Call JD McPherson's style a throwback if you like, but don't mistake it for novelty. The former punk rocker and middle-school art teacher crafts a raw and energetic blend of jump blues, rockabilly and early rock 'n' roll on his debut album Signs & Signifiers, recording to 1/4 tape on analog equipment. Still, McPherson is as likely to cite The Smiths or Wu-Tang Clan as influences as he is Little Richard or Ruth Brown.
Update at 4:40 p.m. ET. House Votes To Hold Holder In Contempt:
In a dramatic showdown between the branches of government, the Republican-led House voted along party lines to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. This is the first time in history an attorney general has been held in contempt.
Vows' debut album Winter's Grave arrived to NPR folded carefully in a worn piece of paper xeroxed with hand-drawn artwork. True to it's packaging, Winter's Grave is delicately hand-crafted rather then sloppily home-spun.
Vows is a dreamy, atmospheric band with pop sensibilities from a small town in New Jersey. The album's title track has a satisfying blend of enchanting and eerie sounds. It opens with a vibrant riff that rattles over synth keys but slips into dissonant, creepy organ sounds.
"It is of course true that the Act describes the payment as a 'penalty,' not a 'tax.' But while that label is fatal to the application of the Anti-Injunction Act, it does not determine whether the payment may be viewed as an exercise of Congress's taxing power."
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan at the Aspen Ideas Festival, but the big news today comes from Washington, where the Supreme Court upheld President Obama's health care law in a series of five-to-four votes. In a surprise, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the four liberal members of the court.
In the most anticipated and politicized Supreme Court ruling since Bush v. Gore, which decided the 2000 U.S. presidential contest, the high court on Thursday let stand, in a 5-4 decision, the centerpiece of President Obama's health care legislation.
Chief Justice John Roberts, providing the deciding vote and writing the majority opinion, laid out the rationale, which says that Congress under the Commerce Clause does not have the authority to require people to buy insurance — but it does have the authority to tax people who do not have coverage.
Marcus Samuelsson owns two restaurants in New York City and two restaurants in Sweden. He's cooked for President Obama and prime ministers, served as a judge on Top Chef and Chopped, and recently competed against 21 other chefs on Top Chef Masters. (He won.) He's the youngest chef ever to receive two three-star ratings from The New York Times.