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"Sometimes we like each other / and sometimes we just wish we were with another," sings Hannah Mohan on the title track from And The Kids' upcoming album, Friends Share Lovers. "It's okay because / friends share lovers," she later adds. As the title attests, both song and album zero in on what happens when a tight-knit group gets maybe too close.

When you hear Monika, life feels good: The singer's performances and presence are simply winning. Last fall, I saw her take a hands-in-pockets crowd in New York and turn it into a bunch of dancing, hand-waving fans. Here at the Tiny Desk, the office was singing along as the ebullient singer danced on my desk. She's a platinum-selling singer-songwriter back in Greece, and her most recent album, Secret In The Dark, is full of spunk and funk. The album was produced by the great Homer Steinweiss, whom you may know as the drummer for the soulful R&B band The Dap-Kings.

Review: Anohni, 'Hopelessness'

May 6, 2016

Now female-identified, Anohni was previously known as Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons, a chamber music group that updated European art song traditions through contemporary subject matter on albums like 2005's Mercury Music Prize-winning I am a Bird Now.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Every year at the Kentucky Derby, crazy hat-wearing, mint julep-guzzling horse-gazers break into a passionate rendition of Kentucky's state song, "My Old Kentucky Home." As tradition goes, the University of Louisville Cardinal Marching Band accompanies the crowd as they croon a ballad that seems to be about people who miss their happy home. "The sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home/'Tis summer and the people are gay," begins one version.

But Frank X Walker, Kentucky's former poet laureate, suspects that most people are missing the point.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Alan Reid

May 5, 2016

Marking their shared event at Edinburgh's TradFest, host Fiona Ritchie revisits an encounter with her old friend Alan Reid, the singer and long-time Battlefield Band member who was also her very first radio interview subject. They reminisce about that meeting and reflect on musical journeys.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

In 1965, the trumpeter, composer and arranger Thad Jones and the drummer Mel Lewis found themselves with a book of big-band music originally intended for the Count Basie Orchestra — and nobody to perform it. So they made their own. They handpicked some of New York's top talent and called rehearsals on Monday nights, when the studio musicians could actually make it.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Experimental pop band Animal Collective recently recorded a rare radio session for us at the Village while in Los Angeles for two sold-out shows. Panda Bear, Avey Tare and Geologist — the multi-instrumentalists behind the band — brought us a collection of songs from their new album, Painting With, including "Golden Gal."

SET LIST

  • "Golden Gal"

Latin Roots: Carrie Rodriguez

May 5, 2016

Carrie Rodriguez is a fiddle-playing singer and songwriter from Texas who first became known with a series of duo albums she made with Chip Taylor. She's been recording solo in English for a while, but her new album, Lola, is purposefully bilingual.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Radiohead's social media accounts disappeared over the weekend, which — because we know Radiohead — got us all excited about the possibility of a new album. That tease got extended even further earlier this week when the band released "Burn The Witch," the first song likely from the group's upcoming, ninth album.

This week on Alt.Latino, we venture into a long-running conversation about remixing classic recordings. Along the way, we feature a new album released by Fania Records called Calentura, in which the label sent a handful of DJs and producers a treasure trove of original masters from the Golden Age of the brash and innovative Afro-Caribbean music known as salsa.

I can already hear some of you reacting to the concept:

"Malditos! How dare you tamper with perfection?"

"Would you repaint a Frida Kahlo masterwork?"

Bob Weir had good reason for vehemently roaring, "If I had my way I would tear this old building down," when the Grateful Dead played the Omaha Civic Auditorium on July 5, 1978; the chorus of the galvanic "Samson And Delilah" might have expressed how he and the rest of the band were feeling when they began performing that night at the 11,000-capacity venue for a crowd that reportedly didn't exceed three figures.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.


The subject of motherhood is often heaped high with social and cultural expectations. When a woman takes on the role of raising children, she may find herself defined primarily by those attachments in others' eyes, regardless of how she views her own multifaceted identity. And she may decide that this dissonance calls for a creative and conscious response.

Detroit singer Mike Posner's latest hit on the pop charts is — ironically — about the down sides of having a hit on the pop charts. It's called "I Took a Pill in Ibiza."

Esmé Patterson is one of several young women — others include Frances Quinlan of Hop Along, Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield, and Julien Baker — making music that could be called synapse-rock.

Ben Harper recorded with the Innocent Criminals from 1997 through his 2007 album, Lifeline. Since then, he's worked solo and with Relentless7 — until now. The Innocent Criminals join Harper on his new album, Call It What It Is.

The Canadian band Grindmother last week released its debut album, Age of Destruction. The group gets its name in part from the style of music it plays, known for short songs with blistering tempos and heavy distortion.

Ra Ra Riot On Mountain Stage

May 3, 2016

Ra Ra Riot returns to Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Led by guitarist Milo Bonacci, Ra Ra Riot formed while the band's six members were attending college in Syracuse, N.Y. Combining indie rock with chamber-pop flourishes (courtesy of a small string section), the band quickly picked up a local and regional following. After pulling up stakes and relocating to New York City, Ra Ra Riot recorded a self-titled EP and prepared to release it during the summer of 2007.

Two-time Grammy winner Jason Isbell opens his sold-out show at House Of Blues Boston with a searing version of his blues-rock song "Palmetto Rose." With lyrical references to the "Iodine State," "Sullivan's Island" and "bull**** stories 'bout the Civil War," Isbell plants listeners square on the sidewalks of Charleston, South Carolina, where street vendors hawk roses to tourists.

Winterpills On World Cafe

May 3, 2016

Two distinct strains of music might come to mind when one thinks of the western Massachusetts hamlet of Northampton and the surrounding area. One is the singer-songwriter scene centered around the venue The Iron Horse and the Signature Sounds label. The other is the loud rock scene conjured by J Mascis and Dinosaur Jr.

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