Music

Music

Lars Ulrich is the son of a Danish tennis pro — and he might have actually had a promising career in that sport himself. But at age 9, he saw something that would change his direction forever. He was at a tennis tournament in Copenhagen with his dad, and the hard rock band Deep Purple had invited all of the players at the tournament to their show.

"You've got to recognize music as the greatest gift of all in some ways," Peter Garrett says. "It can really transport you, yourself as a writer and a singer, and you can take other people with you, and I just wanted to get on that journey as quick as I could and it just happened."

Australian public radio has an amazing popular music service throughout the country called triple j. Almost every time a new artist from Australia visits us on World Cafe, we read something in their bio about triple j radio — and particularly about its Unearthed site, where unsigned bands can upload their music and songs can bubble up organically.

Jamie Lidell's latest album is a meditation on love and family, inspired by the birth of his first child. On Building A Beginning, he tells personal stories through smooth, psychedelic soul. In a live performance, Lidell's top-notch band brought the songs to life, particularly the album's title cut.

SET LIST

  • "Building A Beginning"

Photo: Carl Pocket/KCRW.

"We don't expect long answers when we ask children what they want to be when they grow up," writes the anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson in her landmark book about women improvising their realities, Composing a Life. Despite the infinite ways fate can turn, we look at the wide-eyed little ones in our midst and think: She will be a doctor. He will have two children. She will fall in love and stay in love with the right person, not like I did. We ask them to echo back our hopes as a way of quieting our fears.

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

The Sydney three-piece Middle Kids has gotten a lot of mileage out of releasing just two singles. Sure, "Your Love" and "Edge of Town" are hook-laden, entirely delightful songs — but more than anything, it feels like people are looking toward the group's potential, and that's where things get exciting.

First Watch: NE-HI, 'Stay Young'

Nov 16, 2016

The four women of Warpaint may hail from Los Angeles, but their sound has always conveyed the windswept heft of a rainy Seattle scene. Their hypnotic grooves, ethereal harmonies and massive drums recall bits and pieces of the grunge, alt-rock and shoegaze scenes that mark the region. In a set recorded live in Washington, D.C., that spanned three records — from 2010's The Fool to this year's Heads Up — the band showcased the full power of its moody, grooving sound.

A newcomer to the Sydney music scene, Julia Jacklin released her debut album, Don't Let The Kids Win, in October. Her songs reflect the feeling she has in her 20s as she watches younger people experiencing things she just went through. (Mind you, she doesn't feel old yet.)

One of the high points of World Cafe's visit to Sydney, Australia, for our Sense of Place series was the opportunity to sit down with Steve Kilbey, the lead singer of The Church. The Australian band has been releasing psychedelic-rock albums since the late '70s and is best known for its worldwide hit "Under The Milky Way." But on this day in the studio, we got to hear Kilbey perform solo.

Mose Allison had a sharp eye for the way the world works, and doesn't. The pianist, singer and composer's acerbic lyrics, syncopated piano playing and distinctive southern drawl were beloved by jazz fans — and by the British rockers who covered his songs, from The Who to The Clash to Van Morrison.

In the summer of '65, Leonard Cohen, the great poet-singer who died last week, spent many happy hours in a warehouse by the St Lawrence River in his hometown, Montreal. As he watched the boats go by, his friend, a young bohemian dancer named Suzanne Verdal, whose warehouse it was, served him tea and oranges that came all the way from China.

Brian Eno is back with another ambient record. Called Reflection, it's due out Jan. 1 on Warp Records and consists of a single, 54-minute track. While Eno isn't sharing any samples of Reflection for now, he says it's similar to his 1985 album Thursday Afternoon, a moody, meditative record that was one 60-minute track.

In a prepared statement, Eno describes Reflector as a "generative" work because the sounds "make themselves."

Watch Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles, Live At Pickathon

Nov 15, 2016

Ty Segall's next album, which will be self-titled, is due out Jan. 27, 2017, on Drag City. It comes just over a year after Segall released his previous full-length, Emotional Mugger.

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

As part of our Sense of Place series, we bring you an artist from Sydney, Australia, for this week's World Cafe Next. Out of all the artists we met on World Cafe's recent trip to Sydney, Thelma Plum is the newest, having released only two EPs. (Her latest is 2014's Monsters.) She is working on new music, though, and you'll hear a brand-new song in this session.

This week, World Cafe takes you to Sydney, Australia, with our Sense Of Place series. Our first guest is a band that has made a big impact here in the United States: Boy & Bear. The band, which is centered around the songwriting of David Hosking, released its third album, Limit Of Love, last year.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

I wasn't alone in patiently waiting for new music from John Paul White. His singing and songwriting as half of The Civil Wars was heartfelt and beautiful. This summer, a new album finally came, and Beulah was a quietly understated gem. This is tender Southern music without drawl or pretense, and I love it.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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