WUIS Xponential

A Blog Supreme
2:08 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Remembering Armando Peraza, An Afro-Cuban Percussion Giant

It's hard to imagine a musical career that included musicians as varied as Charlie Parker, Peggy Lee, George Shearing and Carlos Santana. But such was hand percussionist Armando Peraza's resumé after almost 70 years making music.

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Music Reviews
11:22 am
Thu May 1, 2014

The Animals: The British Invasion That Wasn't

The Animals.
Courtesy of ABKCO Records

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 1:35 pm

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Classics in Concert
9:55 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Seattle Symphony, New Pulitzer Winner At Carnegie Hall

Composer John Luther Adams accepts enthusiastic applause from the Carnegie Hall audience after the New York premiere of his 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning piece, Become Ocean, performed by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
Melanie Burford for NPR Music

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

The great outdoors is a perennial theme in classical music, usually expressed through bucolic or picturesque works. But the Seattle Symphony knew that to appear on Spring for Music — an annual festival of adventurous programming by North American orchestras — it required a more unusual, daring take on this theme.

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Favorite Sessions
6:47 am
Thu May 1, 2014

KCRW Presents: Beck

Larry Hirshowitz KCRW

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 11:37 am

Beck kept busy during his six-year hiatus between studio albums. Earlier this year, he returned with the gorgeously melancholy Morning Phase, a highlight of his already impressive catalog. With only a handful of live shows under his belt this year, the L.A. native recently played in his hometown for the first time since the new album's relelase. When he took to a small stage in Santa Monica for KCRW fans, he shared old songs and new favorites like this sweeping ballad, "Blue Moon."

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The Record
2:05 am
Thu May 1, 2014

'Illmatic': The Making Of A Classic

Nas in 1994, the year Illmatic was released.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of Sony Legacy

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 6:53 am

This summer Nas is traveling the world performing his debut album, Illmatic, in full. The crowds coming out to see him — in Texas, Germany and California — are turning up because the 20-year-old record is an acknowledged classic.

In the early '90s hip-hop was just beginning its takeover of popular music. It was landing on the charts, but more often than not, the songs there were novelties (see: MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice).

For the people who took hip-hop seriously, and especially the fans in rap's hometown of New York City, this was a problem.

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The Record
1:59 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Minya Oh: 'I Was Never Gonna Not Want To Listen To This'

Minya Oh, who reviewed Illmatic in The Source in 1994 under the pen name Shortie and is now a radio personality on New York's Hot 97 who goes by Miss Info. Here she poses for a portrait backstage at a vitaminwater Fader uncapped event in 2012.
Roger Kisby Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 8:12 am

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The Thistle & Shamrock
3:20 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

The Thistle & Shamrock: Len Graham

Len Graham.
Courtesy of the artist

Fiona Ritchie meets Len Graham, the legendary singer and song collector from Northern Ireland, to chat about the connections between Scotland, Ireland and Appalachia, with plenty of time for a song or three.

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

Deceptive Cadence
2:26 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Coming Soon To Colorado: Wolfgang And Weed

The Colorado Symphony's Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside Denver last summer. If you squint, you can see a cloud of something that's probably not pot smoke.
Matt Korona Courtesy of the Colorado Symphony

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 2:34 pm

Colorado Symphony patrons — if they aren't already — are about to have the option of being Rocky Mountain high.

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Mountain Stage
1:53 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

The Julian Lage Trio On Mountain Stage

The Julian Lage Trio.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 3:29 pm

The Julian Lage Trio makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown.

A bona fide prodigy, Lage was the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary Jules At Eight. He made his recording debut in 1999 at age 11, alongside David Grisman, Bela Fleck, Vassar Clements and Edgar Meyer.

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The Fresh Air Interview
1:27 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

At 90, 'Fiddler' Lyricist Tells His Story

Sheldon Harnick (right) with the late Jerry Bock, his long-time musical collaborator. Together they worked on musicals like Fiddler on the Roof and Fiorello!
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 9:13 am

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World Cafe
1:07 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Chet Faker On World Cafe

Chet Faker.
Lisa Frieling Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:08 pm

Australian electronic musician Chet Faker has been releasing singles and EPs on the web for a few years, attracting a fair bit of attention for his popular cover of Blackstreet's "No Diggity." Faker accompanies his soulful singing with loops, samples and keyboards, as he improvises over tracks he'd recorded in the studio. Earlier this month, he released his full-length U.S. debut, Built on Glass.

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World Cafe
12:58 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Boy And Bear On World Cafe

Boy And Bear.
Courtesy of the artist

The members of Sydney, Australia's Boy and Bear have enjoyed a fair amount of success: Their second album, Harlequin Dream, made its debut at No. 1 on the Australian charts. The folk-rock band, led by Dave Hosking and Killian Gavin, joins World Cafe guest host Michaela Majoun in the studio for a live set.

A Blog Supreme
12:54 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

How Japan Came To Love Jazz

U.S. servicemen and their Japanese partners dance to jazz tunes in the newly opened Tokyo nightclub Oasis of the Ginza, circa 1945.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 1:04 pm

If you've witnessed a headlining performance from pianists Toshiko Akiyoshi or Hiromi, visited a "jazu kissa" cafe where records are spun and coffee poured, or read nearly any work by author Haruki Murakami, then you probably have a sense that Japan has taken well to jazz music.

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The Record
10:45 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Hear Four Musicians Talk About What Moves Them

NPR Music's Ann Powers (right) interviews musicians (from left) Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff, Sharon Jones and Meshell Ndegeocello at the EMP Pop Conference in Seattle.
Brady Harvey

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 11:42 am

  • Sharon Jones, Mike McCready, Meshell Ndegocello And Alynda Lee Segarra On Stage

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Music Lists
7:03 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Latitudes: International Music You Must Hear

Carnival season is already over in Trinidad and Tobago, but we're sure we're going to be seeing some wining to Machel Montano's "Ministry of Road" come Labor Day in New York.
Getty Images Latin America

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 9:32 am

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Music Reviews
3:24 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Album Review: 'Everyday Robots'

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 1:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Damon Albarn's first solo album is out today. Albarn was the frontman of the acclaimed British rock band Blur in the '90s, and since 2000, he has spearheaded the multi-platinum group Gorillaz.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE WINDMILL")

GORILLAZ: (Singing) Take it all it on your stride. And it's sticking, falling down. Love forever...

SIEGEL: Reviewer Tom Moon says Albarn's new work seeks out the flipside to the Gorillaz' manic intensity. The new album "Everyday Robots."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EVERYDAY ROBOTS")

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All Songs Considered
11:53 am
Tue April 29, 2014

New Mix: tUnE-yArDs, Roy Orbison, More

Top row: F---ed Up; Bottom row, left to right: Haley Bonar, Roy Orbison, tUnE-yArDs
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 4:17 pm

On this week's All Songs Considered, Bob Boilen kicks things off with "Water Fountain," a breathless cut from the new tUnE-yArDs album Nikki Nack.

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World Cafe
10:27 am
Tue April 29, 2014

World Cafe Next: The Apache Relay

The Apache Relay.
Courtesy of the artist
  • Hear Two Songs By The Apache Relay

We heard about this week's World Cafe: Next band, The Apache Relay, during our Sense of Place: Nashville series. Their new self-titled release took a while to get right, with a couple of tries being scrapped along the way, but it's finally arrived. Hear two songs from the record on this week's World Cafe: Next segment.

Music
1:03 am
Tue April 29, 2014

The Public School Where The Duke Lives On

Trumpeter Geraldo Marshall and trombonist Johannes Utas, students at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, rehearse for their school's 40th anniversary celebration.
Lauren Migaki NPR

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 11:52 am

Duke Ellington didn't consider himself a jazz musician.

He said he was a musician who played jazz. And what a musician: pianist, bandleader, composer of more than 1,000 songs including standards like "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," "Satin Doll" and "Sophisticated Lady."

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Music Reviews
3:17 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Album Review: 'Ya Nass'

Out of influences as diverse as techno and Arabic classical music, Yasmine Hamdan weaves together a sound all her own on Ya Nass.
Shervin Lainez Courtesy of Crammed Discs

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 11:33 am

Lebanese singer Yasmine Hamdan redefines the concept of Middle Eastern music. Her debut album, Ya Nass, seamlessly fuses her roots in punk rock and techno with traditional Arabic sounds. Reviewer Banning Eyre says she is one of the most free-thinking and inventive artists singing in Arabic today.

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Live in Concert
2:34 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Future Islands, Live In Concert

Samuel Herring of Future Islands performs live at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.
Zac Visco for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 1:58 pm

Ever since a video of Future Islands' thrilling performance on The Late Show With David Letterman went viral in March, the band has become one of the year's most exciting live acts, largely for the memorable and inimitable dance moves of frontman Samuel Herring. Herring's unaffected fashion style, sensible haircut and no-nonsense manners have led some to call him a "normcore" singer — an exceedingly normal artist.

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All Songs Considered
2:28 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Song Premiere: Banks, 'Goddess'

Banks' upcoming album is titled Goddess.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 1:06 pm

At SXSW this year, I found myself wondering whether Banks was even a real person: Every time I tried to catch one of her shows, the venue was filled to capacity, with no hope of ingress. My curiosity had been piqued by a string of intriguing singles and remixes, each of which showcased a nifty juxtaposition of coolly expressive vocals and forbidding but beautiful electronics. But I left empty-handed, forced to file her name away for later exploration.

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Music Interviews
2:10 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Johnnyswim: A Husband And Wife On A 'Constant Adventure'

"The longer you're out on the road, it gets nicer to have [Abner Ramirez] there. Because he's the closest thing to home I have," Johnnyswim's Amanda Sudano says. "Home is where he is."
Jeremy Cowart Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 5:54 pm

Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez met in Nashville, started writing songs together and fell in love — maybe in that order. It may sound like a wedding announcement in the newspaper, but it's how Johnnyswim got started.

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World Cafe
1:33 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Peter Bjorn And John On World Cafe

Peter Bjorn and John.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 1:17 pm

  • Peter Bjorn And John On World Cafe In 2007

Today's Vintage Cafe comes from 2007, when the Swedish band Peter Bjorn and John released its hit album Writer's Block. That record contained "Young Folks," a song that became the whistle-along smash of the year. Here, we'll hear performances of several songs from Writer's Block — including "Young Folks," of course.

This segment originally aired on May 25, 2007.

Tiny Desk Concerts
1:18 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Johnnyswim: Tiny Desk Concert

Johnnyswim performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in April 2014.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 10:00 am

Once you're able to see this three-song set by the band Johnnyswim, NPR Music will have published exactly 350 Tiny Desk Concerts — so we've developed a pretty good sense of when a set will stick in our memories for a while. We intuited, for example, that Adele was about to become a dominant force shortly after she breezed into our offices.

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Metropolis
1:05 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Metropolis: 4/26/14

Lancelot kicks off this week's mix.
Courtesy of the artist

This Week's Tracklist

  • Lancelot, "Truth" (Anjunadeep)
  • Arthur Beatrice, "Too Late (Medlar Vocal Mix)" (Harvest)
  • Blood Orange, "Uncle Ace (Kindness Remix Featuring Robert Owens)" (Domino)
  • Zero 7, "Don't Call It Love" (Make)
  • Fleetwood Mac, "Dreams (Flight Facilities Remix)"
  • Simian Mobile Disco, "Smalahove" (Delicacies)
  • Little Dragon, "Paris" (Loma Vista/Republic)
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Favorite Sessions
12:56 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

KEXP Presents: The Afghan Whigs

Matthew Thompson KEXP

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 1:12 pm

The boozy blues of obsession and regret have never sounded so good — at least not in the last 16 years, which is how long it's been since The Afghan Whigs released an album. But while other '90s bands have cashed in with 20- and 25-year anniversary reunions and reissues of past classics, Greg Dulli and his band have returned to form with a new album of tantalizingly dark, soul-infused rock.

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Mountain Stage
12:23 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Angélique Kidjo On Mountain Stage

Angélique Kidjo.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 3:29 pm

Angélique Kidjo appears on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown.

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The Record
8:36 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Innovative Chicago Producer DJ Rashad Dies At 34

DJ Rashad passed away on Saturday in Chicago at the age of 34.
Courtesy of Ashes 57

Rashad Hanif Harden, the Chicago DJ and producer known as DJ Rashad who helped establish a new style of dance music over a 15-year career, died on Saturday. He was 34.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun April 27, 2014

First Listen: Dolly Parton, 'Blue Smoke'

Dolly Parton's new album, Blue Smoke, comes out May 13.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 2:31 pm

The cover art of Dolly Parton's latest album looks like an airbrushed T-shirt design you might find in a souvenir shop at Dollywood. Both her flawless, beaming close-up and the mountainous skyline behind are her ringed in artist-rendered ribbons of mist, and the rising sun has a painterly, paradisiacal look to it. What gives her Smoky Mountain theme park its character is a combination of rural resilience, commercial sheen and aspirational sensibility.

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