Music

Music

When he first surfaced as a solo artist four or five years ago, singer and multi-instrumentalist K. Ishibashi specialized in piecing together an intricately looped sound, centered on violin samples he'd recorded live, cut to ribbons and re-purposed to head-spinning effect.

Keaton Henson can't help but make things. But, as he establishes throughout his new album Kindly Now, the English songwriter not only suffers for his art; he also seems to suffer because of it. In "The Pugilist," one of Kindly Now's many heartbreakers, Henson reveals the inner struggle he endures so that he can craft work that connects with others, and possibly last after he's gone.

First Listen: Cymbals Eat Guitars, 'Pretty Years'

Sep 8, 2016

The Head And The Heart On World Cafe

Sep 7, 2016

The Seattle band The Head and the Heart had major success with its second album, Let's Be Still, which came out on Sub Pop in 2013. Its folk-pop sound, superior harmonies and fine writing struck a chord with audiences and sent the band on the road for over a year.

First Watch: T-Rextasy, 'Gap Yr Boiz'

Sep 7, 2016

In T-Rextasy's new animated video for the song "Gap Yr Boiz," a female protagonist tries to deal with the boys who have broken her heart during that year-long break between high school and college.

When we invited William Bell to the Tiny Desk, we looked forward to witnessing part of a veteran soul hitmaker's journey back to the spotlight. Bell is known for writing and performing several of the R&B classics that emerged from Memphis' Stax Records in the 1960s, "You Don't Miss Your Water" and "Everybody Loves A Winner" among them.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Brian Fallon starts to answer the question.

"It's funny, because..."

He trails off, and then tries again.

"And it... uh..."

He laughs.

Fallon has a solo record out. His band, The Gaslight Anthem, went on hiatus last year, and since then he's fathered a second child.

The question was about how having children changed him and his songwriting.

American Football's return to the studio was not just a surprise to those of us locked into the wistful, youthful feels of its 17-year-old debut album. It's also cause for reflection on what those feels mean now — for the band members about to enter their 40s, as well as for the fans who've grown in and out of them.

Asteriod Named For Queen's Freddie Mercury

Sep 7, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DON'T STOP ME NOW")

QUEEN: (Singing) Having a good time. I'm a shooting star leaping through the sky like a tiger...

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

If you're like me, somewhere in your house you imagine there must be a pile of lost white iPhone earbuds. The pile is probably right next to the stack of single socks. It's one of several reasons I never liked wireless Bluetooth headphones. They're smaller and even easier to lose.

"It's just a dot of light, but it's a very special dot of light." That's how Queen guitarist Brian May describes the asteroid named for his late friend and bandmate Freddie Mercury.

Official designation: Asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury.

"Happy Birthday Freddie!" May wrote on Twitter. "They already named a planet after you, but this little ROCK is a bonus! ha ha."

Watch Ages And Ages, Live From A Portland Church

Sep 6, 2016

Known for handclaps, group harmonies and earnest, uplifting lyrics, the Portland, Ore., band Ages And Ages changes approaches slightly on its new album, Something To Ruin. The music is just as catchy, but the subject matter has taken a dark turn for the topical, delving into booming real-estate markets, consumerism and the impending Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake.

When we settled into the studio for this week's All Songs Considered, a clear theme quickly emerged: We had a whole lot of music by artists we already adore! This includes a rare acoustic demo by R.E.M., a glorious new electro-pop cut from Sylvan Esso, a heartbreaking tribute song from Sharon Van Etten and more.

A recent tweet from Philadelphia's Mannequin Pussy says "i appreciate heartbreak only because of how transformative it can be." That may as well be the thesis of the band's forthcoming album, Romantic, though you wouldn't necessarily know it from the record's sound: brawny punk with a fuzzy pop streak.

Copyright 2016 WBUR. To see more, visit WBUR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Please welcome Miss Sharon Jones.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

World Cafe Next: LVL UP

Sep 5, 2016

The New York band LVL UP, whose four members met at SUNY Purchase, makes propulsive, experimental indie rock that sounds a little like Dinosaur Jr. with more pop melodies. The band is getting ready to release its third album, Return To Love, which comes out Sept. 23 on Sub Pop Records. LVL UP's two guitarists, Mike Caridi and Dave Benton, lead the way as the songs get louder and denser and turn unexpected corners. Hear two tracks at the audio link above.

Lots of people have jobs where they make their boss look good. But for over two decades, Karrie Keyes has been making sure her bosses sound good. Keyes is a sound engineer, and her bosses just happen to be Pearl Jam.

"Half our fans, they know who I am because they see me come out on stage," Keyes says. "The 'microphone girl,' because I'm checking the mics."

After Mexican vocalist Juan Gabriel died last weekend, tributes flooded in from across the Americas. Gabriel was arguably Mexico's most beloved living singer. He composed upwards of 1,500 songs, recorded music in practically every Mexican genre and beyond, and had an improbable rags-to-riches story.

His career in the music business ranged from Elton John to Eazy-E: Jerry Heller, who co-founded Ruthless Records alongside rapper Eric Wright (better known as Eazy-E), has died, according to multiple media outlets and family members. In the recent film Straight Outta Compton, Heller was portrayed by Paul Giamatti.

We can't print the full name of LOLO's new album, In Loving Memory of When I Gave a S***. But the woman born Lauren Pritchard wants you to know that she does still care –- about some things.

"The meaning of the title is, I grew up in a really small town in Tennessee, and it's sort of the buckle of the Bible Belt," she says. "And I always tried to be a good, sweet little Southern girl, but I wasn't. I wasted a lot of energy trying to be what other people wanted me to be, and I can't be anyone but myself now."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Okkervil River On World Cafe

Sep 2, 2016

The new Okkervil River album Away features a number of songs written very quickly by Will Sheff during sessions in the Catskills last year. He was in a period of transition: Several members of Okkervil River left the band during this time, and he also lost his beloved grandfather.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Back in March, both President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama spoke at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas. Now, inspired by the trip, the Obama administration is collaborating with SXSW to host a miniature version of the festival at the White House.

Jack White has shared another cut from his upcoming collection of acoustic recordings. The track is a version of The Raconteurs' "Carolina Drama," from the band's 2008 album Consolers Of The Lonely.

The original version of "Carolina Drama" is an electrified blues slow-burner. Here, the song sounds more like an old-time murder ballad, with banjo, fiddle and lap slide guitar.

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott returns to the KSUT listening area for this weekend's Four Corners Folk Festival, on the heels of his new CD Couchville Sessions. KSUT will feature the new release Friday, 9/2 at noon.

In tragedy, some of us turn to God, some of us spurn God, and a few of us find solace in nothingness. But it's possible to take all three paths simultaneously when caught in a maelstrom of desperation. Nick Cave has always existed in this realm, it's what makes his work so powerful, that in-between existence that seeps into our own.

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