In north central Alabama, punk rockers often know as much about football as they do mosh pits. A guy with an arm-sleeve tattoo will open the door for a woman and call her "ma'am." Self-identifying as a blue dot in a red state doesn't preclude Sunday brunch with relatives whose own cars boast confederate-flag stickers. Such differences can arise anywhere, but they can feel more pressing in the Deep South, where history is sticky, like a 90-degree rainy day, and intimate, like Grandma's questionable advice.
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the bag of caramel-filled chocolates we're neglecting to share with our colleagues is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on when hardcore fans hate their favorite artist's new project.
On her new album, Love and Hate, Joan Osborne explores romance from many different angles, resulting in some of her most intimate songwriting.After a long run in the New York City club scene, Osborne's mainstream breakout came in 1995 with "One of Us," which won a Grammy for Song of the Year.
Mystery seems to swirl around D.D Dumbo. We'd heard all sorts of crazy rumors about this solo musician; namely, that Dumbo is a modern-day nomad whose only worldly possessions are his guitar and some crazy customized pedals. But once he arrived for one of our SXSW Backyard Sessions, here's what we discovered: Dumbo was born outside of Melbourne, Australia (birth name: Oliver Hugh Perry). He performs with a 12-string electric guitar, a simple drum set-up and some loop pedals. And he prefers to let his eclectic, drone-filled music speak for itself — so, alas, no comment on the nomad rumors.
Indie-pop musician K. Ishibashi blends violin, electronics and stylistic influences from multiple cultures and pop-music eras to create a unique sound. NPR's Steve Inskeep recently spoke with the musician, who is also a touring member of the eclectic band Of Montreal, about how his many experiences have contributed to the creation of Lighght, his second album as Kishi Bashi. Hear their conversation at the audio link.
Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 12:47 pm
This April, acoustic guitarist and songwriter Ryley Walker released his debut album, All Kinds Of You, on Tompkins Square Records. The Chicago resident takes inspiration from 1960s folk stars like Bert Jansch and Tim Hardin, and you can also hear hints of Walker's past in free jazz in the way he plays.
Listen to the promising — and funny — guitarist speak with World Cafe host David Dye and perform three songs in our studio.