Music

Music

The first thing you notice about Sam Smith is that voice: soulful, a little sad and able to dip from deep octaves to falsetto in a matter of seconds. But behind that voice is a man who found fame — and then found a need to hide from it.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

No city sends off its music royalty like New Orleans. Last night, the city bid farewell to native son and rock 'n' roll architect Fats Domino, who died last week. NPR's Debbie Elliott was there for the rollicking procession known as a second line.

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.

Oh Wonder's career is a happy accident. The U.K. duo posted songs online in hopes of writing for other artists, but got such a good response that the group has found its own fame. Their intertwining voices and keen ears for a pop song set them apart.

SET LIST

  • "Lifetimes"

Photo: Jessica Hanley/KCRW.

Watch Oh Wonder's full Morning Becomes Eclectic performance at KCRW.com.

Joseph Meli, accused of defrauding some 130 investors of some $95 million in a scheme framed as the resale of tickets to Hamilton and other events, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of securities fraud. Previously he had entered a plea of not guilty to five counts of fraud and conspiracy.

Join KEXP as the Seattle public radio station returns to the land of fire and ice, broadcasting live from KEX Hostel (no, that's not a typo) in Reykjavik for the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival.

KEXP's international broadcast featured 16 exclusive performances live on air from Nov. 2 to 5. Sets from all days were streamed with live video on KEXP's Facebook page. Click on the names of the artists below to view the performances.


Tuesday, Oct. 31

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

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Guest DJ: Weaves

Nov 1, 2017

Andrew Combs On Mountain Stage

Nov 1, 2017

A Dallas native now based in Nashville, songwriter Andrew Combs released his debut All These Dreams in 2015. It drew comparisons to the likes of Harry Nilsson and Leonard Cohen, and as host Larry Groce mentions in his introduction: "He does not disappoint."

The Afghan Whigs' latest album, In Spades, explores memory and time, and lead singer Greg Dulli visited World Cafe to reflect on both. That included a conversation about losing his longtime collaborator and bandmate Dave Rosser, who died in June after recording the album.

Listen to the entire interview, as well as three songs performed live in our studio, in the player above.

Shocking Omissions: Enya, 'Watermark'

Nov 1, 2017

Glen Hansard's seen it all: decades of cult fame with the Irish rock band The Frames, movie appearances in Once and The Commitments, and even an Academy Award for "Falling Slowly," the signature ballad he recorded with his Swell Season partner, Marketa Irglova.

Marisa Anderson doesn't just play guitar — she sinks into bends and lingers over melodies, knowing when to light a fire under her fingers and when to wind like a creek. In 2013, she caught my ear for the first time with a pair of records — the raw and dusty Mercury, and the functionally-titled Traditional And Public Domain Songs.

On first hearing the Gracie And Rachel song "Only a Child," I was struck by the tension and the mystery, both musically and lyrically: "I'm moving my mouth but I don't say a word/My ears are open but nothing is heard/I'm only a child, only a child."

"Happy Halloween, you pagans."

Skepta has surprised fans with the Vicious EP, just in time for Halloween. The project — independently released on Boy Better Know, the label he co-owns with his brother and fellow grime star Jme — popped up on streaming services today (Oct. 31).

Here is one of the seminal underground records of the late 1960s: The band is Pearls Before Swine, and the album is called One Nation Underground.

Miguel Zenón was 12 when he first experienced the devastation of a major hurricane in his homeland, Puerto Rico. That was Hugo, which hit as a Category 3 in 1989, and drove nearly 30,000 residents from their homes.

Attorneys for three of Prince's six recognized heirs — Sharon, Norrine and John Nelson — have requested that Comerica Bank & Trust, which accepted its appointment as personal administrator to the legendary musician's estate on Dec. 7, 2016 and began performing that role in early February of this year, be stripped of its oversight.

"Speedruns" are a weirdly enthralling piece of video game culture, wherein a gamer takes on titles, often older ones like Super Metroid or Sonic The Hedgehog, using every trick in the book to beat their chosen game as fast as possible.

When we last left Godflesh, the mecha-mutants of industrial metal had returned after more than a decade with 2014's devastatingly nasty A World Lit Only By Fire. It was one of those reunion albums that wasn't only better than it should've been, but a reclamation and reinvention for Justin Broadrick and G.C. Green.

Becca Mancari likes to take the long way around. The Nashville singer-songwriter was born in Staten Island, grew up in Pennsylvania, and developed her love of American roots music during her student days in Virginia. She's traveled the country and the world; some of the spaciousness in her hypnotic, subtle songs comes from lessons she learned while on a walkabout in India.

With his signature top hat and star sunglasses, Bootsy Collins is considered by many to be amongst the godfathers of funk.

Some of us are verbal processors, who feel like certain vexing issues just can't be solved until we've exhaustively enunciated every angle. The hope is that the act of explaining a problem aloud will draw out a perspective previously unseen; sometimes you just have to start a sentence to see where it will lead. On "Let Down," from the four-member Gingerlys, Jackie Mendoza and Colin O'Neill's call-and-response vocals feel like two sides of a conversation with the self, an attempt to sketch the contours of tangled relationship in search of a way out.

This essay is one in a series celebrating women whose major contributions in recording occurred before the time frame of NPR Music's list of 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women.

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