Music

Music

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Last summer I took my daughter to Vans Warped Tour for the first time. She'd been clamoring to go since the first time she'd walked into a Hot Topic store and bought a t-shirt emblazoned with the logo of the band Black Veil Brides; deeply devoted to that band and its sweetly philosophical, doe-eyed singer Andy Biersack, she'd even had their album cover painted on her eleventh birthday cake. By age 13 she'd become utterly versed in current pop-punk and grunge-indebted metal, shouting along to her playlists of Neck Deep and Attila songs in the car.

I know it seems absurd and headline-grabbing, but honestly this song is going to be the high bar to hit for guitar-driven, brokenhearted love songs in the coming year.

While independent bands don't quite have the ability to make the earth stand still like Queen Bey — we all fall short of the glory, etc. — one lesson learned from the surprise-album release is how an artist and a fan trust each other. Album announcements, artwork announcements, teasers for single premieres, the actual premiere, a video for the same single, a teaser for the second single — you can understand why some artists who have been at this a while would rather skip the industry cycle and go direct.

The 50 Best Albums Of 2017

Dec 12, 2017

Consensus wasn't easy in 2017. Maybe that's because the news this year kept us on edge, our eyes and ears pointed in many directions. Maybe it's due to the growth of streaming as the dominant listening platform, one whose rules have not yet fully been written. Whatever the cause, with the exception of our No. 1 album, it felt like there were few pieces of music this year that captured our attention instantly and simultaneously. Instead, we spent our year tracking down new sounds that gave voice to our struggles and breakthroughs, our search for joy and our need for release.

The 50 Best Albums Of 2017

Dec 12, 2017

30. Ron Miles

The 50 Best Albums Of 2017

Dec 12, 2017

10. Aldous Harding

Justin Vernon's career as Bon Iver has perfectly aligned with NPR Music's existence. It was 10 years ago this past summer that For Emma, Forever Ago began to write the project and the myth of its creation into indie-rock legend, making Vernon's own name nearly synonymous with it in the process. The idea of that cabin in the woods and Vernon's wounded, multi-tracked falsetto have since become iconic.

Kyle Jahnke and Andy Baxter, collectively known as Penny & Sparrow, are pin-drop performers, the kind which silence rooms with impeccable songs and storytelling that unfolds like a dream. The duo has amassed a devoted following in six years, and traveled from Austin, Texas to Muscle Shoals, Ala., now splitting its time between the two musical centers.

Three deals of acquisitions and investments that were rumored over the past week, and that are all now confirmed, have something in common — none of them involve companies owned by major record labels. All involve technology companies or insurrectionists to entrenched industry leaders. One noted below, Tencent, holds such power in its home country that all three major labels agreed to let it broker their deals in that country.

In case you can't tell by his '80s-era jheri curl, South Central LA native G Perico has never compromised his g-funk sound or fierce West Side affiliation to fit into hip-hop's mold. The rapper's sense of individuality, along with an unrelenting work ethic, has been paying off tenfold in 2017.

Content advisory: The video above may contain language that is offensive to some.

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Those who know the Houston hip-hop music scene know that it's long been dominated by men — like DJ Screw, Paul Wall and Trae Tha Truth.

Ever hear a song that you know you've heard performed by another artist and wonder: Who did it first? Well, we are tackling that question in an ongoing series, "Me and My Shadows," where we pair original songs with covers that might just blow your musical mind.

Some covers bring together artists from completely different sonic worlds, like The English Beat's ska take on Smokey Robinson and The Miracles' Motown classic "Tears of a Clown." Other covers make you hear a song you've heard many times before in a totally new way — see Aurora's take on David Bowie's "Life on Mars."

The following is an Encore presentation of a program that originally aired on December 17, 2015.

Enjoy!

Holiday music is typically a love-it-or-hate-it sort of thing. I'm a fan — my favorite is Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas — and I even I'll admit that musicians don't have many options for putting a new spin on holiday classics.

Then along came Gaby Moreno and her band.

On Nov. 6, Meek Mill, a platinum-selling rapper and Philadelphia native, was sentenced to two and four years in state prison over multiple parole violations stemming from a 2007 case. This decision was handed down by Judge Genece Brinkley, the presiding judge in Meek's case since 2009.

The legal team of the Philly rapper has, unsurprisingly, been fighting the judgments against their client every step of the way.

Meek's legal team have so far:

Beegie Adair On Piano Jazz

Dec 8, 2017

Beegie Adair, the Nashville native with a distinctive flair for the piano, has worked with jazz, pop and country. She's played for movie and TV soundtracks, been in concerts, festivals and clubs, and put in many orchestra appearances.

Seattle trio Dude York's new holiday album, Halftime For The Holidays, begins with a goofy, rocking breakup song about a familiar scene: You go home for the holidays and see an ex, realize you still have all the same friends and overthink your every move.

Should you buy him a gift? If you leave the party early, are you letting him win? What glittery dress will make him miss you, but also assure him you've moved on?

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

All right, so we're going to lighten things up a little bit. In the hallowed halls of the U.S. Senate, it is common practice to quote history's great orators when making your point - Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Gandhi.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Put your love of perfection outside the office door and come in for some office fun. This collaboration between Philadelphia's Kurt Vile and Melbourne's Courtney Barnett is more about newfound friends poking jabs, goofing around and having fun with words than reaching any new musical heights.

What do you get when you cross an Australian post-punk drummer with a lute player who is the descendant of Greek musical royalty? Easy: Today's guests Xylouris White!

Xylouris is George Xylouris, from a famed family of musicians based in a mountain shepherding village on the Greek island of Crete. George has been a professional musician since he was 12.

White is Jim White, an Australian post-punk drummer with a deft touch, able to go from thunderous to tender on a dime. Jim held it down in the instrumental trio Dirty Three, and has also backed Cat Power and PJ Harvey.

In this session, you've got front-row seats to a mini concert by Combo Chimbita, who absolutely lit up the World Cafe with what they call "tropical futurism." What does that mean? You're about to hear it in action. But, just so you know what you're in for, Combo Chimbita uses cumbia as a building block but they get psychedelic, trippy and downright freaky, with an inventive combination of rhythms and sounds from Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America.

In 2018, country rock will be 50 years old; that's according to most official histories, anyway, which mark the subgenre's beginnings with the release of two Gram Parsons projects, the International Submarine Band's Safe At Home and The Byrds' Sweetheart Of The Rodeo. Why not celebrate a little early?

Chris Dave possesses innumerable gifts as a drummer, but chief among them is the ability to make a groove just feel ... right. This isn't as simple or straightforward a feat as it sounds. And it can be a recipe for invisibility, at least among the general listening public.

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