WUIS Xponential

First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

First Listen: Angel Olsen, 'Burn Your Fire For No Witness'

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 12:53 pm

Angel Olsen has made an unforgettable and entrancing record. Burn Your Fire for No Witness is the musical equivalent of a deep, questioning stare from a lover, and what draws me to her voice is its peaceful, subtle touch. It has me leaning in to listen. Leonard Cohen does that, too, and it's a fine line to walk between pale and enchanting. These are delicate songs, with lyrics stripped to their essence.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

First Listen: AJ Davila, 'Terror Amor'

AJ Davila's new album, Terror Amor, comes out Feb. 18.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:11 pm

On Alt.Latino, the show I co-host with Felix Contreras, we talk a lot about crossing over: who goes from the Latin world into the U.S. "mainstream," and under what cultural terms and conditions. For those of us who live and breathe Latin music, it can be frustrating that in U.S. pop culture, Latin music is often associated with Shakira and Ricky Martin. Don't get me wrong: I'm a sucker for Latin pop, especially back when Shakira was headbanging. But what irks us a bit is that so much of what makes it from Latin America onto the U.S. pop-culture radar lacks teeth; it has no edge.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

First Listen: St. Paul And The Broken Bones, 'Half The City'

St. Paul and the Broken Bones' new album, Half the City, comes out Feb. 18.
David McClister Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:08 pm

About a year ago, I saw St. Paul and the Broken Bones perform at a tiny club in Tuscaloosa, Ala., called the Green Bar. The Birmingham band's six members squeezed onto the stage, looking like ragtag school kids. Singer Paul Janeway, nerd-tastic in spectacles and a Sunday suit, unfurled a handkerchief. He started to croon, then shout and wail.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

First Listen: Lydia Loveless, 'Somewhere Else'

Lydia Loveless' new album, Somewhere Else, comes out Feb. 18.
Patrick Crawford Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:11 pm

"Take me far from this tainted world where statistics murder dreams, where art, beauty, love, everything's money," begins a quote printed inside the packaging for the latest album by singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless. The words belong to 19th-century French symbolist-decadent poet Paul Verlaine — not a common touchstone among country-rockers, although the sentiment is one most musicians have likely felt. (It gets nicely echoed in a poem Eric Church recites on his latest record).

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

First Listen: Lost In The Trees, 'Past Life'

Lost In The Trees' new album, Past Life, comes out Feb. 18.
DL Anderson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:10 pm

Lost in the Trees founder Ari Picker studied film composition at the Berklee School of Music — an alternate career path that couldn't be better suited to the music he makes now. A film composer, even more than a bandleader, creates work with a constant awareness of the audience's reaction to it, and thus has a keener sense of how to craft that reaction.

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Music Lists
3:01 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

The Other Guys: 5 Bands Missing From The British Invasion

The Shadows on stage in the 1960s. The British rock act, formed as a backing band for singer Cliff Richard (center), was among the U.K. acts who stayed behind as The Beatles and others were cresting in America.
Paul Popper Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 11:59 am

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Monkey See
10:52 am
Sun February 9, 2014

The Beatles, As America First Loved Them

It's been 50 years since The Beatles first appeared on Ed Sullivan, to an audience of screaming, hair-pulling, ecstatic (in the classic sense) teenage girls. Cutes in suits, you might call them, like (and, of course, nothing like) countless other bands of the time that wore skinny ties and shared microphones and said "oh" and "yeah" and "baby."

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Music Interviews
7:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

The Handy Ambassador To New Zealand's Music Scene

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:44 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

New Zealand is famous for a lot of different things: sheep, stunning vistas, even Hobbits. And one of the specific island's most notable musical exports is a guy named Neil Finn. He took to the stage in the 1980s with the chart-topping kiwi bands Split Ends and Crowded House. Neil Finn has also had a strong solo career. And his new album, "Dizzy Heights," comes out Tuesday.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

NEIL FINN: (Singing) You must reveal your inter sorrow. Show what you're made of, don't know what you're afraid of...

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A Blog Supreme
5:02 am
Sun February 9, 2014

'When The Bus For The Record Label Comes By': Behind Hot Tone Music

Camille Thurman (left), Mimi Jones (center) and Shirazette Tinnin all released new albums this week on Hot Tone Music, Jones' record imprint.
Courtesy of the artist

This past week, the bassist and vocalist Mimi Jones released three albums at once. They weren't all her music, but they were her work: As the founder and producer of the record label Hot Tone Music, she brought all three albums to fruition.

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The Record
4:42 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Rap From Memphis: The Outtakes

The Pyramid Sports Arena in Memphis in 1998.
Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images

During the reporting of our story about the legacy of Comin' Out Hard in Memphis rap, we spent time in the city with MJG, Young Dolph and Drumma Boy. We met Yo Gotti in New York and got Eightball in a studio in Atlanta. We didn't have enough time to talk to everybody who's made Memphis rap what it is, like Gangsta Boo, or DJ Paul, Juicy J, Project Pat, or even Gangsta Pat.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:09 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

'Philomena' And The Power Of A Quiet Film Score

Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in the film Philomena.
Alex Bailey Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 4:53 pm

In the 1950s, Philomena Lee was a naive Irish teenager who got pregnant, gave birth in a convent, and was forced by the nuns to sign away her parental rights. The 2013 film Philomena is based on what happened five decades later, when Lee went looking for her son with the help of a journalist. Directed by Stephen Frears and starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, Philomena is up for several Academy Awards, including one in an unlikely category.

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Music News
11:05 am
Sat February 8, 2014

A Male Singer Shines In A Woman's World

Portuguese singer António Zambujo occupies a distinct place in the world of fado, a musical style better known for its female stars.
Rita Carmo

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Tiny Desk Concerts
10:14 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Fanfare Ciocarlia: Tiny Desk Concert

Fanfare Ciocarlia performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in January 2014.
Jim Tuttle Jim Tuttle/NPR

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 9:13 am

Truth be told, I was scared. We've stuffed a lot of musicians behind the Tiny Desk, but when I saw Fanfare Ciocarlia (pronounced "fan-FAR-eh cho-car-LEE-ah") at Globalfest the week before the band arrived at NPR, I couldn't fathom how we'd corral these 12 musicians and their various assorted horns and drums into that truly tiny space.

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All Songs Considered
8:02 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Bob Boilen's Weekly Rainbows

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James Mercer of Broken Bells performs The Beatles' "And I Love Her" with backing from a looped video of Ringo Starr on The Late Show With David Letterman.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 11:37 am

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The Record
4:05 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

The Beatles' Yearlong Journey To 'The Ed Sullivan Show'

Ed Sullivan smiles while standing with The Beatles on the set of his variety show on Feb. 9, 1964.
Express Newspapers/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 3:25 pm

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Song Travels
3:27 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Allen Toussaint On 'Song Travels'

Allen Toussaint.
Glade Bilby II Courtesy of the artist

Pianist, singer, composer and producer Allen Toussaint is one of the leading figures of New Orleans R&B.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
2:46 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Cedar Walton On Piano Jazz

Cedar Walton.
Courtesy of the artist

Pianist Cedar Walton rode high on the cresting wave of '60s hard bop. He performed with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and in Lee Morgan's band, and was house pianist at Prestige Records. Walton died in August 2013.

In this 1980 session, he performs his tune "N.P.S." and duets with host Marian McPartland in "Lover Man."

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All Songs Considered
2:22 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

The Good Listener: What's The Perfect Soundtrack To Teenage Flirtation?

These teenagers in the 1998 film Can't Hardly Wait needed their own nostalgia — which is why today's teenagers might not connect with Can't Hardly Wait the way an earlier generation did.
Columbia Pictures

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the Bachelor Bouquets we ordered ourselves in order to appear loved is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on music to play at a dance for nervous, flirtatious teenagers.

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World Cafe
12:28 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

John Butler Trio On World Cafe

John Butler Trio.
Kane Hibberd Courtesy of the artist

Don't call the John Butler Trio a "jam band." As Butler himself says on this episode of World Cafe, the jams are part of the songs, not a springboard to more improvising. Butler, who was born in the U.S. but has lived in Australia since he was 11, discusses his love for the land he now calls home, songwriting and much more.

And, of course, Butler and his band — who've been together since 1998 — perform songs from a new album called Flesh and Blood.

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The Fresh Air Interview
10:28 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Fresh Air Celebrates The 50th Anniversary Of The Beatles' Arrival

Members of The Beatles play in the snow outside Washington, D.C.'s Coliseum where they were scheduled to perform before a sell-out audience in 1964.
Central Press Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 2:33 pm

Fifty years ago, on Feb. 7, 1964, The Beatles touched down at JFK airport. Two days later they broke TV viewing records and changed music, fashion, history — and basically an entire generation — when they appeared live on The Ed Sullivan Show.

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The Record
9:36 am
Fri February 7, 2014

A Rational Conversation: Ambition Returns To The Music Video

A still from the 24-hour-long interactive video for Pharrell Williams' song "Happy."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 11:11 am

"A Rational Conversation" is a column by writer Eric Ducker in which he gets on iChat or Gchat or the phone or whatever with a special guest to examine a music-related subject that's entered the pop culture consciousness.

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Music Reviews
4:12 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Before He Joined Congress, A South African Janitor's Disco Past

Penny Penny.
Courtesy of the artist

The appearance of Penny Penny's Shaka Bundu in the American market is welcome not only in itself, but also as a sign of a larger trend. Five or six years ago, it was clear the music business was going into long-term sales decline, and I was certain that a prime victim of that would be African pop. The established imports of the '80s and '90s would be available as MP3 downloads, but surely new discoveries and reissues would slow to a trickle, if not cease altogether. I'm grateful that that has simply not happened.

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Music News
3:59 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Violin Worth $5 Million Makes A Safe Return Home

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:55 pm

Police in Milwaukee have recovered a Stradivarius violin and arrested three suspects in its theft. The instrument, said to be worth approximately $5 million, was stolen in a brazen armed robbery from the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra late last month. Mitch Teich of WUWM in Milwaukee reports on the violin's recovery.

World Cafe
3:23 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Warpaint On World Cafe

Warpaint.
Mia Kirby Courtesy of the artist

Four years ago, the women of Warpaint — Jenny Lee Lindberg on bass, Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman on vocals and guitar, and Stella Mozgawa on drums — released their successful debut album, The Fool. Considering it took them five years after forming in 2004 to release their debut, they're right on schedule.

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All Songs Considered
3:13 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Playing SXSW 2014? Send Us Your Songs

Several of us loved The Soil and the Sun at SXSW 2013 — and we'd have never heard the band if it hadn't sent us an MP3 before the festival.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 4:23 pm

Every year around this time, the All Songs Considered team begins the process of listening to nearly 2,000 MP3s by bands playing the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. We acquire them from any number of sources, as bands willing to circulate their songs for consideration make them available online. But every year, we wind up missing something. In pursuit of music by thousands of bands, hundreds slip past our radar altogether.

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
2:33 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Jason Moran's 'Live: Time On The Quilts Of Gee's Bend' Suite On JazzSet

Jason Moran (left), Alicia Hall Moran (center), The Bandwagon and Bill Frisell (right) perform at the KC Jazz Club.
Scott Suchman Courtesy of the Kennedy Center

The Philadelphia Museum of Art recently commissioned Jason Moran to write music in conjunction with its exhibition of quilts made by a remarkable group of African-American women in a small rural community on a bend in the Alabama River.

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Favorite Sessions
1:40 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Folk Alley Presents: Cahalen Morrison & Eli West

Cahalen Morrison and Eli West perform live for Folk Alley.
BeeHive Productions

Don't let Cahalen Morrison and Eli West's simple two-man sound fool you. The music itself isn't simple so much as an exercise in artful restraint. The Seattle duo's new album, I'll Swing My Hammer With Both My Hands, is packed with exquisite instrumentation and close country harmonies. But the stories they tell and the melodies they employ are complex and wrought with nuanced emotion.

"Down in the Lonesome Draw" is about searching for work and opportunity — an old American story with nearly as much relevance now as when the Western states were still a frontier.

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All Songs Considered
11:53 am
Thu February 6, 2014

The Civil Wars Cover Elliott Smith

John Paul White (left) and Joy Williams of The Civil Wars.
Allister Ann Courtesy of the artist

If you remembered that John Paul White and Joy Williams had announced they were taking a hiatus last year, the news of a new digital EP from The Civil Wars might make you scratch your head. But this cover of Elliott Smith's "Between the Bars," which lends its name to the EP, was actually recorded a while back with producers Rick Rubin and Charlie Peacock.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:32 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Update: 'I Have Begun To Hear A Little Again'

Takashi Niigaki stepped forward today in Japan as the ghostwriter for popular composer Mamoru Samuragochi — and added another twist to the breaking story.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:50 am

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Alt.Latino
11:06 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Black, Latino And Proud: Black History Month With Alt.Latino

Herencia De Timbiqui, one of the many Afro-Latino artists on this week's show.
Courtesy of the artist

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