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Tiny Desk Concerts
7:03 am
Sat December 7, 2013

Sarah Jarosz: Tiny Desk Concert

Sarah Jarosz performs a Tiny Desk Concert in September 2013.
Meredith Rizzo Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:25 pm

Bluegrass' most beloved pros often play well into their 80s and 90s, so it would surprise no one if our children's children's children turn up at a Sarah Jarosz concert 70 years from now. The singer and multi-instrumentalist first surfaced as an 18-year-old wunderkind with the release of 2009's Song Up In Her Head, which generated the first of what will likely be many Grammy nominations; now a grizzled 22, she's out performing songs from her fine new third album, Build Me Up From Bones.

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Music News
12:23 am
Sat December 7, 2013

Jay Z Tops Grammy Nominations

Jay Z easily led Grammy Award nominations announced Friday with nine, but left-of-center rappers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Kendrick Lamar were among a group of new stars who took many of the major nominations.

Macklemore and Lewis' gay marriage anthem "Same Love" was among song of the year nominees and the Seattle rap crew joined Los Angeles rapper Lamar with seven nominations apiece, including best album and best new artist of the year. Pharrell Williams had four major nominations among his seven and Justin Timberlake also had seven.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
3:12 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Ellen Seeling On Piano Jazz

Ellen Seeling.
Courtesy of the artist

For this 2006 episode of Piano Jazz, trumpeter Ellen Seeling brought her longtime collaborator and the assistant director of the Montclair Women's Big Band, saxophonist Jean Fineberg, as well as New York drummer Allison Miller.

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Mountain Stage
2:43 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

The Bobs On Mountain Stage

The Bobs performing live on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

The Bobs' members appear on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.V. Zany a cappella groups have become a bit of a thing in recent years, and these guys were doing it way back in the early '80s. The group formed on the West Coast when two of its founders lost their jobs at a telegram company.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:30 am
Fri December 6, 2013

A Bumper Crop Of Classical Box Sets

It was a big year for extravagant classical box sets.
Denise DeBelius NPR

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 12:05 pm

This wound up being a spectacular year for elaborate, lavishly packaged reissues. Given all the fabulous classical box sets that appeared this year, you'd think we were in some kind of boom era for music served up on compact discs. (2013? More like 1993.)

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The Record
4:03 am
Fri December 6, 2013

The Mandela Playlist: A Life And Legacy, Told In Music

South African President Nelson Mandela joins the choral group at the signing of the country's new constitution at Sharpeville stadium in 1996. Mandela lived a life filled with rich musical associations.
Walter Dhladhla AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 10:39 am

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Ecstatic Voices
4:31 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

For An Ex-Christian Rocker, Faith Lost Is A Following Gained

Taylor Muse (front), lead singer of the Austin indie-rock band Quiet Company, says the group is ready to be seen as more than just "the atheist band."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 10:57 am

Taylor Muse is the 31-year-old bandleader and songwriter of Quiet Company, an indie-rock band from Austin. A native of East Texas raised in a Southern Baptist church, he now reluctantly carries the banner of "that atheist rocker from Austin."

"Every band that I was in up until college was a Christian band," Muse says. "It was part of our identity as people, our identity as a community. It was everything."

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Mountain Stage
12:23 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Dominique Pruitt On Mountain Stage

Dominique Pruitt performs live on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Dominique Pruitt makes her first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.V. Pruitt grew up in the San Fernando Valley outside Los Angeles, surrounded by professional musicians, including her parents. When she saw the John Waters film Cry-Baby as a child, she immediately became fascinated with all things '50s, though she grew to love the '40s and '60s, as well.

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World Cafe
12:11 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Man Man On World Cafe

Pow Pow (left) and Honus Honus of Man Man.
Courtesy of the artist

World Cafe welcomes back Man Man for another whimsical and entertaining performance. The band brings the party, as it has throughout the nine years it's been making and performing music.

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Music Reviews
11:59 am
Thu December 5, 2013

William Parker's Abstract Grooves Collected In Box Set

William Parker.
Roberto Serra - Iguana Press Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 1:55 pm

Steve Lacy used to say that the right partner can help you make music you couldn't get to by yourself. Take the quartet William Parker founded in 2000, for example. Parker's bass tone was always sturdy as a tree trunk, but power drummer Hamid Drake gives him lift. The upshot is that free jazz can swing, too. The quartet's front line is another firm partnership: quicksilver alto saxophonist Rob Brown and flinty trumpeter Lewis Barnes.

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Movie Interviews
11:02 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Gyptian: New Album 'Like Insanity'

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 9:38 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally today, let's talk music. If you were anywhere near a nightclub or turned on the radio a few summers ago, you no doubt heard this song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOLD YUH")

MARTIN: That was "Hold Yuh" from Jamaica's reggae and dance hall star, Gyptian. And now he's back and making waves in the U.S. with his latest album, "Sex, Love, and Reggae." And Gyptian is with us now. And as the album title suggests, this conversation may not be suitable for all listeners. With that being said, Gyptian, welcome. Thanks for joining us.

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A Blog Supreme
10:56 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Wade In The Water: 5 Jazz Takes On Spirituals

The gospel/folk singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe was accompanied by a jazz orchestra on her debut recording.
Chris Ware Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 3:21 pm

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Best Music Of 2013
10:47 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Lorde Sounds Like Teen Spirit

Lorde performs in Sydney, Australia, in October.
Mark Metcalfe Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 6:49 am

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Favorite Sessions
10:08 am
Thu December 5, 2013

KCRW Presents: Glasser

Glasser performs lives on KCRW.
Alex Pieros KCRW

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 11:54 am

Whether she's creating songs in L.A. or New York, it's clear that Glasser (a.k.a. Cameron Mesirow) has put as much effort into her music as she has into the total artistic package of form and atmosphere. In songs like "Shape," she creates moody, intoxicating environments with her voice and presence.

Watch the entire session with Glasser at KCRW.com.

Movie Interviews
5:22 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

On Becoming Llewyn Davis, A Hero Who Excels At Failing

Oscar Isaac as the titular character in Joel and Ethan Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis.
Alison Rosa Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 3:10 pm

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The Checkout: Live
2:10 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Patrick Cornelius: Live At Berklee

Patrick Cornelius.
Michael Borgida Berklee College of Music

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 11:39 am

Many jazz musicians write music here and there, but it's still a leap for someone to go from "writing tunes" to taking pride in the art of composition. The alto saxophonist Patrick Cornelius, based in New York for a decade now, is headed that way. After releasing his fourth album, Infinite Blue, earlier this year, he's now set to premiere a new set of compositions for jazz octet. While We're Still Young is a suite based on the illustrated book of children's poems When We Were Very Young, by Winnie-The-Pooh creator A.A.

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Live At The Village Vanguard
2:05 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Brian Blade Fellowship: Live At The Village Vanguard

John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 12:23 pm

A Brian Blade Fellowship concert feels a bit like a family reunion. Its core — drummer Blade, pianist Jon Cowherd and bassist Chris Thomas — has played together for more than 20 years, and its horn players have stayed loyal to the operation, too. Its repertoire feels rooted in a deep emotional well where sacred abuts secular and jazz meets its Southern folk cousins. Sparks always seem to fly when it gathers for an infrequent recording or string of tour dates.

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Mountain Stage
1:59 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

The James Hunter Six On Mountain Stage

James Hunter (left) and members of The James Hunter Six perform live on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

The James Hunter Six appears on this episode of Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.V. Van Morrison once called Hunter "one of the best-kept secrets in British R&B and soul," but after a series of acclaimed albums and an award from the Americana Music Association, the secret is out.

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The Fresh Air Interview
1:57 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Mark Mulcahy Is The 'Moving Forward Type'

Mark Mulcahy, the songwriter behind the much-beloved "Hey Sandy," returns after eight years and a tragic loss.
R. Murray Courtesy of the artist

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World Cafe
1:53 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Superchunk On World Cafe

Superchunk.
Jason Arthurs Courtesy of the artist

Superchunk recently returned with the provocatively titled I Hate Music, which follows 2010's Majesty Shredding; that album marked the North Carolina band's first record in nine years.

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The Thistle & Shamrock
12:23 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

The Thistle And Shamrock: Wayfaring Strangers

Doc Watson.
John Cohen/Hulton Archive Getty Images

Follow the great musical migration from Scotland, through Ulster to Appalachia. Dougie MacLean, Tim O'Brien, Cara Dillon, Jean Ritchie, Sheila Kay Adams, Doc Watson and others share songs that tell the story of a remarkable musical diaspora.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

All Songs Considered
10:20 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Discussion: The Year in Music, 2013

Top row, left to right: Laura Marling, Lorde, Mike Milosh of Rhye; middle row: Ty Segall, James Blake, Valerie June; bottom row: Khaela Maricich and Melissa Dyne of The Blow, Earl Sweatshirt, Lou Reed.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 1:12 pm

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Best Music Of 2013
10:07 am
Wed December 4, 2013

A Rational Conversation: Mish Way On 2013 In Music

Mish Way onstage with White Lung at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas, in November.
Pooneh Ghana Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 10:46 am

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Music Reviews
3:53 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

27 Years Ago, Keith Jarrett Was A One-Man Band

Keith Jarrett circa 1986.
Toshinari Koinuma Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 5:57 pm

Keith Jarrett is a jazz legend. His catalog of recordings includes solo piano improvisations, trio and quartet works, classical performances, early sessions with Charles Lloyd and late ones with Miles Davis. But there's nothing quite like Jarrett's new double-CD set No End: It was recorded in his home studio in 1986, and he plays all the instruments — notably drums, bass and electric guitar.

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Music
4:13 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Classical Pranksters Don't Just Play Music: They Play With It

From left: Video director Joe Sabia, bassist Michael Thurber and recording engineer Matt McCorkle of CDZA.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 11:14 am

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World Cafe
4:09 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

World Cafe Next: Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett.
Lisa Sorgini Courtesy of the artist
  • Hear Two Songs By Courtney Barnett

This week's pick for World Cafe: Next is Melbourne, Australia's Courtney Barnett. The 25-year-old singer and guitarist has been self-releasing EPs since 2012; two of them were recently combined to form The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas.

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World Cafe
4:02 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Yusuf Islam On World Cafe

Yusuf Islam.
Aminah Islam Courtesy of the artist

This segment, from Jan. 5, 2007, is part of our Vintage Cafe series, in which we revisit some of our best studio performances.

Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, recently returned to the world of popular music with An Other Cup, his first secular studio album in 28 years. The disc contains old songs that were never recorded, songs he wrote in the last couple of years, and songs that he came up with on the spot, once he reached the studio.

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Mountain Stage
3:45 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Brett Dennen On Mountain Stage

Brett Dennen performs live on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Brett Dennen appears on this episode of Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Cultural Center Theater in Charleston, W.V. Capable of cranking out big, beautiful pop songs complete with splashy keyboards, catchy hooks and danceable beats, Dennen can strip the same songs down to just his voice and a guitar with equally captivating results.

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Music News
1:14 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Remembering A Congolese Rumba King

Tabu Ley Rochereau performing at a 2003 festival in Hertme, Netherlands.
Frans Schellekens Redferns

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 2:39 pm

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Tiny Desk Concerts
1:06 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

The Dismemberment Plan: Tiny Desk Concert

The Dismemberment Plan performs a Tiny Desk concert in October 2013.
Meredith Rizzo Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:26 pm

When NPR Music started inviting musicians to perform at Bob Boilen's desk back in 2008, we never could have expected that we'd one day host The Dismemberment Plan. For one, the D.C.-area group had long since disbanded; for another, its fleshed-out and periodically funky sound wouldn't seem to lend itself to vastly stripped-down arrangements.

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