WUIS Xponential

All Songs Considered
4:00 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

New Mix: Real Estate, Actress, Wax Fang, More

Clockwise from upper left: Real Estate, Actress, Saintseneca, Wax Fang
Courtesy of the artists

On any given day, All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen bombards co-host Robin Hilton with a running list of new ideas for the show. Most of them never see the light of day. But on this week's program Bob explains his latest idea, one that everyone will want to see happen. It's called "The Sole Of A Band" and involves matching photos of the shoes worn by bands with their music. You can hear more about how it works at the top of this week's edition of All Songs Considered.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:53 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Tracing The Career Of Claudio Abbado, A Consummate Conductor

Celebrated conductor Claudio Abbado in 1979 in his native Milan, during his tenure as music director of the city's famed opera house, La Scala.
Giorgio Lotti Mondadori/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 2:55 pm

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Music Interviews
1:51 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Schubert's 'Winterreise' Paints Bleak Landscape For Bill T. Jones

Choreographer Bill T. Jones at an appearance earlier this year.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 6:55 pm

As snowstorms hit the country today, All Things Considered revisits a vivid story that choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones shared about one winter song. It originally aired Dec. 13, 2011.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:48 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Guess Who's Singing The National Anthem At The Super Bowl?

From taffeta to tackles: Soprano Renee Fleming has been tapped to sing at Super Bowl XLVIII.
Karin Cooper Courtesy of Washington National Opera

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 3:05 pm

She's probably not among your first, or second, or 10th, or 20th-round guesses, but the NFL just announced that American soprano Renee Fleming will sing the national anthem at Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2.

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World Cafe
12:45 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Robbie Fulks On World Cafe

Robbie Fulks' latest album is titled Gone Away Backward.
Courtesy of the artist

As a songwriter, Robbie Fulks can be devastatingly funny, then slay with sentiment in the next moment. He's made a career of it, while approaching the music business from nearly every angle. He had a brief run on a major label in the 1990s, which helped inspire his memorable critique of Nashville's country music industry, titled "F--- This Town."

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The Record
7:02 am
Tue January 21, 2014

A Rational Conversation With Ebro Darden, Program Director Of Hot 97

Ebro Darden (left) with (from left to right) Young Guru, Bun B and DJ Premier in June 2012 in New York City.
Johnny Nunez WireImage

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 12:18 pm

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Music Reviews
3:55 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Ray Benson Steps Out: 'Wheel'man Goes Solo In New Album

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 4:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For more than 40 years, Ray Benson has been the front man for the Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CHOO CHOO CH'BOOGIE")

RAY BENSON: (Singing) Choo, choo, choo choo, ch' boogie. Woo, woo, woo, woo, ch' boogie. Choo, choo, choo, choo, ch' boogie. Take me right back to the track, Jack.

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Music Reviews
11:02 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Lafayette Gilchrist: An Old Soul, At Ease In A Modern World

Lafayette Gilchrist.
Leo H. Lubow

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 12:57 pm

For someone who came to piano rather late, at 17, Lafayette Gilchrist has dug deep into its history. He loves the old piano professors who'd pack the punch of a dance band into two hands at the keyboard. Players like Eubie Blake, James P. Johnson and Willie "The Lion" Smith could keep going for hours without exhausting their folkloric materials.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
9:55 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Robert Glasper Experiment: Tiny Desk Concert

NPR

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:37 pm

The third song in this Tiny Desk Concert, explains the jocose pianist Robert Glasper, first appeared on one of his trio's albums of acoustic, instrumental jazz. It was called "F.T.B." then, though it later acquired words and a singer and was retitled "Gonna Be Alright" on the record which won the 2013 Grammy for Best R&B Album. That in itself provides a sense of the worlds to which Glasper has access; depending on your point of view, he either freely traverses or explodes those boundaries.

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First Listen
10:02 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

First Listen: The Autumn Defense, 'Fifth'

The Autumn Defense's new album, Fifth, comes out Jan. 28.
Chloe Aftel Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 9:07 pm

Side projects often provide a chance to take wild left turns; to indulge a desire to experiment outside the formulas dictated by a musician's primary creative outlet. For The Autumn Defense — which features bassist John Stirratt and multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone, both of Wilco — it's actually a chance to pursue a narrower focus. Where Wilco sprawls, The Autumn Defense drills down to a sweetly straightforward style of classic pop and rock.

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First Listen
10:02 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

First Listen: Dum Dum Girls, 'Too True'

Dum Dum Girls' new album, Too True, comes out Jan. 28.
James Orlando Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 9:03 pm

Dee Dee Penny and her band Dum Dum Girls made their name on primitivism, only to demolish the expectations they'd created for themselves. Even the name Dum Dum Girls suggests adherence to the garage-bound basics, and the group's early recordings follow suit. But the new Too True is different: A streamlined record, it borrows the cool, plainspoken efficiency of its predecessors while slickening and smartening the songs themselves.

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First Listen
10:02 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

First Listen: Angélique Kidjo, 'Eve'

Angélique Kidjo's new album, Eve, comes out Jan. 28.
Pierre Marie Zimmerman Courtesy of the artist

Language is not universal: Every user, every listener, every usage changes its shape and scope. It ebbs and flows, includes and excludes, goes extinct and re-emerges, changed — that is universal. Angélique Kidjo is, in every sense, a multi-linguist. She speaks four languages fluently, and sings in five. When, as a child in the West African nation of Benin, she couldn't understand the lyrics of the music she loved, she invented her own.

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First Listen
10:02 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

First Listen: Quilt, 'Held In Splendor'

Quilt's second album, Held In Splendor, comes out Jan. 28.
Allison Pharmakis Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 9:02 pm

Quilt is the perfect name for this band, whose every song seems to seamlessly knit together at least three distinct tunes. There's a sense of adventure, shifting perspectives and surprise in these pop treasures, each of which feels like a long jam distilled to its essence.

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First Listen
10:02 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

First Listen: Hospitality, 'Trouble'

Hospitality's new album, Trouble, comes out Jan. 28.
William Mebane Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 9:01 pm

On its self-titled debut, the charming Brooklyn pop-rock band Hospitality burst out of the gate like a batch of 4.0 GPA indie-rock students, not unlike their forerunning New York City bros in Vampire Weekend.

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First Listen
10:02 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

First Listen: Laura Cantrell, 'No Way There From Here'

Laura Cantrell's new album, No Way There From Here, comes out Jan. 28.
Amy Dickerson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 9:04 pm

"I'm under city lights, and it's all right," Laura Cantrell sings in one of the 12 deceptively lovely songs on No Way There From Here — her first album, besides a 2011 Kitty Wells tribute, in nine years. The line is about a love that thrives in spite of occasional separation; its story is typical of Cantrell's wry, wise viewpoint on feminine maturity. But it also says something about this Queens-based lover of vintage Nashville sounds.

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Music Interviews
4:17 am
Sun January 19, 2014

Laura Jane Grace, Transgender Punk, On Life In Transition

Against Me!'s latest album is Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Left to right: Inge Johansson, James Bowman, Laura Jane Grace, Atom Willard.
Ryan Russell Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:42 am

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Author Interviews
4:50 pm
Sat January 18, 2014

'I'll Take You There': The Staple Singers' Rise From Church To Fame

Mavis Staples performs at the 2013 Waterfront Blues Festival at in Portland, Ore.
Anthony Pidgeon Redferns via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 18, 2014 5:36 pm

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Music Interviews
6:59 am
Sat January 18, 2014

'Made For This': The Rootless Life Of A Roving Musician

David Dondero performs at D.G.'s Tap House in Ames, Iowa.
John Pemble

Originally published on Sat January 18, 2014 10:35 am

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World Cafe
3:27 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Blitzen Trapper On World Cafe

Blitzen Trapper.
Courtesy of the artist

The Portland, Ore., band Blitzen Trapper has spent seven albums refining its style, which mixes Americana, folk and rock with a wild-eyed psychedelic side. Its newest record is titled VII.

Singer-songwriter Eric Early wrote a piece for the New York Times Opinionator blog last year called "The Tale of The Seed and The Song," and we'll find out about some of the seeds of these new songs here.

Music
3:20 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Singer Jennifer Holliday On Making The Best Of Each Day

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 4:16 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Deceptive Cadence
2:15 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Note To 'Downton Abbey' Viewers: Nellie Melba Was A Big Deal

Opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, circa 1900.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

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Song Travels
12:13 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Johnny Mandel On 'Song Travels'

Johnny Mandel speaks onstage during the 41st Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony.
Jemal Countess WireImage

Legendary composer and arranger Johnny Mandel started in the big bands of Joe Venuti, Buddy Rich and Jimmy Dorsey. Mandel's resume includes film and television classics such as "Suicide Is Painless" (the M*A*S*H theme) and "The Shadow of Your Smile" from The Sandpiper.

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A Blog Supreme
10:14 am
Fri January 17, 2014

5 Donny Hathaway Covers By Jazz Musicians

Donny Hathaway remains widely admired in jazz, but much of his repertoire has yet to be tapped by improvisers.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Donny Hathaway's repertoire occupies a peculiar space in jazz. Though not a jazz artist, he has influenced a variety of jazz musicians through his work as a singer, keyboardist and composer. Still, jazz musicians have only skimmed the surface of his small but remarkable catalog.

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NPR Story
10:13 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Marian McPartland's Hickory House Trio On Piano Jazz

  • Listen: Hickory House Trio On Piano Jazz

With this episode of Piano Jazz, we remember drummer Joe Morello in a special reunion session with the Hickory House Trio recorded in 1990. He died on March 12, 2011, but during the 1950s, Marian McPartland, Morello, and bassist Bill Crow performed together at the Hickory House, one of the last jazz clubs on 52nd Street in Manhattan. In this session, guest host Crow shares music and memories from his days playing bass in the trio.

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Music Reviews
3:51 am
Fri January 17, 2014

'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' Is Capable Of 'Mild Diversion'

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 4:18 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The late Tom Clancy was hero of American espionage writing, and the hero of his spy novels was Jack Ryan. On the big screen, Ryan has been played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck.

Now, there's a new Ryan in town. Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has our review.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" is serviceable, but not compelling, something that could pass for the real thing if you're not looking too hard.

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The Record
11:02 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Gimme The Beat (Box): The Journey Of The Drum Machine

The Oberheim DMX rose to popularity in the mid-1980s, one of the first commercial drum machines that came close to mimicking real drum sounds.
Courtesy of Get On Down Publishing

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 4:06 pm

About 10 years ago, a disgruntled pianist in Los Angeles named John Wood began a popular bumper sticker campaign with the slogan, "Drum Machines Have No Soul." Not everyone was convinced, including producer Eric Sadler.

"Drum machines don't run themselves," Sadler says. "It's the people who put into the drum machines that give the drum machines soul, to me. I've definitely given some drum machines some soul."

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globalFEST
6:18 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

What Makes globalFEST So Interesting?

Devo meets Davy Crockett: a member of the furry-hatted Ukrainian "folk-punk" band DakhaBrakha onstage Sunday during globalFEST at New York's Webster Hall.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:40 am

Every January, there's a one-night music festival in New York that showcases artists from around the world. It's called globalFEST, and it's been happening for more than a decade. Over the years, it's become a place for American tastemakers to find new talent from Europe, Africa, Asia and beyond.

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Music Reviews
6:18 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Troubadour Radio: 'Jam Band' Releases A New Album For Kids

Lucky Diaz and Alisha Gaddis, the brains behind Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, won the Latin Grammy for Best Latin Children's Album in 2013.
Matt Harbicht Courtesy of Sugar Mountain

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:19 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Los Angeles duo, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jazz Band, is a kids' music act with a prestigious reputation. They've won plenty of praise from the critics and they were the first Americans to win a Latin Grammy in the Children's Album category. Our kids' music reviewer Stefan Shepherd says their latest album comes in the form of a radio variety show.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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World Cafe
3:28 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Travis On World Cafe

Travis.
Courtesy of the artist

The Scottish band Travis formed in Glasgow in 1990 and had major worldwide success with 1999's The Man Who. Its success helped lay the groundwork for other soaring and smooth pop-rock groups — including Coldplay and Keane, which achieved stardom shortly after Travis' breakthrough.

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All Songs Considered
1:13 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

The Good Listener: How Do You Know If You'll Love A Song Forever?

Oh, Carly Rae Jepsen. We knew it couldn't last.
Courtesy of the artist

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