artist

This week's World Cafe: Next artist is the Canadian alt-country trio Elliott Brood. With five albums under their collective belt, Casey Laforet, Mark Sasso and Stephen Pitkin have been playing together since 2002, and the experience shows. The band moves with the easy flow of musicians who know each other well, which in turn lends its rootsy songs lived-in authenticity.

Elliott Brood's latest album is titled Work And Love. Hear and download two of its songs on this page.

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World Cafe
2:17 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Kindness On World Cafe

Kindness.
Myles Pettengill Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 6:29 pm

Kindness, born Adam Bainbridge, knows his way around grooves. Otherness, his second album, is a fitting introduction to the Blood Orange collaborator's sincere, kinetic take on R&B and synth-pop. Songs begin deep in the pocket and slowly unravel in a spray of horn blasts and drum hits. In this way, "World Restart" functions as both a song title and a mission statement: Kindness is rejuvenating.

Hear the full segment at the audio link and individual songs below.

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