My first experience seeing Joseph was in 2014 as an opening act in New York City. It was just the twins Meegan and Allison Closner and their older sister, Natalie Closner, and it was clear then they had something special. Over these two years, Joseph's sound has grown beyond the Closners' harmonies. Now, you're likely to see them with a band or hear songs from their latest record, which is filled with sounds far beyond voice and acoustic guitar.

This week, Phil Collins released a memoir called Not Dead Yet. As if to prove the title's truth, he also announced new tour dates. Collins isn't dead yet, nor are many of his pioneering contemporaries — in fact, boomer musicians seem to be having a bit of a pop-culture moment.

Four years ago, the world learned the name Pussy Riot, a politically active Russian art collective whose members were all women. Members of that group staged a punk rock demonstration in a church in protest of Russian president Vladimir Putin and the Russian church's support of his presidential campaign.

On this week's +1 podcast, NPR Music contributor Timmhotep Aku talks with singer and rapper Anderson .Paak and producer Knxwledge about their new collaboration under the name NxWorries.

The music the LA-based duo makes exists at the intersection of soul and raw, sample-based hip-hop ballads over beats. Anderson .Paak lends his inimitable voice, songwriting and slick tongue to NxWorries, while Knxwledge is the quieter half with a talent for finding and flipping samples into transfixing loops.

In the middle of a sold-out three-night run at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, Wilco recorded a very special session for KCRW. The band was in top form, playing some fan favorites alongside songs from its latest release, Schmilco. Here's the excellent "Someone To Lose."


  • "Someone To Lose"

Photo: Dustin Downing/KCRW.

There may be no better place than New Orleans to explore the ties of family and tradition in jazz. This episode of Jazz Night in America visits the Crescent City to hear two local musical giants: singer John Boutté and drummer Shannon Powell. The video documentary presents highlights from their shared concert at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz and Heritage Center, while the radio episode also spends time with each of them at their homes, tracing their familial roots and exploring why they've chosen to stay local.

This week we present the first episode from the 2016-2017 Pickathon Woods Series. These videos are hand-picked by opbmusic to showcase some of the most exciting performances captured at the Woods Stage during Pickathon, a three-day festival held each summer just outside Portland, Ore.

As Bon Iver's Justin Vernon prepped the release for his latest mind-bender, 22, A Million, he knew he didn't want to talk too much about the album or grant a lot of interviews. So he held a single press conference in Eau Claire, Wisc., on Sept. 2, just a few weeks after performing the entire album live at Vernon's own Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival.

It's hard to imagine a more desolate, soul-crushing landscape than the great salt flats in Bolivia. The Salar de Uyuni stretch as far as the eye can see for thousands of square miles, with nothing to disturb the horizon but a vast layer of salt several feet thick. It's like a surreal, alien planet completely incapable of supporting any life.

What are you doing for the next 10 days? That's how long it would take, without sleep, to listen to the new Mozart edition. The mammoth set, which some are touting as the biggest box set ever, claims to hold every note of Mozart's music and then some.

First Listen: Lambchop, 'FLOTUS'

Oct 27, 2016

It isn't always easy for an established group to pivot toward a new sound — but it might be a little easier for Kurt Wagner. The mastermind of the Nashville indie group Lambchop has long employed his project as an ever-changing entity rather than a fixed ensemble.

First Listen: Jim James, 'Eternally Even'

Oct 27, 2016

"You can't build love out of guns and blood and sorrow," sings Jim James in "Same Old Lie." It's one of the standout tracks on the My Morning Jacket frontman's latest solo album, Eternally Even — an album that's not afraid to steep itself in the dark side. Where his last solo outing, 2013's Regions Of Light And Sound Of God, was suffused with delicacy and light, Eternally Even is gritty and grim.

Even if you've never heard Hope Sandoval's music, you'll know her M.O. well before the end of Until The Hunter's first song: This is an artist who takes her time. For the nine minutes "Into The Trees" takes to unfold, the singer coos a few words in a drowsily longing whisper — "I miss you" — over a bed of organs. The song doesn't aim for any particular destination, opting instead for a pleasant, if vaguely unsettled, amble through the fog.

In the book that serves as a companion piece and reciprocal guide to her mazy, incandescent new collection of songs, the singer-songwriter, author and punk mystic Kristin Hersh shares the harrowing story of an accident that took place on a mountain road between two club shows. Her tour bus caught on fire; she had to pull one of her children from the flames. Deeply shaken, she told her bandmates and family that she'd cancel the rest of the tour. But no one would leave her.

Heart Like A Levee, the new album from Hiss Golden Messenger, soulfully weaves together all the musical styles we have come to expect from the North Carolina band. Led by M.C. Taylor, the band marries airy country, Van Morrison-style soul and dusty rock 'n' roll with lyrics that feel both universal and surprisingly personal.

When I tell people that I recently talked to Charles Aznavour, I tend to get two questions. First, from people of a certain age, those who remember where they were when JFK was shot: "Charles Aznavour is still performing?" Second, from younger people, a more basic question: "Charles who?"

Tall Heights formed in 2010, when guitarist Tim Harrington and cellist Paul Wright were performing mainly on the streets of Boston. That origin story helps account for the duo's minimal instrumentation. Harrington and Wright included only what they felt was essential to their pensive, classically-informed folk: guitar, cello and their two voices.

Kula Shaker On World Cafe

Oct 25, 2016

Kula Shaker had a huge hit with its 1996 debut album, K, which went double platinum in the U.K. The band's music was profoundly affected by frontman Crispian Mills' travels in India. Kula Shaker's second album, Peasants, Pigs & Astronauts, was not as successful, and the band went on hiatus from 1999 to 2004. Now, 20 years after K, comes a companion album, K 2.0, filled with the psychedelic spirituality of the still-evolving band.

This intimate, completely unadorned cover of Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" will warm your heart. Andrew Bird and The National's Matt Berninger recorded the song together in Bird's living room; Bird provided the instrumentation, his trademark whistling and violin gracefully looping together, and Berninger reads the lyrics from a sheet of paper on the floor.

In this week's All Songs Considered, we feature three solo projects by some of our favorite bandleaders, a solo artist's duets record, and new music from some familiar faces, or more accurately put, some familiar Lips. The Flaming Lips are back with a new album, Oczy Młody, inspired by a Polish book that Wayne Coyne owns and finds phonetically fascinating (even if he doesn't understand any of the words). We've also got Run the Jewels, a duo that's all about the words and whose new single speaks to urgent issues of race relations.

Kero Kero Bonito is a glitter cannon to the heart, a highly caffeinated mix of '90s house-pop, '80s synth-pop and J-pop, with English and Japanese singing and rapping from Sarah Midori Perry. With its video for "Trampoline," the U.K. trio is here to make the world a little less drab.

In the "Raincoats" episode of Seinfeld, when Jerry describes his pal Elaine's new boyfriend as "a bit of a close talker," he doesn't mean it as a compliment. Jerry describes the ultimate social sinner who has no concept of personal space, who is so invasive that when he speaks he forces everyone around him to lean back lest they find themselves on a first-name basis with his pores.

My adoration for Bellows continues. In 2014 Blue Breath became one of my top albums of the year.

World Cafe Next: Walker Lukens

Oct 24, 2016

Is indie-rock singer-songwriter Walker Lukens ready to break out of his Austin bubble? Lukens' 2013 album Devoted was well received locally. Now, he's back with a new EP produced and recorded by Spoon drummer Jim Eno. (Lukens and Eno connected in a typically Austin manner: by striking up a conversation in a bar.)

In music, we can escape the cruelties of the world or face them. There's no wrong way about it, but recently the members of Drive-By Truckers, a band that's long toed the line between a good time and a hard look at life, found they could no longer work purely in metaphor.

Lil Wayne's prison memoir, Gone Til November, is — like his two Sorry 4 The Wait mixtapes — framed as a stopgap offering to quell fan's appetites during an unexpectedly prolonged wait between official projects.

Whitney On World Cafe

Oct 24, 2016

Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek were feeling pretty low in the winter of 2014. They had each gone through a romantic breakup; the band they used to play in, Smith Westerns, had broken up, too. Things were looking pretty grim until the day Kakacek brought home a tape machine, and an impromptu recording session made way for a new songwriting outlet. They called their new band Whitney.

Run The Jewels has always been heavy as hell, a hip-hop duo that can hang with leather-clad metalheads as much as the club.

Drake has released three new songs. The Canadian rapper and singer debuted "Two Birds, One Stone," "Sneakin'" and "Fake Love" Sunday night on his Beats 1 radio program. The latter two tracks are out now via Spotify.

Few in the roots scene had heard of Yola Carter before she made her first appearance at Nashville's Americana Fest in September, which might've suggested that she was some sort of musical rookie. In fact, the 33-year-old black, British singer-songwriter is a seasoned studio and stage pro.