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Illinois music and the great alternative, rock, folk, soul, blues, reggae artists you've come to love on 91.9-HD3.  Mid-October launch into the musical universe!

On a long drive, Itzhak Perlman will sometimes listen to classical music on the radio and try to guess who's playing.

"There is always a question mark," he says. "If it's good, boy, I hope it's me. If it's bad, I hope it's not me."

What Alt. Latino's Listening To This Week

Nov 22, 2015

The hosts of Alt.Latino bring us music from Brazil and Africa this week. NPR's Jasmine Garsd and Felix Contreras talk to Rachel Martin about their favorite tracks.

If you want more Alt.Latino, visit their page and check out all their shows.

If you're not a Spanish speaker, you won't know precisely what Carla Morrison is saying when she sings --but you can feel it. The Mexican alt-pop singer and songwriter has built a reputation over the past half-decade as a master of songs about love and longing, and her new album Amor Supremo is no different.

The journey a film score takes, from the composer's brain to what comes out of the speakers at your local theater, is a long and complicated process. In the case of the new Pixar film The Good Dinosaur, the work began seven months ago. Audiences will hear it for the first time on Thanksgiving Day.

Carly Simon was born into what looks, from a distance, like a charmed life: Her father Richard was the co-founder of Simon & Schuster, the family moved in glamorous circles, and she eventually came to record some of the most personal, poetic and popular songs of our time. But as she makes clear in her new memoir, there have been plenty of tumbles, too.

Grace Potter On World Cafe

Nov 20, 2015

After five albums with The Nocturnals, Grace Potter recently released her first solo record, Midnight. It's poppier, more streamlined and more personal then her work has been in the past, but it still rocks.

Great singers aren't easy to come by, so finding three in one band is something special. The Wild Reeds' music shines when Sharon Silva, Kinsey Lee and Mackenzie Howe harmonize, but each also takes a leading role — and that's the power of the L.A. band, whose songs are clear and memorable, potent and sometimes delicate.

Adele's 25 is finally here. The singer's long-awaited third album arrived today, but all week, anticipation has surged. We learned that 25 won't be available to stream on services like Spotify.

Few albums have the creation myth of Interludes For The Dead by Neal Casal's Circles Around The Sun. The 10 instrumental jams that encompass the release were commissioned by Justin Kreutzmann, the filmmaker son of Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann, to accompany the biographical visuals he was compiling to be shown during set break at the "Fare Thee Well" concerts the living members of the Dead played in the summer of 2015.

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At the end of this dramatic week, let's just take a moment to listen to T-Pain.

T-PAIN: The bad times make the good times seem so much better.

The Thistle & Shamrock: The Carrying Stream

Nov 19, 2015

It once took centuries for a ballad like "Barbara Allen" to work its way through the British Isles and across the Atlantic. Now, music flows freely back and forth as artists on both sides of the ocean explore and fuse flavors from Celtic, Appalachian and old-time music.

This week, hear from musicians who exemplify this exchange, including Dolly Parton, John Doyle, Jean Ritchie and Anaïs Mitchell.

David Wax Museum On World Cafe

Nov 19, 2015

The Atlanta band Deerhunter released its seventh album, Fading Frontier, last month. Outspoken frontman Bradford Cox is utterly captivating and delightfully unpredictable, both on record and in this rare radio session, recorded live with the band at the Village Studio the day before the launch of Deerhunter's tour.


  • "Breaker"

In Chicago, one band holds down a midnight-to-5 a.m. gig on Saturday nights — or, technically, on Sunday mornings. It's a time slot which seems challenging enough to do once or twice. These guys have been doing it for 23 years.

Sabertooth is a quirky band, currently an organ quartet led by saxophonists Pat Mallinger and Cameron Pfiffner. It swings hard (and a little off-kilter), mixing favorite standards and a repertoire of cleverly arranged tunes. Every week, Mallinger and Pfiffner play for curious newcomers, rowdy drunks, hardcore fans and musicians coming off their own gigs.

InTechnicolour works in that strain of stoner-metal that's less atmospheric and weed-fueled and more progressive — you know, for the kids who banged heads to Kyuss and nerded out on Rush. It's well-trod territory, with more than a decade of records looking to ISIS' Panopticon, Mastodon's Leviathan and Baroness' Red Album. On its debut EP, InTechnicolour's members don't so much reinvent the wheel as rebuild it.

Every month on All Things Considered, Christian McBride sits down with host Audie Cornish to discuss, dissect and deconstruct just about everything in jazz.

John Grant On World Cafe

Nov 18, 2015

Michigan-born singer-songwriter John Grant has dealt with his share of hardship, including a rough upbringing and family life, a struggle to come to terms with his own sexuality, alcoholism and HIV. But in spite of all that, he's blossomed with three critically praised solo albums and found stability and happiness in Iceland, where he now lives.

British producer Jake Williams, better known as Rex the Dog, is no stranger to the dance floor. If you've been in a nightclub over the past decade, especially in Europe, there's a very good chance you've heard a Rex the Dog track – or one of his remixes.

First Watch: Spires, 'In Between'

Nov 18, 2015

"These days are all I know," sings Spires guitarist and songwriter Matt Stevenson, but it's clear that musically and visually, the New York indie outfit can capture pieces of the present and the past — even those pieces portrayed in slightly terrifying 1970s informational films.

NPR Music Presents: T-Pain In Concert

Nov 18, 2015

To mark the one-year anniversary of the most popular Tiny Desk Concert ever and the 10th anniversary of his debut album, Rappa Ternt Sanga, we hosted T-Pain at our Washington, D.C. headquarters. The inimitable Floridian performed a short set of classics, both his own and others', and brand new, never before heard song from his forthcoming album, Stoicville: The Phoenix.

Amid Iceland's music scene, where bands often germinate, blossom and wither in an instant, the twentysomethings of Mammút might be seen as practically prehistoric. The band's five members literally grew up together during their decade as one of Iceland's most critically acclaimed bands.

In the wake of tragedy, grief guides us on an unknown path: Its corridors are dim and shallow, its destination uncertain. Even as the path widens with time, grief makes way for bittersweet memory, though it all still hurts something awful.

Bob Boilen Wrote A Book

Nov 18, 2015

I've spent the past few years talking with musicians about a song that altered the course of their life. Now those conversations are making up my first book, called Your Song Changed My Life: From Jimmy Page to St. Vincent, Smokey Robinson to Hozier, Thirty-Five Beloved Artists on Their Journey and the Music That Inspired It.

Music For Healing

Nov 17, 2015

Music can provide a space for healing, feeling and thought. Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, including at a show in that city's Bataclan concert hall, we were compelled to play music with a meditative tone, songs that allow space and time for reflection. A tune Bob Boilen found himself playing all weekend was by Hiya Wal Âalam, a band featuring members from Tunisia, Palestine and Sweden. It's culture-blending music and perfectly pensive.

Mercury Rev On World Cafe

Nov 17, 2015

Originally formed in Buffalo, N.Y., in the late '80s, Mercury Rev hasn't always had an easy time finding an audience beyond its devoted cult following. But the band did see success in the U.K. with 1998's Deserter's Songs, and breakthrough albums like Yerself Is Steam and See You On The Other Side are still highly regarded.

This week, opbmusic and NPR Music present the second episode from the Pickathon Woods Stage Series, handpicked by opbmusic to showcase some of the most exciting performances from this summer's festival, held at Pendarvis Farm just outside Portland, Ore.