WUIS Xponential

Favorite Sessions
7:03 am
Tue May 20, 2014

KEXP Presents: Shovels & Rope

Matthew Thompson KEXP

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 1:06 pm

For such a good-natured duo, Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent can sound darker and more dangerous than you might imagine. As Shovels & Rope, they play gritty, boot-stomping roots-rock that spans rousing sing-alongs, heartwarming ballads and harrowing tales of vengeance.

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World Cafe
4:23 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

World Cafe Next: Haley Bonar

Haley Bonar.
Cameron Wittig Courtesy of the artist

This week's World Cafe: Next artist is 31-year-old Minnesotan Haley Bonar. She was discovered at 19 by Alan Sparhawk of Low at an open mic in Duluth, Minn., and is about to release her fifth album, Last War. Here, we play two of its tracks, which you can download at the audio link.

Metropolis
2:56 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Metropolis: 5/17/14

London Grammar.
Courtesy of the artist

This Week's Tracklist

  • Chrome Sparks, "Enter The Chrome Forest" (Future Classic)
  • Kiesza, "Hideaway" (Bixel Boys Remix)" (Lokal Legend)
  • Junior Jack, "Thrill Me (Infinity Ink Mix)" (Defected)
  • Basement Jaxx, "Unicorn (Original Mix)" (Atlantic Jaxx)
  • DJ Dan, "Cut The Midrange"
  • Lana Del Rey, "West Coast (Four Tet Remix)" (Interscope)
  • Tom Vek, "Sherman (Animals In The Jungle)" (Moshi Moshi)
  • Special Request, "Hackney Parrot" (Houndstooth)
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Code Switch
1:50 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Macklemore Plays Dress-Up And Lands In Hot Water

A costumed Macklemore performed at the opening night of an exhibition at Seattle's EMP Museum. His costume choice has become A Thing.
Suzi Pratt FilmMagic

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 12:57 am

Post Updated 1:45 a.m. ET Tuesday:

Macklemore posted an apology on his website late Monday. He said he picked out items that he could use to disguise himself so he could move freely around an event. "I wasn't attempting to mimic any culture, nor resemble one. A 'Jewish stereotype' never crossed my mind," his post reads.

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All Songs Considered
12:38 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Question Of The Week: What's Your Go-To Windows-Down Song?

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 4:02 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
12:23 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Does Accepting A Rose Mean Losing A Career?

The newest round of Bachelorette contestants include an aspiring popera dude.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 4:08 pm

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First Listen
10:10 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

First Listen: Lee Fields, 'Emma Jean'

Lee Fields' new album, Emma Jean, comes out June 3.
Danny Miller/Leon Michels Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 10:55 am

Press play on any of the songs from Lee Fields' new album, Emma Jean. It'll take just a few moments for you to connect his sound to that of decades past — but in all fairness, he's lived through it. Now 63 years old, Fields has been pumping out soul, funk and Southern blues since he was a teenager.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

First Listen: Owen Pallett, 'In Conflict'

Owen Pallett's new album, In Conflict, comes out May 27.
Peter Juhl Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:08 am

It's been a good half-year for Owen Pallett.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

First Listen: Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, 'A Long Way To The Beginning'

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80's new album, A Long Way to the Beginning, comes out May 27.
Johann Sauty Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:07 am

Here's the starting point for the story of Seun Kuti: He's the youngest son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. He began playing with his father's band Egypt 80 at age 8 — and took it over upon his father's death just six years later.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

First Listen: Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, 'Dereconstructed'

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires' new album, Dereconstructed, comes out May 27.
Wes Frazer Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:08 am

In north central Alabama, punk rockers often know as much about football as they do mosh pits. A guy with an arm-sleeve tattoo will open the door for a woman and call her "ma'am." Self-identifying as a blue dot in a red state doesn't preclude Sunday brunch with relatives whose own cars boast confederate-flag stickers. Such differences can arise anywhere, but they can feel more pressing in the Deep South, where history is sticky, like a 90-degree rainy day, and intimate, like Grandma's questionable advice.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

First Listen: Hundred Waters, 'The Moon Rang Like A Bell'

Hundred Waters' new album, The Moon Rang Like a Bell, comes out May 27.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:09 am

It's counter-intuitive, but making deeply emotional music often comes across as a matter of restraint and timing, calculation and manipulation, rather than as an indulgence or purging. All over its darkly shimmering second album, Hundred Waters shows a new ability to pull listeners' strings. Think of musical intensity as an instrument to be mastered — twisted and pulled in different directions, not just dialed up or back.

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Music Interviews
4:00 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

Six Decades Later, A Long-Lost Hank Williams Recording Resurfaces

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 12:35 pm

Transcript

TESS VIGELAND, HOST:

All right. If you're just joining us, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Tess Vigeland.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVE RADIO BROADCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It's "The Garden Spot" Program presenting the songs of Hank Williams.

VIGELAND: Let's travel back for a few minutes to the year 1950.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

HANK WILLIAMS: (Singing) Hello, everybody, Garden Spot is on the air. So just relax and listen in your easy rocking chair.

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Favorite Sessions
7:03 am
Sun May 18, 2014

WAMU's Bandwidth Presents: Protect-U

Protect-U performs live for WAMU's Bandwidth.
WAMU

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 2:16 pm

The free-form duo Protect-U is part of a small electronic-music community in the nation's capital. It sprouts from unlikely but fertile ground: punk and hardcore, which inform the darker tendencies that turn up on Protect-U's recent debut album, Free USA.

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Music News
4:29 am
Sun May 18, 2014

How Do You Wring Sound From Sculpture? It Takes A 'Quiet Pride'

Rufus Reid has played with just about everybody in the mainstream jazz world. His latest project, Quiet Pride, is based on works by the late sculptor and civil rights activist Elizabeth Catlett.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 18, 2014 10:24 am

Bassist and composer Rufus Reid has been playing jazz for half a century. He's worked with just about everyone, from saxophonists Dexter Gordon and Stan Getz to singer Nancy Wilson and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.

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The Record
4:37 pm
Sat May 17, 2014

The Three Kinds Of Posthumous Albums (And Where Michael Jackson Fits In)

Dancers pose reverently in the video for "Love Never Felt So Good," the lead single from Michael Jackson's posthumous Xscape album.
YouTube

Originally published on Sat May 17, 2014 9:32 pm

This weekend on All Things Considered, NPR Music's critic Ann Powers spoke with guest host Tess Vigeland about Xscape: the posthumous Michael Jackson album released Tuesday, on which contemporary producers flesh out unfinished demos from throughout Jackson's career. (Read our review for details.)

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Alt.Latino
8:03 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Pachanga Festival 2014: Austin's Best-Kept Secret, Revealed

Vocalist Alex Marrero channels his inner Ozzy during a set by Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath.
Lizzie Chen for NPR

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 10:24 am

Austin, Texas, is known for its massive music festivals, like SXSW and Austin City Limits. But alongside these epic, world-renowned events are some hidden gems.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
7:03 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Iestyn Davies: Tiny Desk Concert

Iestyn Davies performs a Tiny Desk Concert.
NPR

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 10:05 am

The Bee Gees did it. So do Smokey Robinson, Prince and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. They all sing in the high register usually associated with female singers.

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Music Interviews
6:49 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Lisa Jen's Otherworldly Sound In Welsh With 'Tincian'

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 12:35 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LLIWIAU")

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Those are the opening notes of an album released this week that has a dark and atmospheric sound and a human voice that seems otherworldly.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LLIWIAU")

SIMON: That's Lisa Jen, singing in her native Welsh language with her band 9Bach. Their new album is called "Tincian." That's the Welsh word, not the English one, for where you can store baked beans. Lisa Jen joins us from the studios of the BBC Wales in Bangor. Thanks very much for being with us.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:36 am
Sat May 17, 2014

'The Cunning Little Vixen' Pokes Her Head Into An Animated Forest

In a scene from the Cleveland Orchestra's The Cunning Little Vixen, two actors (Julie Boulianne as Dog and Martina Jankova as Vixen) appear from behind a computer-animated backdrop.
Roger Mastroianni Cleveland Orchestra

Originally published on Sat May 17, 2014 10:29 am

Long before summer blockbuster films dazzled us with CGI-enhanced superheroes and villains, audiences got their dose of spectacle at the local opera house, where lavishly costumed singers have walked through monumental sets for centuries.

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Planet Money
2:15 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Is A Stradivarius Just A Violin?

A Stradivarius violin at the restoration and research laboratory of the Musee de la Musique, Paris, in 2009.
Patrick Kovarik AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 7:00 pm

The Stradivarius violin gets its name from master craftsman Antonio Stradivari. When he died in 1737, his secrets died with him: No one has ever been able to duplicate the sound of the violins or violas he made.

His instruments have taken on a mythical quality. Today they fetch millions of dollars at auctions; Sotheby's will soon auction off a viola that it expects to sell for $45 million.

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Music Interviews
1:58 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Talking Blues With Hozier, A One-Man Irish Invasion

Hozier performs live in Studio 1 at NPR's Washington, D.C. headquarters.
Olivia Merrion NPR

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 7:00 pm

With a big, soulful voice rooted in American blues and gospel, Hozier has spent 2014 on a clear path to stardom. His breakthrough song, "Take Me to Church," has racked up millions of views online, and his U.S. tour is sold out. He's been favorably compared to Lorde and Adele. But to the 24-year-old from Ireland, big stages and big crowds are still a bit intimidating.

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Song Travels
12:46 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Diane Schuur On 'Song Travels'

Diane Schuur.
Courtesy of the artist

Blessed with perfect pitch and a resonant voice, vocalist and pianist Diane Schuur received her training at the Washington State School for the Blind. Today, Schuur is a two-time Grammy winner who has performed at Carnegie Hall and the White House.

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All Songs Considered
12:03 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Viking's Choice: Replicants Live On In Perturbator's Dark Synths

Ariel Zucker-Brull's artwork sets the dystopian tone throughout Perturbator's Dangerous Days.
Ariel Zucker-Brull Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 18, 2014 3:23 pm

We're only five years away from Ridley Scott's 1982 vision of a retro-futuristic Los Angeles, when all that stands between human and biorobotic android is the Voight-Kampff machine. But the dark tones and moral ambiguity of Blade Runner never left the film's cult fans — particularly those beguiled by Vangelis' synth-driven soundtrack.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
11:53 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Clint Eastwood On Piano Jazz

Clint Eastwood at the piano in Monterey, Calif.
Chris Felver Getty Images

Clint Eastwood is best known for his work in Hollywood, but he's also a composer and jazz aficionado. Combining his love of both art forms, he's included classic jazz recordings in his films — including Play Misty for Me, which features the famous Errol Garner ballad.

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Mountain Stage
11:20 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Mark Mulcahy On Mountain Stage

Mark Mulcahy on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 3:17 pm

Mark Mulcahy makes his first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va.

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Music
11:07 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Boy George On World Cafe

Boy George.
Dean Stockings Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 3:01 pm

Since his time as lead singer of the British pop band Culture Club, Boy George has had his ups and downs, including failed projects, a battle with addiction and jail time. Now sober, he's just released his first solo album in 19 years, This Is What I Do.

In this World Cafe session, Boy George has a thoughtful conversation with host David Dye and performs a few songs from This Is What I Do.

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Music Reviews
11:05 am
Fri May 16, 2014

In 1970, Miles Davis Played Four Sets For A New Audience

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 12:36 pm

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

In June 1970, Miles Davis played four nights at New York's rock palace Fillmore East, following earlier appearances there and at San Francisco's Fillmore West. A complete recording of all four of those June sets are now available for the first time.

Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says the jazz trumpeter had gone to the Fillmore in search of a new audience.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Good evening. With great pleasure, Mr. Miles Davis.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MILES DAVIS: (Instrumental)

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All Songs Considered
10:03 am
Fri May 16, 2014

The Good Listener: When Should I Keep Criticism To Myself?

Morrissey's new album doesn't come out until July, and one of his diehard fans is already worried about starting the backlash.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the bag of caramel-filled chocolates we're neglecting to share with our colleagues is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on when hardcore fans hate their favorite artist's new project.

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All Songs Considered
7:03 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, For May 16

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 10:29 pm

This week's fills (and, yes, yes, one intro) come from a range of styles and periods, from jazz and heavy metal to classic rock and '80s synth pop. Can you match all five?

As always, if you have a drummer or a fill you'd like to see featured in these weekly puzzlers, let us know in the comments section or via Twitter @allsongs, #drumfillfriday.

Music Videos
4:04 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Mi Casa Es Tu Casa: Juan Cirerol

Juan Cirerol performs for a video shoot on his neighbors' front stoop in Mexico City.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 12:22 pm

I've loved Mexican singer Juan Cirerol's music since the first time I heard it. But I didn't fully understand it until I traveled to his native Mexicali on an assignment for NPR.

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