Saintseneca is an Ohio-based folk-rock band led by Zac Little. After releasing an album called Last in 2013, the group went through changes in personnel and direction leading up to the appropriately titled Dark Arc, which came out this spring.
Steve Gunn's Time Off was one of 2013's most unfairly overlooked records. The guitarist blends the traditional and the avant-garde, fusing the sounds of John Fahey, The Grateful Dead and Will Oldham into back-porch masterpieces. Time Off is the kind of album that can suck the energy out of any room — in a good way.
On this week's All Songs Considered: After some speculation on Pink Floyd's just-announced album The Endless River, Robin kicks off the show with Broncho's "Class Historian," which he describes as the most immediately catchy song he's heard all year. Not to be out-catchied, Bob retaliates with Rubblebucket's "Carousel Ride," from the band's upcoming release Survival Sounds.
Since winning the Icelandic Music Award for best album of the year in his home country a few years ago, Ásgeir Trausti — best known simply as Ásgeir — has begun to win over larger parts of the world, including the U.S. He has a calm upper range voice, a voice not unlike Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. Later, he released In The Silence, a version of that award-winning album with the lyrics translated into the English.
We call on Cardiff, Wales for our World Cafe: Next artists this week. Kutosis is a power-pop trio whose music has been described as "post punk, reverb-drenched and breezy." Their second album, Dream It Away, was released in June on Jealous Lover's Club Records. From album artwork to song titles, this group is all about surfing — a fitting match for their sunny power pop.
Don't forget to download our World Cafe: Next podcast with two songs from Kutosis.
Sometimes music and life intersect in ways beyond words. Filmmaker James Marcus Haney set out to do two things, make a music video for the British trio Bear's Den and capture the last days of his little brothers carefree college days with friends.
What he wound up with is tragic and poignant. Shortly after arriving in Seattle to film, a campus shooting occurred. Haney relayed his story to me via email. He's as good with words as he is with imagery. I'm going to let him tell the story.
This week's Feature CD is "Love and Hate," the latest by Joan Osborne. Joan is one of the headliners at this weekend's The Ride festival in Telluride, playing from 2:45-3:45 Saturday afternoon in Town Park. Hear the CD in its entirety at noon this Friday. If you correctly answer our weekly trivia question at around 12:30, you could win lunch at Zia Taqueria.
People ask me all the time to name my favorite Tiny Desk Concert. It's my desk and I've seen almost all of the nearly 400 concerts up close. So you'd think this would be easy. Moon Hooch have made it a lot easier.
It's fitting that the first episode of Front Row Boston (a new digital and television series produced by WGBH Music and Crossroads Presents in association with NPR Music) features Boston-based Celtic punk legends Dropkick Murphys. Here they perform "The Boys Are Back" from their eighth studio album, Signed and Sealed in Blood.