WUIS Xponential

WUIS Xponential

Even those who didn't live through Nina Simone's heyday can recognize her songs, or at least her voice. Born Eunice Waymon, the passionate performer and activist died in 2003, and today her recordings still loom larger than the rest of her story.

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

When he started the Robert Glasper Experiment, the pianist was trying to blend hip-hop, jazz and R-and-B into a new sound.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CHERISH THE DAY")

In the middle of a bunch of stage-dive-provoking hardcore acts at Damaged City Festival in May, one punk band set up in a straight line at the edge of the stage. It wasn't meant to keep the leaping kids at bay, so much as an equalizer that seemed to say, "Take 20 minutes and watch." Nervosas had a commanding presence, but also complex, melodic musicality. It was the kind of performance that sent several people — myself included — running to buy 2013's self-titled debut.

A simple guide to karaoke: Know your room, know your song, don't perform "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" unless you're ready to commit and, most importantly, sing it like you mean it. Or you could just incite a hedonistic karaoke mosh pit.

Update: 11:30 p.m. ET

In a statement Tuesday night, the talent agency that represented Horner mourned "the tragic passing of our dear colleague."

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Taylor Swift is no stranger to positive, even fawning, press coverage. Just this month, there was the story about teenagers using light-up bracelets from a Swift concert to flag down help when they were trapped inside their car after a crash. The headline from MTV read "Taylor Swift Saved Three Teens' Lives — Literally."

Pat Thomas, a singer and bandleader from Ghana, is nearly 70. He's lived in England, Germany, Canada and the U.S. But these days he's back home, once again making the music that enshrined him in the hearts of his countrymen: highlife.

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Let's talk about Frances Quinlan's voice for a moment. In "Horseshoe Crab," she whispers with a rasp that feels small, yet embodies the fears we try not to name; then, she throws her head back to ask, "Who is gonna talk trash long after I'm gone?" That gut-punching howl shatters like a plate on a concrete floor.

Through swaths of dreamy, atmospheric psych-rock, the Tel Aviv band Vaadat Charigim explores the idea of inactivity on its latest album, Sinking As A Stone. That title is a loose translation from Hebrew; more precisely interpreted, it should read something along the lines of The Boredom Sinks In.

Metropolis: 6/20/15

Jun 22, 2015

This Week's Playlist

  • Underworld, "Jumbo" (JBO/V2)
  • Dorfex Bos, "Dorfex Bos [Bassnectar Remix]" (Amorphous)
  • Ratatat, "Cream On Chrome" (XL)
  • Jamie xx, "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times) [feat. Young Thug & Popcaan]" (Young Turks)
  • ODESZA, "All We Need [Haywire Remix]" (Counter)
  • Purple Disco Machine, "Magic" (Exploited)
  • The Chemical Brothers, "Go [feat. Q-Tip] [Edge Of Control Dub]" (Virgin/EMI)

Miguel is a rock star. If there was any doubt about this fact, his First Listen Live performance in New York City on Tuesday provided all the proof needed.

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

A few songs into the latest set of ready-to-wear rants from Neil Young, there's a moment when the rock star shares a bit of the advice he gets as he goes about his daily life — from fans, possibly, or a manager, or maybe the barista in his coffee shop.

Review: Matt Pond PA, 'The State Of Gold'

Jun 21, 2015

"More No More," the shimmering opening track on The State Of Gold, Matt Pond PA's 10th full-length, bounds out of the gate as though it's been building momentum for ages. In a way, of course, it has: Behind this album is the accumulated energy and weight of nearly two decades, as well as more albums, EPs, singles and tours than can be counted without paper and a pencil.

The Velvet Teen has always had a flair for the sonically dramatic. In its initial early-2000s run, the NorCal band was the kind of weepy and twinkly rock outfit that might have soundtracked the falling-in-love montage in a teen rom-com, but would also explode into a squall of feedback and Judah Nagler's pouty falsetto.

Vince Staples is used to playing the bad guy. Since he was first introduced as a fringe Odd Future affiliate the 22-year-old rapper has established himself as a calm, sinister presence—in sharp contrast to the sometimes shocking, but mostly innocuous, hijinks of Tyler and company. His calling card has been the scene-stealing guest verse, the content of which ranges from villainous to downright vile (e.g.

"I'm gonna stand here in the ache," Joy Williams wails in "Until The Levee," a song that comes just past the middle of the arc her new solo album, VENUS, creates. She seems to nearly strain her warm, urgent voice, which many came to love in Williams' early Christian-music recordings — and many more adored as one half of the sound of the now-defunct Civil Wars.

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO, "THAT OTHER GIRL")

ANGELA SHEIK: (Singing) Oh, tell me why you got to leave me. Why you got to leave me?

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In his 33 years on earth, rock critic Lester Bangs left behind tens of thousands of pages of writing. He died of a drug overdose in 1982 — but this month, at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, Calif., Bangs and his ideas are coming to life on stage in the new one-man play How to Be a Rock Critic.

Composer Terry Riley turns 80 Wednesday. He's been called the father of minimalism for his groundbreaking 1964 work In C. But his influence has spread far beyond, sparking the imaginations of many artists, from cutting-edge electronic musicians to rock gods.

Pages