Music

All Songs Considered
11:08 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Playing SXSW? Send Us Your Song

This member of Middle Brother had someone send an MP3 to All Songs Considered a couple years back, and now look at him: He's on the NPR Music website again.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 4:08 pm

Every year around this time, all four members of the All Songs Considered roundtable gang (Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton, Ann Powers and me) each dredge through more than 1,000 MP3s by bands playing the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. We base our coverage and festival schedules on the music we've researched in advance — and have found some of our favorite artists, like Kishi Bashi in 2012, as part of these blind pre-fest taste tests — and this year, we want to be sure we're considering yours.

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World Cafe
12:52 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Erin McKeown On World Cafe

Erin McKeown.
Merri Cyr Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:28 pm

Erin McKeown's new album, Manifestra, is a self-released, fan-funded vehicle for some of her personal and political folk-rock songs. She collaborated with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow for "Baghdad to the Bayou" — Maddow wrote the words, which McKeown then fashioned into a song — while "In God We Trust," "The Politician" and "The Jailer" find the singer speaking out about the death penalty, foreign policy and income inequality.

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All Songs Considered
9:10 am
Wed February 20, 2013

NPR Music Presents: Josh Ritter Live From New York City

Josh Ritter.
Courtesy of the aritst

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:24 pm

NPR Music will present and webcast a "First Listen Live" concert from Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band on Monday, March 4, beginning at 8 p.m. ET in the intimate New York City venue (Le) Poisson Rouge. Josh Ritter and his band will play most of his new album, The Beast in Its Tracks.

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Mountain Stage
8:21 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Paul Thorn On Mountain Stage

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 1:48 pm

Paul Thorn is perhaps the "second most famous singer from Tupelo, Mississippi," as he likes to say (a man named Elvis is first). Thorn writes about his Southern upbringing on his autobiographical ninth album, Pimps & Preachers. On the album, he sings about lessons learned from his mentors, including his Pentecostal minister father and his uncle, who pursued more licentious means of employment.

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Live in Concert
8:11 am
Wed February 20, 2013

NPR Music Presents: Josh Ritter In Concert

Josh Ritter performs The Beast in Its Tracks at Le Poisson Rouge.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 8:53 am

To stand out as an acoustic-guitar-wielding folk-rock singer-songwriter, you'd better have an awful lot of charisma at your disposal — and it helps if, like Josh Ritter, you're able to infuse your songs with a sense that stakes are high and words ring true. A prolific singer-songwriter who's appropriately delved into a side career as a novelist, Ritter crafts his words carefully, but never loses sight of what makes them relate to the experiences of those who hear him.

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First Listen
3:57 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

First Listen: Deathfix, 'Deathfix'

Deathfix's self-titled debut album comes out on Feb. 26.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:09 pm

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

At a show one night in Washington, D.C., Brendan Canty — a legendary and active local drummer, Fugazi alumnus, filmmaker and music fan — handed me a home-burned CD. The disc was just silver, with no writing or markings on it and music by his new band Deathfix, in which he performs with his friend and former Bob Mould bandmate and producer, Rich Morel.

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All Songs Considered
12:30 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

This Week's Mix Brought To You By The Letter 'B,' From The Bad Seeds To Bombino

Clockwise from upper left: Bombino, Waxahatchee, Brainstorm, KEN Mode
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 10:24 am

This week All Songs Considered is brought to you in part by the letter "B." Robin Hilton starts it off with Louisiana natives Brass Bed and the song "Cold Chicory." Then Bob Boilen shares a new cut from the artist Bombino from Niger.

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Music
9:58 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Richard Thompson, Electric, feature CD 2/22

For four decades, Richard Thompson has consistently set songwriting and performance standards to which others aspire. He has long been acknowledged as both a sensitive writer and an innovative guitarist. 

Thompson has just released his new CD  'Electric', produced by another guitar hero, Buddy Miller. The disc features some rock and roll, along with a few acoustic gems. Check out Ken Tucker's review from 'Fresh Air' here.  

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Favorite Sessions
8:56 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Solo And Acoustic

Ruban Nielson of Unknown Mortal Orchestra performs for opbmusic.
opbmusic

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 7:37 am

After beginning Unknown Mortal Orchestra in a Portland basement a few years ago, Ruban Nielson didn't expect anyone to hear the music at all, let alone demand to hear an entire album's worth of it. He'd returned to Portland intent on turning away from music following the dissolution of The Mint Chicks, the band he and his brother Kody led for nine years. But that's not quite how things worked out.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
12:02 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Night Beds: Tiny Desk Concert

Night Beds' members perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 6, 2013.
Marie McGrory for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 4:42 pm

Winston Yellen didn't start singing until he was 18 — he's 23 now — but he's already got one of 2013's most arresting new voices. As the singer for the country-rock group Night Beds, Yellen often performs a cappella, with tremendous soul and nuance.

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