"In the deep dark woods / Alone with my fears / Under the jackpine / the sky was galvanized," avant-indie rock veteran John Vanderslice sings on "Raw Wood," off his new record, Dagger Beach. Vanderslice's dissection of his fears renders his latest outing mesmeric.
I adore this song, and the video makes me love it all the more. "Green Blood" is from Sonny and the Sunsets' new album, Antenna to the Afterworld. It's a record filled with cinematic tales, told simply with guitars, bass and drums. And none of those tales are told as endearingly as they are in this song and video about love on a distant planet.
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the American Girl catalogs we never ordered is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, how first-time music-festival attendees can survive and thrive in an overwhelming setting.
Kendall Levinson writes: "Any advice for a young person going to his or her first music festival this summer? Any tips for preparation or survival would be appreciated."
"Plastic Cup," the moody opening cut to Low's latest album, The Invisible Way, recalls a friend's substance abuse, a lifetime of dependence on others and a soul-crushing future of pointless drug tests. But in a strange new video for the song, director Ryley Fogg takes those themes in a dark and curious direction. Creepy, hooded figures intercut with black-and-white images of the band performing in period costumes.
Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 3:53 pm
Stephen King, John Mellencamp and T-Bone Burnett's collaboration on the musical Ghost Brothers of Darkland County began 13 years ago. Inspiration for the story came when Mellencamp bought a vacation cabin; he says he found out just after closing that the home was the site of the tragic death of two brothers and the girl they both loved.
When a band called The National made its debut more than a decade ago, it was considered an underdog in a busy independent music scene. The lead singer's melancholy baritone and the lush instrumentation didn't always fit the irony-laden swagger of the aughts. The National has endured, and these days it has a hard-won following. It headlines big concert halls and late-night talk shows.
Guy Davis, Shemekia Copeland, Corey Harris, Alvin Youngblood Hart, and Taj Mahal join forces for 'True Blues', a collaboration of the most prominent blues musicians currently playing today. Individually and as an ensemble they explore the genre's history from its roots to current day.
The compilation consists of live material recorded at various venues in the U.S., including Jazz At Lincoln Center, The House Of Blues in Los Angeles CA, The Howard Theatre in Washington DC, and Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis, MD.