Tom Moon en First Listen: Adult Jazz, 'Gist Is' To music obsessives of a certain age, the current generation of listeners sometimes appears as lightweight grazers at the Internet smorgasbord who seem unwilling (possibly unable) to focus attention at depth on a single piece of music. The summary dismissal: The kids today, they can't handle all of what somebody like a <a href="" target="_blank">Frank Zappa</a> (or a band like King Crimson) throws at them.<p>It's a reckless, ageist generalization. But as often happens, it carries a shred of truth. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 03:03:00 +0000 Tom Moon 37218 at First Listen: Adult Jazz, 'Gist Is' First Listen: Bear In Heaven, 'Time Is Over One Day Old' Two minutes and 11 seconds into "They Dream," from <a href="">Bear in Heaven</a>'s fourth album <em>Time Is Over One Day Old,</em> the music takes a strange turn. The band has been shuttling along at a riveting adventure-movie clip, with Jon Philpot's reverb-swaddled voice functioning as the primary distinct element in a sleek blur. Then, abruptly, the tempo stops. A wash of Space Mountain synths dissolves slowly — the set has been struck. When Philpot begins to sing again, he's the sole occupant of the spotlight. Mon, 21 Jul 2014 03:03:00 +0000 Tom Moon 36894 at First Listen: Bear In Heaven, 'Time Is Over One Day Old' A Sax Trio Taps Tradition While Thriving In The Present <p></p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 20:44:00 +0000 Tom Moon 36667 at A Sax Trio Taps Tradition While Thriving In The Present First Listen: Cloud Boat, 'Model Of You' "The madness runs in cycles," Tom Clarke sings forebodingly in "The Glow," one of the highlights of the U.K. duo <a href="">Cloud Boat</a>'s second album. The music rushes along, propelled by the high-efficiency tick of a drum loop, but there's no trace of madness or even anxiety in his voice. Instead, Clarke radiates priestly calm as he gives listeners a set of vague, odd instructions: "Take some of these candles," he intones darkly, as if calling from some Middle Ages theater. Mon, 30 Jun 2014 03:03:00 +0000 Tom Moon 35901 at First Listen: Cloud Boat, 'Model Of You' Album Review: 'While You Were Sleeping' Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: A jazz singer for the hip-hop generation - that's how Jose James was described after he released his first album last year for the famed Blue Note record label. James has now released a follow-up. It's called, While You Were Sleeping. And reviewer Tom Moon says the 35-year-old shows phenomenal growth.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING")<p>JOSE JAMES: (Singing) Shadows long upon my face. Tue, 17 Jun 2014 20:06:00 +0000 Tom Moon 35340 at First Listen: Conor Oberst, 'Upside Down Mountain' You probably haven't been waiting around for some singer-songwriter to update Harry Chapin's inescapable 1974 hit "Cat's In the Cradle," the slightly cloying tune about the changing dynamic between parents and children over time. And if you did happen to be waiting for such a song, you probably wouldn't put <a href="">Conor Oberst</a>, noted sensitive indie-rock soul, in charge of writing it. Mon, 12 May 2014 03:03:00 +0000 Tom Moon 33617 at First Listen: Conor Oberst, 'Upside Down Mountain' Album Review: 'Everyday Robots' Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>Damon Albarn's first solo album is out today. Albarn was the frontman of the acclaimed British rock band Blur in the '90s, and since 2000, he has spearheaded the multi-platinum group Gorillaz.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE WINDMILL")<p>GORILLAZ: (Singing) Take it all it on your stride. And it's sticking, falling down. Love forever...<p>SIEGEL: Reviewer Tom Moon says Albarn's new work seeks out the flipside to the Gorillaz' manic intensity. Tue, 29 Apr 2014 20:03:00 +0000 Tom Moon 33070 at First Listen: tUnE-yArDs, 'Nikki Nack' The creators of pop music are usually able to break down the fundamentals of their craft — that search for the clever rhyme, the killer beat, the singable chorus. They are less articulate, understandably, about the other quest, the one that powers those everyday searches: the pursuit of ecstasy in sound. There's something almost paranormal about that part of the creative process, yet we know those moments, instantly, when we hear them. Fri, 25 Apr 2014 12:04:00 +0000 Tom Moon 32875 at First Listen: tUnE-yArDs, 'Nikki Nack' First Listen: Thievery Corporation, 'Saudade' Every language has words and phrases that elude easy translation. In Portuguese, "saudade" (pronounced by Brazilians as "sow-DAH-djee") is one of those. Some musicians equate it with the blues; it's generally associated with melancholy and longing. In its most recent bio, the Washington, D.C., electronic duo <a href="">Thievery Corporation</a> defines it as "a longing for something or someone that is lost."<p>Though countless songs have "saudade" in the title, the condition of saudade isn't usually conveyed through words. It's evoked. Mon, 24 Mar 2014 03:03:00 +0000 Tom Moon 31339 at First Listen: Thievery Corporation, 'Saudade' Album Review: 'Morning Phase' Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>The singer and songwriter Beck is considered one of the most innovative artists of his generation. This week, he released "Morning Phase," his first new album in six years. Critic Tom Moon says the new record returns back to the brooding pop of 2002's "Sea Change," which many consider his best work.<p>TOM MOON: We hear it constantly. Everything in this on-demand culture seems to be moving fast and getting faster. Here's an exception: The new songs from noted contrarian Beck. They're slow. Deliciously, magnificently slow. Tue, 25 Feb 2014 21:35:00 +0000 Tom Moon 30239 at