Music

Music

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Mary J. Blige is having a moment. The nine-time Grammy-winning singer has been getting lots of award nominations for acting in the film "Mudbound." NPR's Mandalit del Barco was on the scene yesterday as she was honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

"Hello, I'm Johnny Cash." Those words were uttered to wild applause in the cafeteria of Folsom Prison, a maximum security facility northeast of Sacramento, Calif. on Jan. 13, 1968.

When we invited Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov to play a Tiny Desk concert, we rolled out the big guns. In place of the trusty upright, we wedged a 7-foot grand piano behind Bob Boilen's desk in preparation for the artist who The Times of London called "without question the most astounding pianist of our age."

"Fast" Eddie Clarke, guitarist for the original three-piece formation of Motörhead, died Wednesday evening after a bout with pneumonia, the band's manager Todd Singerman confirmed to NPR. He was 67.

"Fast Eddie was an integral part of the Motörhead family," a statement from Springerman reads, "and I have to say I was shocked and saddened when word reached me last night that he had passed. Eddie was the last of the Three Amigos (as that classic line-up was called) still walking, but now the trio are reunited."

The Gullah people of coastal Georgia and South Carolina trace their language and culture back to their West and Central African ancestors. Among the Gullah's unique contributions to African-American culture is a deeply distilled repertoire of spirituals and work songs. On the self-titled debut by the quintet Ranky Tanky, Gullah songs are lively, soulful honey to the ears.

In July, NPR published Turning The Tables, it's list of the 150 Greatest Albums By Women during the "classic album" era. Our occasional listening parties bring together voters to discuss some of their favorites from the list.

Today, we are considering classic albums by two singers who both died too young, but still had time enough to embody the freedom and heartache of their respective generations.

Many queer kids grow up wishing that pop lyrics had a different pronoun, that music videos depicted people like them, that queer artists could have the confidence in their sexuality that straight ones did. Troye Sivan continues to emerge as his generation's answer to those prayers.

Jay Som's Everybody Works was one of NPR Music's 50 best albums of 2017, a guitar-driven rock record with complex arrangements and even more complex emotions all wrung out from singer, songwriter and producer Melina Duterte.

Updated, Jan. 11, 4:00 p.m. ET: This article was updated to include new allegations of sexual assault made against Dutoit.

Chances are you recognize The Shacks from the iPhone 8 commercial that features the band's version of "This Strange Effect" and also stars lead singer Shannon Wise. That tune comes from a self-titled debut EP, and it's a whispery cover of a 1965 song written by Ray Davies and recorded by Dave Berry.

Since the release of "Loveless" back in March 2017, the trio Lo Moon has slowly revealed a series of songs which grapple with various stages of a romantic relationship. Each has a slightly different sound.

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.

Review: Shopping, 'The Official Body'

Jan 11, 2018

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.


A continuity and a break: That's the history of The Bad Plus in a nutshell. An acoustic piano trio with the combustion properties of a post-punk band, it emerged in the early 2000s to an uproar — its surging attack and shrewd repertoire were framed as a radical split from the jazz tradition. Gradually a more perceptive view emerged, one that acknowledged where the band was really coming from.

We're very proud to call Phoebe Bridgers a local artist we love. Her song "Motion Sickness" was an instant favorite and she proved her talent even further with a fantastic live performance. Bridgers is included in the latest list of artists in the Slingshot initiative, and I think it becomes clear why from watching this video.

SET LIST

  • "Motion Sickness"

Photos: Brian Lowe/KCRW

Though he's here to perform live music from his latest solo album Thrum, Joe Henry is also well-known as the producer of a lot of music. It might even take you longer to Google and browse all of his credits, than it would to listen to this complete session!

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

What the world needs now is another cat video. Seriously.

There must be some meaning to life if we still have music — it gives form to our existential dread, and sometimes you can dance to it. In just four short years, Nap Eyes have made much ado about meaninglessness with rock 'n' roll songs that shake just offbeat and smart lyrics wrapped in bemused ennui.

Today we have new music from Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats and an album announcement. The song is called "You Worry Me," and it'll be on the band's second record titled Tearing At The Seams.

The Thistle & Shamrock: At The Edge

Jan 10, 2018

This week we explore the evolving sounds of Celtic music inspired by jazz and classical music, with artists including Solas, Kila and Shooglenifty.

In March of 2016, just a handful of months after her debut album Sprained Ankle was released, Julien Baker came and played a quiet, thoughtful Tiny Desk concert that went on to become one of our most popular and certainly one of the most-talked-about Tiny Desk Concerts of the year. (It's now approaching two million views on YouTube alone.)

James Brown once said, "I've only got seventh grade education, but I have a doctorate in funk, and I like to put that to good use."

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