The latest video from Pattern Is Movement is up close and personal, featuring the best music this Philadelphia duo has made in 14 years of recording together. Watch Andrew Thiboldeaux and Chris Ward perform "Suckling," with just drums, keyboards and voice. The cut is from the band's self-titled album, released earlier this year on Hometapes.
Sharon Van Etten wrote her latest album Are We There over the course of two years, while touring in support of 2012's Tramp. In the process, she crafted a set of beautiful, slow-burning ballads that emphasize her emotive storytelling and unique voice. For her recent live session on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, she ran through highlights from the new album, including "Nothing Will Change."
You'll want to dim the lights for this video to accompany "VHS," from composer Christina Vantzou. The title implies a primitive digital universe. But in Vantzou's world, it's more of a void — a pitch-black emptiness where a lone figure chases her own barely perceptible reflection.
And finally today as this program winds down, our last broadcast is scheduled for August first. We thought it would be nice to hear some of the music that members of our staff like to listen to, as part of our series In Your Ear. Alicia Montgomery is our editorial guru on the program. Let's hear what's on her playlist.
ALICIA MONTGOMERY: Hi, I'm Alicia Montgomery the supervising editor of TELL ME MORE and here's what's playing in my ear.
Are you fed up with viral marketing, hype cycles and the 24/7 onslaught of social media? Are you resisting the urge to stop worrying and love the photobomb? Are you of two minds on the hive mind? Then you have a kindred spirit in York Factory Complaint, the Brooklyn duo of Ryan Martin and Michael Berdan. The two underground music stalwarts aren't shy about their frustration with society's trajectory, and their conviction is infectious, even inspirational, on the forthcoming album Lost In The Spectacle, one of 2014's best extreme records.
Bad acting meets good music in this collaboration between former Pixies bassist Kim Deal and Morgan Nagler, aka Whispertown. The new video for their single, "Range On Castle," includes classic footage from the 1963 Roger Corman film The Terror, starring Boris Karloff and a very young Jack Nicholson.
Garth Brooks fans abound in Ireland, and now 400,000 of them won't get to the chance to see him perform. Brooks has cancelled five concerts after the Dublin City Council refused to grant him more than three. Melissa Block speaks to Rachel Flaherty of The Irish Times about the controversy.
News that a Nashville developer is paying $4.4 million for a half-century-old recording studio has sparked a battle in Music City. On one side is singer-songwriter Ben Folds, inspired by the musical history made in that studio. On the other, a trailblazing musician who made that history.
Saintseneca is an Ohio-based folk-rock band led by Zac Little. After releasing an album called Last in 2013, the group went through changes in personnel and direction leading up to the appropriately titled Dark Arc, which came out this spring.
Mary Ann Kennedy joins host Fiona Ritchie to introduce her family's album and book project, titled Fonn — a Gaelic word meaning both "land" and "melody." Along the way, Kennedy reveals the essence of rural community life that's reflected in songs of work, worship, land, sea and love.
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Steve Gunn's Time Off was one of 2013's most unfairly overlooked records. The guitarist blends the traditional and the avant-garde, fusing the sounds of John Fahey, The Grateful Dead and Will Oldham into back-porch masterpieces. Time Off is the kind of album that can suck the energy out of any room — in a good way.
On this week's All Songs Considered: After some speculation on Pink Floyd's just-announced album The Endless River, Robin kicks off the show with Broncho's "Class Historian," which he describes as the most immediately catchy song he's heard all year. Not to be out-catchied, Bob retaliates with Rubblebucket's "Carousel Ride," from the band's upcoming release Survival Sounds.
Since winning the Icelandic Music Award for best album of the year in his home country a few years ago, Ásgeir Trausti — best known simply as Ásgeir — has begun to win over larger parts of the world, including the U.S. He has a calm upper range voice, a voice not unlike Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. Later, he released In The Silence, a version of that award-winning album with the lyrics translated into the English.
We call on Cardiff, Wales for our World Cafe: Next artists this week. Kutosis is a power-pop trio whose music has been described as "post punk, reverb-drenched and breezy." Their second album, Dream It Away, was released in June on Jealous Lover's Club Records. From album artwork to song titles, this group is all about surfing — a fitting match for their sunny power pop.
Don't forget to download our World Cafe: Next podcast with two songs from Kutosis.
Sometimes music and life intersect in ways beyond words. Filmmaker James Marcus Haney set out to do two things, make a music video for the British trio Bear's Den and capture the last days of his little brothers carefree college days with friends.
What he wound up with is tragic and poignant. Shortly after arriving in Seattle to film, a campus shooting occurred. Haney relayed his story to me via email. He's as good with words as he is with imagery. I'm going to let him tell the story.
People ask me all the time to name my favorite Tiny Desk Concert. It's my desk and I've seen almost all of the nearly 400 concerts up close. So you'd think this would be easy. Moon Hooch have made it a lot easier.
It's fitting that the first episode of Front Row Boston (a new digital and television series produced by WGBH Music and Crossroads Presents in association with NPR Music) features Boston-based Celtic punk legends Dropkick Murphys. Here they perform "The Boys Are Back" from their eighth studio album, Signed and Sealed in Blood.
With all the sunlight in Los Angeles, it's easy to overlook the beauty in the darkness there. Yet Chelsea Wolfe doesn't. The SoCal singer-songwriter has carved a unique place in the musical landscape with her epic "drone-metal-art-folk" style. On her recent third album, Pain Is Beauty, she takes a decidedly more electronic approach to her haunting sound, further highlighting her timeless singing, powerful arrangements and seductively mysterious aesthetic.
It seems the unlikeliest of collaborations: Cat Power, a American songwriter and singer who can be quiet and somewhat insular, and Coldplay, now a veteran band from London that is immensely popular, confident and bold. And still, what happens in this recording, the title track for the film Wish I Was Here, feels so right.
Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 10:08 am
Sheffield, England — the setting for The Full Monty and part of the British equivalent of the Rust Belt — seems an unlikely spawning ground for the wistful pop of this duo with a deceptively static name. But from the youthful, acoustic-and-harmony-based pop of their early material to the more elaborate arrangements of 2011's Paradise, Slow Club's music has always had an upful sheen that's sometimes belied by melancholy lyrics and melodies.
The members of the band Lake Street Dive have been making music together for nearly 10 years — but only recently have experienced commercial success. For many years, they toured and sometimes played shows without any audience members.
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Lake Street Dive is two men and two women, all in the neighborhood of 30, who met at the New England Conservatory of Music. As a group they use jazz instrumentation, more or less — trumpet, stand-up bass, guitar, some drums — but they play pop and soul, and draw a big following doing it. In fact, a video of them performing on a Boston street corner has been viewed more than 2 million times.