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Heavy Rotation
12:03 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Heavy Rotation: 10 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Parker Millsap.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 7:21 pm

Heavy Rotation is a monthly sampler of public radio hosts' favorite songs. Check out past editions here.

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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The Record
4:28 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Paco De Lucia, Modern Superstar Of Flamenco, Dies

Paco de Lucia in 1982.
Paco Junquera Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 11:08 am

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Microphone Check
3:38 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

ScHoolboy Q: 'I Call Myself All-American'

ScHoolboy Q onstage at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City two days before his major label debut dropped.
Polina Yamshchikov for NPR

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 2:21 pm

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Music Reviews
3:20 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

The Spotlight Shines Bright On A Consummate Sideman's Debut

Benmont Tench has a reputation in rock as the guy you want playing on your album. You Should Be So Lucky is his solo debut.
Sam Jones Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 11:08 am

If you ever form a band, you'll be very lucky to find a collaborator like Benmont Tench. You may know him as the consummate sideman, keyboardist and co-founder of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Or as a renowned session musician who has played with Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and dozens of other artists.

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World Cafe
3:06 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

The Strypes On World Cafe

The Strypes.
Jill Furmanovsky Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 4:51 pm

Our guests today are The Strypes from the small town of Cavan, Ireland, and they are still in their teens. They formed in 2008, in love with the R&B of Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry as translated by the British blues rock bands of the '60s, like The Animals and The Stones.

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Music Reviews
3:19 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Album Review: 'Morning Phase'

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 10:05 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The singer and songwriter Beck is considered one of the most innovative artists of his generation. This week, he released "Morning Phase," his first new album in six years. Critic Tom Moon says the new record returns back to the brooding pop of 2002's "Sea Change," which many consider his best work.

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All Songs Considered
12:39 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

New Mix: The Walkmen's Hamilton Leithauser, The Faint, Perfect Pussy

Clockwise from upper left: Hamilton Leithauser, Hundred Waters, Perfect Pussy
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 2:08 pm

On this week's All Songs Considered, we've got two premieres: A beauty called "Alexandra" by The Walkmen's Hamilton Leithauser, and a shred-fest called "Interference Fits" by raucous Syracuse punk band Perfect Pussy.

But host Bob Boilen kicks off the mix with the Omaha-based rock group The Faint. "Help in the Head," from Doom Abuse, the band's first new album in six years, is a heart-pounding thrill ride.

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Live in Concert
11:17 am
Tue February 25, 2014

First Listen Live: ScHoolboy Q, 'Oxymoron'

ScHoolboy Q onstage at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City on Sunday, February 23rd.
Polina Yamshchikov for NPR

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 11:49 am

Within Black Hippy, the Los Angeles-based crew consisting of Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, ScHoolboy Q is the fun-loving middle child who taunts you with a straight face but can't always help cracking a smile. He's a wildcard who put out two highly-regarded independent albums and has become a reliable source for bracing guest spots. Sometimes he's incisive, sometimes he's callous. He's always charismatic and perceptive and forthright.

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Music Reviews
11:02 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Still 'Out To Lunch' 50 Years Later

Eric Dolphy in Copenhagen, 1961.
JP Jazz Archive Redferns

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 4:15 pm

1964 was a great year for cutting-edge jazz records like Albert Ayler's Spiritual Unity, John Coltrane's A Love Supreme and Andrew Hill's Point of Departure. But none sounds as far ahead of its time as Eric Dolphy's masterpiece Out to Lunch, recorded for Blue Note on Feb. 25, 1964.

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World Cafe
10:47 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Damien Jurado On World Cafe

Damien Jurado.
Steve Gullick Courtesy of the artist

Seattle singer-songwriter Damien Jurado has made some changes in what he does, including making more music with a band. His last two albums — Maraquopa from 2012 and the new Brothers and Sisters of The Eternal Son — are his best work yet. Both were inspired by an elaborate dream Jurado explains today. Credit also goes to producer Richard Swift for turning this latest set of songs into a mesmerizing listen.

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All Songs Considered
8:25 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Recommended Dose: The Best Dance Tracks Of The Month

Laurent Garnier's "Bang (The Underground Doesn't Stop)" is one of our favorite dance tracks of the year so far.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 8:09 pm

Welcome to Recommended Dose, All Songs Considered's roundup of our favorite dance tracks. We listen to literally hundreds of new songs each month, test the standouts on some very loud speakers, and highlight the best of the best in a 30-minute mix.

You can stream this month's mix here or on NPR Music's SoundCloud account. If you'd rather just hear each song individually, check out the playlist below. (But seriously, listen to the mix.)

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Music Interviews
2:36 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Beck's Long Balancing Act

Beck's new album, his first since 2008, is called Morning Phase.
Peter Hapak Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 7:17 am

Beck was recording his latest album when he encountered an unexpected hazard in the studio.

"I got bit by a black widow in the middle of this recording session," he says laughing. "I was in the hospital, and my arm was all swollen up."

That was only one of the indignities Beck suffered on the way to Morning Phase.

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Music News
3:08 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

'Let It Go': A Global Hit In Any Language

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Queen Elsa embraces her power to freeze things with the anthem "Let It Go" in Frozen.
Disney

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:02 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
3:00 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Gil Shaham And When The World 'Got Much Smaller, Much Faster'

Star violinist Gil Shaham, whose newest recording project surveys the wildly different violin concertos of the 1930s.
Luke Ratray Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:02 pm

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Music Reviews
1:15 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Vertical Scratchers: Slashed Chords, Fractured Poetry

Vertical Scratchers.
Joseph Amario Courtesy of the artist

The members of Vertical Scratchers don't have to pretend: They are free spirits, making music that is at once tightly composed, whimsical and anarchic.

The vocals on a Vertical Scratchers song tend to be high-pitched and yearning. John Schmersal creates harmonies from his vocal tracks that have a keening romanticism. His guitar lines are a series of slashed chords — vertical scratching, and thus the band's name. At the same time, there's a compressed intensity to the tunes, which uncoil with a snap, again and again.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
1:03 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Brass Bed: Tiny Desk Concert

Brass Bed performs a Tiny Desk Concert in January 2014.
Jim Tuttle/NPR NPR

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 2:12 pm

It wasn't an easy road to the Tiny Desk for the four guys from Louisiana who make up Brass Bed. Their tour, for the band's debut album The Secret Will Keep You, was plagued from the start: Singer Christiaan Mader had the flu, there was a death in the family and multiple dates had to be canceled. Their van was broken into and their instruments stolen. So when they heard that a big snowstorm was headed for D.C. at the same time they were to play the Tiny Desk, it felt like yet another bad omen.

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Metropolis
11:39 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Metropolis: 2/22/14

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Duke Dumont's new single, "I Got U," gets the remix treatment from Tensnake on this week's episode of Metropolis.
Courtesy of the artist

Tensnake, "First Song" (Astralwerks)


Tomas Barfod, "Pulsing (feat. Nina Kinert)" (Secretly Canadian)


Shur-I-Kan, "Blue Giraffe" (Lazy Days Recordings)


Jonas Rathsman, "Hope I'm Wrong" (French Express)


Booka Shade, "Crossing Borders (Mihalis Safras Remix)" (Blaufield Music)


Duke Dumont, "I Got U (feat. Jax Jones) (Tensnake Remix)" (Blase Boys Club)

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World Cafe
11:22 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Beck On World Cafe

Beck.
Peter Hapak Courtesy of the artist

Our Vintage Cafe this week is with Beck, whose new album, Morning Phase, will be released nationally on Feb. 25.

This interview from 2007 was conducted in the wake of the deluxe edition of his album The Information. The studio session contains some fine performances, including "I Think I'm In Love," and a wide-ranging discussion touching on the hip-hop and indie music scenes. Also, Beck looks back on dropping out of high school and traveling the world before ultimately settling in Southern California.

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Favorite Sessions
7:43 am
Mon February 24, 2014

KEXP Present: Noah Gundersen

Noah Gundersen.
Dagmar Patterson KEXP

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 8:26 am

It's a family affair for Seattle artist Noah Gundersen. Accompanied by his sister, brother and friends, the soft-spoken singer-songwriter performed a dynamic, yet delicate Morning Show session featuring tracks from his debut full-length, Ledges.

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First Listen
10:12 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

First Listen: Diane Cluck, 'Boneset'

Diane Cluck's new album, Boneset, comes out March 4.
John Rogers Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 9:51 am

Diane Cluck has been under-appreciated for so long, it's hard not to try to make up for lost time. So, before you listen to Boneset for the first time, take a few minutes to listen to one of the best songs of the last 10 years: "All I Bring You Is Love," from Cluck's fourth album Oh Vanille / Ova Nil.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

First Listen: Linda Perhacs, 'The Soul Of All Natural Things'

Linda Perhacs first album in 44 years, The Soul of All Natural Things, comes out March 4.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 10:41 am

We're just now starting to recognize early-aughts downloads with the same nostalgic air that we do a lucky score at a record store. Slow modems, improperly tagged files, Sharpie-scrawled CDRs — well, at least some of us think of those times fondly. It's an odd relationship, clicking on a not-so-legal rip of an all-too-rare LP only previously known to record-store clerks and collectors, knowing that it's only a poor facsimile. But there's still the thrill of discovery, however removed from the source.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

First Listen: Nothing, 'Guilty Of Everything'

Nothing's debut album, Guilty of Everything, comes out March 4.
Shawn Brackbill Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 9:52 am

The story of how singer and guitarist Domenic Palermo came to form the noise-rock band Nothing sounds like a Behind the Music episode gone bad. Growing up in the crime-infested neighborhood of Kensington in Philadelphia, Palermo hung with a tough crowd that, in his own words, drove around with large amounts of cocaine and guns while listening to My Bloody Valentine's Loveless.

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Music Interviews
4:12 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

St. Vincent's Eerie Musical Alchemy

St. Vincent is the fourth solo album from singer and guitarist Annie Clark.
Renata Raksha Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 6:00 pm

In three albums as St. Vincent, plus the 2012 David Byrne collaboration Love This Giant, Annie Clark has proven adept at writing rock songs that flirt with the tense and uneasy. Her streak continues on St. Vincent, a new album replete with dissonances and distortions that make even its prettiest melodies read as disturbing.

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Music Interviews
7:04 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Megaband Formed On Craigslist Becomes The Family Crest

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 3:12 pm

There are big bands and then there are really big bands, like The Family Crest, which features around 300 players. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with lead vocalist Liam McCormick about the band.

Music Interviews
7:04 am
Sun February 23, 2014

That Elusive Element Of Brazilian Bossa Nova

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 3:12 pm

Classic Brazilian bossa nova music has a familiar, slow, graceful pulse. NPR's Felix Contreras of Alt.Latino plays some songs for NPR's Rachel Martin.

The Two-Way
6:49 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Last Of The 'Sound Of Music' Von Trapps Dies At 99

Maria von Trapp in 2008 at the age of 93. The daughter of Austrian Baron Georg von Trapp points to her father on an old family picture. She died on Tuesday at her home in Vermont.
Kerstin Joensson AP

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 12:29 pm

Maria von Trapp, the last surviving member of the seven original Trapp Family Singers — the Austrian family that inspired the 1965 film The Sound of Music -- has died at 99 at her home in Vermont.

Von Trapp, whose family escaped Nazi Germany, died on Tuesday of natural causes, her brother Johannes von Trapp said, according to the New York Daily News.

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Music Interviews
4:41 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Fred Armisen's Fake Bands (And Their Real Songs)

Bryan Cranston and Fred Armisen in character as The Bjelland Brothers, a sibling soft rock duo dreamed up by Armisen for a 2010 sketch on Saturday Night Live.
NBC via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 1:57 pm

A lot of obscure bands want to reach a national audience, and they send their records to NPR. Unfortunately, there's a lot of forgettable stuff in the mix, and recently the staff of All Things Considered received the kind of CD it would usually toss.

It's got a pair of singles by two bands — The Blue Jean Committee, which came out of the 1970s Massachusetts folk scene; and The Fingerlings, a British post-disco/synth band of art-school graduates. Both sound desperately tiresome.

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All Songs Considered
7:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Bob Boilen's Weekly Rainbows

Deafheaven's George Clarke on stage at Empire in Springfield, Va.
Bob Boilen NPR

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 2:43 pm

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Tiny Desk Concerts
7:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Sofia Rei: Tiny Desk Concert

John Poole NPR

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 10:11 pm

A drum from the Argentine Pampas fuels the music of Sofia Rei in this video: The way Franco Pinna has it incorporated into a traditional drum set serves as a musical metaphor for the music Rei performs alongside Pinna and guitarist/bassist JC Maillard.

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Code Switch
5:09 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Iconoclastic Musician Takes Measure Of His Life: 'I Became A Fighter'

Fred Ho practices his baritone saxophone in a dressing room before a performance.
Joseph Yoon Courtesy of Fred Ho

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 2:43 pm

When I first walked through the door of Fred Ho's apartment in the Greenpoint area of Brooklyn, I asked, "How are you?" And he said, "Not good. I'm dying."

Ho has always been matter-of-fact and in-your-face. He painted himself green and posed naked for the cover his album, Celestial Green Monster. In the photo, he has a baritone saxophone placed strategically between his legs. He looks strong — like the Hulk.

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