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Best Music Of 2013
12:46 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

That's A Bad Lyric And You Know It

Edd Westmacott/Photoshot Getty Images

Hang the DJ!
Because the music that they constantly play,
It says nothing to me about my life.
The Smiths, "Panic"

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Music Reviews
12:40 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

A Former Girl-Group Singer Goes 'All Or Nothing'

With new songs and covers, La La Brooks' All or Nothing isn't just an attempted career comeback.
Jacob Blickenstaff Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 1:33 pm

A half-century on, La La Brooks still sings about boys and girls falling in love. At an age when other veterans of first-generation rock movements are thinking about retirement or oldies tours, Brooks has come up with a fresh, energetic collection that doesn't deny her past, but also refuses to succumb to mere nostalgia.

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Music Interviews
12:40 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Fresh Air Remembers Jazz Pianist Jimmy Amadie

Jimmy Amadie.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 1:39 pm

For decades, Jimmy Amadie played solely in his home, heard only by his students when he'd play for them during lessons. His performing career was derailed because of severe hand problems. But later in life, he achieved some fame for his albums — and for the story of what he'd had to overcome to make it possible for him to record. Amadie died of lung cancer on Dec. 10. He was 76.

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Favorite Sessions
12:15 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

KEXP Presents: The Head And The Heart

The Head and the Heart performs live at KEXP's studios in Seattle.
Renata Steiner KEXP

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 1:15 pm

Given the speed with which the band rose in popularity, it's not surprising that The Head and the Heart would want to slow down for a minute. After all, the Seattle group was performing at open mics just a few years ago, yet now sells out large theaters nationwide.

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All Songs Considered
6:13 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Bob Boilen's Top 20 Albums of 2013

Khaela Maricich (left) and Melissa Dyne of The Blow.
Kyle Dean Reinford Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 11:13 am

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All Songs Considered
6:08 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Robin Hilton's Top 10 Albums Of 2013

The Flaming Lips put out Robin Hilton's favorite album of the year. Son Lux, Telekinesis, James Blake, Foxygen, and many, many other artists and bands also released Robin's number one album of the year.
George Salisbury

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 11:14 am

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Stephen Thompson's Top 10 Albums Of 2013

Kacey Musgraves.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 2:44 pm

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Music Interviews
5:07 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Nine Months In Nigeria, One Brilliant, Difficult Funk Musician

Since recording in the 1970s and '80s, Nigerian William Onyeabor has dropped off the music map.
Courtesy of the artist

Yale Evelev, head of world music label Luaka Bop, digs up information about great-but-forgotten musicians for a living. His quest to compile and release the work of Nigerian funk legend William Onyeabor, though, was a unique challenge.

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Music News
4:24 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Meet Latin America's Teenage Korean Pop Fanatics

The room of Samantha Alejandra, 18, in Mexico City, doubles as a shrine to her favorite K-Pop boy band, Super Junior.
Marlon Bishop for NPR

Originally published on Sun December 15, 2013 10:27 am

If you want to get a sense of what Mexican teenagers are up to these days, here's an unexpected place to start: A Korean bakery in downtown Mexico City.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
7:03 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Christine Salem: Tiny Desk Concert

Christine Salem performs a Tiny Desk Concert on October 14, 2013.
NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 12:19 pm

Her voice feels old, but it's got power that's young and vibrant. In fact, Christine Salem sings songs that are old: They're work songs and chants from the maloya tradition on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean. I first heard her in New York City as she shook a flat board called a kayamb, made of cane reeds, with two percussionists flanking her to provide rhythm.

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Best Music Of 2013
7:03 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Top 10 Dance Tracks Of 2013

Laurel Halo, seen here performing at the 2013 Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit, released one of our favorite dance tracks of the year.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 7:23 am

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Music Interviews
4:13 am
Sat December 14, 2013

What Makes Tennessee's Music So Very Special?

Rosanne Cash, seen here in 1956 with her dad Johnny, is one of many musicians featured in Oxford American magazine's winter issue on the music of Tennessee.
Courtesy of Rosanne Cash

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:31 pm

From blues to funk, to country and rock, Tennessee is the place that's given voice to the likes of Bessie Smith, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Isaac Hayes

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The Record
5:21 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Beyonce's New Album Is Entertainment's October Surprise

Beyonce.
Nick Farrell Photography Courtesy of Columbia Records

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 5:56 pm

Thursday night — just as Twitter was coming down from Scandal's midseason finale, and it's hard to think of this as a coincidence — Beyonce dropped an album out of nowhere. The news ricocheted through social media. People called it Bey Day and Christmas come early.

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Music Reviews
4:12 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

When Donny Hathaway, Thelonious Monk And Neil Young Hit A Turning Point

Live at the Cellar Door, the new album from Neil Young, was recorded in 1970.
Gary Burden Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 6:29 pm

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All Songs Considered
3:28 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

First Watch: Puerto Rican Rap Duo Calle 13 Goes 'Multi Viral'

Rene Perez Joglar, aka Residente, fronts Puerto Rican Group Calle 13.
MARTIN BERNETTI AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 4:19 pm

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
1:51 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Stefano Bollani On Piano Jazz

Stefano Bollani.
Valentina Cenni Courtesy of the artist

On this episode of Piano Jazz recorded in 2007, Italian born pianist Stefano Bollani stops by for a session with host Marian McPartland.

Born in Milan on December 5, 1972, Stefano Bollani was playing piano by age six. He grew up listening to his father's stride piano albums, and the pop music of Italian superstars Renato Carsone and Adriano Celentano.

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Mountain Stage
1:31 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

The ETSU Old Time Pride Band On Mountain Stage

The East Tennessee State University Old Time Pride Band performs live on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 8:14 am

The East Tennessee State University Old Time Pride Band makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live in Johnson City. Founded in 1982, ETSU has the oldest established roots-music studies program at any four-year institution. Each year, the Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music Studies program fields its own band that plays and tours throughout the region. This year, the group focused on the historic Johnson City Sessions from country music's infancy; songs from these sessions make up the entirety of the band's set.

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World Cafe
1:24 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Midlake On World Cafe

Midlake.
Sammy Reed Courtesy of the artist

Fans of Midlake have no doubt grown accustomed to the band's malleable sound, which fluctuates from album to album. The Texas folk-rock band's second record, The Trial of Van Occupanther, was steeped in the atmosphere of the '70s, while 2010's The Courage of Others headed in another direction altogether.

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Song Travels
1:21 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Renee Fleming On 'Song Travels'

Renee Fleming.
Andrew Eccles Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 1:37 pm

Grammy-winning soprano Renée Fleming is a regular at the world's top opera houses and concert halls around the globe. Her awards include a Fulbright Lifetime Achievement medal and the National Medal of Arts.

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The Fresh Air Interview
1:09 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Fresh Air Remembers Jazz Guitarist Jim Hall

Jim Hall performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 6:57 pm

Jazz guitarist, composer and arranger Jim Hall died in his sleep Tuesday; he was 83. Hall was known for a subtle, lyrical playing style, a gift for innovation and collaborations with a host of talented musicians in a career that stretched more than seven decades.

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Music
10:53 am
Fri December 13, 2013

'Wallace' Grew Up, So What's He Listening To?

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 4:53 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Concerts
10:21 am
Fri December 13, 2013

A Jazz Piano Christmas 2013

Left to right: Stanley Cowell, Andy Bey, Michele Rosewoman and Sullivan Fortner team up on "Jingle Bells" during A Jazz Piano Christmas.
NPR

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 2:53 pm

Toward the end of every year, NPR Music invites some of the world's best jazz keyboard players to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. We ask them to take on some of their favorite Christmas tunes, solo, and the recording becomes the public radio special A Jazz Piano Christmas.

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Best Music Of 2013
10:03 am
Fri December 13, 2013

5 Songs That Tell The Story Of R&B In 2013

Courtesy of the artist

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Alt.Latino
9:36 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Alt.Latino's Favorite Songs, Albums And Artists Of 2013

Clockwise, from top left: Bosnian Rainbows, Mala Rodriguez, Frikstailers, Raquel Sofia, La Santa Cecilia.
Courtesy of the artists

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Best Music Of 2013
7:03 am
Fri December 13, 2013

NPR Classical's 10 Favorite Albums Of 2013

Classical albums we loved this year.
NPR Denise DeBelius

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 8:42 am

The year may have suffered a couple of black eyes in the form of shuttered opera companies and orchestras in labor disputes, but as far as recordings go, don't let anyone tell you classical music is dying — the music and musicians are thriving.

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World Cafe
5:25 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Latin Roots Live: La Santa Cecilia

La Santa Cecilia.
Courtesy of the artist

This week, the Los Angeles group La Santa Cecilia joins World Cafe in concert for WXPN's first installment of Latin Roots Live. This set with the popular Mexican-American band was recorded at World Cafe Live Upstairs in Philadelphia.

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All Songs Considered
3:55 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Poll Results: Listeners Pick Their Favorite Albums of 2013

Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City was the most popular record in our listener poll for the best music of 2013.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 4:20 pm

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Music Reviews
3:36 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

For The Bloodiest Tales In American Music, A Revenge-Themed Sequel

In the song "Old Time Angels," Jim Lauderdale imagines a second act for the women felled in American murder ballads.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 6:10 pm

"Old Time Angels," a new song by Nashville, Tenn.-based singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale, sounds so ebullient that at first, you may not realize he's singing about one of music's most terrifying moments.

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The Two-Way
3:35 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

So Much For The 'Mozart Effect'

Researchers could not find a link between exposure to music and improved IQs in preschoolers.
Dmitry Naumov iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 6:02 pm

Music makes the heart grow fonder, but scientists are not so sure that it boosts IQ.

The Boston Globe notes:

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Mountain Stage
2:58 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Old Man Luedecke On Mountain Stage

Old Man Luedecke performing live on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 8:17 am

Old Man Luedecke makes his first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of East Tennessee State University. A native of Nova Scotia, Chris Luedecke isn't actually old, but his music clearly draws from his remarkable ear for the music and melodies of years gone by.

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