Music News
2:22 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Who Sang It First? Mockingbirds And Musicians Cover Each Other In New Orleans

A short phrase New Orleans musicians use to communicate is identical to a common mockingbird call.
Sven Halling Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 5:47 pm

In certain New Orleans music scenes, there is a special sound — a signal — that lets players know it's time to pick up their instruments and strike up the band.

"It's a bugle call, or a band call, to assemble," trumpeter Leroy Jones says.

"It's like: C'mon, rally," musician Matt Bell adds. "Come to the bandstand and be ready to do it. Let's go."

The four-note phrase, however, doesn't belong to musicians alone. Another common New Orleans species, the mockingbird, also produces the call.

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Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program
2:13 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Happy Birthday, Blue Note

The Wayne Shorter Quartet performs at Blue Note at 75, The Concert.

Blue Note Records turns 75 this year, and to celebrate, Washington, D.C.'s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts hosted a concert featuring some of the record label's living legends and rising stars. From the early years with co-founder Alfred Lion to the revitalization under Bruce Lundvall, Blue Note Records has become and remained one of the most iconic brands in jazz.

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Favorite Sessions
1:54 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

KCRW Presents: Zola Jesus

Zola Jesus performs on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic.
Libby Pierson KCRW

Inspired by the Taiga forests which fill much of the world's Northern Hemisphere, Zola Jesus' new album of the same name is as expansive as the area it covers. While writing Taiga, Nika Roza Danilova moved to a remote island in the Pacific Northwest and immersed herself in solitude to create one of her best works. Zola Jesus recently joined KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic to perform some of her new songs — including this one, "Dangerous Days."


  • "Dangerous Days"
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World Cafe
1:43 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Latin Roots: Essential Latin Jazz

Machito, Jose Mangual and Carlos Vidal in 1947.
William Gottlieb Library Of Congress

We welcome record producer Aaron Luis Levinson back to World Cafe's Latin Roots: Essentials series. This week, Levinson offers up his essential Latin jazz picks, starting with Duke Ellington's version of "Caravan." The song, written by Puerto Rican trombonist Juan Tizol, is a classic of the genre — one of the most enduring melodies in jazz, Latin music and beyond.

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1:12 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Cardinal Sons On Mountain Stage

Cardinal Sons.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Cardinal Sons' members make their first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Augusta Heritage Center on the campus of Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia. The three brothers of Cardinal Sons — John, Joe and Dave Shirley — were raised in Mississippi and currently reside in New Orleans. The musical heritage of their homes forms a base for their more contemporary additions: bouncy synth lines, crunchy guitar and a rock beat.

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1:04 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Wild Beasts: A 'Beautiful Truth' In A Beautiful Bar

The members of Wild Beasts perform for a Field Recordings video shoot at The Campbell Apartment in New York City's Grand Central Station.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 1:30 pm

You can be 10 feet from The Campbell Apartment, a bar tucked into the corner of New York's Grand Central Station, and not have any idea it's there. The office of a member of the New York Central Railroad's Board Of Directors in the 1920s (and later a storage closet and a jail), the room is intimate in spite of its 25-foot ceilings and the enormous leaded-glass window that faces Vanderbilt Avenue.

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All Songs TV
12:36 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Fly Golden Eagle: 'Stepping Stone'

The members of Fly Golden Eagle, in a scene from their new video for the song "Stepping Stone."
Courtesy of the artist

Making music in a band is always and experiment. The players throw different elements into the enzymatic mix, let it all bubble together, and come up with a new compound every time. Recording these interactions for something as self-promotional as a music video can feel intrusive, like freezing something volatile. But a creative team can have fun with this awkward encounter.

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11:37 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Cafe Tacvba's Groundbreaking Influence, Then And Now

Cafe Tacvba's 1994 album Re changed Latin music as we know it.
Courtesy of the artist

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All Songs Considered
11:05 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Song Premiere, Robin Bacior, 'If It Does'

Robin Bacior's new album, Water Dreams, comes out Jan. 13.
Kim Smith Miller Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on

Robin Bacior's honeyed but vibrant voice hits gently, bestowing the listener with comfort and calm. The Portland singer-songwriter knows exactly what kind of arrangements suit her best: In "If It Does," from her forthcoming album Water Dreams, that gorgeous voice is laid atop a spare but shimmering bed of piano — and paired perfectly with Dan Bindschedler's cello.

This is subtle, nuanced music: Like the rest of Bacior's work, "If It Does" doesn't grab you audaciously. But it doesn't let go, either.

Here's Bacior, writing about "If It Does":

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World Cafe
10:59 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Hiss Golden Messenger On World Cafe

Hiss Golden Messenger.
Rich McKie XPN

World Cafe's guest today is Hiss Golden Messenger, the North Carolina folk-rock duo of M.C. Taylor and Scott Hirsch. The pair, originally from California, relocated to the East Coast when Taylor decided to study folklore at the University of North Carolina.

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