WUIS Xponential

Music Reviews
3:29 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Album Review: 'Sun Structures,' By Temples

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 7:00 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Finally this hour, a new perspective on the enduring influence of The Beatles. It comes from another four-piece British rock band called Temples. The group is from the town of Kettering. Critics have been raving about them since last summer. Their debut album, "Sun Structures," has now been released here in the U.S. And hearing it might whisk you away to 1960s Liverpool. Here's our critic, Tom Moon.

TOM MOON, BYLINE: If nothing else, Temples has impeccable timing.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SHELTER SONG")

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Music Reviews
3:13 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Lake Street Dive: 'Portraits' Of Heartache

Lake Street Dive.
Jarrod McCabe Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 9:21 am

Lake Street Dive is powered by the voice of Rachael Price; it's what hits you first when you listen to this quartet. It's a ringingly clear, strong voice, a sound that's at once beseeching and in control. Price regularly harmonizes with the other members of Lake Street Dive — bassist Bridget Kearney, drummer Mike Calabrese and Mike Olson, who also plays guitar and trumpet. But most of the songs on Bad Self Portraits are showcases for Price's surging vocals.

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World Cafe
2:36 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Rose Windows On World Cafe

Rose Windows.
Alison Scarpulla Courtesy of the artist

The music of the psychedelic Seattle band Rose Windows mixes folk, blues, Persian and Eastern European influences, as well as '60s psych and prog; the group name-checks The Doors and even Black Sabbath along the way. Its lyrics address songwriter Chris Cheveyo's Christian background, singer Rabi Shaheen Qazi's Muslim influences and much more.

Rose Windows released a debut full-length called Sun Dogs last year, and we'll hear the band perform on stage during this episode of World Cafe.

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All Songs Considered
2:00 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Viking's Choice: Psalm Zero Masters Its Own 'Undoing'

Andrew Hock (left) and Charlie Looker of Psalm Zero.
Amy Mills Courtesy of the artist

Unlikely collaborations can unnerve and unwind heavy and extreme music in ways we'd never before imagined. There's Painkiller, the guts-spilling grind-jazz band featuring saxophonist John Zorn, bassist Bill Laswell and Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris.

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All Songs Considered
11:04 am
Wed February 12, 2014

The Moth & The Flame, 'Winsome'

Watch 'Winsome' by The Moth
Courtesy of the band

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 10:15 am

If you try to watch this video for its plot, good luck. There's a mermaid, a sandstorm, a dude, a chase, sea creatures, close-up lips ... I tried, but gave up and simply gave in to the flow of the song and the images.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:03 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Fiddler On The Slopes

Violinist-turned-Olympian Vanessa-Mae checks out her fellow skiers in Sochi, Russia on Feb. 10.
Clive Rose Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 4:08 pm

Classical music has managed to take center stage at sports events in the last few weeks. Soprano Renée Fleming sang the National Anthem at the Super Bowl two weekends ago.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

First Listen: Phantogram, 'Voices'

Phantogram's new album, Voices, comes out Feb. 18.
Doron Gild Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:09 pm

Phantogram plays spiky, dense and danceable pop-rock songs with an electronic pulse: Most of its songs have an insistent grind to them, with a percussive through-line snapping and jabbing and infusing virtually every moment with jumpy urgency. But singer/keyboardist Sarah Barthel and guitarist Josh Carter still let these songs breathe in surprising ways, so that the moments of quiet that slip through — like the spare and surprising piano which pops up at the end of "Black Out Days" — have that much more impact.

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Music News
4:34 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Singing To The Strength Of New Orleans

Alynda Lee Segarra is the lead singer and songwriter of the New Orleans folk ensemble Hurray for the Riff Raff.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 7:00 pm

Beneath the benevolent gaze of a statue of Saint Roch, the patron saint of dogs, invalids and bachelors, Alynda Lee Segarra sings: "People are dying. No one understands."

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World Cafe
2:50 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Temples On World Cafe

Temples.
James Loveday Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 9:47 am

The English band Temples hails from the small town of Kettering, where its psychedelic music came together in the home studio of singer-guitarist James Edward Bagshaw in 2012. In that small space, the group made the big-sounding Shelter Song, which got the young band noticed; a recording contract soon followed. The album Sun Structures was recorded in much the same fashion.

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Music Reviews
2:43 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

In Session: Frank Wess' 'Magic 201' Offers One Last Lesson

Frank Wess.
Hiroyuki Ito Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 11:35 am

Frank Wess' new album, Magic 201, is a sequel to last year's similar helping of ballads and midtempo strollers, Magic 101. The new album is very nearly every bit as good, and made a little more poignant by Wess' death just before Halloween. On his last session as a leader in 2011, he was still sounding strong at 89.

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All Songs Considered
11:51 am
Tue February 11, 2014

The Worst Songs Of All Time?

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:57 pm

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Concerts
11:04 am
Tue February 11, 2014

First Listen Live: Real Estate, 'Atlas'

Real Estate plays Atlas at SubCulture in NYC.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 12:16 pm

The members of Real Estate are awfully young to pine for their lost youth, but nostalgia remains crucial to the New Jersey band's tender, impeccable sound. Real Estate's shimmering pop-rock seems to echo out of the past — from beaches and garages and tape decks — with the kind of melancholy beauty few bands outside The Beach Boys could hope to match.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:03 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Monastic Life At The Top Of The Charts

Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 12:28 pm

When the sisters of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles aren't hard at work on the monastery grounds, they're topping the charts with albums of sacred music.

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World Cafe
1:54 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

World Cafe Next: Sekou Kouyate & Joe Driscoll

Sekou Kouyate and Joe Driscoll.
Alex Munro Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 1:56 pm

Today on World Cafe: Next, we feature a unique duo. Sekou Kouyate, from Guinea in West Africa, has been described as "the Jimi Hendrix of the kora" for the way he electrifies the 21-string African harp. Joe Driscoll is an American living in England; he's a rapper, beat-boxer and loop-maker.

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World Cafe
1:44 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Bert Jansch On World Cafe

Bert Jansch.
Brian Shuel Redferns

British folk musician Bert Jansch died in October 2011, about 10 months after recording this interview with World Cafe. A founding member of the folk-jazz-blues band Pentangle, along with fellow guitarist John Renbourn, Jansch was one of the most influential players of the '60s, though he never became hugely well-known.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
1:03 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Suzanne Vega: Tiny Desk Concert

Suzanne Vega performs at a Tiny Desk concert in January 2014.
Meredith Rizzo Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 1:51 pm

In pop-music circles, Suzanne Vega is known almost entirely for two songs from the late 1980s: the child-abuse ballad "Luka" and a song that launched literally dozens of dance remixes, "Tom's Diner." But Vega has been making vital, inventive music the entire time — much of it folk-based, though her sound has taken many smart detours along the way — and is about to put out her first album of original material in seven years, Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles.

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The Mix
12:58 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

I'll Take You There: R&B From NPR Music

Luther Vandross is one of many classic R&B singers you'll hear on our "I'll Take You There" channel.
GAB Archive Redferns/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 16, 2014 11:35 am

"I'll Take You There" is a 24/7 R&B and soul channel from NPR Music. Curated and hosted by Jason King of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University, the playlist runs the gamut from the genre's origins in the 1940s to today's slow jam stunners. You can follow the program on Twitter at @NPRandB and Jason King's personal Twitter account at @jasonkingsays.

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Music Reviews
12:40 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Hangin' Tuff: Eric Church Takes A Chance On 'The Outsiders'

Eric Church.
John Peets Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 12:41 pm

Eric Church is working on a level that few other country artists of his generation can touch. Now, one of the things I mean by that is that Church is willing to take big chances such as "The Outsiders," the title track from his fourth album, and clearly a manifesto he's proud of.

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All Songs Considered
12:37 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Question Of The Week, Valentine's Day Edition: What's 'Your Song'?

Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 2:59 pm

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Metropolis
12:27 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Metropolis: 2/8/14

Mount Kimbie's remix of Kelis' "Jerk Ribs" kicks off this week's show.
Estevan Oriol Courtesy of the artist

This week's two-hour mix by Metropolis host Jason Bentley kicks off with a Mount Kimbie remix of the new single by Kelis, and includes new music from the tremendous singer Roisin Murphy, who appears in Freeform Five's "Leviathan."

Playlist

  • Kelis, "Jerk Ribs (Mount Kimbie Remix)"
  • DJ Cam, "Fontainbleau"
  • Blamma Blamma, "Zsa Zsa feat. Kristina Train (Andy Cato Remix)"
  • Tensnake, "Love Sublime (feat. Flora & Nile Rodgers)"
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Favorite Sessions
7:03 am
Mon February 10, 2014

KEXP Presents: John Doe With Mike McCready

John Doe and special guest Mike McCready of Pearl Jam perform at KEXP in Seattle.
Jim Bennett KEXP

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 12:43 pm

We were already excited to have legendary musician John Doe of the pioneering punk band X join us in the KEXP studio, so you can imagine our surprise when he walked in with the also-legendary Mike McCready of Pearl Jam. Doe's musical partner, Exene Cervenka, caught a cold during the Seattle stop for the band's cleverly named "X-Mas 2013″ tour, so Doe called on his old tourmate from 1999.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Song Premiere: Death, 'North Street'

Death, in 1976. Left to right: David, Bobby and Dannis Hackney.
Tammy Hackney

When you listen to "North Street," a just-released song by the band Death, it's hard to believe it's more than 30 years old. The cut, with its urgent beat and relentlessly propulsive guitars, is part punk and part avant-garde rock. Death originally recorded the track in 1980, but it never saw the light of day — until now.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

First Listen: Lost In The Trees, 'Past Life'

Lost In The Trees' new album, Past Life, comes out Feb. 18.
DL Anderson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:10 pm

Lost in the Trees founder Ari Picker studied film composition at the Berklee School of Music — an alternate career path that couldn't be better suited to the music he makes now. A film composer, even more than a bandleader, creates work with a constant awareness of the audience's reaction to it, and thus has a keener sense of how to craft that reaction.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

First Listen: Angel Olsen, 'Burn Your Fire For No Witness'

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 12:53 pm

Angel Olsen has made an unforgettable and entrancing record. Burn Your Fire for No Witness is the musical equivalent of a deep, questioning stare from a lover, and what draws me to her voice is its peaceful, subtle touch. It has me leaning in to listen. Leonard Cohen does that, too, and it's a fine line to walk between pale and enchanting. These are delicate songs, with lyrics stripped to their essence.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

First Listen: AJ Davila, 'Terror Amor'

AJ Davila's new album, Terror Amor, comes out Feb. 18.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:11 pm

On Alt.Latino, the show I co-host with Felix Contreras, we talk a lot about crossing over: who goes from the Latin world into the U.S. "mainstream," and under what cultural terms and conditions. For those of us who live and breathe Latin music, it can be frustrating that in U.S. pop culture, Latin music is often associated with Shakira and Ricky Martin. Don't get me wrong: I'm a sucker for Latin pop, especially back when Shakira was headbanging. But what irks us a bit is that so much of what makes it from Latin America onto the U.S. pop-culture radar lacks teeth; it has no edge.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

First Listen: St. Paul And The Broken Bones, 'Half The City'

St. Paul and the Broken Bones' new album, Half the City, comes out Feb. 18.
David McClister Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:08 pm

About a year ago, I saw St. Paul and the Broken Bones perform at a tiny club in Tuscaloosa, Ala., called the Green Bar. The Birmingham band's six members squeezed onto the stage, looking like ragtag school kids. Singer Paul Janeway, nerd-tastic in spectacles and a Sunday suit, unfurled a handkerchief. He started to croon, then shout and wail.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

First Listen: Lydia Loveless, 'Somewhere Else'

Lydia Loveless' new album, Somewhere Else, comes out Feb. 18.
Patrick Crawford Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:11 pm

"Take me far from this tainted world where statistics murder dreams, where art, beauty, love, everything's money," begins a quote printed inside the packaging for the latest album by singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless. The words belong to 19th-century French symbolist-decadent poet Paul Verlaine — not a common touchstone among country-rockers, although the sentiment is one most musicians have likely felt. (It gets nicely echoed in a poem Eric Church recites on his latest record).

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Music Lists
3:01 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

The Other Guys: 5 Bands Missing From The British Invasion

The Shadows on stage in the 1960s. The British rock act, formed as a backing band for singer Cliff Richard (center), was among the U.K. acts who stayed behind as The Beatles and others were cresting in America.
Paul Popper Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 11:59 am

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Monkey See
10:52 am
Sun February 9, 2014

The Beatles, As America First Loved Them

It's been 50 years since The Beatles first appeared on Ed Sullivan, to an audience of screaming, hair-pulling, ecstatic (in the classic sense) teenage girls. Cutes in suits, you might call them, like (and, of course, nothing like) countless other bands of the time that wore skinny ties and shared microphones and said "oh" and "yeah" and "baby."

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Music Interviews
7:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

The Handy Ambassador To New Zealand's Music Scene

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:44 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

New Zealand is famous for a lot of different things: sheep, stunning vistas, even Hobbits. And one of the specific island's most notable musical exports is a guy named Neil Finn. He took to the stage in the 1980s with the chart-topping kiwi bands Split Ends and Crowded House. Neil Finn has also had a strong solo career. And his new album, "Dizzy Heights," comes out Tuesday.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

NEIL FINN: (Singing) You must reveal your inter sorrow. Show what you're made of, don't know what you're afraid of...

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