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Music
1:03 am
Mon December 30, 2013

The Quirky Aussie Who Wheezed Life Into 2013

Courtney Barnett performs at the Mercury Lounge in New York City during the CMJ Music Festival in October.
Jeff Meininger CMJ

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 8:32 am

Courtney Barnett, a singer, songwriter and guitarist from Melbourne, Australia, released one of the quirkiest collections of songs this year with The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas.

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The Record
11:03 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

20 Years Ago, De La Soul Refused To Go Pop

David Jude Jolicoeur aka Trugoy (from left), Vincent Mason aka P.A. Mase and Kelvin Mercer aka Posdnuos pose for a portrait outside the Apollo Theater in Harlem in September 1993.
David Corio Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 11:55 am

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First Listen
10:08 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

First Listen: Peter Gabriel, 'Scratch My Back ... And I'll Scratch Yours'

Peter Gabriel's new album, And I'll Scratch Yours, comes out Jan. 7.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 10:27 pm

These days, album-length covers collections tend to be minor footnotes in a musician's catalog, ranked somewhere just above live albums, holiday recordings and those greatest-hits packages that tack on one or two new songs. After all, covers albums at least seem as if they should be easy to assemble, in large part because they remove the artistic and logistical hurdle of writing songs. And, for their part, listeners tend to process them by way of comparison rather than raw appreciation.

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Music News
2:26 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

From Rodeo To Radio: Ryan Bingham's Wild Ride

Ryan Bingham performs at Autism Speaks' third Annual Blue Jean Ball on Oct. 24 in Los Angeles.
Angela Weiss Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 5:43 pm

Ryan Bingham pulls out a rope, lights up a cigarette and lassos a metal bull in his backyard. His house is nestled in a canyon that overlooks the Santa Monica Mountain Range. Out here you'd never know you were just up the road from Los Angeles. Bingham says he feels right at home.

"Takes you back to the source of it every now and then," he says.

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Music News
7:45 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Carlos Santana Reunites With Homeless Bandmate

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 9:41 am

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

2013 has ended on a decidedly happy note for one homeless man in Oakland, California. Marcus Malone was a conga player for Carlos Santana in the late '60s. He landed in legal trouble and disappeared from the music scene. Then a TV reporter doing a story on illegal dumping met Malone rummaging through trash. Santana saw the report and earlier this month, the two former band mates were reunited.

MARCUS MALONE: Man.

CARLOS SANTANA: Marcus "The Magnificent" Malone.

MALONE: Oh, my God.

(LAUGHTER)

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Music
1:03 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Jamaica's Hottest New-School Reggae Artists Return To Roots

Chronixx is one of the biggest new artists in reggae, as well as part of a younger generation of Jamaican musicians who give old-school sounds a fresh take.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 8:29 am

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Giorgio Moroder On Dance Music's Present And Future

One of the most influential electronic producers in the world, Giorgio Moroder has been back in the spotlight in 2013.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 10:12 am

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Music Interviews
1:03 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

'Together Again' With Wynton Marsalis, 20 Years Later

Pianist Marcus Roberts, who is blind, hadn't worked with Wynton Marsalis for two decades before his latest slate of recordings.
John Douglas Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 5:54 pm

Marcus Roberts was a very young, very gifted pianist back in 1985, when Wynton Marsalis tapped him to join his band.

Six years later, Roberts went off to lead his own combo — and to write both jazz and classical music. And he taught. And he toured. And he recorded.

In fact, Marcus Roberts just released three new albums. One of them is a 12-part jazz suite. The other two take him back to the beginning: They're his first collaborations with Wynton Marsalis in 20 years.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:03 am
Sat December 28, 2013

As The Year Closes, A Concert Hall Remains Empty

Because of a bitter labor dispute, the Minnesota Orchestra has not played a single performance in its concert hall this year. The orchestra's music director, Osmo Vanska (pictured here), resigned in October.
Greg Helgeson Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 5:54 pm

Three hundred sixty-five. That's the number of days the Minnesota Orchestra will have gone without playing in its concert hall in 2013. The orchestra became the unwitting poster child for labor strife in the classical music world — and, to some extent, an emblem of the problems facing non-profit arts institutions across the country.

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Music News
7:33 am
Sat December 28, 2013

50 Years Later, TV's Ghoulardi Lives — In Punk Rock

Ernie "Ghoulardi" Anderson on the set of his show at WJW-TV.
Chuck Schodowski Courtesy of Western Reserve Historical Society

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 1:46 pm

Before the Sex Pistols formed in London, before CBGB opened in New York, Cleveland had the Electric Eels.

"Someone asked me what my influences were," says guitarist and founder John Morton, "and I said, 'Among other things, Sun Ra, Ghoulardi and Albert Ayler.'"

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Deceptive Cadence
1:03 am
Sat December 28, 2013

Chopin's Favorite Piano Factory Plays Its Final Chord

The Pleyel piano factory, which once supplied instruments to Frederic Chopin, will close its doors at the end of the year.
Francois Guillot AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 2:47 pm

One of the world's oldest and most iconic piano makers, Pleyel, will close its factory doors in Paris at the end of 2013.

The French press characterized the bankruptcy as inevitable in the face of cheaper competition from China. But many disagree: They say Pleyel could have survived by adapting better to the times.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
1:13 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Gerald Wilson On Piano Jazz

Gerald Wilson.
Courtesy of the artist.

Composer and arranger Gerald Wilson has charted the course for some of the legends of jazz, including Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie.

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Music
10:29 am
Fri December 27, 2013

How A Hip-Hop Remix Helped Make 'Cruise' The Year's Biggest Country Hit

Florida Georgia Line was unsigned when it recorded the year's biggest country song, "Cruise."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 1:19 pm

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Song Travels
10:08 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Stephen Holden On 'Song Travels'

New York Times critic Stephen Holden.
Courtesy of the artist

Writer and critic Stephen Holden has covered everything from film to cabaret for The New York Times, as well as for TV programs such as 60 Minutes and 20/20. While he'd hoped to become a pop singer in his adolescence, Holden later embraced poetry and was published in The New Yorker.

Music remained a passion for Holden and became a key subject of his writing. He covered the singer-songwriter explosion of the 1970s, and his 1980 satirical novel Triple Platinum was based on his experiences as a journalist and executive with RCA.

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
10:06 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Wynton Marsalis: New Year's Eve On JazzSet

Wynton Marsalis performs during New Year's Eve 2011.
Fernando Leon Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 4:20 pm

This edition of JazzSet features a double helping of Wynton Marsalis celebrating New Year's Eve.

First, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra musicians play King Oliver and Jelly Roll Morton, merging "Dippermouth Blues" and "New Orleans Bump." Then, Marsalis invites Vince Giordano and members of his band, The Nighthawks, to play tunes made famous by Louis Armstrong in the Hot Fives and Sevens recordings.

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Best Music Of 2013
9:20 am
Fri December 27, 2013

2013: The Year In Tiny Desk Concerts

Hayley Bartels NPR

For weeks now, we've been compiling lists of 2013's best music — favorite albums, favorite songs, individual staff members' personal Top 10 lists and so on.

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World Cafe
5:01 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Tom Jones On World Cafe

Tom Jones.
Courtesy of the artist

This segment, from June 27, is part of our Best Of 2013 series, in which we revisit some of our most memorable interviews and performances of the year.

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Music News
3:44 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Quiet As Kept, Women Dominated Country Music In 2013

Kacey Musgraves' Same Trailer, Different Park is one of several country music albums released by women this year.
Kristin Barlowe Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 5:14 pm

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Favorite Sessions
11:49 am
Thu December 26, 2013

KCRW Presents: Yuna

Yuna performed live on KCRW Dec. 11.
Alex Pieros KCRW

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 3:08 pm

Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna first caught our attention a few years ago with her rich, textured voice. Since then, she's grown as an artist in many ways, from collaborating with huge talents like Pharrell to starting her own fashion line.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Thu December 26, 2013

It Was 50 Years Ago Today: 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' Hit U.S.

Paul McCartney, left, and John Lennon during a November 1963 Beatles show in London. The next month, the band had its first big hit in the U.S. and Beatlemania started to sweep America.
AP

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 11:13 am

  • The opening of 'I Want To Hold Your Hand'

If you don't smile after clicking "play" on the box above ... well, then either we're too old or you're too young.

It was 50 years ago today, Kabir Bhatia from member station WKSU in Cleveland reminds our Newscast Desk, that Capitol Records released the Beatles' I Want To Hold Your Hand in the U.S.

The fab four, as he says, had "sold millions of records in Europe throughout 1963, but had flopped in the U.S. after several releases on small, regional labels."

Then came I Want To Hold Your Hand.

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Ecstatic Voices
1:03 am
Thu December 26, 2013

A Christian Musician With More Questions Than Answers

In his music, Josh Garrels says, he tries to "peel back layers" of what it means to be a Christian.
Sasha Arutyunova Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 9:10 am

There's an inside joke among some who sneer at contemporary Christian music: "Jesus Per Minute." How often does the artist say Jesus' name?

Last year, Christianity Today magazine named Josh Garrels' Love & War & The Sea in Between its album of the year. In 66 minutes, Garrels mentions Jesus exactly once. The album is a lyrical, haunting exploration of what it means to be a Christian.

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The Thistle & Shamrock
11:03 am
Wed December 25, 2013

The Thistle And Shamrock: A Festive Celtic Celebration

Archie Fisher.
Courtesy of the artist

Join Fiona Ritchie to celebrate the season by exploring festive songs, carols and dances from traditions old and new.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

World Cafe
10:52 am
Wed December 25, 2013

Latin Roots: A Puerto Rican Christmas

Some of the traditional instruments played during Puerto Rican caroling.

Musician, record producer and writer Rachel Faro visits World Cafe for part two of this week's special holiday edition of Latin Roots. During Wednesday's episode, Faro discusses Christmas celebrations in Puerto Rico and how they differ from the holiday traditions in the Puerto Rican communities of New York. One of the songs she plays, by Willie Colon, is a classic that brings traditional music from the island to the big city.

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World Cafe
10:39 am
Wed December 25, 2013

The Fab Four: A Beatles Cover Band On World Cafe

The Fab Four.
Courtesy of the artist

World Cafe's special Christmas Day episode continues with The Fab Four, a California-based band of dedicated Beatles impersonators. The group takes on many elements of the influential English band, from sporting mop-tops to covering Sgt. Pepper and beyond.

This year, The Fab Four released Hark!, which features mash-ups of Christmas classics and Beatles favorites. The band members join host David Dye in the WXPN studios to talk about the record.

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World Cafe
10:34 am
Wed December 25, 2013

Nick Lowe On World Cafe

Nick Lowe.
Courtesy of the artist

Our guest for a special Christmas Day episode of World Cafe, Nick Lowe, has been making records since the 1970s. With beginnings as a rocker, Lowe has since developed a new following for his sly, country-tinged records. His new Christmas album, Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family, fits squarely into that category. In addition to performing a live set, the English musician discusses how he gets into the Christmas spirit.

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NPR Story
3:48 am
Wed December 25, 2013

Fiennes Brings Dickens To 'Perfect' Life In 'Invisible Woman'

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 8:35 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. Time to hear from our film critic, the Kenneth Turan. He says the works of Charles Dickens have been made into literally hundreds of films and TV episodes, but almost nothing has been done with the great author's life. Until now and the film "The Invisible Woman."

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Wed December 25, 2013

Harold Bradley: The Guitarist Of Nashville Past

Guitarist Harold Bradley attends the Special Merit Awards and Nominee Reception on Jan. 30, 2010, in Los Angeles.
Rick Diamond WireImage

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 6:04 pm

Some of Nashville's most classic songs — Roy Orbison's "Only the Lonely," Loretta Lynn's "Coal Miner's Daughter," Tammy Wynette's "Stand by Your Man" and

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The Record
3:57 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

A Rational Conversation: Darren Davis Of Clear Channel On New Christmas Songs

Our alternate headline: Why Nobody Will Ever Top Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You."
YouTube

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World Cafe
3:37 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Latin Roots: Christmas Music With A Cuban Twist

The late Celia Cruz's version of "Jingle Bells" is featured on Tuesday's Latin Roots playlist.
Courtesy of the artist

The first of a two-part Latin Roots Christmas series begins Tuesday with Judy Cantor-Navas of Billboard magazine. In conversation with host David Dye, the Latin-music expert discusses the distinction between Cuban Christmas music made before and after the Revolution.


Latin Roots on World Cafe is made possible by a grant from The Wyncote Foundation.

World Cafe
3:20 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

The Polyphonic Spree On World Cafe

The Polyphonic Spree.
Steve Wrubel Courtesy of the artist

This segment originally aired on Dec. 25, 2012.

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