Music

Music

Little Simz: Tiny Desk Concert

Feb 21, 2017

Simbi Ajikawo, who records and performs as Little Simz, first gained widespread recognition with the release of her debut album, A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons back in 2015. Receiving praise from better-known artists like Kendrick Lamar and J.

Larry Coryell, the jazz guitarist known as the "Godfather of Fusion," died Sunday night at a hotel in New York City, according to his publicist. He was 73.

Coryell was still performing more than 50 years after his first recordings. He played at New York jazz club Iridium on Friday and Saturday nights, and had plans for a summer tour with his fusion group The Eleventh House.

Note: The audio version of this interview touches on sensitive topics, including Steve Jones' experiences of drug addiction and sexual abuse.

First, Jesse Hale Moore sucks you in with the emotional intensity of his falsetto; next, you realize the strength of his subtle songwriting. The soulful Philadelphian's forthcoming debut album, Green End, represents a period of growth aided by a collaboration with fellow Philadelphian Dave Hartley of The War On Drugs and Nightlands.

Hear two of Moore's new songs and download the full segment in the player above.

Alison Krauss and Buddy Cannon go way back. Cannon, a veteran country songwriter and producer, remembers hiring Krauss to sing harmonies on one of hear after hearing on of her early demos on cassette in the early '90s. "I've been blown away ever since," Cannon says.

Krauss has a new album out called Windy City. Produced by Cannon, it is her first solo album in 18 years. She says her friend's instincts are almost always right.

Pegi Young's New Album Is Emotionally 'Raw'

Feb 19, 2017

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Pegi Young's new album is called "Raw." And it is.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WHY")

PEGI YOUNG AND THE SURVIVORS: (Singing) Why'd you have to ruin my life? Why'd you have to be so mean? Why'd you have to tell me such lies? Why not be straight with me?

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Clyde Stubblefield, the funk drummer whose work with James Brown made him one of the most sampled musicians in history, died Saturday morning in Madison, Wis., his publicist confirmed. Stubblefield was 73; his publicist did not provide a cause of death.

Trudy Pitts On Piano Jazz

Feb 17, 2017

Organist, arranger, composer, teacher and singer Trudy Pitts (1932 – 2010) earned a reputation not only for her technical prowess, but also for her ability to convey a wide range of emotions through her playing. Her formal training was classical: She studied piano at Juilliard and Temple University, but came to jazz by way of the organ.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

A 1960s cult favorite is back: The Shaggs are going to be performing in June at Wilco's Solid Sound Festival in North Adams, Massachusetts.

Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, best known for their time in The Turtles in which they recorded the hit song "Happy Together," have spent the past several years fighting a byzantine battle for the rights to get paid for their music being played by digital broadcasters, filing putative class actions in California, New York and Florida on behalf of artists with similar questions around their own catalogs. At issue is whether Volman and Kaylan, jointly represented in court under the name Flo & Eddie Inc.

Singer-songwriter Emel Mathlouthi is the voice of a generation — and in her new song, "Lost," this Tunisian artist makes it plain that the jittery uncertainty that many people are feeling right now is a global phenomenon.

"Lost" is a track from Ensen (Human), Mathlouthi's first album since her debut, Kelmti Horra (My Word Is Free), which was released in 2012. But by the time that the first album was released, Mathlouthi was already an icon: Her song "Kelmti Horra" was an anthem for a generation of Tunisians and other across north Africa.

"I don't want to be the kind / struck by fear, to run and hide / I'll do better next time."

The more I hear from Laura Marling's upcoming album, Semper Femina, the more I'm convinced, over a career of intimate and beautiful work, that it's the most inspired, beautiful and fully realized thing she's done. The latest cut she's sharing from the record is "Next Time," a perfectly rendered vignette that captures the moment when solitude can lead to enlightenment.

One of the most joyful shows I've heard in years came courtesy of the clarion-voiced Afro-Venezuelan singer Betsayda Machado and her group La Parranda El Clavo, who made their New York City debut at the annual globalFEST festival in January.

Do voter ID laws hurt minority turnout? Study says: Absolutely

Timothy Showalter is a tough-looking guy with a beard, tattoos and a flat Midwestern accent, who's pretty open about taking drugs. He thinks a lot about where life is taking him.

"I read somewhere that the idea of joy, and to live a joyful life, is different than living a happy life," he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "Happiness is fleeting. Happiness is something that you're always going to reach for but you're never gonna quite get or be satisfied with."

Brooke Waggoner On Mountain Stage

Feb 16, 2017

Nashville singer-songwriter Brooke Waggoner returns to Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. A frequent collaborator for Jack White and Beck, Waggoner makes music that's "less rawk, more Rachmaninov," using her classical background to bend indie folk-pop conventions to her whim.

Latin Roots: La Yegros

Feb 16, 2017

Argentine singer-songwriter La Yegros' 2016 record Magnetismo combines tropical pop, hip-hop, dancehall, North African folk and Latin rhythms — plus the accent of electronic and the underpinnings of familiar beats like cumbia and chamamé, the traditional northern Argentine rhythmic style rooted in dance.

Nikki Lane On World Cafe

Feb 16, 2017

Nikki Lane's new album, Highway Queen, showcases her husky voice, soaring country twang and killer attitude. She grew up in South Carolina and now calls Nashville home. But it was by no means a direct trip to Music City; Lane's interest in fashion took her to Los Angeles and New York before her music career took over.

"Nobody Hangs Out Anymore" begins in a golden room of golden dunes as the submerged London O'Connor stares into a submerged TV screen. Our hero, who also directed the video, pours a jug of golden sand onto his golden cereal and sings: "All my friends are on the net / and all my friends are in the net / and all of us are out of it / and none of us are into it."

Before Martin Shkreli's event at Harvard could even get started Wednesday night, it was set briefly on ice. The controversial former pharmaceutical executive had to wait as university police officers evacuated the building where he was speaking, after someone falsely pulled the fire alarm.

Things didn't go much smoother from there.

Fire-Toolz's hyper-digitalia sounds like a row of belching slot machines expectorating into a pachinko machine in Hades. The glowstick noise that Angel Marcloid makes as Fire-Toolz is an oblong step past The Soft Pink Truth's electronic black-metal covers project in 2014, but far more unhinged — and that's saying something — and far more fluid in how it simultaneously dismantles and celebrates its own click-and-drag melange.

Jim James' second solo album, Eternally Even, is his most overtly political musical statement yet. The outspoken My Morning Jacket frontman turns the turmoil of our current times into a contemplative set of songs with his signature psychedelic soulfulness. He performed "Here In Spirit" live in our studio.

Set List

  • "Here In Spirit"

Photo: Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW.

The profoundly personal side of tragedy often gets lost when stories of horrendous events become a sort of public property, taken up by reporters, bloggers, tweeters and talk-show hosts, even claimed as fodder for sensationalized television documentaries. Flesh-and-blood people whose ordeals are broadcast far and wide can easily get reduced to one-dimensional characters and their suffering abstracted.

Pages