Music

Music

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."

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its nominees for the class of 2018 this morning, presenting a group of first-time nominees that might make up the institution's most sonically diverse list in years.

It's my first interactive theater experience. I'm standing in a dark, large room with a stage in the middle. Other audience members are huddled around. We're not really sure what we've gotten ourselves into.

Here's the premise: We've been asked to be part of a focus group run by a K-pop label. Its leaders have invited us to tour a Korean pop "factory," where the stars hone their dancing and singing in Korean and English. We, the audience, are supposed to help figure out just why Korean megastars haven't been able to break into the American market.

Copyright 2017 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.


It's been 12 years since Billy Corgan, leader and sole remaining original member of Smashing Pumpkins, released a solo album. That record, 2005's TheFutureEmbrace, was a self-produced affair that cloaked Corgan's distinct, keening voice in layers upon layers of synthesizer and guitar.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.


When they set out to make new music, rock icons who have visited – or resided – at the pinnacle of success face unexpected challenges of scale.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

The journey between Adelaide, the port city and capital of South Australia, and Anacortes, Washington spans well over 8,000 miles. It's a distance that, for the second time in its career, the six members of Adelaide band Wireheads have traveled to record an album, specifically to gain access to K Records/Dub Narcotic/Beat Happening lynchpin Calvin Johnson once more, as a producer for their fourth full-length Lightning Ears.

We here at the World Cafe spend fall in Philadelphia — but wherever you're experiencing the season, we've got an all-autumnal playlist for you.

Few people have taken Irish song to a more universal audience than Cathy Jordan. She has fronted the popular band Dervish for over two globetrotting decades and is also an accomplished solo performer and songwriter. Join host Fiona Ritchie as she chats to Jordan about her life in music and hear her perform some well-loved songs to an intimate audience at the Swannanoa Gathering's Traditional Song Week.

The staff at opbmusic stumbled upon Big Thief during a chance encounter at SXSW in early 2016. For most of us, they were the surprise of the festival, so we jumped at the opportunity to record an in-studio session with the band at our headquarters in Portland, Ore., just a week later.

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.

When Daniil Trifonov was 20, he scored a double victory, taking home top prizes at both the Tchaikovsky and Rubinstein International Piano Competitions. That was six years ago, and by now he has secured a spot as one of the most revered – perhaps even feared – classical pianists on the scene today.

Antonio Sánchez, the virtuoso drummer and composer, can often be found on tour — tending rhythmic fires for guitarist Pat Metheny; leading Migration, his own dynamic post-bop band; or performing his solo drum score at screenings of Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), the 2014 Alejandro G. Iñárritu film.

Lisa-Kaindé Díaz and Naomi Díaz, the French-Cuban twins who make up Ibeyi, have a knack for blending disparate sounds together.

Puerto Rico's 'Singing Newspapers'

Oct 4, 2017

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Mokoomba On Mountain Stage

Oct 3, 2017

Zimbabwean six-piece Mokoomba makes its debut on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Regarded as one of the best touring acts from Africa, the young Afro-fusion band sing in unison in Tongan and Luvale as they mix together funk, ska and pop influences. As host Larry Groce puts it, "That's the way music works the best: when you don't categorize. You just bring it and let it hang out."

It's hard to record a show like ours in the wake of a tragedy as profound as what happened in Las Vegas this past Sunday. But we hope the music we're sharing this week gives you time to reflect and, if needed, escape. One thing we know: Songs, in times like this, often take on new meaning.

Tom Petty, leader of The Heartbreakers and member of The Traveling Wilburys, died Monday night from cardiac arrest. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee was 66 years old.

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

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Music critic Milo Miles has a review of "Afrobeats Hot Hits." The collection introduces a type of African fusion that melds electronics, voices and rhythms.

Tom Petty's recorded legacy spans nearly 50 years — from classic-rock standards to deep cuts that hit hard. His songs are wired into the American cultural psyche, whether they soundtracked a misspent youth, accompanied a few decades' worth of love and loss, or merely popped up in an unforgettable moment from Jerry Maguire. Petty's music has been everywhere, which means it's meant something to just about everyone.

For such an unassuming rock star, Tom Petty sure got to live a lot of lives.

Pages