WUIS Xponential

globalFEST
6:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

The Wu-Force: globalFEST 2014

Banjo master Abigail Washburn, part of an Appalachian-Chinese mash-up called The Wu Force, performs at New York City's Webster Hall as a part of globalFEST on Jan. 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 4:10 pm

If you've encountered banjo phenomenon Abigail Washburn before, you might know that she's loved China for a long time. In fact, it was her plan to study law at Beijing University that led her to her chosen instrument a little more than a decade ago: She'd wanted to bring "something American" with her to China and started to learn old-time music — and found her destiny.

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globalFEST
6:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Sergio Mendoza y La Orkesta: globalFEST 2014

Mexican vocalist Salvador Duran's rich baritone was at the front and center of Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta at New York City's Webster Hall during globalFEST on January 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Imagine the 1950s big-band mambo sound of Perez Prado refracted through the lens of the 21st-century Latino experience in the U.S. That gives just a tiny clue to what's in store during a set with this Arizona band, led by keyboardist, guitarist and vocalist Sergio Mendoza. The group also features the rich baritone of Mexican vocalist Salvador Duran, framed by guitar, keyboard, percussion, drums and, of course, brass.

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globalFEST
6:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Noura Mint Seymali: globalFEST 2014

Mauritanian artist Noura Mint Seymali performs at New York City's Webster Hall during globalFEST on Jan. 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Touareg guitar rock, desert blues: Whatever you call it, it's shorthand for a certain style from the Sahara that has triumphed at festivals and venues across Europe and North America, thanks to acts like Tinariwen and Bombino.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:31 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

The Minnesota Orchestra's Labor Dispute Is Over. What's Next?

The Minnesota Orchestra musicians and management have finally bridged their long and bitter labor dispute.
Ann Marsden Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 6:44 pm

After 15 months of acrimony, the longest labor dispute at a major American symphony orchestra has ended. The Minnesota Orchestra and its musicians reached an agreement last night and players will return to work on February 1. While all sides are relieved, most admit the hard work of rebuilding some seriously damaged bridges is just about to begin.

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World Cafe
3:39 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Bear's Den On World Cafe

Bear's Den.
Ty Johnson Courtesy of the artist

The British folk trio Bear's Den (Joey Haynes, Andrew Davie and Kev Jones) has put out a string of EPs in the U.K., the latest being Agape, for the label owned by Mumford & Sons' Ben Lovett. Hear the rich harmonies and warm vibe of Bear's Den in this session for World Cafe.

The Record
2:06 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

A Long Road To 'High Hopes': An Interview With Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen performing in November at Madison Square Garden.
Jemal Countess Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 3:48 pm

  • Listen To Ann Powers Interview Bruce Springsteen

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Music Reviews
10:54 am
Wed January 15, 2014

The Soul Singer Who Never Quite Made It

James Govan (left) with producer and engineer Mickey Buckins in the studio.
Courtesy of Ace Records

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 2:46 pm

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Wed January 15, 2014

VIDEO: Springsteen, Fallon Do 'Gov. Christie Traffic Jam'

Bruce Springsteen (left) and Jimmy Fallon doing their "Gov. Christie Traffic Jam."
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon blog

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 12:39 pm

Being stuck in a horrendous traffic jam is no joke.

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Microphone Check
7:40 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Starlito And Don Trip: Writers First, Rappers Second

Starlito (left) and Don Trip, in their video for "Caesar & Brutus."
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 1:04 pm

  • Starlito And Don Trip With Ali Shaheed Muhammad And Frannie Kelley

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Strike Up The Band! Minnesota Orchestra Lockout Ends

After more than 15 months, the bitter labor battle between the Minnesota Orchestra musicians and management has ended. Whether the orchestra's music director Osmo Vänskä (pictured here) will return, after resigning in October, remains to be seen.
Greg Helgeson Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 11:39 am

"The 15-month lockout at the Minnesota Orchestra ended Tuesday after management and musicians announced an agreement," Minnesota Public Radio writes.

"Musicians will return to work on Feb. 1," the network adds. They had been locked out since October 2012.

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World Cafe
5:19 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Of Montreal On World Cafe

Of Montreal.
Nina Barnes Courtesy of the artist

The Georgia band Of Montreal put out its first record in 1997, and leader Kevin Barnes has taken a step forward with each album since. The recent Lousy With Sylvianbriar represents a major turn toward reverence for the songwriting process — and away from layering backing tracks and relying on a dazzling live show.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:48 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

The 'Ode To Joy' As A Call To Action

A Chinese student at the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, where speakers playing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony were rigged up to drown out government broadcasts.
Battle Hymns Productions

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 4:39 pm

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Music Reviews
11:55 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Uneven But Vital, Bruce Springsteen Has 'High Hopes'

Bruce Springsteen's 18th album is titled High Hopes.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 1:04 pm

High Hopes is a different sort of release for Bruce Springsteen. It features original and cover songs that had been performed live over the years, some never recorded in a studio setting, as well as a few older songs reconceived with new arrangements and musicians.

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Heavy Rotation
9:18 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Heavy Rotation: 10 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Damien Jurado.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 12:02 pm

Heavy Rotation is a monthly sampler of public radio hosts' favorite songs. Check out past editions here.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Deceptive Cadence
8:41 am
Tue January 14, 2014

A Gramophone And Mozart, Or How I Fell For Opera

Conductor (and flutist) Nicholas McGegan fell in love with opera as a kid.
Courtesy of the artist

British conductor Nicholas McGegan celebrates his 'Beatle' birthday today (64, that is). To mark the occasion, he recalls how he first fell in love with opera. It came by way of a newfangled record player and one heavenly Mozart recording. Remember when the operatic light bulb first sparked for you?

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A Blog Supreme
4:45 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Winter Jazzfest 2014: Tips Of The Iceberg

Rene Marie.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:07 pm

The logo for the 2014 Winter Jazzfest, marking the festival's 10th anniversary, is a giant iceberg floating into New York harbor. Like the iceberg, this year's edition was both big — 90-plus groups over five nights, representing just a small portion of a larger scene — and cold and wet, in that it rained both nights of the music marathon last Friday and Saturday evening. But Winter Jazzfest was hot on the inside, as we soaked up great music like a sponge.

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All Songs Considered
4:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Question Of The Week: Can You Imagine A World Without Music Genres?

Bombay Royale, performing at GlobalFEST 2014.
Ebru Yildiz/NPR

I've just spent the weekend at Winter Jazzfest and GlobalFEST in New York City. These are two of the biggest annual festivals of their kind, featuring several thrilling, packed days of music, with live performances that run late into the night.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
1:02 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Afro Blue: Tiny Desk Concert

Afro Blue performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Nov. 11, 2013.
Abbey Oldham NPR

"Afro Blue" is a jazz standard written by Mongo Santamaria in 1959, with a lyric added later by Oscar Brown Jr. It's been performed countless times, by everyone from John Coltrane to Robert Glasper and Erykah Badu.

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World Cafe
12:54 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

World Cafe Next: Quilt

Quilt.
Allison Pharmakis Courtesy of the artist
  • Hear Two Songs By Quilt

Anna Fox Rochinski, Shane Butler and John Andrews make up the Boston psych-folk band Quilt. Together, they released their self-titled debut in 2011 and spent the spring of last year in New York City recording Held in Splendor, which comes out later this month.

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World Cafe
12:37 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

The Zombies On World Cafe

The Zombies.
Courtesy of the artist

The Zombies' jazzy, sophisticated single "She's Not There" showed another side of the British Invasion back in 1964. In this World Cafe interview with the band, singers Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent join us to tell the stories behind songs like "Time of the Season" and new ones from their 2011 album, Breathe Out, Breathe In.

Blunstone and Argent are in fine voice in this session, recorded in front of an audience and originally broadcast in 2011.

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Metropolis
11:20 am
Mon January 13, 2014

The Metropolis Interview: Above & Beyond

Above & Beyond.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 11:24 am

The U.K.-based EDM trio Above & Beyond has built a massive following over the past decade, playing live and DJing major festivals around the world. Through its own Anjunabeats label, the band has released numerous dance anthems, staying true to its purist trance sound over the years.

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Metropolis
11:07 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Metropolis: 1/11/14

Chromeo's "Come Alive" appears on this week's mix.
Timothy Saccenti Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 11:01 am

This week's two-hour mix features a collaboration between Chromeo and Toro Y Moi, new music from French producer Lifelike, classics from Daft Punk and LCD Soundsystem, and much, much more.

Playlist

  • Lifelike, "Night Patrol"
  • Daft Punk, "Around The World"
  • Chromeo, "Come Alive (feat. Toro Y Moi)"
  • Sebastian, "Arabest"
  • Le Youth, "Dance With Me (feat. Dominique Young Unique)"
  • Blood Orange, "Clipped On"
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Favorite Sessions
10:47 am
Mon January 13, 2014

KEXP Presents: Jon Hopkins

Jon Hopkins performed live on KEXP.
Allyce Andrew KEXP

U.K. musician Jon Hopkins brings warmth to dance music through his inventive sampling of organic sound: hands clapping, hitting things, even using his own voice to build seductive percussion. It's no wonder his fourth album, Immunity, was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize in 2013.

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The Record
2:03 am
Mon January 13, 2014

A Big 'Frozen' Ballad Speaks To Tweens

YouTube

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 11:18 am

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First Listen
10:01 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

First Listen: Warpaint, 'Warpaint'

Warpaint's self-titled album comes out Jan. 21.
Mia Kirby Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 10:58 am

A few years back, the band Low sold T-shirts emblazoned with a fine unofficial motto for its music: "I don't like cool, I like beautiful." For the four women who make up Warpaint, those two qualities aren't mutually exclusive: The L.A. group's swirling sound is full of mysterious buzzes and coos, and there's a sense of everything-in-its-right-place grace and impeccability to it, yet the songs themselves never feel icy or distant.

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First Listen
10:00 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

First Listen: Tom Brosseau, 'Grass Punks'

Tom Brosseau's Grass Punks comes out Jan. 21.
Nathaniel Wood Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 10:58 am

The opening lament on Tom Brosseau's new Grass Punks is as old as the hills: You don't pay attention to me anymore. In a thin, reedy voice that grows more vulnerable as the song unfolds, Brosseau confronts the reality that he no longer commands his beloved's attention. He's been supplanted not by a new affair, but by the smartphone: "I long for you to hold me in your arms," he sings, "but instead, you cradle your device."

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First Listen
10:00 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

First Listen: The Gloaming, 'The Gloaming'

The Gloaming releases its self-titled debut album on Jan. 20.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 11:02 am

The prime minister of Ireland showed up for The Gloaming's first gig; that's how big the supergroup's formation has been for fans of Irish music. Here at NPR Music, Bob Boilen and I have been waiting anxiously for the band's first album ever since The Gloaming made its U.S. debut at globalFEST in January 2012.

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First Listen
10:00 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

First Listen: Against Me!, 'Transgender Dysphoria Blues'

Against Me!'s Transgender Dysphoria Blues comes out Jan. 21.
Ryan Russell Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 11:01 am

The bracingly political Florida punk band Against Me! has been a going concern since 1997, but Transgender Dysphoria Blues can't help but feel like a debut: It's the group's first album since singer Tom Gabel came out as a woman. Now named Laura Jane Grace, she still barks her lyrics with fiercely assertive intelligence — with a voice as yet largely unchanged from the one in the band's earlier work — but Against Me!'s subject matter can't help but be turned on its head.

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First Listen
9:59 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

First Listen: Gem Club, 'In Roses'

Gem Club's In Roses comes out Jan. 28.
Tonje Thilesen Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 9:00 pm

Roses are beautiful and alluring, but they're often seen in the saddest of settings: hospitals, funerals. The music of Gem Club is a bit like that, mixing beauty and melancholy. One makes you appreciate the other, so it's a dynamic that works perfectly on the band's second album, appropriately titled In Roses.

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Weekends On All Things Considered Podcast
8:15 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

The Case Against Hugging, Dead Authors, Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones' new album with the Dap-Kings, Give the People What They Want, comes out Jan. 14.
Kyle Dean Reinford Courtesy of the artist
  • The Case Against Hugging, Dead Authors, Sharon Jones

In this week's podcast, we hear a researcher's objections to hugging, comedian Paul F. Tompkins brings authors back from the dead, and Sharon Jones beats cancer and releases a long-awaited album.

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