WUIS Xponential

The Record
1:41 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Musicians You'll Tell Your Friends About In 2015

Austin-based Charlie Belle, led by 16-year-old Jendayi Bonds (center) along with her brother Gyasi Bonds (left) and Zoe Czarnecki, will release a debut EP on Jan. 13.
Barclay Ice & Coal Courtesy of the artist

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World Cafe
1:36 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Merge Records At 25

Superchunk bandmates Laura Ballance (left) and Mac McCaughan (second from left) founded Merge Records in 1989.
Jason Arthurs Courtesy of the artist

The label that's brought you Arcade Fire, Spoon, The Magnetic Fields, Neutral Milk Hotel and Superchunk turned 25 last year. Superchunk bandmates Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan formed Merge Records just to release singles from their band and friends in 1989.

On this episode of World Cafe, we'll discuss the label's emergence as a major force. We'll also hear performances from Superchunk, Telekinesis, The Rock*A*Teens and others recorded at last summer's 25th-anniversary Merge Festival in Carrboro, N.C.

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All Songs Considered
9:59 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Viking's Choice: The Body & Thou, 'Terrible Lie (Nine Inch Nails Cover)'

Thou & The Body.
Megan Acosta Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 10:46 am

If you haven't been following along, know that between making gorgeously seething albums, Thou has a thing for cover songs: Soundgarden, several from

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Favorite Sessions
9:27 am
Wed January 7, 2015

opbmusic Presents: Angel Olsen

Angel Olsen performs at the 2014 Pickathon Woods Stage.
Alicia J. Rose opbmusic

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 2:30 pm

This week, opbmusic and NPR Music present the first video in a new series: Pickathon Woods Stage. Each month, we'll premiere a new video recorded at the 2014 Pickathon Music Festival, hand-picked by opbmusic to showcase some of the most exciting performances from last summer's lineup.

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Songs We Love
9:07 am
Wed January 7, 2015

St. Lenox, 'Just Friends'

New York songwriter Andrew Choi remembers the '90s as St. Lenox.
Courtesy of the artist

It's hard to believe that Andy Choi, the gigantic voice behind St. Lenox, was an award-winning teenage violinist. That was back in the mid-'90s, a time the New York songwriter romanticizes to charming effect throughout his debut album, Ten Songs About Memory And Hope.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:40 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Marian Anderson's Groundbreaking Met Opera Moment

Contralto Marian Anderson in the role of Ulrica from a Metropolitan Opera production of Verdi's Un ballo en maschera in 1955. Anderson was the first African-American soloist to appear at the Met.
Sedge LeBlang Metropolitan Opera Archives

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 11:35 am

It was conductor Arturo Toscanini who said a voice like Marian Anderson's comes around only once in a century.

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Music News
1:03 am
Wed January 7, 2015

How Santería Seeped Into Latin Music

Percussionist and bandleader John Santos performs with Afro Cuban batá drums in California's Bay Area.
Tom Ehrlich John Santos

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 11:35 am

All this week, Morning Edition is talking about drums and drummers. The third installment in "Beat Week" explores the beats used in Afro-Cuban Santería ceremonies. Our guide is Felix Contreras, co-host of NPR's Alt.Latino podcast and an Afro-Cuban drummer himself.

Note: This piece is better heard than read. For examples of the music and a drumming demonstration, listen at the audio link.

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World Cafe
2:34 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Fly Golden Eagle On World Cafe

Fly Golden Eagle.
Semi Song Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 11:08 am

Arrayed around a deserted auditorium on the grounds of a long-abandoned Texas college, the Nashville band Fly Golden Eagle recorded the 26 songs that became its album Quartz. Led by songwriter Ben Trimble, Fly Golden Eagle recently released a streamlined version of the collection (called Quartz Bijou) for a national label. The songs were influenced by the 1973 film The Holy Mountain, by director Alejandro Jodorowski, and even function as a soundtrack to the film.

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All Songs Considered
2:11 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

A New Mix For The New Year: Panda Bear, The Go! Team, More

Clockwise from upper left: Panda Bear, Jessica Pratt, cover art for Red Baraat, Ian Parton of The Go! Team
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 12:04 pm

In case you missed it, we took a rocket ride to outer space for the holidays. But this week we re-dock at the mother ship Earth to ring in the new year toting a new mix that includes premieres from The Go!

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Songs We Love
9:50 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Bandit, 'Losing In A Sense'

Bandit's Angela Plake.
Courtesy of the artist

It's hard to shake the comparison at first: Bandit's "Losing in a Sense" owes its stylistic cues to Control-era Pedro the Lion, when David Bazan's righteous anger fueled some of his most satisfyingly damning work. Here, the ponderously plucked guitar strings form a minor chord progression and the drawn-out syllables are sung like a solemn hymn against a filmstrip's whirring clicks.

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The Record
2:59 am
Tue January 6, 2015

With Downloads In Decline, Can iTunes Adapt?

Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs stands in front of a projection of iTunes at a presentation in 2004.
Ian Waldie Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 11:44 am

Apple's innovative iTunes music service is still the market leader in music downloads, but after more than a decade of growth, sales of music tracks on iTunes have been declining. Last year saw the largest drop in sales — 14 percent. The drop is attributed to the increasing popularity of streaming music services such as Spotify, Pandora and YouTube. These services give fans access to millions of tracks from any Internet-connected device for a monthly fee or in return for listening to commercials.

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Music News
1:03 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Mystic Rhythms: Rush's Neil Peart On The First Rock Drummer

Rush's Neil Peart performs at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony in 2013.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 9:34 am

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Book Reviews
2:46 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

A Place That Can't Exist Again: Blondie's New York

Photographer Chris Stein in the reflection of Debbie Harry's sunglasses.
Chris Stein Chris Stein/Negative, Rizzoli, 2014

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 7:13 am

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:01 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Trey Anastasio: Tiny Desk Concert

Susan Hale Thomas NPR

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 7:09 am

He came so humble, holding his acoustic guitar and wearing his heart on his sleeve. Trey Anastasio isn't new to NPR: Concerts of his have even included "All Things Reconsidered," a variation on the All Things Considered theme.

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World Cafe
11:45 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Damien Rice On World Cafe

Damien Rice.
Lilja Birgisdottir Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 11:09 am

Damien Rice's new album, My Favourite Faded Fantasy, marked his return to recording after eight years away from the music business. In 2002, the Irish singer-songwriter's gorgeous solo debut, O, went gold and platinum around the world.

But after touring to support his second album (2006's 9), Rice stepped away from music. As he says in this interview, he had to. With help from producer Rick Rubin and others, Rice says he's rediscovered his love for songs. He performs some of his new ones in this session for World Cafe.

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Favorite Sessions
9:47 am
Mon January 5, 2015

KEXP Presents: Girl Band

Girl Band performs live for KEXP at Kex Hostel in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Jim Bennett KEXP

There's nothing pretty about Girl Band; in fact, the Dublin group plays some of the most abrasive pop songs you're likely to hear. But it hasn't always been that way: Singer Dara Kiely and guitarist Alan Duggan played together in more conventional indie-rock bands before hitting upon their aggressive sound.

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Music News
2:31 am
Mon January 5, 2015

The Original Funky Drummers On Life With James Brown

John "Jabo" Starks (left) and Clyde Stubblefield laid the grooves on many of James Brown's biggest hits. Here, they clown around on the cover of their joint DVD, Soul of the Funky Drummers.
Rittor Music

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 4:05 pm

All this week, Morning Edition is talking about drums and drummers. For the first installment in "Beat Week," David Greene spoke with a duo who shared drumming duties for the hardest working man in show business.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun January 4, 2015

First Listen: Anonymous 4, '1865'

Anonymous 4's new album, 1865, comes out Jan. 13.
Dario Acosta Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 9:38 am

Four a cappella voices making divine music: This has been the heart of Anonymous 4's mission for nearly three decades. And as the group bids farewell this season, they're saying goodbye in a poignant way — with the release of an album that couldn't feel more timely. It commemorates the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun January 4, 2015

First Listen: Kat Dahlia, 'My Garden'

Kat Dahlia's new album, My Garden, comes out Jan. 13.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 9:38 am

The first time I saw Kat Dahlia live was on a very cold Veterans Day in 2014. I'd previously heard a few of her singles and was intrigued. I also felt bad that such a talented up-and-comer was booked in D.C. against a blockbuster concert on the National Mall featuring names like Rihanna, Metallica and Bruce Springsteen.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun January 4, 2015

First Listen: Dan Mangan + Blacksmith, 'Club Meds'

The new Dan Mangan + Blacksmith album, Club Meds, comes out Jan. 13.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 9:39 am

You can tell a lot about a songwriter by what occurs in the space between verses. Many writers — hacks and gifted souls alike — will treat an instrumental expanse as a kind of please-stand-by strumming wallpaper, a palate cleanser for the ear. In this strategy, derived from folk music, the focus remains forever on the narrative; the "action" in a song directly depends on the voice.

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Music Lists
4:06 pm
Sun January 4, 2015

Tapping The Sounds Of Portugal

Born in Amarante, Portugal in 1982, Marco Rodriguez began winning fado singing competitions when he was only 15.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 11:29 pm

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Music News
7:08 am
Sun January 4, 2015

A Light Goes Out In Memphis: Remembering John Fry

John Fry, founder of Ardent Studios, died in December after nurturing some of the best music to ever come out of Memphis.
Facebook / Ardent Studios

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 11:20 am

It's been a tough time for the music community of Memphis. For the past 50 years, much of the best music recorded or produced there wouldn't have happened without the vision of John Fry, the founder of Ardent Studios. He passed away on Dec. 18 at the age of 69. Music supervisor and producer Rick Clark offers this appreciation.

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Music Interviews
7:08 am
Sun January 4, 2015

Songs From The Obituaries Are 'The Afterneath'

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 12:21 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Music News
4:19 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Weapon Of Choice: Why The Stratocaster Survives

Across six decades, the combination of innovative design and talented players has helped the Stratocaster not only persevere, but rule. John Mayer had the Fender Custom Shop design this one in 2009.
Fender Musical Instruments

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 11:06 am

Quick: Name an American product that's had a worldwide impact, is more popular than ever, yet still looks the same as it did when it was introduced more than a half-century ago? Here's a hint: It might be the only musical instrument whose fame rivals that of the people who've played it.

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Music News
4:26 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Wilko Johnson Set Out To Make One Final Album, But It Didn't Work Out That Way

Wilko Johnson (left) and Roger Daltrey play a benefit for Pancreatic Cancer UK in London.
David M. Benett Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 5:23 pm

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The Thistle & Shamrock
2:23 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

The Thistle & Shamrock: Midwinter Musing

Anúna.
Courtesy of the artist

Travel into the traditions of midwinter through some spellbinding music of the season. You'll hear a number of selections appropriate for this darkest time of the year, including music from Irish choral group Anúna with the Ulster Orchestra.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
9:42 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Mimi Fox On Piano Jazz

Mimi Fix
Courtesy of the artist

Guitarist Mimi Fox is in the vanguard of invigorating the jazz guitar tradition. She possesses a pure tone and an amazing set of chops and cooks whether playing bebop or ballads.

Her compositional abilities are evident on this 2006 Piano Jazz as she plays her own tune "Perpetually Hip." With host Marian McPartland on piano and Gary Mazzaroppi on bass, Fox tears up the fret board on "What is This Thing Called Love."

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World Cafe
8:52 am
Fri January 2, 2015

World Cafe's 2015 Music Preview

JD McPherson is on Ann Powers's list of artists to watch in early 2015.
Jimmy Sutton Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 11:11 am

After all the time we've spent looking back at the best music of 2014, it is finally time to explore some of the releases we can look forward to over the first few months of 2015. NPR Music's pop critic Ann Powers keeps her eyes on wide range of music; she helps us understand the middle and explore the edges.

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Music News
5:45 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Encore: A Basic Training Workout Mix

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 6:57 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

If you are one of the many Americans who resolved to spend more time at the gym in 2015, we have a little extra inspiration to help you stick with your new workout plan.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PHYSICAL")

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Music Reviews
3:38 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

Hear Long-Lost Rock 'N' Roll From The Native American Heartland

A new box set shows that aboriginal artists were recording their own music in the '60s and '70s, largely outside of the media spotlight.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 9:34 pm

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