Music

Music

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Trouble Funk: Tiny Desk Concert

May 30, 2018

Go-go — Washington D.C.'s regional twist on funk — reigned in the DMV during the 1980s, and one of the scene's signature acts was Trouble Funk. More than 30 years later, the collective, led by Big Tony Fisher, still fills sold-out venues with heavyweight percussion and call-and-response lyrics. Trouble Funk concerts are bona fide jam sessions, so I was determined to squeeze their unrelenting rhythms behind the Tiny Desk.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene with our daily excuse to play this.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

WEEZER: (Singing) It's going to take a lot to take me away from you.

The Thistle & Shamrock: More New Sounds

May 30, 2018

This week there are rising names to discover and exciting new sounds from Cathy Jordan's Americana trio The Unwanted and Welsh band Calan.

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

A title card is the first thing you see in the video for "They Ain't 100," a song by the British rapper Fredo — which reads: Disclaimer: The content in this video is an expression of art and should not be taken literally. K-Trap's "David Blaine" opens with a similar prologue: All characters in this visual are entirely fictional.

A simultaneous training session for 175,000 employees, across more than 8,000 stores — that's what Starbucks is doing Tuesday, urging its workers and managers to discuss racial bias and respect following the arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia store last month.

For the sessions, many Starbucks stores will shut down in the afternoon and stay closed for several hours. A sign at one location in Chicago, for instance, says the store will be locking its doors at 2:30 p.m. and reopening on Wednesday. Other stores have posted similar notices.

The Schneider family is full of nerds. If you were wondering whatever happened to The Apples In Stereo, well — its frontman Robert Schneider has spent the last five years getting his Ph.D in mathematics. No, really, he teaches and studies math at Emory University.

K-Pop is having a moment — a big one. Billboard has announced that Korean pop music boy band BTS will have the No. 1 album in the U.S. this week, a first for any K-pop artist or group.

Harold Mabern has never had any hang-ups about not being the center of attention. "I get joy out of being an accompanist," the pianist affirms, likening himself to an offensive lineman on a football team. "When you can do something to make the soloist happy and proud," he says plainly, "you've done your job."

Back at the beginning of time, the human voice was the very first instrument. Probably close in second place were folks banging on stuff – in other words, percussionists. The quartet of gentlemen who form the Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion takes primordial pounding into a completely distinctive new league. To be sure, in this Tiny Desk performance, they'll play their sophisticated, modern marimbas and vibraphones, but be on the lookout for the subtleties of tuned cowbells and 3/4" galvanized steel pipes, like those found at the local hardware store.

Soul Queen Irma Thomas Becomes A Doctor

May 29, 2018

Irma Thomas is known to R&B fans all over the world, but she's most beloved in her hometown of New Orleans. Everyone in New Orleans calls her Irma.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Rachel Martin. Don't tell Weezer what to do. For over a year, fans have been trying to get the band to cover "Africa" by Toto. There was a hashtag and everything. Well, Weezer did decide to cover a Toto song but went with "Rosanna" instead.

The bugle call of taps. The swell of voices spontaneously joining to sing "We Shall Overcome." The urgency of "Fight The Power." Anthems are songs that tap into the collective emotions that listeners and performers have around an issue, whether it's joyful pride in one's country or rage over injustice.

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

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally today, let's go back to 2002 for a minute when the song "Grindin'" by the rap duo Clipse was one of the biggest hits of the year. Billboard named it one of the 100 greatest hip-hop songs of all time.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GRINDIN'")

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

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Tens of thousands of music lovers have made their way this weekend to Cumberland, Md., for DelFest. It's a four-day music festival that features the best of bluegrass music, founded by one of the genre's most beloved figures, Del McCoury.

The #MeToo movement has been a cultural reckoning across industries, from Hollywood to restaurants — but one of the oldest that's been affected is classical music. In March, James Levine, a longtime conductor of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, was fired for allegations of sexual misconduct. And now, centuries-old works from Carmen to Don Giovanni are being challenged for misogynistic plots and themes.

If you were one of the millions of viewers who tuned into the royal wedding last weekend, you may also have been one of the many who were impressed by a young cellist.

Nineteen-year-old Sheku Kanneh-Mason played three pieces during the interlude in which Prince Harry and Meghan Markle signed the registry.

Johnny Irion On His Artistic Lineage

May 26, 2018

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Love and loss often inspire creativity. Aisha Burns' second solo album Argonauta is about the places where grief meets hope. What makes this album distinct is that it was written in response to a great loss in Aisha Burns' life — her mother's death — which occurred alongside the beginning of a great romance.

Barbara Cook On Piano Jazz

May 25, 2018

This week's Piano Jazz remembers Barbara Cook (Oct. 25, 1927 – Aug. 8, 2017), the Tony and Grammy Award-winning lyric soprano who was a favorite of audiences around the world. She was a star on Broadway as an ingénue and became a staple of the New York cabaret scene in the later years of her prolific career.

Don't call Thea Musgrave a "woman composer."

"When I'm composing, I'm a human being," she insists. "It's not a question of sexuality."

Who do you still know from eighth grade? And what's your relationship? Do you check in on Facebook to see how many kids, pets and houses they have? Or have you built an entire career together and made it work for decades, like the co-frontmen of the band Dr. Dog?

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