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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dave and Phil Alvin are best known for their stint in The Blasters, the bluesy Los Angeles band that formed in the late '70s. They're also known for their contentious relationship, which led them to a 30-year hiatus from musical collaboration.
Though it seems too good to be true, the brothers recently found a point of agreement: a musical tribute to Big Bill Broonzy, a bluesman whose heyday was in the first half of the 20th century. Hear them perform three of their songs here.
Joan Osborne makes her sixth appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Osborne's rich, muscular voice has earned her fans and accolades across many genres: She's been a pop hitmaker, a bluesy soul singer, a roots-music diva and an R&B crooner, and she even drops a hint during this performance about an upcoming record of standards.
Keb' Mo' appears on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Born Kevin Moore in Los Angeles, he first visited Mountain Stage nearly 20 years ago, around the time he first adopted the stage name he now uses. In the time since, he has won three Grammy Awards and become one of the world's most decorated living performers of blues and roots music.
Dorthia Cottrell is one of the most haunting vocalists in metal right now, howling like Ozzy Osbourne in a wind tunnel. But either out of aesthetics or shyness, her voice has always been buried by the relentlessly heavy mix on her two excellent records singing for Windhand. Thankfully, some friends convinced her to serve as the focal point of a track from a fellow Richmond metal band.
Can you hear the wedding bells? June has arrived. Theories vary on why this is the month for marriage. Old traditions like the timing of the harvest season (and pregnancies) might have had something to do with it, or more modern practicalities such as nicer weather and abundant fresh flowers. And then there's the name of the month itself, thought to be inspired by Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage.
This week's World Cafe: Next artist is a trio from South London. Beaty Heart makes rock music that keeps you on your toes: It's quirky, irreverent and complicated, with a tropical vibe that recalls Vampire Weekend.
A live performance by tUnE-yArDs is as thrilling and unshakeable as the music itself. For this set, recorded live at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., Merrill Garbus, the mad genius behind tUnE-yArDs brought along two frenetic dancers and backup singers, an extra percussionist, a bassist, and two enormous pairs of glittery blue eyes that stared the audience down from the back of the stage.
Apple may be set to end its use of the standard 3.5mm headphone connector — the mini plug — in favor of its proprietary connector, the Lightningport. If it was to do that, new iPhones, iPads and iPods wouldn't work with old headphones. It's had more than a few industry folks and Apple fanatics upset, to say the least.
"I'm in a talkative mood," Jack White told the sold-out crowd at Hollywood's historic Fonda Theater. Though it ended up being one of the few comments the singer and guitarist made during the performance, White frequently threw it to the audience for the refrains of several White Stripes songs, including "Fell In Love With A Girl," "We're Going To Be Friends," and the thrilling encore closer "Seven Nation Army."
Violinists were nodding their heads to a different beat this weekend, as Sir Mix-a-Lot and the Seattle Symphony presented what the rapper called "Orchestral Movements from the Hood Night." Their version of the hit "Baby Got Back" drew a large crowd of dancers to the stage.
KEXP hosts hundreds of in-studio sessions a year, but it's rare when our entire staff is blown away the way we were over the soulful Scottish trio Young Fathers. DJ Larry Rose, a longtime fan who conducted the interview, said the energy in the room when those three childhood friends combined their voices was intense: a mix of guttural yelps, sharply recited verses and powerfully soaring vocals. Our video team couldn't stop raving about Young Fathers' passionate, energetic performance.