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Music
3:36 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

It's Good To Gather Moss: A Young Artist On Missing 'Home'

Dan Croll's debut album is Sweet Disarray.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 6:03 pm

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All Songs Considered
1:16 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

The Good Listener: Am I Too Old For Music Festivals?

At some point, you'll probably feel like you're too old to attend a music festival.
20th Century Fox

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 4:04 pm

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the hundreds of water bottles we were supposed to give away at SXSW is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on when a person can rightly be considered too old to attend music festivals.

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Alt.Latino
12:29 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

14 Can't-Miss Bands At Vive Latino

Fans attend the second day of the Vive Latino 2013 Music Fest at the Foro Sol in Mexico City.
Alfredo Estrella AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 1:30 pm

Beginning Thursday, March 27, Alt.Latino hosts Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd will visit Mexico City to check out bands playing Vive Latino, the biggest rock and alternative music festival in Latin America. Before they packed their sunscreen, they made this YouTube playlist of the artists they hope to see.

The Playlist

  • Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas, "Caught Up"
  • Julieta Venegas, "Te Vi"
  • Camila Moreno, "Milliones"
  • La Vida Boheme, "La Vida Mejor"
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Field Recordings
11:17 am
Thu March 27, 2014

One Wytch, Unplugged In A Sunny Backyard

Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 10:18 am

The Wytches' furious, hair-flinging psych-rock isn't the stuff of back-porch acoustic sessions: Both live and on the English band's singles, the energy is so intense, it can barely be contained. But when NPR Music arranged a Wytches session during SXSW — held in the charming backyard setting of Friends & Neighbors in east Austin — singer-guitarist Kristian Bell stood in for the whole band, with just his voice and an acoustic guitar.

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
10:36 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Jane Bunnett And Chihiro Yamanaka On JazzSet

Jane Bunnett (left) and Candido perform at the Kennedy Center during the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.
Margot Schulman Courtesy of the Kennedy Center

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 3:48 pm

Chihiro Yamanaka and Jane Bunnett come to the Kennedy Center from Japan and Canada, respectively, and each has a compelling story.

Jane Bunnett is from Toronto, yet for more than 30 years, she's championed Cuban music and musicians. She's made dozens of trips to the island, studying and working, bringing instruments to schoolchildren, and inviting players to return to Canada with her and her husband, trumpeter Larry Cramer.

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Favorite Sessions
7:03 am
Thu March 27, 2014

KCRW Presents: Hozier

Hozier performing live in KCRW studios.
Rob LaFond KCRW

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 1:06 pm

With a powerful debut single and an impressive EP, Ireland's Hozier already has a lot of momentum. He was the talk of SXSW earlier this month, and we welcomed him to our studios for his U.S. radio debut soon afterwards. We quickly learned that his talent is more than one song deep as he dug into his American blues influences and showcased his considerable vocal range. Here, he performs "Take Me to Church" live on Morning Becomes Eclectic.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:01 am
Thu March 27, 2014

The Kronos Quartet: Still Daring After All These Years

The Kronos Quartet (from left): David Harrington, John Sherba, Sunny Yang and Hank Dutt.
Jay Blakesberg Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 11:18 am

Kronos Quartet is celebrating 40 years of playing music together — and to mark the occasion, they're playing a celebration concert at Carnegie Hall in New York tomorrow night. Since their founding, the San Francisco-based string quartet has become one of the most visible ensembles in classical music. The players have done it by championing new and underheard music, and by coming up with a business model that was unheard of for a chamber group four decades ago.

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The Checkout: Live
9:44 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Matthew Stevens Group: Live At Berklee

Matthew Stevens performs at Berklee College of Music, with bassist Vicente Archer.
Michael Borgida Courtesy of Berklee College of Music

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 3:40 pm

Of the young guitarists on New York's jazz scene, few are as highly tipped as Matthew Stevens. Best known for his role in Christian Scott's quintet, he's often drafted to execute the new visions of his peers, but also gets calls from veteran musicians like Terri Lyne Carrington and Dr. Lonnie Smith. Stevens also has a knack for writing and arranging, and will soon unveil his own debut recording as a bandleader.

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The Thistle & Shamrock
12:58 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

The Thistle & Shamrock: New Spring Sounds

The Allan Kelly Gang.
Courtesy of the artist

The flow of music is never-ending. A mountain of new recordings doesn't translate into a volume of great music, though, so rely on Thistle and Shamrock host Fiona Ritchie to hand-pick the best new sounds from rising artists and perennial favorites.

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

Microphone Check
10:03 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Young Chop: 'I Gotta Stay Working'

NPR

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 1:23 pm

Microphone Check co-hosts Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Frannie Kelley spoke to Young Chop in the backyard of a store on the east side of Austin, Texas. Even in the midst of SXSW, the Chicago producer was selling beats and putting in studio time. He took a rare break to talk about studying songs from the '70s, Polow da Don's snare and encouraging up-and-coming artists, including those who step to him at the Texaco.

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Music
7:03 am
Wed March 26, 2014

A Field Recording Bonus Track: The Silk Road Swings

Sandeep Das, Shane Shanahan, Mark Suter and Joseph Gramley, percussionists in the Silk Road Ensemble, perform at ACME Studio in Brooklyn, New York, for a Field Recordings video shoot.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 2:52 pm

We had so much fun taping cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble's Field Recording, we couldn't stop at just one selection, so we recorded the group's four talented percussionists in a deep groove.

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Field Recordings
7:03 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Welcome To Yo-Yo's Playhouse

Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 2:13 pm

When you're lucky enough to have cellist Yo-Yo Ma and members of the Silk Road Ensemble, some of the world's premiere instrumentalists and composers, gather for an afternoon of offstage music making, you've got to think long and hard about where to put them. And we decided that the perfect match would be ACME Studio, a theatrical props warehouse in Brooklyn.

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Music News
4:10 am
Wed March 26, 2014

First Listen: Yasmine Hamdan's 'Ya Nass'

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 10:16 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

An album out this week is drawing international attention to a hidden gem of the indie Arab music scene, Lebanese singer-songwriter Yasmine Hamdan. Her second album is called "Ya Nass." It showcases her hypnotic phrasing and modern take on traditional Middle Eastern sounds. And it's caught the ears of cultural taste-makers worldwide, from filmmaker Jim Jarmusch to NPR's Bob Boilen and Anastasia Tsioulcas.

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Music Reviews
2:34 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

A Tuneful Conversation With A Sometimes-Distant God

New Gods is Scottish songwriter Dan Willson's second album as Withered Hand.
Laura Lewis Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 6:28 pm

The wry and tuneful Withered Hand is Dan Willson, a graphic artist from Edinburgh who drifted away from the Jehovah's Witnesses as a teenager — but not, you get the feeling, with a satisfied mind. His moniker is a scriptural reference, and he named his 2009 debut Good News, one way Christians refer to the New Testament. (More to the point, its key track is called "Religious Songs.")

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Mountain Stage
2:12 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Ed Kowalczyk On Mountain Stage

Ed Kowalczyk.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 3:44 pm

Ed Kowalczyk makes his first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at West Virginia University's Creative Arts Center in Morgantown.

The founding member, songwriter and former lead singer of Live, Kowalczyk is responsible for some of the biggest hits of the 1990s. "I Alone" and "Lightning Crashes" were inescapable staples on radio and MTV, as well as countless mix tapes.

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All Songs Considered
12:03 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Mr Little Jeans, 'Good Mistake'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 10:51 am

Don't let the precious name fool you. Mr Little Jeans, a.k.a. Norwegian singer Monica Birkenes, makes propulsive, sometimes epic pop music with gnarled synth lines and alluring textures. In this brand new Mr Little Jeans video, for the moody song "Good Mistake," a trucker hopped up on meds finds himself traversing the haunted backroads of his past.

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All Songs Considered
11:11 am
Tue March 25, 2014

New Mix: The Black Keys, Swans, Metronomy, More

Clockwise from upper left: The Black Keys, Tiny Ruins, Winged Victory For The Sullen, Dylan Shearer
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:02 am

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The Record
8:03 am
Tue March 25, 2014

A Rational Conversation: Lil Jon's History Of Turning Up

Lil' Jon performing in Hollywood in March.
Chelsea Lauren WireImage

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Deceptive Cadence
7:58 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Kronos Quartet At 40: Songs We Love

Over four decades, the Kronos quartet (from left, John Sherba, Sunny Yang, Hank Dutt and David Harrington) has premiered more than 800 pieces.
Jay Blakesberg

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:12 pm

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Metropolis
3:37 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Metropolis: 3/22/14

SBTRKT's "Stifle" kicks off this week's show.
Courtesy of the artist

This Week's Playlist

  • SBTRKT, "Stifle" (Young Turks)
  • Bea, "Breadwinner"
  • Tensnake, "First Song" (Astralwerks)
  • Duke Dumont, "I Got U (feat. Jax Jones) (Bondax Remix)" (Astralwerks)
  • Booka Shade, "Crossing Borders (Pleasurekraft Remix)" (Blaufield Music)
  • Kolombo, "Whatever You Like" (2diy4)
  • Todd Terje, "Delorean Dynamite" (Olsen Records)
  • Hot Chip, "How Do You Do (Todd Terje Remix)" (Astralwerks)
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All Songs Considered
3:15 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Question Of The Week: Does The Death Of An Instrument Break Your Heart?

All Songs Considered Soundcloud Dropbox

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 12:01 pm

Few things make us cringe quite like hearing about the untimely death of a musical instrument. A table or an appliance may be swept away by a hurricane, or a set of golf clubs may be mangled by baggage handlers, but they don't hold quite the emotional pull of seeing a crushed guitar or piano. It feels like something living has died.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
1:44 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Joseph Calleja: Tiny Desk Concert

Joseph Calleja performed a Tiny Desk Concert November 26.
Abbey Oldham Abbey Oldham/NPR

Malta, the island nation 50 miles south of Sicily, may be small, but it's home to one of the biggest stars in opera, tenor Joseph Calleja. And like his country's name, which may originate in the Greek word for honey, Calleja's voice is a potent mix of Italianate passion and sweetness. Just listen to how he pulls the volume back to a slender golden ray of tone several times in Tosti's gorgeous "Ideale," and especially the word "disciogliea" in the Puccini aria that closes this performance.

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Mountain Stage
1:03 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Deer Tick On Mountain Stage

Deer Tick.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 3:44 pm

Led by singer-songwriter John McCauley, Deer Tick makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown.

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The Record
12:54 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Dave Brockie, GWAR's Oderus Urungus, Dies At 50

Oderus Urungus and GWAR perform at the Download Festival in Castle Donington, England, in 2011.
Shirlaine Forrest WireImage

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 2:27 pm

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World Cafe
12:39 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Rosanne Cash On World Cafe

Rosanne Cash.
Patrick McBride Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 10:13 am

Rosanne Cash's last three records, starting with Black Cadillac and including both her covers collection The List and her new The River & The Thread, form a trilogy on the subject of her relationship with her father Johnny Cash — both as his daughter and as a fellow artist.

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Music Reviews
12:31 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

After A Painful Year, Bud Powell's Triumpant 1953 Return

Bud Powell pioneered bebop-style improvisation on the piano.
Metronome Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 1:14 pm

The great bebop pianist Bud Powell played several engagements at the New York jazz club Birdland in 1953. Parts of his shows were broadcast on the radio, and one listener recorded some onto acetate discs. A new collection of those recordings is out now: Birdland 1953 on three CDs from ESP-Disk'. The sound quality isn't much, but the music is terrific.

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Favorite Sessions
7:03 am
Mon March 24, 2014

KEXP Presents: Angel Olsen

Angel Olsen Performing Live in the KEXP studios.
Amber Zbitnoff KEXP

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 12:37 pm

It's hard not to use fiery rhetoric when describing Angel Olsen's new album, Burn Your Fire for No Witness — whether it's the heated passion of her lyrics, her smoky voice or her occasionally scorching melodies. There's just a brightness, an intensity that shines through even the album's darkest moments. As the scope of Olsen's songwriting and her confidence in performing has grown over the past four years, so has her audience.

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Music Interviews
2:41 am
Mon March 24, 2014

For Boy George, Music And Style Is Just 'What I Do'

Boy George's first solo album in 19 years is This Is What I Do.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 11:25 am

Boy George's style and sound are unmistakable. In 1982, the Irish Catholic singer joined a Jewish drummer, a Protestant guitar-and-keyboard player and a Jamaican bassist to form Culture Club.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

First Listen: Inventions, 'Inventions'

Inventions' self-titled album comes out April 1.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 1:14 pm

The majestic instrumental rock band Explosions in the Sky broke into the mainstream thanks to its contributions to the soundtrack for Friday Night Lights — both the film and the TV series of the same name. With three-quarters of the band originally from Midland, Texas, Explosions in the Sky possesses an ideal toolkit to capture the sounds of football, the roaring wind of the plains and the quiet hope and despair of small-town life in the Texas Panhandle.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

First Listen: Saintseneca, 'Dark Arc'

Saintseneca's new album, Dark Arc, comes out April 1.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 1:19 pm

Banjo, baglama, bulbul, balalaika, bowed banjo, baritone ukulele, banjo, bass, bouzouki... Saintseneca might pick up any of these instruments at any given moment, and those are just the ones that start with the letter B. The band has its origins and heart in a small Appalachian town in Ohio, as well as a passion for sounds and textures with acoustic instruments at their core. Saintseneca's members eventually settled in Columbus, and they like their acoustic music a bit punkish, with stomping feet as a heartbeat to accompany mind-altering words and music.

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