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Around the Nation
4:23 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Artist Transforms Guns To Make Music — Literally

Mexican artist Pedro Reyes received 6,700 weapons from the Mexican government, from which he sculpted instruments.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 11:14 am

Pedro Reyes says being Mexican is like living in an apartment where an upstairs neighbor has a leaking swimming pool.

"Just what is leaking," says Reyes, "is hundreds of thousands of guns."

He wants people to think about the availability of guns in the United States, and the impact that has in Mexico.

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Music News
1:02 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Reinventing The Music Video, One Street Corner At A Time

The American band San Fermin performs an informal "Take Away Show" in a Chinese restaurant in Paris — part of a series of videos produced by the French website La Blogothéque.
Christopher Werth Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 11:14 am

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The Record
4:22 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

How The Organization Behind The Grammys Spends The Other 364 Days

Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow, host LL Cool J and Executive Vice President of Specials, Music and Live Events at CBS Entertainment Jack Sussman pose at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 23, a few days before the 2014 Grammy Awards.
Kevin Winter WireImage

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 6:29 pm

This Sunday's Grammy Awards ceremony is the annual big-ticket item for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. More than 28 million people around the world tuned in to watch the concert show last year. And this year's telecast is once again being touted as the most complicated — and expensive — production on TV.

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World Cafe
2:31 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Unknown Mortal Orchestra On World Cafe

Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
Courtesy of the artist

Unknown Mortal Orchestra is the work of Ruban Nielson, a New Zealand-bred musician who moved to Portland, Ore., six years ago. While there, he started working with samples in his bedroom that would later become the first Unknown Mortal Orchestra album in 2011. He released another in 2013, called II, as well as an EP.

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Alt.Latino
2:20 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

With Guitars Like Machetes: Son Jarocho 101

Alec Dempster is a Mexican artist living in Toronto. Many of his pieces focus on Son Jarocho.
Alec Dempster courtesy of the artist.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
1:48 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Jim Hall On Piano Jazz

Jim Hall.
Frans Schellekens Redferns

Widely admired as a gifted and innovative player, jazz guitarist Jim Hall had a career that spanned more than five decades. In a session recorded in 2003, the NEA Jazz Master teamed up with host Marian McPartland and bassist Gary Mazzaroppi for "Blue Monk," and performed solo in "All the Things You Are."

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Song Travels
11:45 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Jitterbug Vipers On 'Song Travels'

Jitterbug Vipers.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 8:24 am

Jitterbug Vipers' members perform 1930s-style "viper jazz" with a rock 'n' roll twist. The Austin band's original music — crafted by singer Sarah Sharp, guitarist Slim Richey, bassist Francie Meaux Jeaux and drummer Masumi Jones — recalls swing classics by Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Cab Calloway.

On this installment of Song Travels, you can hear Jitterbug Vipers perform a set live in the studio. Host Michael Feinstein also sits down with Sharp to discuss the history of viper jazz and the inspiration behind the band's sizzling original music.

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All Songs Considered
11:44 am
Fri January 24, 2014

The Good Listener: How Can I Conquer A Musical Blind Spot?

Devendra Banhart.
Courtesy of the artist

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First Listen
10:08 am
Fri January 24, 2014

First Listen: Actress, 'Ghettoville'

Actress' new album, Ghettoville, comes out Jan. 28.
Richard Eaton Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 9:11 pm

Actress' declarative 2008 debut Hazyville announced a new voice in underground British dubstep, at which point the electronic music producer (a.k.a. Darren Cunningham) began to push beyond the confines of that bass-heavy genre. By the time of 2010's Splazh, Actress was all but ignoring the tropes of dubstep, instead mincing modern R&B for a type of digital funk and Disclosure-esque vocal house (as in "Always Human") that delectably stayed just this side of abstraction.

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Monkey See
8:30 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Fix The Best New Artist Grammy: Dump It

If it's true that Lorde should be glad her Grammy nominations don't include Best New Artist, then the entire enterprise has become ridiculous.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Each year's Grammy Awards offer their own questions and controversies based on how the nominations pan out, but there are a few points of contention that come up year after year. There's the difference between Song Of The Year and Record Of The Year. How a song can be eligible for nomination this year when the album it came from was nominated last year (or vice versa). The precise eligibility requirements for Best New Artist, a category that can be (and has been) won by performers several albums into their careers.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:44 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Inspiration Or Embarrassment? Lang Lang And Metallica Teaming Up At Grammys

Guitarist Kirk Hammett (left) and his band Metallica will join classical pianist lang Lang on stage at the Grammy wards telecast Sunday night.
Getty Images/Courtesy of the artist

Odd musical mergers in the Grammy Awards telecast are nothing new — remember Paul McCartney, Linkin Park and Jay-Z singing "Yesterday?" Still, when thrash metal band Metallica and classical pianist Lang Lang take the stage together Sunday night, it may seem more like a head-scratcher than a clever match.

Or will it?

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A Blog Supreme
7:33 am
Fri January 24, 2014

To Preserve 'America's Gift To The World,' A Jazz Elder Becomes A UCLA Professor

Kenny Burrell performs at his 80th birthday concert in 2011.
Reed Hutchinson UCLA

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 12:42 pm

Just before 11 o'clock on a crisp Monday night in Hollywood, 82-year-old Kenny Burrell put his Gibson guitar in its velvet-lined case and said goodnight to several members of the Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra Unlimited. He had just finished an intermission-free, two-hour-plus set with the large ensemble, as he has done once a month since the summer. Waiting patiently among the suits and smiles was a 21-year-old guitarist eager to meet his idol. When the room finally cleared, Burrell was amiable and inquisitive, talking to the young fan about music and Michigan, where he grew up.

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World Cafe
3:31 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Lucius on World Cafe

Lucius' new album, Wildewoman, is out now.
Peter Larson Courtesy of the artist

A five-piece band from Brooklyn, Lucius is led by two singers, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, who met at Berklee College of Music in Boston. They crafted their unique vocal sound over the decade they've worked together, and now even dress alike.

Their similarities, as well as the longevity of their friendship, led to the title of their debut full-length album, last year's Wildewoman. Lucius joins us in the studio to perform live and talk with World Cafe's Michaela Majoun.

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
3:21 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Patrick Cornelius On JazzSet

Patrick Cornelius performs at Berklee College of Music's Café 939 in Boston.
Michael Borgida Berklee College of Music

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 3:50 pm

While growing up in San Antonio, Patrick Cornelius listened to JazzSet on KRTU. Off the air, he taped the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band playing Lalo Schifrin's Gillespiana in the 1990s and more. Cornelius went on to complete degrees and diplomas from Berklee College of Music, the Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School.

In 2012, Cornelius won a New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble grant from Chamber Music America, and this episode of JazzSet features the composition for which he applied for support, titled While We're Still Young.

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Music Reviews
1:45 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

On 'Hard Working Americans,' Songs For The Ordinary Joe

Hard Working Americans.
James Martin Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 3:39 pm

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Rather Than Joking About Justin Bieber, Watch This Video

This police booking mug made available by the Miami Dade County Corrections Department shows pop star Justin Bieber on Thursday (Jan. 23, 2014).
AP

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 1:58 pm

We are well aware that news outlets, websites and social media seem to be obsessed with the news that pop star Justin Bieber was arrested in Miami Beach early Thursday morning.

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The Record
9:57 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Hurray For The Riff Raff's New Political Folk

Hurray For The Riff Raff's Alynda Lee Segarra.
Joshua Shoemaker Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 8:39 am

How many choruses does it take to turn a party song into an engine causing social change? Is it possible to honor American cultural traditions while dismantling the traps and habits that make them restrictive? Every so often a new voice engages these basic questions in subtle, exciting new ways. Alynda Lee Segarra, the 27-year-old guiding light of the New Orleans-based band Hurray For The Riff Raff, is this year's champion.

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All Songs Considered
6:02 am
Thu January 23, 2014

The Zolas, 'Ancient Mars'

A scene from The Zolas video "Ancient Mars."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 10:55 am

Around this time last year, 21-year-old Elisa Lam went missing during a solo trip to Los Angeles. A month after her disappearance was reported, her body was found in a hotel's rooftop water tank. While it's unclear what happened, investigators ruled out foul play, leaving everyone to speculate wildly about her mental state and possible motivations.

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The Checkout: Live
3:37 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Guillermo Klein: Live At Berklee

Guillermo Klein.
Michael Borgida Berklee College of Music

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 3:50 pm

Composer and bandleader Guillermo Klein is known largely for Los Guachos, a large ensemble which draws from Argentine folk forms, the New York jazz talent pool and a postmodern mash-up imagination. His is beguiling music, filled with human voices and off-kilter meter and cutting melody. It's a form he and some of his band first started developing at Berklee College of Music, where he and fellow Argentines learned to apply jazz concepts to the many sounds in their heads.

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World Cafe
3:28 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

San Fermin on World Cafe

San Fermin.
Tom O'Neal Courtesy of the artist

Ellis Ludwig-Leone went to Yale and studied music; then, after graduating, he went to the mountains in Banff, Canada, to write and arrange the music that became San Fermin's ambitious 2013 debut.

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Music Reviews
3:04 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

A Gifted Cellist Sails Beyond Sweden, Across 'Fields Of Love'

Linnea Olsson's debut album is called Ah!
Tammy Karlsson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 7:01 pm

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Favorite Sessions
2:20 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

KEXP Presents: Joe Henry

Joe Henry performed some new, unreleased material live on KEXP.
Charina Pitzel KEXP

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 12:42 pm

"If you're meaning to seduce anybody, you don't announce your intention," L.A. singer-songwriter Joe Henry joked when introducing his new song "Swayed." Nevertheless, he hooked us by the heart during a recent in-studio appearance.

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All Songs Considered
9:42 am
Wed January 22, 2014

D/A/D, 'Orion Beach'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 2:48 pm

You know how it is: Fun-loving electronic aliens hit up an island to discover the secrets of the universe and shred the gnar on jet skis for the ultimate chillzone.

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All Songs Considered
4:00 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

New Mix: Real Estate, Actress, Wax Fang, More

Clockwise from upper left: Real Estate, Actress, Saintseneca, Wax Fang
Courtesy of the artists

On any given day, All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen bombards co-host Robin Hilton with a running list of new ideas for the show. Most of them never see the light of day. But on this week's program Bob explains his latest idea, one that everyone will want to see happen. It's called "The Sole Of A Band" and involves matching photos of the shoes worn by bands with their music. You can hear more about how it works at the top of this week's edition of All Songs Considered.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:53 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Tracing The Career Of Claudio Abbado, A Consummate Conductor

Celebrated conductor Claudio Abbado in 1979 in his native Milan, during his tenure as music director of the city's famed opera house, La Scala.
Giorgio Lotti Mondadori/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 2:55 pm

Claudio Abbado, one of the most sought-after conductors of his generation, died Monday in Bologna, Italy, at age 80. His death was announced by a spokesperson for Bologna's mayor, saying that it followed an unspecified long illness. Abbado had been diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2000; following surgery for that illness, he was transformed into a hauntingly gaunt figure.

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Music Interviews
1:51 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Schubert's 'Winterreise' Paints Bleak Landscape For Bill T. Jones

Choreographer Bill T. Jones at an appearance earlier this year.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 6:55 pm

As snowstorms hit the country today, All Things Considered revisits a vivid story that choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones shared about one winter song. It originally aired Dec. 13, 2011.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:48 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Guess Who's Singing The National Anthem At The Super Bowl?

From taffeta to tackles: Soprano Renee Fleming has been tapped to sing at Super Bowl XLVIII.
Karin Cooper Courtesy of Washington National Opera

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 3:05 pm

She's probably not among your first, or second, or 10th, or 20th-round guesses, but the NFL just announced that American soprano Renee Fleming will sing the national anthem at Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2.

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World Cafe
12:45 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Robbie Fulks On World Cafe

Robbie Fulks' latest album is titled Gone Away Backward.
Courtesy of the artist

As a songwriter, Robbie Fulks can be devastatingly funny, then slay with sentiment in the next moment. He's made a career of it, while approaching the music business from nearly every angle. He had a brief run on a major label in the 1990s, which helped inspire his memorable critique of Nashville's country music industry, titled "F--- This Town."

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The Record
7:02 am
Tue January 21, 2014

A Rational Conversation With Ebro Darden, Program Director Of Hot 97

Ebro Darden (left) with (from left to right) Young Guru, Bun B and DJ Premier in June 2012 in New York City.
Johnny Nunez WireImage

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 12:18 pm

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Music Reviews
3:55 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Ray Benson Steps Out: 'Wheel'man Goes Solo In New Album

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 4:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For more than 40 years, Ray Benson has been the front man for the Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CHOO CHOO CH'BOOGIE")

RAY BENSON: (Singing) Choo, choo, choo choo, ch' boogie. Woo, woo, woo, woo, ch' boogie. Choo, choo, choo, choo, ch' boogie. Take me right back to the track, Jack.

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