WUIS Xponential

The Record
10:30 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Casey Kasem, An Iconic Voice Of American Radio

Casey Kasem, in 1975.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 11:56 am

Casey Kasem, the countdown king of music radio and the voice of Scooby-Doo's Shaggy, has died at 82, his publicist confirmed Sunday.

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Education
6:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Transcending Music In A Special High School Band

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, BYLINE: I'm Scott Simon. Our next story comes from the NPR Ed team. Reporter Eric Westervelt visited a special high school in New York City for students with cognitive and physical disabilities. And he saw how the music curriculum there has transformed at least one young life.

TOBI LAKES: My name is Tobi Lakes. I'm 15 years old. I listen to I Heart Radio and radio.com - two apps. I practice my piano every night.

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Music Interviews
6:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

'SNL' Music Director Writes A Finnish 'Prescription'

Lenny Pickett has played in the SNL band for 29 years.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 3:10 pm

You may not immediately recognize the name Lenny Pickett. But if you've watched Saturday Night Live in the last 30 years, you've heard him.

The curly-haired saxophonist is there, wailing front and center, every week as the host enters the stage. He's been with the house band for nearly 30 years, and the show's musical director since 1995.

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Music News
7:04 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Jazz Balladeer Influenced Better-Known Singers

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Jimmy Scott died this week. The jazz balladeer died of natural causes at his home in Las Vegas. He was 88. His ethereal contralto influenced countless singers, men and women. But his career was a series of up, downs and finally, ups, as NPR's Mandalit del Barco explains.

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Music Interviews
7:04 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Orbison's Lost Tracks Included In 'Mystery Girl' Re-Issue

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:20 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Rock 'n Roll has its thrills, but who gave it the best trills?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OH, PRETTY WOMAN")

SIMON: Roy Orbison.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OH, PRETTY WOMAN")

ROY ORBISON: (Singing) Mercy. Pretty woman, won't you pardon me. Pretty woman, I couldn't help but see. Pretty woman, and you look lovely as can be. Are you lonely just like me?

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A Blog Supreme
7:03 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Rhythm Runs In The Family: Drummers On Their Dads

Percussionist Pete Escovedo and his daughter Sheila E. perform together in Rome in 2013.
Jun Sato WireImage

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 3:35 am

When you read enough about the early lives of jazz musicians, you begin to spot a trend. A lot of artists caught the music bug from their parents.

With instruments and musicians around the house, it's easy for kids to grow curious about playing. But that's not nearly the whole story. Sometimes parents are the first teachers. Other times, parental guidance doesn't fully kick in until much later.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
7:03 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Eliot Fisk And Paco Peña: Tiny Desk Concert

Paco Pena performs at the Tiny Desk in April 2014.
Meredith Rizzo Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 9:07 am

Eliot Fisk looks like the happiest man on the planet. Watch that face as he plays guitar. Between performing music by J.S. Bach and partnering with the world's best flamenco guitarist, Paco Peña, Fisk can barely control his joy. I find his exuberance and their performance undeniably brilliant, inspiring and so completely universal.

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Music Interviews
5:23 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Jenny Scheinman Reaches Out To Her Father In Song

Jenny Scheinman made her name in the New York City jazz scene, but she grew up on a bluff in Northern California's Humboldt County, where she now lives again.
Joshua Black Wilkins Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 8:31 pm

For more conversations with music makers, check out NPR's Music Interviews.

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

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
5:05 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Jerry Dodgion On Piano Jazz

Jerry Dodgion.
Daniel Sheehan eyeshotjazz.com

Saxophonist Jerry Dodgion has played with just about everyone in the jazz world throughout his long career. In 1955, Dodgion joined Benny Carter in Las Vegas for the opening of the Moulin Rouge, and in the late '50s, he played with both Frank Sinatra and the Red Norvo quintet.

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World Cafe
4:38 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Guest DJ: Haim

Haim.
Courtesy of the artist

Today's session is especially fun, as we've invited Este and Alana Haim to play DJ. With their sister Danielle (who was feeling under the weather), they comprise the members of the pop-rock band Haim, whose fame and acclaim have grown to new heights in recent years. Hailing from California's San Fernando Valley, Haim have been honing their talents and skills since they were kids performing in a family band with their parents.

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A Blog Supreme
4:30 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Ethereal Jazz Singer Jimmy Scott Dies

Jimmy Scott performs at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 2001.
Leon Morris Redferns

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 12:59 pm

Singer Jimmy Scott died of natural causes Thursday morning at his home in Las Vegas at age 88, according to his booking agent, Jean-Pierre Leduc.

Scott suffered from Kallmann's syndrome, a lifelong affliction that prevented his body from maturing through puberty. The condition slowed his growth, leaving his stature at 4 feet 11 inches until his late 30s. It also affected his vocal cords, giving him a high voice that was often misidentified as a woman's.

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Code Switch
3:56 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

An Opera Remembers The Tragedy Of An Asian-American Soldier

Andrew Stenson plays Pvt. Danny Chen in An American Soldier, a new opera about the hazing and death of the Chinese-American soldier from New York City.
Sarah Tilotta NPR

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 11:34 am

About two years ago, playwright David Henry Hwang turned down an offer to write a play about the brief life and suicide of Army Pvt. Danny Chen.

But an opera? He couldn't refuse.

"This is a story with big emotions, big primary colors in a way, and big plot events," says Hwang, who wrote the libretto for An American Soldier, a new hourlong opera commissioned by Washington National Opera.

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Song Travels
12:59 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Eleni Mandell On 'Song Travels'

Eleni Mandell.
Courtesy of the artist

Singer-songwriter Eleni Mandell draws inspiration from the sound of Los Angeles-based musician Chuck E. Weiss, the gritty poetry of Tom Waits and the cool edge of LA punk band X.

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All Songs Considered
11:09 am
Fri June 13, 2014

The Good Listener: When We Call Songs 'Filler,' What Does That Mean?

For fans of Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, filler is in the eye of the beholder.
David Black Courtesy of the artist

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the large wooden crates housing our new summer interns is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on what makes some albums seem padded and inconsistent.

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A Blog Supreme
7:25 am
Fri June 13, 2014

In Time For The World Cup, 'Explorative' New Music From Brazil

Flame Collective.
Cezar Altai Courtesy of the artist

Brazilian song has a way of capturing the imagination, and Rio de Janeiro is its crucible. From maxixe and choro in the 19th century to samba and bossa nova in the 20th, Rio's history of melding rhythms with deep lyricism has been extraordinary.

For Brazilians, these songs have even greater significance. In a country where formal education is still not open to all, popular song offers a sentimental education.

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All Songs Considered
7:03 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, For June 13

You don't always have to love the music to appreciate the talent behind it. Some of the artists featured in this week's puzzler are masters in genres I rarely reach for (fusion anyone?), but lord are they gifted musicians. I also think some of the fills in this batch are particularly challenging, but give a listen and see how you do. Safe drum fill-naming, heroes!

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Music
4:02 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Just In Time For Father's Day: Bad Dads In Opera

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:19 am

Renee Montagne talks to music commentator Miles Hoffman, who says his candidate for opera's most evil father is the character of Alberich from Richard Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung.

Mountain Stage
2:03 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Tommy Malone On Mountain Stage

Tommy Malone.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 2:09 pm

Tommy Malone appears on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Creative Arts Center on the campus of West Virginia University.

The prime mover behind the New Orleans swamp-rock band The Subdudes, Malone has been a fixture in the Louisiana music scene and beyond for 40 years. He began in a family band that included his brother, Radiators guitarist Dave Malone, and worked as a sideman; he also helped found the storied music collective The Continental Drifters.

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World Cafe
1:42 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Latin Roots: Music Of The World Cup

The 2014 FIFA World Cup runs from June 12 to July 13.
FIFA.com

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 3:53 pm

The World Cup begins Thursday in Brazil amid controversy concerning FIFA (soccer's governing body) and Brazil's preparations for the month-long event. The music of the World Cup has also been contentious, and on this episode of Latin Roots from World Cafe, Billboard's Judy Cantor-Navas explains the difference between the official "theme song" and the official "anthem."

We'll hear both pieces of music and discuss how the largely Portuguese-speaking Brazilian population feels about official music that's not in its language.

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World Cafe
1:34 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Bombay Bicycle Club On World Cafe

Bombay Bicycle Club.
Courtesy of the artist

Bombay Bicycle Club formed when its members were teenagers in South London. It took its name from a now-defunct chain of Indian restaurants in the group's hometown. The band's initial good fortune in winning the Road To V contest in 2006 earned it an opening spot in a major festival, which helped put Bombay Bicycle Club on the map.

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Alt.Latino
11:38 am
Thu June 12, 2014

The New Sounds Of Brazil: Artists To Watch

A mural in Rio de Janeiro.
Matthias Hangst Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 7:25 am

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Deceptive Cadence
10:29 am
Thu June 12, 2014

The Concerto: A 400-Year-Old Recipe That Still Cooks

American composer John Adams has written a new concerto for saxophone.
Nonesuch

The concerto. It's a musical recipe more than 400 years old but composers still cook with it. And why shouldn't they? We still seem to crave the sound of a virtuosic soloist playing with (and often against) an orchestra. As in centuries past, virtuosos still inspire, and in many cases commission, composers to write some of their best music, which can push an instrument to its creative limit.

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
9:36 am
Thu June 12, 2014

John Ellis, Darcy James Argue On JazzSet

Saxophonist John Ellis (center) performs with Matt Perrine (left) on sousaphone at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 2:27 pm

As we re-release these two sets from Newport, saxophonist John Ellis (leader of one, player in the other) is leading workshops in Portugal and Italy. Darcy James Argue has released a studio recording of Brooklyn Babylon, and his Secret Society tied with the Maria Schneider Orchestra for the Big Band of 2013 in the just-out DownBeat Critics Poll.

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Favorite Sessions
8:03 am
Thu June 12, 2014

KCRW Presents: First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit performs at the KCRW studios.
KCRW

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 12:54 pm

The Swedish folk-pop duo First Aid Kit has been a KCRW mainstay since "Hard Believer," the first single from the band's debut record Big Black & The Blue a few years ago. Fast-forward two full-length albums later, and the Söderberg sisters have reenlisted the help of producer Mike Mogis for their now-signature two-part harmonies and carefully crafted Nashville pop.

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World Cafe
2:59 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Kevin Drew On World Cafe

Kevin Drew.
Norman Wong Courtesy of the artist

Kevin Drew is best known for co-founding the groundbreaking Canadian indie-pop supergroup Broken Social Scene in 1999. Around the same time, he founded Arts & Crafts, a record label for that band's releases. Now, 15 years later, it has become one of Canada's most important labels, releasing albums by Feist, Deer Tick and more.

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Mountain Stage
2:49 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band On Mountain Stage

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 2:09 pm

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band appears on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown.

Widely credited with revitalizing the sound of New Orleans jazz, the group blew down musical barriers by combining its love of traditional sounds with funk and bebop. Having recently celebrated its 35th anniversary together, the band has the rare distinction among jazz ensembles of having shared the stage with The Grateful Dead, Elvis Costello, Miles Davis, 2 Live Crew and Black Crowes.

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The Fresh Air Interview
2:43 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

In Big Bill Broonzy's Blues, Brothers Find A Way To Sing Together

Dave (left) and Phil Alvin.
Beth Herzhaft Courtesy of the artist

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The Record
2:19 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

A Gentle Buzz At The CMA Music Festival

During the CMA Festival in downtown Nashville, Miranda Lambert (left) welcomed Carrie Underwood for a duet on their hit "Somethin' Bad."
John Russell CMA

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 2:31 pm

American music festivals used to be mostly a summer thing, but in many ways they now frame the concert experience all year round. In these temporary hot spots for pleasure and cultural conversation, new artists emerge as sensations and established ones do special things with fans. Culture watchers note fashion trends and predict whose careers will rise and fall by observing what emerges from festivals' impromptu communities.

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Field Recordings
12:07 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

On A Magical Mystery Tour With Hassan Hakmoun

Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 10:19 am

When we plan Field Recordings, we usually look far and wide to find off-the-beaten-path locations for filming musicians. But a unique opportunity presented itself when a duo called Wanderlust Projects — designers of "transgressive placemaking experiences" for urban explorers, usually in abandoned or otherwise off-limits places — invited us to come along on an adventure.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:44 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Rafael Fruhbeck De Burgos, Versatile Spanish Conductor, Dies At 80

The versatile Spanish conductor Rafael Frübeck de Burgos.
Morten Abrahamsen

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