Music

Music

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Guest DJ: Weaves

Nov 1, 2017

Andrew Combs On Mountain Stage

Nov 1, 2017

A Dallas native now based in Nashville, songwriter Andrew Combs released his debut All These Dreams in 2015. It drew comparisons to the likes of Harry Nilsson and Leonard Cohen, and as host Larry Groce mentions in his introduction: "He does not disappoint."

The Afghan Whigs' latest album, In Spades, explores memory and time, and lead singer Greg Dulli visited World Cafe to reflect on both. That included a conversation about losing his longtime collaborator and bandmate Dave Rosser, who died in June after recording the album.

Listen to the entire interview, as well as three songs performed live in our studio, in the player above.

Shocking Omissions: Enya, 'Watermark'

Nov 1, 2017

Glen Hansard's seen it all: decades of cult fame with the Irish rock band The Frames, movie appearances in Once and The Commitments, and even an Academy Award for "Falling Slowly," the signature ballad he recorded with his Swell Season partner, Marketa Irglova.

Marisa Anderson doesn't just play guitar — she sinks into bends and lingers over melodies, knowing when to light a fire under her fingers and when to wind like a creek. In 2013, she caught my ear for the first time with a pair of records — the raw and dusty Mercury, and the functionally-titled Traditional And Public Domain Songs.

On first hearing the Gracie And Rachel song "Only a Child," I was struck by the tension and the mystery, both musically and lyrically: "I'm moving my mouth but I don't say a word/My ears are open but nothing is heard/I'm only a child, only a child."

"Happy Halloween, you pagans."

Skepta has surprised fans with the Vicious EP, just in time for Halloween. The project — independently released on Boy Better Know, the label he co-owns with his brother and fellow grime star Jme — popped up on streaming services today (Oct. 31).

Here is one of the seminal underground records of the late 1960s: The band is Pearls Before Swine, and the album is called One Nation Underground.

Miguel Zenón was 12 when he first experienced the devastation of a major hurricane in his homeland, Puerto Rico. That was Hugo, which hit as a Category 3 in 1989, and drove nearly 30,000 residents from their homes.

Attorneys for three of Prince's six recognized heirs — Sharon, Norrine and John Nelson — have requested that Comerica Bank & Trust, which accepted its appointment as personal administrator to the legendary musician's estate on Dec. 7, 2016 and began performing that role in early February of this year, be stripped of its oversight.

"Speedruns" are a weirdly enthralling piece of video game culture, wherein a gamer takes on titles, often older ones like Super Metroid or Sonic The Hedgehog, using every trick in the book to beat their chosen game as fast as possible.

When we last left Godflesh, the mecha-mutants of industrial metal had returned after more than a decade with 2014's devastatingly nasty A World Lit Only By Fire. It was one of those reunion albums that wasn't only better than it should've been, but a reclamation and reinvention for Justin Broadrick and G.C. Green.

Becca Mancari likes to take the long way around. The Nashville singer-songwriter was born in Staten Island, grew up in Pennsylvania, and developed her love of American roots music during her student days in Virginia. She's traveled the country and the world; some of the spaciousness in her hypnotic, subtle songs comes from lessons she learned while on a walkabout in India.

With his signature top hat and star sunglasses, Bootsy Collins is considered by many to be amongst the godfathers of funk.

Some of us are verbal processors, who feel like certain vexing issues just can't be solved until we've exhaustively enunciated every angle. The hope is that the act of explaining a problem aloud will draw out a perspective previously unseen; sometimes you just have to start a sentence to see where it will lead. On "Let Down," from the four-member Gingerlys, Jackie Mendoza and Colin O'Neill's call-and-response vocals feel like two sides of a conversation with the self, an attempt to sketch the contours of tangled relationship in search of a way out.

This essay is one in a series celebrating women whose major contributions in recording occurred before the time frame of NPR Music's list of 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women.

This is the most powerful music video I've seen in ages. Inspired by the death of a child, in the midst of a huge refugee crisis, "In Harms Way" takes on a question that songwriter and singer Amanda Palmer says is absent from current political conversations: "Have we forgotten how to be generous?"

The Roots Feat. Bilal: Tiny Desk Concert

Oct 30, 2017

Can you believe it? Yes, those are The Roots packed behind the Tiny Desk. Black Thought, Questlove and the crew carved out a few hours in their hectic Tonight Show schedule to visit NPR headquarters in Washington D.C. Why travel four hours for a 12-minute concert when you own the late-night airwaves? The answer can be found in the lyrics to The Roots' new song, "It Ain't Fair."

Note: This piece is better heard than read. To hear this review and the specific musical moments it references, listen at the audio link.

Mark Korven specializes in making scary sounds.

Brian May left a promising career in science to try his hand at rock 'n' roll, and did OK enough, we guess, becoming a co-founder of the band Queen. (That makes him the only Ph.D. astrophysicist in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.) What's more, he's also deeply into 3D stereoscopic photography, and has just published a new book of pictures of his band.

Given his success with Queen, we made him answer three trivia questions about Dairy Queen, the ice cream and fast food franchise.

Click the audio link above to see how he does.

Calling Fats Domino an architect of rock and roll almost sounds like faint praise. Indeed, the amiable country boy from the Lower Ninth Ward, with the help of bandleader impresario Dave Bartholomew and one of the world's truly legendary gangs of sidemen, dug the hole and laid the actual foundation.

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