WUIS Xponential

Music Interviews
3:25 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

A Young Man's Loneliness, And His Soulful Falsetto

British singer Sam Smith has just released his debut album, In the Lonely Hour.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:36 am

The British singer Sam Smith broke through with a dance song: His is the voice snaking through "Latch," by the electronic-music duo Disclosure. It became an international club anthem.

In the U.K, he's mentioned in the same breath as superstars Adele or Florence and the Machine. He already has a sold-out U.S. tour, and he has performed on Saturday Night Live. Smith, 22, is now releasing his debut album, In the Lonely Hour. His songs of love and loss are powered by his moody, soulful voice.

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Remembrances
2:43 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

'Fresh Air' Remembers Jazz Singer Jimmy Scott

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:19 am

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Tiny Desk Concerts
1:38 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Rodney Crowell: Tiny Desk Concert

Rodney Crowell performs at a Tiny Desk in May 2014.
Meredith Rizzo Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 9:54 am

Rodney Crowell performs with the ease and swagger of a man comfortable in his ways. He carries his songs the way he carries his old guitar: out in the open, no case, almost as an extension of his body.

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Metropolis
1:36 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Metropolis: 6/14/14

Blood Orange is featured on this week's mix.
Courtesy of the artist

This Week's Tracklist

  • Watermat, "Bullitt" (Promo)
  • Banks, "Drowning (Lido Remix)" (Harvest)
  • Rufus Du Sol, "Sundream (Classixx Remix)" (Sweat It Out!)
  • Digitalism, "Wolves feat. Youngblood Hawke (RAC Mix)" (Pias)
  • Kiesza, "Hideaway (Bixel Boys Remix)" (Lokal Legend)
  • Lxury, "J.A.W.S." (Method Records)
  • Julian Gomes, "Love Song 28 Feat. Bobby (Atjazz Galaxy Aart Remix)" (Promo)
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Favorite Sessions
12:55 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

KEXP Presents: Liars

Dave Lichterman KEXP

Liars' dark, atmospheric studio session cast a captivating spell over us. Wrapped in a colorful skein of yarn, inspired by the cover for its new album Mess, the long-running L.A. electro-punk band spun an intoxicating mix of dark dance-pop.

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All Songs TV
10:10 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Sean Rowe, 'Madman'

Sean Rowe, in a scene from his new video for the song "Madman."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 1:58 pm

Despite its name, "Madman" has more bounce to it than much of Rowe's earlier work. But it implies you'd have to be nuts to choose a life on the road.

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All Songs Considered
8:03 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Song Premiere: Sinead O'Connor, 'Take Me To Church'

Sinead O'Connor.
Donal Moloney Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 4:23 pm

Sinead O'Connor's nearly 30-year career forms a portrait of an artist in conflict; a brilliant singer who remains musically, politically and personally uncompromising after forays into folk, pop, standards, reggae and points beyond. By definition, her catalog is erratic, but it's consistently bold and surprising.

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Music Interviews
2:48 am
Mon June 16, 2014

The Antlers: Holding A Light To The Darkness Within

The Antlers (from left): Peter Silberman, Darby Cicci and Michael Lerner.
Marc Lemoine Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 11:18 am

A few years ago, Peter Silberman was recovering from a breakup that has haunted him. He decided to write an entire album about it for his band, The Antlers, and he made a risky artistic choice: He used a patient dying of bone cancer as a metaphor for the girlfriend he was refusing to let go of.

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First Listen
10:45 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

First Listen: Rolê, 'New Sounds Of Brazil'

Lucas Santtana appears on the new compilation Rolê: New Sounds Of Brazil, out June 24.
Cristiano Caniche Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 9:30 am

This is not your parents' Brazilian music.

This is the Brazil where samba, bossa nova and Musica Popular Brasileira meet hip-hop, rock, jazz and electronica. Underneath all the contemporary mash ups is the DNA that makes Brazilian music some of the most vibrant on the planet: Interlocking rhythms that go right to the hips; melodies that never seem to veer into the somber minor keys; and drums of all shapes and sizes.

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First Listen
10:45 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

First Listen: Phox, 'Phox'

Phox's self-titled debut comes out June 24.
Jade Ehlers Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 9:28 am

The word "charisma" is often used to imply a certain kind of attention-grabbing showiness, or even neediness. But it can also suggest subtle ease; a simple gravitational pull that draws people in by making them feel comfortable and at home.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

First Listen: Circulatory System, 'Mosaics Within Mosaics'

Circulatory System's new album, Mosaics Within Mosaics, comes out June 24.
Stacey-Marie Piotrowski Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 11:44 am

Pastiche and whimsy are, by definition, a technique, and a state of mind. But moreover, these two concepts have indelibly tipped the playing field of indie rock downhill into the fanciful dimension beneath that oil-stained rainbow in its parking lot.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

First Listen: Brownout, 'Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath'

Brownout's new album, Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath, comes out June 24.
Courtney Chavanell Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 9:31 am

One of my first album purchases ever was Black Sabbath's Masters of Reality in 1971. I actually took it back to my local Tower Records where I bought it because it sounded like there was something wrong with the sound. The guitars, I told them, they sound muffled and fuzzy.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

First Listen: Phish, 'Fuego'

Phish's new album, Fuego, comes out June 24.
Peter Yang Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 9:29 am

Whether you know its work or just its reputation, you've probably already made up your mind about Phish. Maybe you love the band and its music, maybe you can't stand them, or maybe you liked them and have since moved on to other things. Phish is one of the most dynamic and celebrated live acts in all of music, with a loyal community any artist would envy, but it's also divisive. This is a band that inspires passion with its multipart compositions, meandering improvisations, playful (often nonsensical) lyrics and unwavering positivity.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

First Listen: Strand Of Oaks, 'Heal'

Strand Of Oaks' new album, Heal, comes out June 24.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 9:32 am

Philadelphia's Timothy Showalter has never been one to shy from a complicated metaphor in conveying his pathos. Take "Daniel's Blues" off his 2010 album made as Strand of Oaks, Pope Killdragon, where he voices actor Dan Aykroyd after the death of John Belushi, exacting revenge on the drug dealer responsible for his friend's death with a shotgun and signing on for Ghostbusters. All of this gets told in Showalter's dark yet ethereal folk. Another album featured songs set in a post-apocalyptic world.

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Music Interviews
3:55 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

Willie Nelson Dusts Off His Songwriting Chops

Willie Nelson
David McClister Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 5:38 pm

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

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Again thanks for listening. This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

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The Record
1:03 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

Who Can I Be Now? How David Bowie Spent 1974

David Bowie in September of 1974 onstage in Los Angeles.
Terry O'Neill Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 10:58 am

To say that 1974 was a year of change and challenge for David Bowie and his fans is an understatement as extreme as the lurid outfits he'd worn as his just-abandoned alter ego, Ziggy Stardust. The incubator for the evolution was Bowie's U.S. tour that year, which began in Montreal on June 14 — 40 years ago this weekend.

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The Record
10:30 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Casey Kasem, An Iconic Voice Of American Radio

Casey Kasem, in 1975.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 11:56 am

Casey Kasem, the countdown king of music radio and the voice of Scooby-Doo's Shaggy, has died at 82, his publicist confirmed Sunday.

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Education
6:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Transcending Music In A Special High School Band

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, BYLINE: I'm Scott Simon. Our next story comes from the NPR Ed team. Reporter Eric Westervelt visited a special high school in New York City for students with cognitive and physical disabilities. And he saw how the music curriculum there has transformed at least one young life.

TOBI LAKES: My name is Tobi Lakes. I'm 15 years old. I listen to I Heart Radio and radio.com - two apps. I practice my piano every night.

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Music Interviews
6:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

'SNL' Music Director Writes A Finnish 'Prescription'

Lenny Pickett has played in the SNL band for 29 years.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 3:10 pm

You may not immediately recognize the name Lenny Pickett. But if you've watched Saturday Night Live in the last 30 years, you've heard him.

The curly-haired saxophonist is there, wailing front and center, every week as the host enters the stage. He's been with the house band for nearly 30 years, and the show's musical director since 1995.

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Music Interviews
7:04 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Orbison's Lost Tracks Included In 'Mystery Girl' Re-Issue

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:20 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Rock 'n Roll has its thrills, but who gave it the best trills?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OH, PRETTY WOMAN")

SIMON: Roy Orbison.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OH, PRETTY WOMAN")

ROY ORBISON: (Singing) Mercy. Pretty woman, won't you pardon me. Pretty woman, I couldn't help but see. Pretty woman, and you look lovely as can be. Are you lonely just like me?

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Music News
7:04 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Jazz Balladeer Influenced Better-Known Singers

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Jimmy Scott died this week. The jazz balladeer died of natural causes at his home in Las Vegas. He was 88. His ethereal contralto influenced countless singers, men and women. But his career was a series of up, downs and finally, ups, as NPR's Mandalit del Barco explains.

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A Blog Supreme
7:03 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Rhythm Runs In The Family: Drummers On Their Dads

Percussionist Pete Escovedo and his daughter Sheila E. perform together in Rome in 2013.
Jun Sato WireImage

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 3:35 am

When you read enough about the early lives of jazz musicians, you begin to spot a trend. A lot of artists caught the music bug from their parents.

With instruments and musicians around the house, it's easy for kids to grow curious about playing. But that's not nearly the whole story. Sometimes parents are the first teachers. Other times, parental guidance doesn't fully kick in until much later.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
7:03 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Eliot Fisk And Paco Peña: Tiny Desk Concert

Paco Pena performs at the Tiny Desk in April 2014.
Meredith Rizzo Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 9:07 am

Eliot Fisk looks like the happiest man on the planet. Watch that face as he plays guitar. Between performing music by J.S. Bach and partnering with the world's best flamenco guitarist, Paco Peña, Fisk can barely control his joy. I find his exuberance and their performance undeniably brilliant, inspiring and so completely universal.

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Music Interviews
5:23 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Jenny Scheinman Reaches Out To Her Father In Song

Jenny Scheinman made her name in the New York City jazz scene, but she grew up on a bluff in Northern California's Humboldt County, where she now lives again.
Joshua Black Wilkins Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 8:31 pm

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

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
5:05 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Jerry Dodgion On Piano Jazz

Jerry Dodgion.
Daniel Sheehan eyeshotjazz.com

Saxophonist Jerry Dodgion has played with just about everyone in the jazz world throughout his long career. In 1955, Dodgion joined Benny Carter in Las Vegas for the opening of the Moulin Rouge, and in the late '50s, he played with both Frank Sinatra and the Red Norvo quintet.

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World Cafe
4:38 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Guest DJ: Haim

Haim.
Courtesy of the artist

Today's session is especially fun, as we've invited Este and Alana Haim to play DJ. With their sister Danielle (who was feeling under the weather), they comprise the members of the pop-rock band Haim, whose fame and acclaim have grown to new heights in recent years. Hailing from California's San Fernando Valley, Haim have been honing their talents and skills since they were kids performing in a family band with their parents.

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A Blog Supreme
4:30 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Ethereal Jazz Singer Jimmy Scott Dies

Jimmy Scott performs at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 2001.
Leon Morris Redferns

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 12:59 pm

Singer Jimmy Scott died of natural causes Thursday morning at his home in Las Vegas at age 88, according to his booking agent, Jean-Pierre Leduc.

Scott suffered from Kallmann's syndrome, a lifelong affliction that prevented his body from maturing through puberty. The condition slowed his growth, leaving his stature at 4 feet 11 inches until his late 30s. It also affected his vocal cords, giving him a high voice that was often misidentified as a woman's.

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Code Switch
3:56 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

An Opera Remembers The Tragedy Of An Asian-American Soldier

Andrew Stenson plays Pvt. Danny Chen in An American Soldier, a new opera about the hazing and death of the Chinese-American soldier from New York City.
Sarah Tilotta NPR

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 11:34 am

About two years ago, playwright David Henry Hwang turned down an offer to write a play about the brief life and suicide of Army Pvt. Danny Chen.

But an opera? He couldn't refuse.

"This is a story with big emotions, big primary colors in a way, and big plot events," says Hwang, who wrote the libretto for An American Soldier, a new hourlong opera commissioned by Washington National Opera.

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Song Travels
12:59 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Eleni Mandell On 'Song Travels'

Eleni Mandell.
Courtesy of the artist

Singer-songwriter Eleni Mandell draws inspiration from the sound of Los Angeles-based musician Chuck E. Weiss, the gritty poetry of Tom Waits and the cool edge of LA punk band X.

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All Songs Considered
11:09 am
Fri June 13, 2014

The Good Listener: When We Call Songs 'Filler,' What Does That Mean?

For fans of Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, filler is in the eye of the beholder.
David Black Courtesy of the artist

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the large wooden crates housing our new summer interns is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on what makes some albums seem padded and inconsistent.

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