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"You know, I really wasn't kidding," laughs David Crosby, referencing our 2016 conversation about his then-new album, Lighthouse, during which he'd described experiencing an unprecedented, elongated bout of creativity. The imminent arrival of Lighthouse's follow-up, Sky Trails, less than a year later, lends Crosby's claim credibility. Crosby has released six solo albums since 1971, but three of them have arrived since 2014.

First Listen: Loney Dear, 'Loney Dear'

Sep 21, 2017

When last the world heard a full-length from Emil Svanängen, who records under the name Loney Dear, it was 2011's Hall Music. It's a symphonic sprawl of a record that heaped instrument upon instrument atop the Swedish singer-songwriter's elfin voice and tender melodies. Since then, he's switched labels, from the celebrated indie Polyvinyl to no less than Peter Gabriel's pet imprint, Real World. In that time, Svanängen has also pulled back. Where Hall Music swelled and swirled, his new album, Loney Dear, whispers.

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When 2-month-old Isaac Enrique Sanchez was diagnosed with pyloric stenosis, a condition that causes vomiting, dehydration and weight loss in infants, his parents were told that their son's condition was curable. The problem was that no hospital in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas had a pediatric surgery team capable of performing the operation on his stomach.

When the fourth-graders in Mrs. Marlem Diaz-Brown's class returned to school on Monday, they were tasked with writing their first essay of the year. The topic was familiar: Hurricane Irma.

By Wednesday, they had worked out their introduction and evidence paragraphs and were brainstorming their personal experiences. To help them remember, Mrs. D-B had them draw out a timeline — starting Friday before the storm. Then, based on their drawings, they could start to talk about — and eventually, write about — what they experienced.

In this special episode, we're having a listening party inspired by Turning the Tables, NPR Music's list of 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women. It was spearheaded by Ann Powers, our Nashville correspondent. She joins us — along with Alisa Ali from WFUV in New York City, Andrea Swensson from The Current in Minneapolis, and me, Talia Schlanger — to focus on a couple important records from that list that came out in the '90s.

There's one extraordinarily beautiful shot in Stronger that helps account for why this inspirational drama, about a man who lost both his legs in the Boston Marathon bombing, stands out from other films of its kind. As the city of Boston processes this traumatic event and the manhunt that followed, Jeff Bauman, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, braces himself for the agony of having the dressing removed from his amputated limbs for the first time.

In Mexico City and surrounding areas, rescuers are still searching for casualties and survivors of Tuesday's earthquake. More than 200 people are believed to have died.

Geologically speaking, Mexico City is not built in a very good place.

This is the second big quake in Mexico in less than two weeks. It came 32 years to the day after another deadly quake. And there will be more in the future, though when is anyone's guess.

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Many plays have been called "kitchen sink" dramas because of their attempts at realism, but Oh My Sweet Land takes that to the extreme. It uses not just the sink but also the stove, the refrigerator, a chopping board and a very big knife — and it's being performed in kitchens across New York.

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NPR Music and program directors from VuHaus' public radio music station network today announced Big Thief, Jamila Woods and Lo Moon as the inaugural class of Slingshot, a new collective effort among taste-making stations to elevate the profiles of exceptional emerging artists.

Kishi Bashi With Strings On Mountain Stage

Sep 20, 2017

Eclectic pop maestro Kishi Bashi makes his front-and-center debut on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va.

Fall is when the publishing industry gets serious, when it leaves beach books in the sand and turns to weightier topics. And what could be weightier than the greatest question of all: the meaning of life. Two new books — one a novel; one a (sort of) memoir — tackle that ultimate question through experimental forms of writing.

I know, I know: "Experimental writing" is surely one of the least enticing literary terms. But don't be put off, because both of these odd new books offer something special, something that more "broken in" forms of writing can't provide.

On television, Jerry Seinfeld has not only been astoundingly successful, he's also been amazingly consistent in pursuing and presenting his particular comic vision. He doesn't do big shows or specials about grand ideas and giant themes. He does narrowly focused TV programs about specific concepts — then, within those narrow confines, he finds humor, honesty and sometimes even art.

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The first time I saw the soulful singer Moses Sumney was in a church in Iceland. The Los Angeles-based singer was laying down loops with his guitar and the sounds that day made and the songs that he sang had me eager to hear an entire album from this talented man.

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Hurricane Maria has made landfall in Puerto Rico. Officials say this could be the strongest hurricane ever to hit the U.S. territory, and that is unnerving even hurricane veterans on the island like Abel Mendez.

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel thwacked the latest Republican health care proposal Tuesday night after one of the senators sponsoring the bill invoked Kimmel's name.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., touted Tuesday on Capitol Hill that his plan passes the "Jimmy Kimmel test."

Watch Lo Moon Play 'This Is It' In 360 Degrees

Sep 20, 2017

Lo Moon's carefully crafted dream-pop songs have made them one of Los Angeles' most exciting bands to watch. Get inside KCRW's studios with a virtual reality performance of the group's shimmering single, "This Is It."

Over the past couple of years, Big Thief has quickly gained a passionate and devoted fan base with a rare, quiet force.

Appearing to come out of nowhere last year with its critically hailed, and aptly titled debut, Masterpiece, the band has already taken a quantum leap on its fast (and also aptly titled) follow-up, Capacity. Indeed, Adrianne Lenker's solo performance and conversation at WFUV gave us the rare opportunity to get an intimate glimpse of the vulnerability she wields in powerful ways.

Between songs at her soundcheck at PUBLIC ARTS, the venue attached to Ian Schrager's PUBLIC hotel in downtown Manhattan, Jamila Woods is quick to pull out her phone. For the Chicago-based singer, it isn't a sign of disengagement; in fact, it's just the opposite. As her musical star has risen, Woods has held onto her full-time job as the Associate Artistic Director at Young Chicago Authors. She teaches, writes curricula and trains teachers at the non-profit, and is still coordinating via email, even as she takes vacation to promote her album's re-release on Jagjaguwar Records.

Anyone who has heard Jamila Woods' music knows she's an extraordinary artist. In our inaugural edition of Slingshot, you'll also learn what an extraordinary person she is, too.

Woods' lyrics depict a childhood spent growing up black on the south side of Chicago — emphasis on growing up. Her debut album, HEAVN, combines familiar playground double-dutch rhythms alongside references to Toni Morrison folk-tale collections. She is part poet and part professor.

Last night, at the nightclub and circus-arts space House of Yes in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law legislation that establishes an Office of Nightlife and a Nightlife Advisory Board.

Zine And Heard: In 'Moxie,' A Young Woman Fights Back

Sep 20, 2017

Caitlyn Paxson is a writer and performer. She is a regular reviewer for NPR Books and Quill & Quire.

The slogan "Moxie Girls Fight Back!" is a call to arms for all the girls slipping quietly through the halls, biting their lips to contain their anger, striving to keep invisible and get through the day.

After Hurricane Harvey, it was no surprise that restaurants in New Orleans quickly became a hub for many local efforts to help.

In the long haul, though, it is restaurants in the very areas hard-hit by Harvey that will be their own sources of community self-help.

That's one lesson from New Orleans' experience after Hurricane Katrina, and it's one that translates to others facing monumental loss. It's the way restaurants, fancy and modest alike, become beacons, and how the principle of service reaches beyond hot meals and cold drinks.

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