Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 11:50 am
Three albums into a thriving career, Ben Folds Five abruptly announced it was over in 2000. Luckily for fans, Folds got the band back together 11 years later and even released a new album, The Sound of the Life of the Mind, this September.
The album is classic Ben Folds Five — at times irreverent, cerebral, quirky, wistful and playful. The Sound of the Life of the Mind peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 and the video for the first single, "Do It Anyway," features Anna Kendrick, Rob Corddry and the cast of Fraggle Rock.
Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 7:23 am
We at NPR Music spend most of our days listening to music, thinking about music, writing about it, arguing with each other over it, calling the people who made it to ask them about their work, enthusing over songs, griping about albums. Our thirst for the new and the intriguing and the great is insatiable. And every year at about this time try to we sum up a fruitful year of listening in our best-of-the-year bonanza.
Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 12:33 pm
It's not easy to pin a single genre on Calexico. Joey Burns and John Convertino's band blends Americana, Tejano and indie rock music. Burns and Convertino began recording under the name — borrowed from the California border town — in 1996 in Tucson, Ariz., and have released several well-received albums, including this year's Algiers.
Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 1:38 pm
If you're back in your old neighborhood this weekend or just need an excuse to get out of the house, Record Store Day is a pretty good option. The twice-annual event when independent record stores around the country offer brand new, reissued and limited-edition vinyl has become an opportunity for artists to find a home for that extra song that didn't fit anywhere or to put out that remix that was just plain odd.
Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 2:31 pm
Siblings Ian, Eric, and Brittany Hölljes — three of the four lead singers in the American folk-rock band Delta Rae — first learned the power of a good story when their parents read them mythological tales. In fact, the band's name is inspired by a fictional story the Hölljes' mother intended to write. Flash forward to 2012, and the band has put those lessons to good use.
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and tucked into the piles of new CDs is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives. In this holiday-shortened week of over-indulgence, we answer questions about too much music and not enough time.
You always remember the first time you heard one of Regina Spektor's songs. She harnesses such a wide range of emotions expertly — and even more so in her live performances. Spektor is one of a kind, and "The Party" is a perfect example.