Music

Music

On Monday night, a bombing timed to coincide with the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester killed 22 people, many children, and injured dozens more. Today, Grande responded at length to the tragedy in a letter to her fans that she posted on social media.

In the letter, Grande says she will return to Manchester "to spend time with my fans and to have a benefit concert in honor of and to raise money for the victims and their families." No date was given for the concert, which the singer writes is still being finalized.

Terence Blanchard On Piano Jazz

13 hours ago

Grammy award-winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard carries the torch of New Orleans jazz in the tradition of the great Louis Armstrong, who shares his hometown. In 2004, Blanchard was Marian McPartland's guest on Piano Jazz.

Pokey LaFarge joins World Cafe to perform new songs from his latest album, Manic Revelations. LaFarge lives in St. Louis, right near Ferguson, Mo., which he says inspired his song "Riot In The Streets." He puts it this way:

When the Texas band Bedhead got the box-set treatment in 2014, the reissue provided an excellent chance to revisit the recorded legacy of Matt and Bubba Kadane, who've spent the last quarter-century experimenting within a precise, deliberately paced sound.

Carly Rae Jepsen, the pop star of our hearts, voices Odette in the animated film Leap!, which will see U.S. distribution in September. Her character is a caretaker who coaches a young girl (voiced by Elle Fanning) to become a ballerina in Paris. I sense whimsy and heartfelt speeches are in my future.

I was, admittedly, thrown for a loop when Gabriel Garzón-Montano told me that he wanted to perform unaccompanied, just him and a piano. The meticulousness of his work is clear on his debut album, Jardin, a three-year creative process in which Gabriel plays most of the instruments, tracking them to two-inch tape, layering its overall sound. Jardin takes its title as an umbrella; fruits, bugs and other plants are the driving metaphors tying together this dense work, which blooms over successive listens.

Two decades after his death, Tupac Shakur is still the headline-generating, record-selling, contentious figure that he was in life. From DJ Funkmaster Flex's recent tearful Tupac rant to the fresh diss tracks it generated in response, our obsession with the legend continues to grow. And it's bigger than hip-hop.

A year ago today, Gucci Mane emerged from an Indiana federal penitentiary a slimmer, sober, reformed version of his old self. Though still confined to house arrest, the Atlanta rapper quickly began picking up the pieces of a career left in limbo when he received a 39-month sentence on gun and drug charges in 2014.

Singer and multi-instrumentalist Krystle Warren has been compared to artists like Tracy Chapman and Nina Simone. The latter comparison is particularly intriguing: Not only does Warren share that icon's talent for evocative storytelling, but she also lives in France, as Simone once did.

By night, they play gigs. By day, they sample ramen in cities across America.

Listening to Pinegrove's music gives you that warm feeling of spending time with old friends — familiar, nostalgic and endearingly rough around the edges. And although its 2016 album Cardinal got a lot of love from critics, Pinegrove is a young band that still practices in the basement of one member's parents' house in Montclair, N.J.

How is this for a first day on the job: Maurice Murphy, the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO)'s late principal trumpet player, spent his very first day with the orchestra recording Star Wars' iconic opening theme, with its incredible brass fanfare — and Murphy leading the trumpets.

Singer José James has been best known as a modern-day jazz singer, but his latest album, Love In A Time Of Madness, sets him on the path to become a powerful force in contemporary R&B. "Closer" is a perfect example of his new direction.

Set List

  • "Closer"

Photo: Davis Bell/KCRW.

This week's show celebrates the concept of collaboration in two very important ways. First, it is the story of the Puerto Rican band ÌFÉ and its innovative, collective approach to the spiritual side of Yoruba culture. Bandleader Otura Mun has assembled a group of musicians steeped in the Afro-Caribbean culture of the drum, and together they have created a sound that is both familiar and completely new.

Absolutely Not are absolutely fab. After a few promising EPs of glammed-up garage-punk, the Chicago band is set to release Errors, its spastic and ridiculously fun debut full-length. This is a punk record dialed into an alien frequency with a heavy production that makes the spare instrumentation (guitar, keyboards, drums) sound like a spaceship crashing into Earth.

Nick Lowe has always been something of a prankster. The guy who called his first album Jesus Of Cool and once notoriously rhymed "Rick Astley" with "ghastly" always loved to give people's expectations a bit of a tweak. So in retrospect it's not surprising that his 1984 album Nick Lowe And His Cowboy Outfit featured only one actual country tune, a cover of the Faron Young hit "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young," buried at the end of the LP's second side.

If the word "aura" is defined as a pervasive atmosphere, then it's a perfect title for this piece by Anna Thorvaldsdottir, who has a knack for creating vivid sonic environments.

When Amber Coffman left Dirty Projectors, the split was acrimonious enough to inspire the band's first song since 2012.

There's a perception these days (not entirely unfounded) that country music rewards its male performers for following a particular formula. The combination of gleaming, rhythmic Top 40 hooks, flirtatious frat-party swagger and small-town backdrops has served as a pattern in the industry, largely because it works., and artists who helped lay out the template, like Luke Bryan and Sam Hunt, have contributed mightily to the growth of country's millennial fanbase.

Most musicians who achieve a certain amount of acclaim only to disappear from the public eye get cast as reclusive. The baggage that label carries has never quite fit Cody ChesnuTT. Even if you tried to pin it on him, he'd no doubt shake himself free. In between the release of his sprawling 2002 lo-fi debut, The Headphone Masterpiece, and the 2012 studio follow-up, Landing On A Hundred, the soul conjurer's mystique only grew.

It was not uncommon, in the mid-20th century, for black American artists and writers to take up more-or-less permanent residence in Europe. Jazz musicians like Bud Powell and Dexter Gordon spent years living in Paris and Copenhagen, enticed by the artistic respect and comparative lack of racial discrimination they found while touring the Continent.

Mac DeMarco On World Cafe

May 24, 2017

Mac DeMarco is just turning 27, but his new album, This Old Dog, seems to represent a more mature persona than he's projected in the past. Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, DeMarco has always been known for bringing the party — and then taking it over the top. But when his father (with whom he's had a difficult relationship for most of his life) became ill, DeMarco wrote the more sober "My Old Man" for him, thinking he was not going to recover.

Early Tuesday morning I awoke to the horrific news of the Manchester terror attack. A suspected suicide bomber killed at least 22 people and injured dozens more at an Ariana Grande concert.

I must admit that I don't know Ariana Grande or her music, but since then I have learned that she has a large fan base of female teens and tweens. So I now wonder: Was this attack a deliberate attempt to silence those young women and girls enjoying themselves at a concert?

"It's so heartbreaking because so many little ones attend our shows ... I just keep thinking about them," Ariana Grande's drummer wrote on Tuesday.

Updated at 11:40 p.m. ET

The father and younger brother of suspected Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi have been arrested in Libya.

When the story of Atlanta's turn-of-the-millennium sonic boom is told 100 years from now, Organized Noize — the production trio of Ray Murray, Sleepy Brown and Rico Wade — will be the sound architects credited with putting the Dirty South on the map.

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