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Music Interviews
4:08 pm
Sun April 5, 2015

Cassandra Wilson 'Couldn't Wait' To Reinvent The Billie Holiday Songbook

Cassandra Wilson's Billie Holiday tribute album is titled Coming Forth By Day.
Mark Seliger Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 7:54 am

Vocalist Billie Holiday was born 100 years ago this week. Today, her place in music history is clear.

"I think we witness in Billie Holiday's music the beginning of the jazz vocal age, really," fellow vocalist Cassandra Wilson says. "Her phrasing is very conversational, and it swings — it moves with the musicians. She's very much in charge of her place in the music. She's in control of the story, and in control of her cadence."

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Music
7:33 am
Sun April 5, 2015

Tobias Jesso Jr. Explains His Swift Ascent From Rock Bottom

Los Angeles-based songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr.
Kai Jacobson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun April 5, 2015 10:19 am

It's an endorsement most fledgling songwriters can only dream of: Adele enthusiastically tweeting your new song to her 22 million followers.

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Music Interviews
6:44 am
Sun April 5, 2015

Exploring Songs In Native Languages From Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia

Originally published on Sun April 5, 2015 10:19 am

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

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AMAOTAYKU AVELINO SINANI, EL REMOLON REMIX")

LUZMILA CARPIO: (Singing in Quechua).

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Deceptive Cadence
4:30 pm
Sat April 4, 2015

Violinist Hilary Hahn Remembers Her Earliest Influences

Violinist Hilary Hahn.
Peter Miller Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 4, 2015 5:25 pm

Violinist Hilary Hahn is known for putting together some unusual programs. On her latest album, she pairs Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major with 19th century Belgian composer Henri Vieuxtemps' Violin Concerto No. 4 in D minor.

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Mountain Stage
7:03 am
Sat April 4, 2015

The Carper Family On Mountain Stage

The Carper Family.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

The Carper Family recently made its first visit to Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Though Melissa Carper, Beth Chrisman and Jenn Miori aren't actually sisters, you'd never know it by listening to their music. From Nebraska, Alaska and Texas, respectively, the trio grew up playing music with their own families. They eventually found themselves in Austin, where each was leading her own band and occasionally sitting in with other local musicians. They joined forces and released their first studio album, Back When, in 2012.

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All Songs Considered
3:52 am
Sat April 4, 2015

The Good Listener: Have All The Good Songs Been Written?

Even Robert Johnson was synthesizing old ideas in new ways.
Courtesy of the artist

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside an assortment of expensive cat sedatives is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on whether all the great song ideas have been used up.

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Music
1:03 am
Sat April 4, 2015

'The Man From Muscle Shoals' On Shame And FAME

Producer and FAME Studios founder Rick Hall, left, with R&B singer Clarence Carter.
Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Sat April 4, 2015 9:30 am

For more conversations with music-makers, check out NPR's Music Interviews.

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

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Music
1:03 am
Sat April 4, 2015

Bringing Mothers In Prison Closer To Their Children, Through Music

Daniel Levy works with Vateya (left) at the Rikers Island prison in New York City in February 2015, as part of the Lullaby Project.
Chris Lee Courtesy of Carnegie Hall

Originally published on Sat April 4, 2015 9:30 am

Mothers in prison rarely get to see their children, let alone touch them or sing them a lullaby. But female inmates in New York City are getting a little help with the singing, thanks to Carnegie Hall. For the last few years, Carnegie has sponsored the Lullaby Project, which pairs professional musicians with women in jails, homeless shelters and city hospitals, to help them write lullabies for their children.

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Music Interviews
5:13 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

Little Simz Keeps Her Eye On The Throne

"I like to refer to myself as king sometimes, not as queen," Little Simz says. "That's a conscious decision, because I feel like women are just equally as powerful."
Kevin Morosky Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 5:42 pm

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Song Travels
5:08 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

Joelle Lurie On Song Travels

Joelle Lurie.
Lindsey Thoeng Courtesy of the artist

Jazz vocalist, songwriter and actress Joelle Lurie is a regular at New York City venues such as the Rockwood Music Hall and the Zinc Bar, where she performs with her ensemble, The Pinehurst Trio.

On this week's episode of Song Travels, Lurie delights with a set of standards and modern songs from her album Take Me There. Host Michael Feinstein accompanies her in "Our Love Is Here To Stay."

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Deceptive Cadence
3:43 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

Multifaceted Music Critic Andrew Porter Dies At 86

Critic and opera translator Andrew Porter directs singer Nikki Einfeld during a rehearsal of a Canadian Opera Company production of Mozart's Magic Flute in Toronto in 2005.
Tannis Toohey Toronto Star

Andrew Porter, a renowned music critic and scholar and translator of opera, died early today in London's Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. His twin sister, Sheila Porter, told NPR his death was the result of complications from pneumonia. He was 86.

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Mountain Stage
11:03 am
Fri April 3, 2015

David Morris On Mountain Stage

David Morris.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

David Morris makes an emotional return to Mountain Stage, recorded live on the West Virginia State Capitol grounds in Charleston. Raised in the Clay County town of Ivydale, Morris and his brother John became an important link between old-time masters like Ira Mullins and a new breed of folk and traditional artists in West Virginia.

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All Songs Considered
9:47 am
Fri April 3, 2015

Viking's Choice: Pinkwash, 'Cancer Money'

Pinkwash.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 12:44 pm

When you play punk rock with someone for 10 years, communication goes beyond words: The heart speaks through fingers and screams. Joey Doubek and Ashley Arnwine have a long history together in the D.C. punk bands Mass Movement Of The Moth and their own duo, Ingrid, but with Pinkwash (and a move to Philly), there's an ecstatic pulse that guides their frantic, id-exploding punk rock.

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SXSW Music Festival
9:46 am
Fri April 3, 2015

TV On The Radio, Live In Concert: SXSW 2015

TV On The Radio headlined NPR Music's SXSW showcase at Stubb's on Wednesday, March 18, 2015.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 3:54 pm

Some concerts build gradually, tentatively, until they reach an encore full of rousing classics. Others open at full blast and somehow find ways to open the throttle from there. As TV On The Radio began closing out NPR Music's SXSW showcase, held at Stubb's BBQ in Austin, it was clear that no time would be wasted on slow-footing or throat-clearing. From the opening song — "Young Liars," a 2003 favorite that's aged wonderfully — the band unleashed a storm that barely let up in intensity.

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All Songs Considered
9:04 am
Fri April 3, 2015

Drum Fill Friday, For April 3

Drummer face of the week, courtesy Grant Hutchison of the band Frightened Rabbit
Brian Patterson/Getty

It's been a couple of weeks since we last had a Drum Fill Friday (South by Southwest and the weeklong flu I always get after the festival set me back a bit). So I thought I'd return with some low-hanging fruit to help get everyone back into the swing. You'll find a collection of recurring, classic rock mainstays in this week's puzzler, with one exception. But I still expect a lot of perfect scores. Good luck, careful listeners!

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Favorite Sessions
8:03 am
Fri April 3, 2015

WFUV Presents: Matthew E. White

Matthew E. White performs live in the WFUV studio.
Deirdre Hynes WFUV

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Music Reviews
4:11 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Review: Sufjan Stevens, 'Carrie & Lowell'

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 6:27 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Remembrances
1:36 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

In Her Life After John, Cynthia Lennon Didn't Stop Loving Him

In 1985, Cynthia Lennon said that touring with The Beatles was "wonderful," but "all we saw were the inside of hotel rooms, the inside of Cadillacs."
Evening Standard Getty Images

Back in the 1960s, when teenage girls in America and England fantasized about romance with their favorite Beatle, Cynthia Powell Lennon held the position so many girls dreamed of — she was married to John.

The two shared a working-class background. They met in art school in 1957 and were married in 1962, just weeks before The Beatles recorded "Love Me Do." But as The Beatles became a sensation, Cynthia had to pretend she wasn't married to John.

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All Songs TV
1:35 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Sia, 'Big Girls Cry'

Courtesy of the artist

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All Songs Considered
12:33 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

The National, 'Sunshine On My Back'

Dierdre O'Callaghan Courtesy of the Artist

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 12:44 pm

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Alt.Latino
11:13 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Alt.Latino's Grown And Sexy Mixtape

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Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 11:34 am

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Mountain Stage
10:52 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Cabinet On Mountain Stage

Cabinet.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

The Pennsylvania progressive bluegrass band Cabinet makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Together for nearly 10 years, the members of Cabinet came from diverse musical backgrounds that encompass everything from American Beauty-era Grateful Dead to old-time banjo and fiddle tunes.

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World Cafe
10:19 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Toro Y Moi On World Cafe

Chaz Bundick, a.k.a. Toro Y Moi.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 10:21 am

What For? marks a change from the sound of Toro Y Moi's previous album, Anything In Return; the emphasis this time is on guitar rather than on the electronics and keyboards of the last record.

Toro Y Moi's Chaz Bundick made his debut in 2010 with Causers Of This, and soon got lumped in with an assortment of "chillwave" acts — an oversimplification of his versatile sound. Here, Toro Y Moi plays songs from What For? live in the studio.

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Favorite Sessions
10:05 am
Thu April 2, 2015

KCRW Presents: Of Montreal

of Montreal performs live on KCRW.
Larry Hirshowitz KCRW

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 9:33 am

Kevin Barnes has just released his 13th album as Of Montreal, and the prolific artist sounds as inspired as ever. For its return to Morning Becomes Eclectic, Of Montreal performed new songs from Aureate Gloom, an album layered with the sounds of late-'70s New York and disco-inflected electronic music. Here, Barnes and his band perform "Empyrean Abattoir."

SET LIST

  • "Empyrean Abattoir"
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All Songs Considered
9:30 am
Thu April 2, 2015

All Songs At 15: The Civil Wars' Tiny Desk Concert

The Civil Wars perform at NPR headquarters in Washington, DC for a Tiny Desk Concert on Thursday, May 12, 2011.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Every Thursday this year we're celebrating All Songs Considered's 15th birthday with personal memories and highlights from the show's decade and a half online and on the air. If you have a story about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

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Music
3:02 am
Thu April 2, 2015

The 2 Filmmakers Behind The Who

Managers Chris Stamp (left) and Kit Lambert were aspiring filmmakers when they first approached The Who.
The Image Works/Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 1:22 pm

Two young, aspiring filmmakers walk into a bar. One's a hip, working-class dreamer. The other, a suit-and-tie wearing son of a classical musician.

The punchline: One of the greatest rock bands in history.

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The Thistle & Shamrock
2:27 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

The Thistle & Shamrock: More New Releases And Debuts

This week's show features new music from Québécois folk band Le Vent du Nord.
Courtesy of the artist

On this week's episode of The Thistle & Shamrock, host Fiona Ritchie selects some of the best new sounds from artists both rising and well-established. Musicians featured on this week's show include Gerald Trimble, Mairi MacInnes, Altan and Le Vent du Nord.

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

World Cafe
1:46 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Andy Kim On World Cafe

Andy Kim.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 10:21 am

During a 2013 Sense Of Place visit to Toronto, World Cafe talked to Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew, who said he was working with Andy Kim on a new project. It was hard to know what to think: Kim, a fellow Canadian raised in Montreal, was known for pop hits in the '60s and '70s; he wrote "Sugar, Sugar" for The Archies and had his own No. 1 single, "Rock Me Gently," in 1974. Drew was heavily involved in Broken Social Scene, among other projects, and it turns out that the two have become close; in fact, Kim describes Drew as his best friend.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:28 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Hilary Hahn Marches Through Mozart

Violinist Hilary Hahn.
Michael Patrick O'Leary Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 1:03 pm

When you're all grown up, you — at least theoretically — put away childish things. But there are exceptions, as violinist Hilary Hahn proves in her latest recording project.

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All Songs Considered
11:53 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Viking's Choice: Sharpless, 'Franz Kafka (Home Movies Cover)'

Sharpless.
Richard Gin Courtesy of the artist

Real talk: Scäb's "Franz Kafka" is the greatest cartoon rock opera ever. Originally featured on the Home Movies episode "Director's Cut" in 2001, the ridiculous three-minute, four-movement song about The Metamorphosis is equal parts "Bohemian Rhapsody" and Tommy, and warns, "Be careful if you get him pissed / Franz! Franz Kafka! / He'll smite you with metaphor fists!" Metaphor fists!

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