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The music of Colombia is in the spotlight this week as we check in with our friends at Alt Latino. Felix Contreras usually joins us with a number of artists to share. Today he has just one artist.


If anything was going to make the case for putting warning labels on music, it was 2 Live Crew at the turn of the 1990s. The hip-hop group's output was so sexually explicit that it eventually became the subject of an obscenity case that made its way through some of the highest courts in this country. The man at the center of it all was Luther Campbell, a.k.a Luke Skywalker, the alter-ego that helped make 2 Live Crew one of the most legendary and notorious rap acts ever.

The Newport Jazz Festival is under way this weekend in Newport, Rhode Island. Among the featured performers is a young pianist — a very young pianist — named Joey Alexander. He is 12 years old, completely self-taught and one of the youngest musicians ever to play the storied festival.

What do Mozart, Herbie Hancock and Michael Jackson have in common? For one, their musical talent was discovered early — they were all considered child prodigies.

"I can't stop mourning, it's like hearing cancer spreading," singer and bassist Julie DeLano sings. "It's like hope is a fairy tale and so are the gods, and change is unheard of." In "Wake Of The World," the buoyant final track from the Brooklyn band Gold's self-titled album, DeLano unfurls a laconic string of half-sung, half-spoken inner feelings and open statements about the sad and unsustainable state of society.

Sometimes rock 'n' roll can be a load of bull, gamed by release schedules, promotion cycles and Twitter beefs that turn as tepid as a beer left swimming in a swampy cooler all night. Featuring two guys who've been through the grind — Zak Sally played bass with Low in the '90s and Dale Flattum was in Steel Pole Bath Tub — and Gay Witch Abortion drummer Shawn Walker, The Hand has decided to cut through it all: no records, no tours, no studios, just dirty, full-throttle rock 'n' roll how they want it, when they want it.

KCRW Presents: Baio

Jul 31, 2015

Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio is striking out on his own as Baio, and he brought a string quartet to KCRW's studio to premiere songs from his first full-length. The album veers between danceable electronic music and thoughtful, catchy pop songs like this one, called "Needs."


  • "Needs"