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DMA's On World Cafe

Apr 27, 2016

Tommy O'Dell, Johnny Took and Matt Mason, who make up the Australian trio DMA's, were on World Cafe in 2015 when they released their self-titled EP. Now, just a year later, they've released their first full-length, a guitar-driven garage-pop record called Hills End. Hear DMA's perform four songs from the album in this special mini-concert for World Cafe.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Wayfaring Strangers

Apr 27, 2016

The Thistle & Shamrock marks host Fiona Ritchie's Celtic-Americana event at this year's TradFest, Edinburgh's annual showcase of traditional arts and culture, by retracing the musical migration from Scotland through Ulster to Appalachia. Hear music by Patrick Street, Tim O'Brien, Jean Ritchie and more in this week's episode.

Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, the drummer and leader of The Tonight Show's house band The Roots, says he's obsessed with the creative process. His new book, somethingtofoodabout, is a collection of his interviews with chefs about how art and creativity apply to their preparation and presentation of food.

After long forays into pop-punk and arty post-hardcore, Thrice returns after a hiatus with a sonically grandiose third act. The band's ninth album, To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere, at times breaks with Thrice's angular moves and aims straight for the gut with more anthemic songs.

I could walk by Peter Frampton on the street and not recognize him. His long blond hair, which shines like a halo on his album Frampton Comes Alive! may be gone, but as soon as he sat behind the Tiny Desk and began singing, 1976 came rushing back. I worked in a record store the year Frampton Comes Alive! came out, and it was one of those records that seemed to have universal appeal. We sold a ton of copies of that double live album and I can still remember the label and number (A&M 3703) from having written it on countless sales tickets.

Prince's sister says that when the musician died suddenly last week, he left no known will. On Tuesday, she asked a Minnesota court to appoint a special administrator to oversee the estate, which may be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. But no matter who the heirs turn out to be, they will be facing some tough choices.

Prince always had an aura of mystery. His death at 57 has only added to the puzzle.

The names James Brown and Apollo Theater have practically become synonymous; it's hard to think of one without the other. Beginning in 1963, Brown released three albums recorded there. But there was a fourth — recordings from Sept. 13 and 14, 1972 — that has been buried ever since. Now, Get Down with James Brown: Live At The Apollo Vol. 4 is finally out on vinyl, with a CD to follow this summer.

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

Paul Burch On World Cafe

Apr 26, 2016

Country singer-songwriter Paul Burch has been making roots records — often with his band, The WPA Ballclub — for two decades, ever since he first arrived in Nashville and started playing covers at Tootsies Orchid Lounge on Lower Broadway. He's released 10 albums, and has contributed music to both PBS' The Appalachians and HBO's True Blood.

We've all been dealing with so much unhappiness over the last week that hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton wanted to kick of this week's All Songs Considered with some celebrations. Bob leads off with some great pick-me up music from Moon Hooch. Robin continues to explore his love of "shrug rock" with a hilarious new song from the band PUP.

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

Amy Helm On Mountain Stage

Apr 26, 2016

Amy Helm performs on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. A singer, instrumentalist and songwriter, Helm had accumulated years of recording and touring experience before she embarked on a solo career in her 40s.

Love, lust and drugs are often used as metaphors for one another — "You Go To My Head," "Got To Get You Into My Life," "There She Goes" — with the understanding that each is addictive. We're stunned by it, we're naked without it, we can't live without it.

A Beyoncé album release is now a communal experience. Who among us (and if you're here reading this, you're one of us) made it through this weekend without a conversation, typed or yelled, about her intent, her intonation, her read, her past, her bat, Serena, Tina, Etta, Warsan, Pipilotti, Zendaya? Whether you love her, hate her, or stay strong in your neutrality, our exchanges are kind of the point. This is what art makes us do. No doubt our opinions are in some places monetized and our vocalization of them surely buoys the price of Lemonade on up to $17.99.

From traditional tributes to contemporary songs of concern for our wild places, this week's music sings of the unspoiled landscapes we love and challenges us to sustain them. Hear songs from the wilderness by Nuala Kennedy, Karan Casey, Tony McManus and more.

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

Metropolis: 4/23/16

Apr 25, 2016
This Week's Playlist

  • Bob Moses, "Tearing Me Up" (Domino)
  • Classixx, "Grecian Summer" (Innovative Leisure)
  • Underworld, "Nylon Strung" (Ume)
  • Boys Noize, "Euphoria (feat. Remy Banks)" (Boysnoize)
  • Riton, "Rinse & Repeat (feat. Kah-Lo)" (Riton Time)
  • Justin Martin, "Hello Clouds (feat. Femme)" (Dirtybird)
  • Katy B, Four Tet & Floating Points, "Calm Down" (Rinse)
  • Talking Heads, "Once In A Lifetime [Leftside Wobble Dub]"

Freddie Mercury, the late frontman for the legendary band Queen, died almost 25 years ago. But he's still regarded as one of the best rock singers ever.

World Cafe Next: Karl Blau

Apr 25, 2016

Producer Tucker Martine was familiar with Pacific Northwest singer-songwriter Karl Blau through Blau's work on Laura Veirs' records; Martine is Veirs' husband and has produced her latest work. Martine had a vision of setting Blau's voice against lush, dreamy, string-drenched arrangements, and Introducing Karl Blau took shape.

The "monoculture" has supposedly been dead for at least a decade, but it ain't necessarily so. World-devouring pop music phenomena do still exist, but today that universe is made entirely of Beyoncé — a Michael Jackson/Madonna/Prince figure whom everyone who cares about popular culture is supposed to grapple with and have big thoughts about.

Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds: Tiny Desk Concert

Apr 25, 2016

Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds' punchy horn section, bluesy vocals and uniquely transformative harmonica solos instantly demand attention. Their obvious joy in playing music together is contagious, and they brought the party to Bob Boilen's desk in a big way.

On Saturday night, Beyoncé shook the music world with an hourlong feature on HBO, and then a surprise album — Lemonade.

Beyoncé couldn't have produced a body of work this defiant, or blunt, two years ago. Lemonade has been made possible by the cultural, social and political upheaval we're in the midst of, triggered by the deaths of boys and fathers and women, who will never be forgotten.

If you came of age in the 1960s, chances are you think about rock 'n' roll as the music of youth, of rebellion, of fighting the establishment. But in Nigeria, which was in the middle of a civil war, rock was one of the ways in which people expressed their politics.

Beyoncé has surprised the world yet again.

In case you missed it, she dropped her sixth studio album during her HBO special "Lemonade." Ahead of the release, she had released this cryptic trailer with such lines as, "The past and the present merge to meet us here / Why can't you see me?"

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