Music

Music

When it comes to heavyweight game-changers like Claude Debussy, super fans even celebrate death anniversaries. It was 100 years ago, March 25, 1918, that the visionary composer lost his battle with cancer and died in Paris at age 56.

To mark the occasion, Warner Classics has issued a handsome 33-CD box containing what the label says is "the most complete collection ever made" of Debussy's music.

In the 1980s, as hip-hop was budding in the streets of New York City, a teenage girl from the Queens projects emerged as one of the genre's first female stars. At 14, Lolita Shanté Gooden, better known as Roxanne Shante, was a fierce, freestyling rap prodigy.

New Music Friday: March 23

Mar 23, 2018

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with NPR Music's Lars Gotrich, Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson about the essential albums landing today, including Jack White's sprawling, completely bonkers Boarding House Reach; Americana from Courtney Marie Andrews; R&B singer Toni Braxton's first new solo album in nearly a decade; far-out Canadians Yamantaka Sonic Titan and more. Hear the discussion and songs with the play button at the top of the page or by subscribing to the All Songs Considered podcast.

Featured Albums:

There's an abundance of jubilation and glee in the strums, trills, double stops and drones from the Swedish instrumental band Väsen. The trio came to the Tiny Desk with just three instruments, but all together it was a 30-string sonic blast of 12-string guitar, viola and nyckelharpa (a fiddle with keys — think 15th century keytar).

Molly Tuttle On Mountain Stage

Mar 22, 2018

When browsing photos of Molly Tuttle on stage, we searched (to no avail) for a shot of her making it look hard. Her cool, calm stage presence makes performing look incredibly easy. But listen closely to this set recorded in January, and you will easily hear the intricate and precise playing that earned her the award of International Bluegrass Music Association Guitarist of the Year.

My first experience attending SXSW was like running around the most generously stocked international grocery store with a bottomless cart and an unlimited budget. But for my musical ears.

Each of the artists in today's trio would make a wonderful guest on World Cafe by herself. Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O'Donovan each have stunning solo albums. Many recognize Sara Watkins name from Nickel Creek, the band she started with her brother and Chris Thile.

Terence Blanchard has always been drawn to a form of lyricism that runs burnished and bittersweet. You can track this mood throughout his career as a post-bop trumpeter, and no less in his dozens of film scores, in and beyond a long affiliation with Spike Lee.

In the run-up to SXSW 2015, the All Songs Considered team could agree on one pop jam to rule them all: Genevieve's "Colors." Sometimes billed as "Show Your Colors," the song has popped up in commercials and landed the singer at the Tiny Desk, where curmudgeonly pop skeptic Bob Boilen couldn't help but marvel at how thoroughly he'd been won over.

As the humanitarian and political crisis continued to mount in her native Venezuela, Ane Diaz turned to the folk songs that shaped her early life and put her own spin on them, as a way to protect what she considers national treasures.

Soul singer Jordan Rakei moved to London a few years ago and the creative community there has played a big role in his flourishing music career. His sophomore album, Wallflowers, is a collection of emotive, accomplished songs committed to a bolder exploration of his sonic craft. The jazz elements come through even stronger in his live performances. Wacth Rakei perform his track "Eye To Eye."

Photos By Brian Feinzimer

I am not ashamed to admit it: I was overcome with emotion a few moments after entering Areito Estudio Ciento Uno (Areito Studio 101) inside the EGREM recording complex in the center of Havana, Cuba.

The first thing you notice about almost any song by The Shacks is that voice. Singer Shannon Wise wields a mesmerizing wisp, silky and lambent, like curls of smoke swirling into a moonlight sky.

Explaining "Miki Dora," the first song we heard from his fourth album as Amen Dunes, Damon McMahon wrote in January that the iconic surfer of the title served as "a true embodiment of the distorted male psyche" and "a reflection on all manifestations of mythical heroic maleness and its illusions." But listening to it, you could be forgiven for thinking the song is starry-eyed.

If you've ever gone down the rabbit hole that is OK Go's YouTube channel, then you know how insanely cool the band's music videos are.

Around a year ago, a group of women connected within the NPR universe started having a conversation about music. We had a plan to make a list, one that would challenge decades-old assumptions about what and who matters most in popular music. Our idea was a simple one: Put women at the center, instead of just including a few somewhere around number seven or 32.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Singing The Land

Mar 21, 2018

In this program, Fiona Ritchie guides you to some very special landscapes. We feature music from Karine Polwart's award-winning theatrical event "Wind Resistance," originally presented in association with the Edinburgh International Festival. We'll also hear excerpts from fiddler Duncan Chisholm's "Sandwood," named for the finest and least accessible beach in Scotland.

In July , NPR Music published Turning The Tables, its list of The 150 Greatest Albums By Women released during the "classic album era," defined as 1964-2016. Our occasional listening parties bring together voters to discuss some of their favorites from the list.

The National Library of Congress has shared its latest batch of musical inductees to the National Recording Registry. The 25 works — a mix of singles, field recordings, albums and soundtracks — represent myriad genres and time periods, and bring the Registry's overall catalog up to 500 entries.

The idea behind our South X Lullaby series was to offer intimate moments with musicians as an antidote to the commotion and deluge that is the SXSW music festival. When we met Lucy Dacus for her Lullaby and found out she'd perform "Historians," a most somber song from her deeply personal and triumphant album Historian, it felt just right. It's a song of reflection, the story of two intertwined partners and the way they document one another's lives and preserve each other's memories.

Something's askew in "Oh Baby," the suspiciously peppy second single off Hot Chip member Alexis Taylor's upcoming, Tim Goldsworthy-produced album Beautiful Thing.

With a production assist from his Hot Chip partner-in-crime Joe Goddard, and band members on the track, it scans as a rollicking alternate-universe reincarnation of the electronic music class clowns as a power-pop group.

It started with a lofty promise: "What's up lovely people of SXSW. We are Superorganism and we're gonna blow your m****f****** minds!"

What followed lead singer Orono Noguchi's confident introduction was a one-way ticket to the weird and wonderful wavelength of this crew of kooks from all over the place — including South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and the U.K., where they now live and create in a shared house in London.

Sarah Louise must have a sick sense of humor, or just perfectly inappropriate timing: The second day of spring has been welcomed with heavy snow on the East Coast, and I am grumpy about it. But dangit, her new song helping keep the soul toasty.

Welcome to Invisibilia Season 4! The NPR program and podcast explores the invisible forces that shape human behavior, and we here at Goats and Soda are joining in for the podcast's look at how a reality show in Somalia tried to do far more than crown a winning singer. The ultimate goal: to change human behavior.

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