WUIS Xponential

WUIS Xponential

Review: 'Amanecer,' Bomba Estereo

Jun 15, 2015
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

You may have heard that Jurassic World made more than $500 million worldwide in its opening weekend. That's $500 million, 5-0-0. Its nearly $209 million weekend in the U.S. alone makes it the highest-grossing U.S. opening weekend ever. That's ever, e-ver.

So how's the movie? It's fine. Does it justify having had the biggest domestic box-office opening weekend of all time? That's a pretty tall order for a pretty medium-sized movie, creatively speaking.

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

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Rock critic Ken Tucker has a review of the new fourth album from the band Dawes called "All Your Favorite Bands." The California quartet is led by lead vocalist and main songwriter Taylor Goldsmith.

KEXP Presents: Torres

Jun 15, 2015

On Sprinter, the latest album by Torres, Mackenzie Scott doesn't shy away from big issues. The 24-year-old singer-songwriter, raised in the South but based in Brooklyn, uses her music to explore heavy themes of identity, mortality, religion and alienation.

The Prettiots' songs are winsome and clever, but most of all they're honest and funny. Goodness knows pop music needs some clever fun.

The three women in The Prettiots — Kay Kasparhauser on ukulele and lead vocals, Rachel Trachtenburg from the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players on drums, and bassist Lulu Prat — share their love of everything from Law & Order to old-school girl groups like the Shangri-Las. Their song "Stabler," performed here, is based on Kasparhauser's infatuation with the Law & Order character Elliot Stabler.

**NOTE: This song contains profanity**

It's easy to look back on early-'70s jazz-rock hybrids with a snicker. For those of us who were there, that snicker might accompany a note of regret; some of us thought that stuff was amazing. But listening to a new collection of Yes' previously unreleased early-'70s live recordings — titled Progeny: Highlights From Seventy-Two — I'm not so embarrassed to have embraced these poster boys of prog-rock.

Alicia Bognanno isn't one for wasted motion: The indefatigable lead singer of Nashville's Bully crafts her songs for maximum impact in minimal time, taking care never to overstay her welcome or overdress her arrangements. Feels Like, the Nashville band's effervescent debut, speeds by in about half an hour, having left behind a trail of two- and three-minute songs that stick in the brain for ages.

Desaparecidos chose an auspicious time to break a 13-year hiatus. Since its last record, 2002's Read Music/Speak Spanish, the crusade against disenfranchisement and corruption in America — this band's founding fire — has changed course and broadened. Consider the headlines of the last few years alone: Occupy Wall Street, WikiLeaks, police brutality, Edward Snowden, the transgressions of the NSA. In mid-2015, the fodder for agitated, political punk is both endless and rich.

Sunday-morning music is too often overlooked. For the most part, we check out music news while we're sitting at our desks at work, usually during a glance at our social-media feeds. That sort of interaction is inherently brief — we scroll, maybe click, and then it's back to the grind.

When Ellie Rowsell and Joff Oddie plucked the name Wolf Alice from a collection of short stories by Angela Carter, they were a folk-pop duo armed only with acoustic instruments and a shared love of Carter's twisted fairy tales. They claim to have chosen the name they did purely because it sounded good.

For years, Ryan Lott, the innovative beat-making composer and sonic mastermind of Son Lux, has sat at the intersection of pop and classical, creating imaginative and complex music for every medium.

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

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FANCY")

IGGY AZALEA: (Rapping) First things first, I'm the realist. Drop this, and let the whole world feel it.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The last time Charlie Hunter came to the NPR studios, he brought an eight-string guitar with fanned-out frets that included bass strings. He's now pared down to just seven strings, but his guitar still produces a big, fat sound. Let The Bells Ring On is Hunter's new album, and it features two jazz innovators: trombonist Curtis Fowlkes and drummer Bobby Previte. It's a record that goes every which way, but in places is rooted in gospel and the music on which he grew up.

Soul singer Leon Bridges is 25 years old, from Fort Worth, Texas — and he's about to blow up. The first tracks from his forthcoming debut album, Coming Home, started to sneak out a few months ago, and they've already become hits online. From the moment he went viral, people were quick to compare his sound and look that of to Sam Cooke.

But Bridges says he didn't find his way into music through Cooke — in fact, he only started listening to him around two years ago.

Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl fell off a stage during a concert in Goteborg, Sweden — but went to the hospital and was back to finish the gig.

In videos of the incident, a seemingly calm Grohl, tells the crowd at Ullevi Stadium: "I think I really broke my leg."

"I'm going to go to hospital. I'm going to fix my leg. And then I'm going to come back," he says.

Mandolin Orange's Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz are known for their beautifully crafted songs, as well as for their straightforward yet elegant performances. After releasing their 2013 album This Side Of Jordan, they spent the majority of their time on the road, an experience that heavily influenced the songs — most built around the theme of home — on their new follow-up, Such Jubilee.

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the mail-order grapefruits that have us pondering the nature of the mail-order-grapefruit business is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives. This time around: thoughts on pop music's staying power.

Steven F. writes via Facebook: "Which current music stars will be remembered 20 or 50 years from now, which will be forgotten, and why?"

There are so many quick-twitch responses to this question — and virtually all of them are, at least on some level, wrong.

The Australian sextet Alpine created a sensation at South by Southwest a couple of years ago, following the 2012 release of their debut album A Is for Alpine. Their newest collection, set for release on Tuesday, has a more bracing title: Yuck.

At around midday Monday at High Tech High School in North Bergen, N.J., about 40 students are crammed into a small classroom, anxiously waiting for Kendrick Lamar to walk into the room.

"The harpsichord is an easy target, isn't it?" Those are the fighting words of Mahan Esfahani, a good-humored harpsichordist who is a proud defender of his instrument.

Jill Sobule On Mountain Stage

Jun 12, 2015

Jill Sobule returns to Mountain Stage, recorded live on West Virginia's State Capitol grounds. Since first breaking through with "I Kissed A Girl" in the mid-'90s, Sobule has maintained a loyal following. In 2009, she made news for helping pioneer the concept of fan-funded projects, raising $75,000 from 500 fans to produce, record and promote her album California Years.

André Previn On Song Travels

Jun 12, 2015

Conductor, composer and pianist André Previn has received multiple Lifetime Achievement Awards, including honors from the Kennedy Center, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Grammy Awards. With more than 50 years of recordings to his credit, he has conducted and performed with orchestras the world over, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

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

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Ornette Coleman died Thursday, at the age of 85. Listen to a pair of conversations with the saxophonist and composer, as well as interviews with members of his quartet — Don Cherry and Charlie Haden — and his son, Denardo Coleman.

Nashville Reaches Out

Jun 12, 2015

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