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Chance the Rapper is determined.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Danish String Quartet is one of the most widely acclaimed chamber groups at the moment — although, in the interest of full disclosure, we should tell you that one member of the quartet is actually Norwegian. The group has a new record called Adès/Nørgard/Abrahamsen that features a program of Danish and British music.

In the early 2000s, Mr. Lif — also known as Jeffrey Haynes — made a good living writing, performing and rapping with the other artists on the hip-hop label he helped define, Definitive Jux. And then, things changed suddenly: His tour bus crashed, he left his label and his home studio was flooded.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Heavy On World Cafe

May 13, 2016

From the start, British band The Heavy, from Bath, England, has been successful in bringing a retro-soul sound to indie rock. The band's 2009 debut album contained "How You Like Me Now?", a song beloved by music supervisors and heard in shows like The Vampire Diaries, Entourage, and Community.

Tania Maria On Piano Jazz

May 13, 2016

Born in Brazil to a musical family, pianist and vocalist Tania Maria was leading her own group of professional musicians by the time she was 13. In the 1970s, she moved to Paris, where she found the international spotlight through her work in jazz festivals. In the 1980s, Maria moved to New York, where she recorded hit albums and worked with some of the most renowned jazz artists in the world.

On this 1994 episode of Piano Jazz, Maria performs her own composition "Carona," then solos in "Ta Tudo Certo."

Originally broadcast in the fall of 1994.

Congratulations, music lovers! We managed to get through an entire week without a major album dropping out of the blue. So if you're like us this means you've finally had a chance to catch your breath and dig into all the amazing stuff that has come out.

Airports are like petri dishes for humanity's worst traits. Most people are in various states of agitation over endless lines or invasive searches or some perceived slight. Everyone's exhausted. Everyone's on high alert.

The Shining was Stephen King's first hardback bestseller. Stanley Kubrick's film version was listed by no less than Martin Scorcese as one of the scariest horror films ever made. Now, the story is an opera — and its creators want it to be even more terrifying than the book or the movie.

Catherine Russell: Sunny Side Of The Street

May 12, 2016

Catherine Russell has been a backup singer with Steely Dan and David Bowie, but she's better known as an interpreter of blues and early jazz. At Jazz At Lincoln Center, Russell recently assembled a vocal trio (with Carolyn Leonhart and La Tanya Hall, her partners on tour with Steely Dan) to unearth a book of charts by arranger Sy Oliver.

There is new music from Gregory Alan Isakov, the South African-born, Philadelphia and Colorado troubadour. It's an album with the Colorado Symphony and his band. This song, "Liars" was written by Ron Scott and will be on Gregory's new album Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado Symphony.

Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop On World Cafe

May 12, 2016

Collaboration is nothing new to Sam Beam of Iron and Wine: He has recorded with Calexico and recently made an album of cover songs with Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses. For Beam's new album with Jesca Hoop, Love Letter For Fire, he says he wanted to try it differently.

The pioneering electronic band Underworld just released one of the best albums in its 30-year career with this year's Barbara Barbara We Face A Shining Future. The group stopped by KCRW for a session before heading to the desert for Coachella, taking us on an emotional roller coaster that veered from elation to beautiful sadness — particularly in this track, "Low Burn."

SET LIST

  • "Low Burn"

So here we are, stuck inside of Croonerville with the Sinatra blues again. Fallen Angels is the second volume in which Bob Dylan sings the Great American Songbook, recorded at the same time (and with the same core band) as Dylan's 2015 album Shadows In The Night. Those who hated that record are gently advised: Please move along. Nothing on this set is likely to change your impression.

First Listen: Mudcrutch, '2'

May 12, 2016

"We thought The Epics was too corny a name," Tom Petty once said in an interview, speaking of his garage band in Gainesville, Fla., in the late '60s. "So we picked this really terrible one." That terrible name was Mudcrutch. From 1970 to '75, the group tried its best to make it big, even going so far as to relocate to Los Angeles.

We've noted before on NPR Music's Alt.Latino that producer Adrian Quesada has so many ideas flowing through his head, he keeps a handful of bands busy setting his brainstorms to music.

Rokia Traore On World Cafe

May 11, 2016

Rokia Traoré wasn't supposed to be a musician at all; it was discouraged among the noble caste of Mali's Bambara ethnic group, into which she was born. But, like musicians everywhere, she was also born with the drive to create. Against tradition, she started playing in college and was noticed by the revered Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré, who helped her immensely in the early 2000s.

Nowhere to begin but with the brutal fact that we're still crying purple tears here in Rx Dose land, and this month's selections reflect that somewhat. We're not going to spend this short space rhapsodizing Prince Rogers Nelson's impact on electronic and dance music, especially when others have done the job more thoroughly for us, in both listicle and essay form.

This review has been revised from its original version. An excerpt of the Car Seat Headrest song "Just What I Needed/Not Just What I Needed" used an unlicensed sample of The Cars' "Just What I Needed." That excerpt has been removed from the review at the request of Matador Records.

Seattle's Dust Moth scans metal: Thick riffs rumble in and out of heavy atmospheres, with sludgy guitar, melodic bass way out front, and muscular drumming that swings like a thumping heart. Its pedigree scans as metal, too, as the band features guitarist Ryan Frederiksen (These Arms Are Snakes, Narrows) and Giza's rhythm section (bassist Steve Becker and drummer Justin Rodda).

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Santana On World Cafe

May 10, 2016

Carlos Santana has just returned with a new album featuring his original band, which split up in 1972 — including guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Gregg Rollie (both of whom left to form Journey), Michael Shrieve on drums, and Michael Carabello on percussion.

In this episode of World Cafe, Carlos Santana tells the story of how the group's new album, Santana IV, came together. He also discusses the new instrumental "Fillmore East," which was influenced by the legendary music venue.

It's hard to imagine an artist who works harder or cares more about what his fans think than Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo. For the past 20-plus years he's been a tireless and meticulous songwriter who maintains incredibly detailed spreadsheets with hundreds of titles for songs that don't yet exist, and lyric fragments organized by word and syllable count. He obsessively studies the intricacies of other well-loved pop songs, cataloging every element, trying to understand why they work and how he can make his own songs better.

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