Music

Music

At its best, country music is a preserve for the up-close and personal. From Merle Haggard to Miranda Lambert, the genre's most powerful storytellers illuminate big subjects like family, love or work by focusing on small details unfolding in kitchens, on back porches or in farm fields.

BADBADNOTGOOD made a name for itself by reworking songs from the likes of Nas and Ol' Dirty Bastard, eventually catching the attention of Odd Future leader Tyler,

For more than 50 years, the recently knighted Sir Raymond Douglas Davies, CBE, has been fascinated with American music and American culture. In the early 1960s, he and his brother Dave formed The Kinks to play Little Richard songs and original tunes steeped in rock 'n' roll.

Review: Ty Segall, 'Ty Segall'

Jan 23, 2017

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released.

Last year, Brazil lost one of its most famous musicians: Naná Vasconcelos, who put an instrument called the berimbau on the world's musical map. It's a kind of bow with a gourd attached, and it is the inspiration for a new album, MeiaMeia: New Music for Berimbau, by the group Arcomusical.

Members of the Philly punk scene and from across the country have come together for Don't Stop Now, a compilation of covers that benefits the American Civil Liberties Union. It was released today via Bandcamp, with this note:

This compilation is an expression of love, anger, hope and protest on inauguration day. Let it serve as a reminder that the fight for justice is not over, that the celebration of diversity is essential to progress, that we must work together for what is fair and good. Can't stop. Won't Stop. Don't stop now.

Love songs can often feel myopic. Sometimes it's to their benefit: When done with a certain emotional depth, lyrical particularity can take on a universal quality. It's as simple as someone telling a story that evokes an intimate memory in someone else. That's one of the many reasons why love (and subsequent heartache) is the most popular songwriting topic of all, but also the most exhaustive — and exhausting.

Long before Marea Stamper was The Black Madonna, feminist DJ heroine, she was a known and beloved figure on the Midwestern rave scene: the mixtape girl. Stamper, who grew up in a small eastern Kentucky town and found her dance-music calling early because of a record-collecting stepfather, spent a chunk of her late teens and the mid-1990s going from party to party all over Middle America, selling DJ mix cassettes and spreading the rave gospel, while simultaneously receiving an unparalleled music education.

For nearly five decades, Daniel Barenboim has been making a case for the symphonies of Anton Bruckner. Tonight at Carnegie Hall, the conductor begins a complete cycle of Bruckner's nine numbered symphonies, leading the storied Staatskapelle Berlin.

"Our best musicians in the jazz tradition were radical imaginers," Samora Pinderhughes says. A pianist and composer in his mid-20s, he has asserted his connection to that lineage with The Transformations Suite, an earnest and ambitious new work combining music, words and visuals. The piece, which took five years to chisel into shape, was inspired by African-American resistance and protest movements, as well as the oppression that many still endure.

The Bay Area artist Hazel English makes jangly dream pop that has landed her on a lot of "Artists to Watch in 2017" lists. She premiered some brand-new songs from a forthcoming release in KCRW's first live session of 2017. "More Like You" was an instant favorite.

Set List

  • "More Like You"

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Hints have been trickling out since late in 2016, but the official word is here: The latest album from Dirty Projectors is self-titled and due out Feb. 24 on Domino Records.

What do the McDonald's golden arches, the apple on your iPhone, the NBC peacock, the Nike swoosh and the MGM lion have in common?

For their debut album, the members of The Shelters got as good a helping hand as it gets: Tom Petty gave the band the keys to his recording studio and an invitation to open up for his band Mudcrutch on tour.

William Onyeabor, the electro-funk musician beloved to DJs and crate diggers, died Monday following a brief illness at his home in Enugu, Nigeria. He was 70.

Loamlands On World Cafe

Jan 17, 2017

With this session, the band Loamlands — which hails from North Carolina and has singer and songwriter Kym Register at its center — makes its World Cafe debut. The band's debut album, Sweet High Rise, represents two very important changes for Register's songwriting. First, Loamlands' music has evolved from its folk-punk beginnings toward a classic-rock sound as Register realized they actually loved the kinds of music that most punks might scorn.

We've officially closed the books on 2016 (finally), and we're ready to fall in love with some new music, from the big and hopeful to the crushingly sad.

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