All Songs Considered
11:44 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Viking's Choice: Tau Cross, 'Fire In The Sky'

Tau Cross.
Courtesy of the artist

When Amebix returned after two decades with 2011's Sonic Mass, it was an adventurous take on the crust-punk legacy the English band had left behind. Unfortunately, it was the only album to come out of the reunion, but that lush, brooding, melodic sound continues and evolves with Tau Cross, bassist/vocalist Rob Miller's new band featuring members of Voivod, Misery and War//Plague. Case in point, here's "Fire In The Sky" from Tau Cross' self-titled debut.

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The Record
10:34 am
Tue April 14, 2015

José González On Finding Light In A Comforting Darkness

"There's always a light at the end of the tunnel" José González says of the songs on his album, Vestiges & Claws, released earlier this year.
Malin Johansson Courtesy of the artist

On his most recent album, Vestiges & Claws, José González treads a familiar musical path, offering listeners the same subdued-but-powerful austerity of his unobtrusive tenor paired with minimal instrumentation that's come to define his remarkable sound since his full-length debut with 2003's Veneer. While those compositional tendencies have thankfully remained undisturbed, Vestiges & Claws is a divergence in theme for González.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Soul Singer Percy Sledge Dies

Singer Percy Sledge died Tuesday.
Taylor Hill Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 5:06 pm

Singer Percy Sledge, perhaps best known for his hit "When A Man Loves A Woman," has died, Artists International Management Inc., his talent agency, said.

Sledge died of natural causes a little after midnight at a hospice in East Baton Rouge, La., according to a coroner. The coroner said Sledge was 74, though the Encyclopedia of Music as well as his talent agency says Sledge was 73.

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Deceptive Cadence
6:36 am
Tue April 14, 2015

The Hypnotic Groove Of Xenakis

Percussionist Kuniko's new album is devoted to music by Iannis Xenakis.
Linn Records

Percussionists back in Beethoven's day could be forgiven for feeling a little bored, waiting for the infrequent roll of the kettledrum or the occasional cymbal crash. But as orchestras grew bigger, percussionists got busier — even more so after World War I, when a new generation of composers began writing specifically for percussion.

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Code Switch
2:14 am
Tue April 14, 2015

How Asian-Americans Found A Home In The World Of K-Pop

Asian music hitmaker Jae Chong, at work in a studio in Seoul. His work is all over Asian charts, but his passport is American.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 6:33 am

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Favorite Sessions
12:43 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

KEXP Presents: Ibeyi

Ibeyi performs live in the KEXP studio.
Dave Lichterman KEXP

With Ibeyi, every song is a blessing — sometimes literally. The Parisian-born twin sisters reach deep into their French-Cuban ancestry on their debut album, which blends Yoruban evocations with contemporary expressions of love and loss.

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All Songs Considered
12:13 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Hear Protomartyr's New Song With The Breeders' Kelley Deal

Protomartyr's split 7" with Kelley Deal's band R. Ring is out June 16.
Courtesy of the artist

"Take it from somebody who knows." The opening words to Protomartyr's new single, "Blues Festival," are sung by frontman Joe Casey, but they could easily refer to the song's star guest vocalist, Kelley Deal of the Breeders. Deal has lived through a lot in the past 20-plus years, from opening for Nirvana in the early '90s to doing the whole "reunion" thing with her identical twin sister Kim, to releasing small-batch 7" singles by her most recent project, R. Ring.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
12:00 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Chadwick Stokes: Tiny Desk Concert

Morgan McCloy NPR

His songs feel familiar; they're old friends before the first play is done. They'd fit nicely on a mix alongside Paul Simon or the McCartney side of The Beatles.

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Microphone Check
6:03 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Heems: 'If Someone's Got To Do It, It Should Be Me'

Heems at SiriusXM New York City Studios in March.
Robin Marchant Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 7:07 am

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First Listen
9:03 pm
Sun April 12, 2015

First Listen: Alabama Shakes, 'Sound & Color'

The Alabama Shakes' new album, Sound & Color, comes out April 21.
Brantley Gutierrez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 1:11 pm

In the six years I've lived in the region, I've developed a mantra: Southern freaks are the best freaks. For me, the word "freak" can be both positive and downright spiritual. It describes serious individualists who are tolerant of others whose own paths may diverge from their own; people whose ways of thinking connect to form an antidote to the deep conventionality that often surrounds them.

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