Music

First Listen
8:59 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

First Listen: Gem Club, 'In Roses'

Gem Club's In Roses comes out Jan. 28.
Tonje Thilesen Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 8:00 pm

Roses are beautiful and alluring, but they're often seen in the saddest of settings: hospitals, funerals. The music of Gem Club is a bit like that, mixing beauty and melancholy. One makes you appreciate the other, so it's a dynamic that works perfectly on the band's second album, appropriately titled In Roses.

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All Songs Considered
12:45 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

The Good Listener: When Good Musicians Do Bad Things

Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, seen here in 1968, had a relationship that offended many fans' sensibilities. But their complicated romantic history hasn't affected either's musical legacy.
Getty Images

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid a deluxe version of the Ashley Monroe record in which "deluxe" means "packed in a 10-pound wooden crate" is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, how and whether to enjoy music by folks whose real-life actions offend us.

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World Cafe
12:01 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

The Dismemberment Plan On World Cafe

The Dismemberment Plan.
Courtesy of the artist

A Washington, D.C., indie-rock band that formed in 1993, The Dismemberment Plan released four widely beloved albums before going quiet for more than a decade — save for a brief reunion to perform a small handful of sold-out benefit concerts in 2007.

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All Songs Considered
3:05 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Bob Boilen's 116 Favorite Concerts Of 2013

Ally Newbold Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 7:07 am

I didn't watch any TV shows in 2013. I only saw one movie that I can remember. But I saw over 662 shows in 2013, 549 bands in 139 clubs in 21 cities. It was a perfect year.

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The Record
11:02 am
Wed January 8, 2014

An Interview With Eyehategod's Mike 'IX' Williams

Mike "IX" Williams onstage at The Acheron in Brooklyn in November.
Courtesy of Samantha Marble

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 8:41 am

Mike "IX" Williams has had a rough year. Williams (best known as the vocalist and wild-eyed wordsmith behind revered sludge metal gods Eyehategod) has had a rough life, one stained by addiction, poverty, incarceration, depression and Katrina's flood waters, but 2013 brought with it an unexpected, nearly crippling blow. In September Eyehategod's original drummer — and Williams' lifelong friend — Joey LaCaze died at the age of 42, leaving behind a wife, a daughter and friends. Suddenly, the future of this hitherto unshakable band hung in the balance.

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All Songs Considered
6:02 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Ambien Dreams And Naked Desert Walks: St. Vincent On Her New Album

Renata Raksha Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 12:25 pm

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All Songs Considered
1:05 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

New Year, New Mix: St. Vincent, Bruce Springsteen, Damien Jurado, More

Clockwise from upper left: St. Vincent, Bruce Springsteen, Damien Jurado, Maria Linden of I Break Horses
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 10:58 am

Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are back from their holiday journey to the heartland, rested and ready to celebrate the new year with a batch of new music from some of their favorite artists, and latest discoveries.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
9:33 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Lily & Madeleine: Tiny Desk Concert

Lily & Madeleine, at a Tiny Desk concert in November 2013.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 10:11 am

Sisters Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz aren't the youngest musicians ever to play the Tiny Desk, but they come pretty close. Their music — a restrained, homespun mix of folk and pop with undeniably sweet harmonies — certainly ranks among the loveliest we've heard.

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World Cafe
2:16 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

World Cafe Next: U.S. Royalty

U.S. Royalty.
Courtesy of the artist
  • Listen Two Songs By U.S. Royalty

Our first World Cafe: Next artist of the new year is the Washington, D.C., band U.S. Royalty. Led by brothers John and Paul Thornley, the group will release its second album (Blue Sunshine) on Jan. 21. After a year of touring and the death of the Thornleys' father, U.S. Royalty found a way to infuse its polished new album with the raw energy of its live shows.

World Cafe
2:03 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

The Decemberists On World Cafe

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 6:39 pm

The Decemberists have been on hiatus for quite a while — so long that the non-Colin Meloy members of the band have their own group, Black Prairie. We love these musicians together, and that's why we picked their session from 2011's The King Is Dead to feature on Vintage Cafe.

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