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Illinois music and the great alternative, rock, folk, soul, blues, reggae artists you've come to love on 91.9-HD3.  Click the down arrow on the player bar above to listen.

L.A. singer-songwriter Korey Dane worked with famed producer Tony Berg on his recent debut album, Youngblood. Dane caught KCRW's attention with Americana rockers and poetic ballads like this one, "Let it Be Just For Fun."

SET LIST

  • "Let It Be Just For Fun"

Watch Korey Dane's full performance at KCRW.com.

First things first: Bloodmist is a kind of a messed-up name for a band, but it perfectly describes the sonic terror therein. Jeremiah Cymerman (clarinet, electronics), Mario Diaz de Leon (guitar) and Kayo Dot's Toby Driver (bass) are three of New York City's most extreme practitioners of dark experimental music, originally brought together over a week-long residency at the Roulette in 2012. Sheen, the band's debut, hangs in the air like a malevolent spirit — yet it rarely strikes, only stares.

NRBQ On Mountain Stage

Jan 26, 2016

NRBQ makes its long-overdue return to Mountain Stage, recorded live in Charleston, W.Va. The New Rhythm and Blues Quartet — which was formed in Louisville, Ky., in 1966 — has been one of the most consistent and innovative interpreters of American music for nearly half a century. Along the way, it's celebrated styles ranging from the blues-folk of Sonny Terry to the avant-jazz of Sun Ra, and virtually everything in between.

On Sunday, Jan. 17, globalFEST, one of America's premiere showcases of musical talent from around the world, once again took over the three stages at Manhattan's Webster Hall. The one-evening festival has few American rivals in the way it simultaneously expands and condenses musical perspectives. The performances here move naturally between those that are heady and thought-provoking and those that are rhythmically sumptuous and sweat-inducing.

Being old enough to remember a time before the Internet, Providence-based electronic music producer The Range (real name: James Hinton) has some heavy thoughts about the ways in which people connect online, and how he's been impacted by it. Potential, his soon-to-be-released second album sees The Range take an archival approach to compositions, mining the expanse of the Web — or, more precisely, the personal experiences it contains — for samples.

Metropolis: 1/23/16

Jan 25, 2016

This Week's Playlist

  • Flume, "Never Be Like You [Clean Edit]" (Future Classic)
  • Bob Moses, "Tearing Me Up" (Domino)
  • Sofi Tukker, "Drinkee" (Heavyroc)
  • Anderson .Paak, "Am I Wrong [feat. Schoolboy Q]" (Steel Wool/Obe)
  • Gavin Turek & TOKiMONSTA, "Surrender [Paperwater Remix]" (Young Art)
  • Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP, "From Me To You" (Spinnin Deep)
  • Adam Baum & Chad Tyson, "It's Alright [Sharam Jey Edit]" (Bunny Tiger)
Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Today, we celebrate the release of our 500th Tiny Desk concert. It's amazing that something that started as a bit of a wisecrack has been so widely embraced by artists and fans. In 2008 at SXSW in Austin, NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and I met up to see singer Laura Gibson. Laura was so quiet, and the crowd was so loud and rude — something about a March basketball game — that Stephen jokingly asked her to come play at my desk so we could hear her.

How long has it been since a snarling singer and a supercharged electric guitar grabbed you by the throat and wouldn't let go?

By 2012, Emily Wells had been practicing her songwriting and multi-instrumental talents for over a decade, mostly in DIY mode. But the album she released that year, Mama, was a step up, deftly taking advantage of her intimacy with country and roots song forms, while also showcasing her prodigious experimental streak. It was a jewel — songs by turns knowing and playful, down-home and street-wise, razor sharp and intimate.

Musician Brooke Waggoner was on a 6 a.m. coffee run when she got a worrisome text from a friend, whose husband was apparently dealing with a life-threatening heart problem. The news gave her a shiver — and an idea.

Sometime between today and tomorrow, more than 67 million Americans in 19 states are facing blizzard or winter storm warnings. So we at the Tiny Desk had an idea.

Latin Roots: Essential Divas

Jan 22, 2016

For this Latin Roots segment, Catalina Maria Johnson of the Chicago radio program Beat Latino had the daunting task of picking just three of the many Latin divas to feature. You'll hear from the great Cuban singer Celia Cruz, Mexico's Chavela Vargas and Argentina's Mercedes Sosa.

Stream the complete segment and be sure to check out Johnson's Spotify playlist for more.

You know the X-Files theme. For nine years, that music had an almost Pavlovian effect on TV junkies addicted to the paranormal adventures of FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. But in the beginning, it was just a job for composer Mark Snow.

The mother-son duo Madisen Ward & The Mama Bear isn't all sweet-natured charm; it's got impressive songs and powerful voices to match. The pair's debut album, Skeleton Crew, tells a powerful story with fully realized characters and places.

Steve Angello's new album, Wild Youth, is many things. It's his first release since Swedish House Mafia's very public breakup in 2012. It's an attempt to bridge dance music with rock-pop, enlisting support from Dougy Mandagi (the Temper Trap) and Dan Reynolds (Imagine Dragons). And it's billed as retaliation against mainstream EDM, which Angello's called "safe" and "gimmicky." Given the dramatic scene setting, you'd expect Wild Youth to be a defiant fist. It isn't.

What is the role of a white person in the struggle of black people fighting injustice? That's the question posed by Ben Haggerty, better known as Macklemore, as he puzzles out his own role as a white artist in love with hip-hop on a new song called "White Privilege II." Macklemore & Ryan Lewis released the song as a free download overnight via a website that also offers links to "supporting black led organizations," and already, conversation and controversy have begun.

Grindcore is about the economy of extreme music; about cramming as much metallic insanity into one minute as possible. It's been six years since the last album by Magrudergrind, a Brooklyn-via-D.C. trio that knows how to make the guitar-drums-vocals format sound something like fireworks exploding in an aluminum trash can.

I think of Wolf Alice as noisy and primal, but at the Tiny Desk, the band showed a different side — one that was childlike, pretty and quietly wonderful. I knew the three songs the group played from Wolf Alice's 2015 album My Love Is Cool, but I hardly recognized them at first. One test when you're trying to spot talent is seeing how artists step up to a challenge, and Wolf Alice's songs sound muscular even when stripped of volume. The Mercury Prize-nominated British band is a great discovery, and I'm still enchanted.

Brazilian Girls will soon release a new album for the first time since 2008's Grammy-nominated New York City. KCRW recently got a sneak preview of the band's danceable, worldly new music.

Set List

  • "The Critic"

Watch Brazilian Girls' full session on KCRW.com.

Pedrito Martinez is a world-class Afro-Cuban percussionist — a rumbero called upon by many jazz and pop stars when they need hand drumming, as well as a Grammy-nominated singing bandleader in his own right. He's also a Santería priest.

"I could drop dead in the middle of this conversation," says Graham Nash. "But on the other hand so could you, no matter how old you are," he adds with mordant evenhandedness. Don't worry, the folk-rock elder statesman who's been one-third of Crosby, Stills & Nash since 1968 is just fine. "I have no intentions of leaving," he assures, "my health is pretty damn good. But you know what I mean."

Watch: Dr. Dog, Live At World Cafe

Jan 21, 2016

The Philadelphia indie-rock sextet Dr. Dog returns to its formative years with the release of Psychedelic Swamp, a "new old" album that comes out Feb. 5. The collection is a re-recording of the band's long-out-of-print debut, which was produced at home on an 8-track in the late '90s and early '00s and self-released on cassette. Those hard-to-find early recordings capture Dr.

Metropolis: 1/16/16

Jan 20, 2016

This Week's Playlist

  • Anderson .Paak, "Am I Wrong [feat. Schoolboy Q]" (Steel Wool/Obe)
  • Breakbot, "Back For More" (Warner Bros.)
  • Bob Moses, "Tearing Me Up" (Domino)
  • Gavin Turek & TOKiMONSTA, "Surrender [Paperwater Remix]" (Young Art)
  • SLS, "BBB" (Bunny Tiger)
  • Jamie xx, "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times) [Dre Skull Remix feat. Popcaan, Assassin, Konshens & Kranium]" (Young Turks)
  • Nytron & West.K, "Right Here" (Bunny Tiger)

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

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