Music

Music

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Piers Faccini On Mountain Stage

Feb 8, 2018

To begin his first appearance on Mountain Stage, Piers Faccini takes us out of Appalachia through the sounds of the Middle East, West Africa and Europe, all of which are cradled throughout his music.

Born in England, raised in France and having an Italian father, Piers Faccini is trilingual and hones a multitude of skill sets. As a painter, poet, children's author and musician, Faccini shows his love of art and heritage in each of his works, no matter the medium.

Bursting with cheeky ferocity and razor-sharp rock 'n' roll chops, Thunderpussy burst onto the Seattle scene 18 months ago and quickly established themselves as one of the city's most exciting bands, based solely on their live show's reputation.

Over nearly 50 years of making albums, John Prine's been able to turn the sense that he's slightly underappreciated into a trademark. He's the secret favorite everybody can agree on, never quite in the middle of the conversation but always poking around in the corners for a modest truth that will linger after the noise dies down.

We do our best to turn our World Cafe studio into bluesman R.L. Boyce's porch at his house in Como, Mississippi. That's where Boyce sits and plays many days in the farming community south of Memphis in the Mississippi Hill country.

Romance isn't dead, it's just damn hard. We navigate gestures both small and grand like tributaries suddenly rushing into whitewater, and hope to hell that we come out the other side.

Angelina Torreano, the singer and guitarist for the Brooklyn-based Citris, had a particularly intense experience with one of the most old-fashioned romantic moves: a dude wrote her love poetry. And when the intensity wasn't reciprocated, things got weird, she writes an essay published with the song.

After touring behind the massively successful album Stay Gold, Swedish sister duo First Aid Kit really needed a break. The sisters visited our studio just days after the release of First Aid Kit's long-awaited fourth full-length album, Ruins, and proved their gorgeous harmonies and sophisticated songwriting were still fully intact. "Fireworks" is a perfect example.

SET LIST

  • "Fireworks"

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.


Empowerment anthems have had a good run since the early aughts, during which time we grew accustomed to hearing powerhouse pop singers turn downtrodden verses into launching pads for triumphant hooks. That tried-and-true way of displaying feminine strength made the moment of overcoming tribulation feel almost inevitable.

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. 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. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET

A founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, John Perry Barlow, has died at the age of 70, according to a statement issued by the Foundation.

Feb. 7, 2018 marks the fifth anniversary of International Clash Day. What started off as a tribute to The Clash's catalog for a few hours in 2013 by KEXP's John Richards has grown into something of an international affair. San Francisco, Austin, Texas and Washington D.C.

The Los Angeles-via-Philadelphia rockers and NPR Slingshot artists Mt. Joy recently packed into the World Cafe Studios for an upcoming session. Formed by just-outside-of-Philly natives Matt Quinn and Sam Cooper, the band signed with Dualtone Music Group and are set to release their self-titled debut LP on March 2.

The Thistle & Shamrock: The Long View

Feb 7, 2018

If you've been listening to Thistle for some years, perhaps you'll remember two unforgettable extended medleys of tunes: one from Breton harper and multi-instrumentalist Alan Stivell and the other from Irish fiddler Kevin Burke. Make their re-acquaintance this week!

When people ask about the rock 'n' roll sound of Nashville, locals might direct them to the garage rock scene, to Jack White's Third Man Records, or to guitar-slinging country outlaws like Sturgill Simpson or Eric Church. But they'd be remiss to leave out Moon Taxi, a band that's grown a large and devoted fan base in Music City since forming at Belmont College 10 years ago.

Watch Sidney Gish Perform Live At WGBH

Feb 7, 2018

Sidney Gish, a New Jersey native and third-year music industry major at Northeastern University, performs live in the Fraser Performance Studio at WGBH in Boston.

SET LIST

  • "Midnight Jingle"
  • "Hexagons and Other Fun Materials"
  • "Presumably Dead Arm"
  • "Imposter Syndrome"

Boston loves playing inside baseball, and not just the kind at Fenway Park. The city boasts its own code of thick-tongued slang words and generational reverence. When it comes to its music scene, those nods run deep, appearing both decades ago and in its current roster.

"Must Be Nice," the first single from Chicago band Varsity's forthcoming album Parallel Person, has a title that comprises a double meaning. The title phrase is habitually "bandied around sarcastically," says singer and keyboardist Stephanie Smith. But she says it can also be an ultimatum, as in: "I must be nice in order to be liked/noticed/not be considered a b****."

The twin sisters in Ibeyi started their turn behind the Tiny Desk by singing an invocation of a West African Yoruba deity.

They come by their connection to the Afro-Cuban culture by way of their late father, Miguel "Anga" Diaz, an in-demand Cuban percussionist who was part of a vanguard musicians who reinvigorated Cuban music before he died prematurely at age 45 in 2006. The sisters, Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Díaz, carry that calling in their DNA, and how they've manifested it into their own art is nothing short of amazing.

Best Buy has told music suppliers that it will pull all CDs from its stores this summer, according to a report from Billboard. This move should come as no big surprise: Between unlimited streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify, and the ongoing vinyl revival, CDs just don't have the sway that they used to.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE BAD PLUS' "LAYIN' A STRIP FOR THE HIGHER-SELF STATE LINE")

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Haley Heynderickx's songs have a way of sneaking up on you: They start out spare, animated by a lone voice or a subtly snaky guitar line, only to billow out into something strange, beautiful, bracingly intense or some combination thereof.

Some events in Adan Jodorowsky's life seem almost too fantastic to be true. But indeed, the son of renowned Chilean avant-garde icon Alejandro Jodorowsky was taught to play the guitar by George Harrison. As a 7 year old, he learned a few dance steps from James Brown himself.

Despite leading such a charmed life, Jodorowsky says that he felt the need to share his earlier musical creations with the world as"Adanowsky." But he's ready to finally leave that musical persona behind.

Pages