Music

Music

This story has been set to unpublished due to the NPR API updating this story earlier and now the NPR API is unavailable. If the NPR API has deleted or changed the access level of this story it will be deleted when the API becomes available. If the API has updated this story, the updated version will be made available when the NRP API becomes reachable again. There is no action required on your part. For more information contact Digital Services Client Support

What songs – no matter how good or how adored they are – have been played to death and need to be removed from the canon? What songs are beyond reproach – songs so perfect and sublime they're given a free pass to remain in heavy rotation forever?

Tell us what you think. Below are ten suggestions; tell us if they should be retired or if they're simply untouchable. At the end of the poll you can also write-in your own picks.

I think Randy Newman is a national treasure. If he was just a funny guy making music, I'd be OK with that, but his wit is sardonic, satirical and politically on point. Mixing politics and humor with music is usually about the punchline, and his punchlines even make the singer smile.

Randy Newman paints lasting portraits of places and people, all the while poking fun and highlighting injustice, stupidity, power and humanity and he's been doing it for half a century. Here are the opening lines to his recently released song "Putin":

As one half of Indigo Girls, Emily Saliers owns one of the most important voices of a generation. It should come as no surprise to those of us who have spent a lot of time with Saliers' voice that her debut solo album, Murmunation Nation, teems with warm sounds and winding words that oscillate between the urgent and the eternal.

This essay is one in a series celebrating deserving artists or albums not included on NPR Music's list of 150 Greatest Albums By Women.

Indo-Pak Coalition, an improvising trio led by the alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, finds its purpose in myriad forms of convergence. A decade ago the group released its auspicious debut album, Apti, announcing an inspired accord between Mahanthappa, a second-generation Indian-American; guitarist Rez Abbasi, who was born in Pakistan but raised in Los Angeles; and Dan Weiss, an Anglo-American drummer with a deep interest in Indian percussion.

One of the most influential figures in hip-hop will now take a lead role in one of the nation's most prestigious cultural institutions.

Q-Tip, along with Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White, formed A Tribe Called Quest in the early '90s. The hip-hop collective introduced smooth beats and sharp social commentary inspired by the group's friendship and the issues of the time.

Last year, the group released what would turn out to be its final album, We Got It from Here ... Thank You 4 Your Service, after the death of Phife Dawg.

Jason Aldean is going to grab the headlines this morning, but he wasn't the only chart-topping musician on Saturday Night Live this week.

Sam Smith made his second appearance on the set at Studio 8H to promote his upcoming sophomore album, The Thrill Of It All, which is due out November 3. He performed the album's two lead singles, the stone-faced lament "Too Good At Goodbyes" and atheist hymn "Pray."

Updated Saturday 4:15 p.m

Nelly, the rapper behind hits "Hot In Herre" and "Ride Wit Me," was arrested Saturday morning for alleged sexual assault during a tour stop in Washington state.

The Auburn Police Department said in a statement that a woman called 911 at 3:48 a.m. Saturday and said she was assaulted by Nelly, whose given name is Cornell Haynes Jr. After a police investigation, Nelly was taken into custody an hour later.

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

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL")

CARLA BRUNI: (Singing) I don't want to talk about the things we've gone through.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Tens of thousands of people will gather this weekend for the Austin City Limits Festival, a two-week music festival about a mile from downtown Austin.

"It's gonna be the safest part of the city to be in during both weekends, just because of the sheer number of officers that will be present," said Brian Manley, the chief of the Austin Police Department, during a press conference this week. Manley said the department will have officers inside and outside the festival, with heightened attention to threats from outside the gates.

Juana Molina, 'Sin Dones' (Live)

Oct 6, 2017

Juana Molina's music is haunting and hypnotic. The Argentine singer brought her experimental pop artistry to our studio, sharing songs from her excellent new album Halo — including the standout "Sin Dones."

It's not like John Darnielle isn't busy enough this year (or ever): He released the The Mountain Goats' keys-only Goths, published the novel Universal Harvester and has a

Los Angeles band Lo Moon has been on our radar since a Chris Walla (of Death Cab For Cutie fame) produced its single, "Loveless," a year ago.

Since then, they've teased their fans with another single, "This Is It," and been selected as one of three artists for public radio's emerging artist series, Slingshot.

Classical and folk music continue to intermingle in fascinating ways. The intersections stretch back far beyond Bach, who cleverly slipped a German folk song into his Goldberg Variations. Later, composers like Ralph Vaughan Williams and Béla Bartók combed the countryside, collecting tunes from villagers.

Holly Hofmann On Piano Jazz

Oct 6, 2017

Classically trained flutist Holly Hofmann was influenced by her father, a fine jazz guitarist. At age five, she chose the flute because she could carry it to play music with him. Hofmann has taken the flute from the orchestra to the jazz stand, making her mark with a bluesy style all her own. In this session from 2002, bassist Darek Oles joins Hofmann and host Marian McPartland to perform a set including "You and the Night and the Music" and "Bohemia After Dark."

Landlady's music is more than sonic exploration, it's an adventure. The Brooklyn-based band's songs are the initial creation of leader Adam Schatz, who observes the world with fresh, almost alien eyes. The songs can feel a bit drugged-out – a bit high and full of curiosity – but never overly intoxicated or out-of-touch.

Lo Moon seemed to come out of nowhere last year, and the trio of Matt Lowell, Crisanta Baker, Samuel Stewart have been steadily peeling back the layers ever since. What's been revealed to date is a neo-classic sound with cascading keyboard textures, rhythmic crescendos, shimmering guitars and cinematic lift. Our first taste of the band was "Loveless," a song with big sound that's as intimate as it is anthemic.

Nic Fanciulli knows writer's block. Already an established DJ when he began making music more than a decade ago, he used pseudonyms like Skylark and Buick Project (collaborations with engineer Andy Chatterley) out of fear that his own works weren't up to snuff. Not even a Grammy nomination for his 2007 remix of Tiefschwarz's "Damage" helped his confidence. "I was overthinking everything," he tells NPR.

Billy Bragg has been writing and singing songs for justice — and against injustice — for more than 30 years; thankfully he is never going to stop. Bragg's continued passion is clear in "Saffiyah Smiles," his new song of solidarity inspired by recent racial tensions in America and an incident that happened closer to Bragg's home in Birmingham, England, at an anti-immigrant demonstration this past spring.

After the horrible massacre at a Las Vegas music festival on Sunday night that killed 58 and injured hundreds more, concerns emerged immediately about other sites that could be vulnerable to a similar attack.

New evidence now raises the prospect that the shooter who terrorized the Route 91 Harvest Festival may have considered other targets, including the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago's Grant Park and the Life Is Beautiful festival in downtown Las Vegas.

Ever since Shopping's formation in 2012, the London post-punk trio has aimed to quicken the feet and sway the hips. The latest track carrying this modus operandi is "The Hype," the band's first song since the 2015 album Why Choose.

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

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

On October 5, 1992, R.E.M. released its eighth studio LP, Automatic For The People, exemplifying a rare instance in which a band's most thematically somber material also becomes its most commercially successful. Even with no touring behind it (save for a memorable performance at the VMAs), the album went on to sell over 18 million copies worldwide, spawning such massive singles as "Man On The Moon," "Everybody Hurts," and "Drive."

Pages