Music

Music

If you've ever listened to The Marked Men or Radioactivity, Jeff Burke is a songwriter who knows his way around a power-pop-punched punk hook. The same goes for Japanese musician Yusuke Okada, who makes rollicking garage-rock with Suspicious Beasts. The cross-continental duo make hazy, flowery '60s psych with a bit of '80s jangle as Lost Balloons, their second album Hey Summer arriving just in time for long bike rides, long sips of sweet tea and staring at clouds.

Geopolitics might not be the first thing that comes to mind as you watch the NPR premiere of the new Higher Brothers video for "Franklin," featuring Jay Park, but the global implications are real.

Nancy And Beth On Mountain Stage

Jun 6, 2017

The self-proclaimed "punk showbiz" duo Nancy And Beth makes its debut on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Will & Grace comedian Megan Mullally and Friday Night Lights actress Stephanie Hunt bring this choreographed, bespectacled, Mae West-meets-folk vaudeville act to life.

We're almost halfway through the year, so we here at World Cafe decided the time was ripe to look back on the best of 2017 so far. In case you haven't noticed, it's been a pretty stellar year for new music.

The opening sights and sounds of the video for "Bamako," a new song from Songhoy Blues' forthcoming album, Résistance, takes you straight into the heart of the capital and largest city of the West African country of Mali. "Bamako" viscerally taps into the rich musical heritage and jubilation of the culture.

Guest DJ: alt-J

Jun 6, 2017

Two men are facing criminal charges in connection with a deadly warehouse fire in Oakland in December 2016.

The "Ghost Ship," a warehouse that was used as a residence and performance space, caught fire during a concert and dance party on Dec. 2. People were trapped inside the crowded space; 36 people died.

Now the Alameda County district attorney has filed 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter against Derick Almena, the manager of the space, and Max Harris, who is accused of planning the event.

And then there were three.

Apple has finally unveiled its answer to Amazon's and Google's smart speakers slash digital assistants — and it's called HomePod.

Concert pianist Simone Dinnerstein has shared her love of classical music with children across America.

Now she’s working with a youth orchestra in Havana, after a highly unusual recording session.

What’s it like to play Mozart, after midnight? And could American-Cuban cultural exchanges like this continue

if the Trump Administration reinstates travel restrictions between America and Cuba? We’ll discuss.

GUESTS

Simone Dinnerstein, Concert pianist

"Architectural designer" has to land pretty high on the list of unexpected day jobs for musicians, but that's the world singer-songwriter Anne Dereaux traverses. Dereaux began her journey in architecture in pursuit of a career path that would be deemed professional and acceptable but that would still fulfill her creative inclinations. Through college, her passion for singing pulled her in another direction — but she's never had to choose between the two. Nothing goes to waste when one career somewhat informs the other.

The last time we saw singer Monica Martin at the Tiny Desk she was singing with Phox, her folky, poppy band based in Madison, Wisconsin. But, while that band is on hiatus, Martin took time to walk into the world of Violents, the project of pianist, string arranger and songwriter Jeremy Larson. Larson and Martin make a lovely pair and have created a subtle, soulful record — Awake And Pretty Much Sober — that benefits greatly from Laron's classical training.

Our guest in this session is The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, whose new solo album is called Waiting On A Song. The record is a product of Auerbach's move to Nashville, where he met some of the heavy collaborators who appear on it — including John Prine, who co-wrote the title song.

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.


Chuck Berry's legacy didn't need another record, or any kind of postscript for that matter.

When he died this March, the obits hailed him as the chief architect and driving force behind rock and roll. He was described as the catalyst of a cultural revolution, a titan whose crisp songs and ringing guitar blazed a superhighway-sized trail for future generations.

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

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

A decade ago, a young singer-songwriter named Brandi Carlile released an album called "The Story."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE STORY")

BRANDI CARLILE: (Singing) All of these lines across my face tell you the story of who I am.

After a few years spent regrouping from the trying experience of being dropped by their first record label, The Secret Sisters have returned with their third LP, You Don't Own Me Anymore, produced by Brandi Carlile. Folk Alley caught up with Laura and Lydia Rogers at this year's 30A Songwriters Festival in Florida for an exclusive session at our pop-up studio, not far from the beach.

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

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And another sign that prime minister Theresa May might be in for a closer election than she bargained for, the U.K. music charts.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Renée Fleming and Francis Collins have something unexpected in common: music.

Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, plays guitar. Fleming, of course, is a renowned soprano.

When it comes to today's guests, mystery is the name of the game. The band's name is the symbol of a triangle. It's pronounced alt-J. You won't find pictures of the three stars of the band very many places — certainly not on the cover of its new record, which features a drawing of an anonymous red body on the side of a highway. And not in the music video for the album's first single, which stars a scurrying wood mouse.

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

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS")

Joyce DiCamillo On Piano Jazz

Jun 2, 2017

For more than 30 years, pianist and composer Joyce DiCamillo has led her own trio, which critics hail as "a compact unit that breathes almost as one." A dedicated educator, DiCamillo appears in high schools and universities around the country and is a model for women in jazz.

Pages