WUIS Xponential

Music Interviews
2:03 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

The Story Behind Mark Ronson's Hit Song 'Uptown Funk'

Mark Ronson is a music producer, DJ and guitarist who's recorded with Adele, Paul McCartney, Ghostface Killah, Lily Allen and Duran Duran, among others.
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 3:43 pm

When singer Bruno Mars and producer Mark Ronson first landed on the instrumental track and a few lines of what would become the hit song "Uptown Funk," Ronson says the room was filled with electricity.

"There's nothing more exciting than that period of the song, because the potential is unlimited," Ronson tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Music Interviews
1:59 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

In Compton, Boogie Just Wants To Empower His Neighborhood

Boogie.
Jack Wagner Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 6:40 pm

On the surface, Boogie's got the kind of backstory often told in hip-hop: The child of a single mom and an absent father, a high-school dropout, a former gang member. He's from Compton, Calif., home to N.W.A, The Game and Kendrick Lamar. It's the birthplace of gangsta rap, but for Boogie, "It's about me showing my friends and homies that we can honestly make a change."

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All Songs Considered
1:38 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Songs We Love: Wolf Alice, 'Bros'

Wolf Alice
Jordan Curtis Hughes

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 3:08 pm

The North London rock group Wolf Alice has been picking up steam this year with a potent mix of vintage '90s rock, electronics and moody atmospherics. It's a sound that both shimmers and glowers — part The Sundays, part Smashing Pumpkins.

Wolf Alice dances along this line memorably on "Bros," the latest cut from the band's upcoming full length debut My Love Is Cool. Propelled by lead singer Ellie Rowsell's stirring voice, the song is a celebratory but wistful reflection on the waning years of youth.

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Alt.Latino
12:43 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

'I Could Fall In Love': Selena's Legacy, 20 Years Later

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Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 2:08 pm

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All Songs Considered
11:51 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Highasakite, 'Heavenly Father'

Norwegian band Highasakite covers Bon Iver's "Heavenly Father."
Aleksander Jason Courtesy of the Artist

When Bon Iver's Justin Vernon saw Norway's Highasakite perform at the 2012 Oya Festival in Oslo, he fell in love. Soon the two bands were touring together. Now the only band I know that tours with a flugabone has taken one of Vernon's songs and made it even more majestic than the original.

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World Cafe
11:32 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Nora Jane Struthers On World Cafe

Nora Jane Struthers.
Courtesy of the artist

Nora Jane Struthers might never have become a professional musician were it not for a moment of euphoria at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Struthers had gone to school to study education — and was actually working as a teacher in Brooklyn — when she turned around to face away from the stage at Telluride. When she saw the crowd and the mountains, she decided to follow her heart and head to Nashville to make music.

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Mountain Stage
11:20 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Allen Toussaint On Mountain Stage

Allen Toussaint.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Allen Toussaint appears on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the historic Keith Albee Theater in Huntington, W.Va. A New Orleans R&B institution, Toussaint has worn every musical hat there is to wear — and, along the way, is as responsible as any one person for that classic Crescent City sound.

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All Songs Considered
9:34 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Viking's Choice: Radioactivity, 'Silent'

Radioactivity includes members of The Marked Men, Mind Spiders and Bad Sports.
Courtesy of the artist

After two decades in punk rock, Jeff Burke still writes songs with the ecstatic energy of a kid picking up a guitar for the first time. Among the Denton, Texas, guitarist and singer's several bands, the most beloved is the currently dormant The Marked Men, which is why the similar sensibility of Radioactivity's self-titled 2013 album was such a welcome surprise. With guitarist/vocalist Mark Ryan (Mind Spiders) in tow, it was essentially The Marked Men 2.0.

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Music Reviews
3:59 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Review: Razia Said, 'Akory'

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 5:52 pm

Imagine a country where most of the people are under 14 years old. Madagascar singer Razia Said lives in the U.S., but her songs tackle the challenges the African island nation faces. Music critic Banning Eyre says her latest album Akory prods the nation's leaders with bold questions.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Thistle & Shamrock
3:49 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

The Thistle & Shamrock: Time To Dance

Dance to the music of Alasdair Fraser on this week's show.
Courtesy of the artist

The rhythms of Celtic music will always reach your feet, and then you're dancing. Limber up and tune in for music by Alasdair Fraser, Trian and a pair of traditional dance bands from Ireland and Scotland.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

World Cafe
3:33 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Greg Holden On World Cafe

Greg Holden.
Myriam Santos Courtesy of the artist

Greg Holden isn't a name everyone knows — at least not yet — but his work has reached a massive audience. His song "Home" was a massive hit for American Idol winner Phillip Phillips a few years ago.

A U.K. singer-songwriter, Holden put out his own crowd-financed album in 2012, and is now making his major-label debut with Chase The Sun. On this episode of World Cafe, he performs a few songs and tells the story of how he took the money he made from "Home" to finance a backpacking trip to India.

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All Songs Considered
3:23 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Songs We Love: Algiers, 'Black Eunuch'

Algiers' self-titled debut album is out June 2.
Courtesy of the artist

If I had to pick one new band that you should absolutely listen to, it's Algiers, three young men who grew up in Atlanta. Sonically, they make really eerie gospel music that's a rock-inspired amalgamation of all different stuff. In "Black Eunuch," you can hear the sounds of both black and white churches of the South and great guitars. Though they now live in London and New York, their roots are definitely southern based and their lyrics deal with the conservative politics of where they grew up. I've never seen them before and they're completely new to me.

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The Record
2:03 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

A Rational Conversation With Mac McCaughan And Waxahatchee

Superchunk frontman and Merge Records co-founder Mac McCaughan (left) will put out his first album under his own name next month. Katie Crutchfield just put out her third album as Waxahatchee on Merge.
Lissa Gotwals/Jesse Riggins Courtesy of Merge Records

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 11:30 am

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Front Row
11:12 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Live Tonight: KCRW Presents Alabama Shakes, In Concert

The Alabama Shakes will perform songs from its new album, Sound & Color, live from Los Angeles on Monday, April 20.
Brantley Gutierrez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 7:22 am

Watch Brittany Howard and her crew perform songs from their new album, Sound & Color, during a live video webcast on Monday, April 20, at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT).

Copyright 2015 KCRW-FM. To see more, visit http://www.kcrw.com.

All Songs Considered
10:03 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Viking's Choice: Circuit Des Yeux, 'Fantasize The Scene'

Circuit des Yeux.
Julia Dratel Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 1:06 pm

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Front Row
7:08 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Shamir, Live In Concert: SXSW 2015

Shamir performed songs from his upcoming album, Ratchet, at NPR Music's SXSW showcase at Stubb's on Wednesday, March 18, 2015.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Shamir is best known for his buoyant, elastic electro-pop-rap song "On The Regular," but his live shows careen in altogether different directions. For one, the 20-year-old Las Vegas native sings far more often than he raps, with a high but rich voice versatile enough to accommodate Sylvester-esque disco, sleekly modern pop and robust funk.

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The Record
4:26 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Percy Sledge Had A Voice The Whole World Heard

Percy Sledge performs in Montgomery, Ala., in 2010.
Rick Diamond Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 6:45 pm

Soul singer Percy Sledge epitomized Southern soul in ballads like "When A Man Loves A Woman," which became a massive international hit when it came out in 1966. Sledge died Tuesday morning of natural causes in East Baton Rouge, La. He was 74.

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World Cafe
1:32 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Tobias Jesso Jr. On World Cafe

Tobias Jesso Jr.
Courtesy of the artist

Piano-playing singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. has seen his fortunes in the music business improve dramatically. The singer-songwriter recently put out his first album, Goon, which has received rave reviews and even been tweeted by Adele. But his career didn't take off until after he'd given up: In 2012, while recovering from a breakup in L.A., he was hit by a car, which impaled his hand on its hood ornament. While lying there, he saw a thief abscond with his bike. The next morning, he learned that his mother had been diagnosed with cancer.

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Metropolis
1:16 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Metropolis: 4/11/15

Tame Impala's new song "Let It Happen" is featured on this week's episode of Metropolis.
Courtesy of the artist

This Week's Playlist

  • Chris Malinchak, "So Good To Me" (Ultra/Sony)
  • Porsches, "Horses" (Sweat It Out)
  • SAJE, "Lost Tonight"
  • Lapsley, "Falling Short" (XL)
  • Drake, "Too Much (Unlikely Futures Remix)" (Cash Money)
  • Zero 7, "400 Blows" (Make)
  • Andhim, "Domplatte" (Get Physical)
  • Gorgon City, "Go All Night (Booka Shade Remix)" (Black Butter/Virgin)
  • Hot Since 82, "Time Out" (Ultra)
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All Songs TV
1:15 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

First Watch: Chris Staples, 'Dark Side Of The Moon'

Chris Staples watches the Apollo rocket launch into space in a scene from his new video for the song "Dark Side Of The Moon."
Courtesy of the artist

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All Songs Considered
12:55 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

New Mix: Built To Spill, The Milk Carton Kids, Brown Bird, Protomartyr

Clockwise from upper left: Built To Spill, Brown Bird, Holly Miranda, The Milk Carton Kids
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 1:27 pm

Idaho's Built to Spill were one of the most beloved rock acts of the '90s and now the indie rock pioneers are back with a new rhythm section and the band's first album since 2009. This week on All Songs Considered, we bring you a new track from upcoming album Untethered Moon, which you can hear in its entirety on First Listen.

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World Cafe
12:55 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

World Cafe Next: Hop Along

Hop Along.
Kelsey Stanger WXPN

This week's World Cafe: Next artist is Philadelphia's Hop Along, a band that evolved from the solo freak-folk recordings singer Frances Quinlan made while still in high school. The music on Painted Shut, Hop Along's first album for a national label, is no one's folk music — it's brash and powerful, led by Frances' intense, almost abrasive vocals.

All Songs Considered
12:44 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Viking's Choice: Tau Cross, 'Fire In The Sky'

Tau Cross.
Courtesy of the artist

When Amebix returned after two decades with 2011's Sonic Mass, it was an adventurous take on the crust-punk legacy the English band had left behind. Unfortunately, it was the only album to come out of the reunion, but that lush, brooding, melodic sound continues and evolves with Tau Cross, bassist/vocalist Rob Miller's new band featuring members of Voivod, Misery and War//Plague. Case in point, here's "Fire In The Sky" from Tau Cross' self-titled debut.

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The Record
11:34 am
Tue April 14, 2015

José González On Finding Light In A Comforting Darkness

"There's always a light at the end of the tunnel" José González says of the songs on his album, Vestiges & Claws, released earlier this year.
Malin Johansson Courtesy of the artist

On his most recent album, Vestiges & Claws, José González treads a familiar musical path, offering listeners the same subdued-but-powerful austerity of his unobtrusive tenor paired with minimal instrumentation that's come to define his remarkable sound since his full-length debut with 2003's Veneer. While those compositional tendencies have thankfully remained undisturbed, Vestiges & Claws is a divergence in theme for González.

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The Record
11:16 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Spirit Family Reunion's Unbroken Circle

Brooklyn's Spirit Family Reunion released its new album, Hands Together, on Tuesday.
James Weinheimer Courtesy of the artist

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Soul Singer Percy Sledge Dies

Singer Percy Sledge died Tuesday.
Taylor Hill Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 6:06 pm

Singer Percy Sledge, perhaps best known for his hit "When A Man Loves A Woman," has died, Artists International Management Inc., his talent agency, said.

Sledge died of natural causes a little after midnight at a hospice in East Baton Rouge, La., according to a coroner. The coroner said Sledge was 74, though the Encyclopedia of Music as well as his talent agency says Sledge was 73.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:36 am
Tue April 14, 2015

The Hypnotic Groove Of Xenakis

Percussionist Kuniko's new album is devoted to music by Iannis Xenakis.
Linn Records

Percussionists back in Beethoven's day could be forgiven for feeling a little bored, waiting for the infrequent roll of the kettledrum or the occasional cymbal crash. But as orchestras grew bigger, percussionists got busier — even more so after World War I, when a new generation of composers began writing specifically for percussion.

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Code Switch
3:14 am
Tue April 14, 2015

How Asian-Americans Found A Home In The World Of K-Pop

Asian music hitmaker Jae Chong, at work in a studio in Seoul. His work is all over Asian charts, but his passport is American.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 7:33 am

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Mountain Stage
3:51 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Peter Wolf On Mountain Stage

Peter Wolf.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Peter Wolf makes his first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Best known as the former singer of The J. Geils Band, Wolf has musical roots in R&B, soul and country. His appearance on the show was a last-minute unannounced surprise for the audience, as he was in Charleston that weekend with the rest of The J. Geils Band and fellow rock veteran Bob Seger.

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World Cafe
2:56 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Laura Marling On World Cafe

Laura Marling.
Courtesy of the artist

U.K. singer-songwriter Laura Marling has had a packed career since she released her 2008 debut album, Alas I Cannot Swim, while still a teenager. Each subsequent record has been a critically acclaimed worldwide hit; her fifth full-length, Short Movie, came out last month.

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