Music

Music

In this week's All Songs Considered, we feature three solo projects by some of our favorite bandleaders, a solo artist's duets record, and new music from some familiar faces, or more accurately put, some familiar Lips. The Flaming Lips are back with a new album, Oczy Młody, inspired by a Polish book that Wayne Coyne owns and finds phonetically fascinating (even if he doesn't understand any of the words). We've also got Run the Jewels, a duo that's all about the words and whose new single speaks to urgent issues of race relations.

Kero Kero Bonito is a glitter cannon to the heart, a highly caffeinated mix of '90s house-pop, '80s synth-pop and J-pop, with English and Japanese singing and rapping from Sarah Midori Perry. With its video for "Trampoline," the U.K. trio is here to make the world a little less drab.

In the "Raincoats" episode of Seinfeld, when Jerry describes his pal Elaine's new boyfriend as "a bit of a close talker," he doesn't mean it as a compliment. Jerry describes the ultimate social sinner who has no concept of personal space, who is so invasive that when he speaks he forces everyone around him to lean back lest they find themselves on a first-name basis with his pores.

My adoration for Bellows continues. In 2014 Blue Breath became one of my top albums of the year.

World Cafe Next: Walker Lukens

Oct 24, 2016

Is indie-rock singer-songwriter Walker Lukens ready to break out of his Austin bubble? Lukens' 2013 album Devoted was well received locally. Now, he's back with a new EP produced and recorded by Spoon drummer Jim Eno. (Lukens and Eno connected in a typically Austin manner: by striking up a conversation in a bar.)

In music, we can escape the cruelties of the world or face them. There's no wrong way about it, but recently the members of Drive-By Truckers, a band that's long toed the line between a good time and a hard look at life, found they could no longer work purely in metaphor.

Lil Wayne's prison memoir, Gone Til November, is — like his two Sorry 4 The Wait mixtapes — framed as a stopgap offering to quell fan's appetites during an unexpectedly prolonged wait between official projects.

Whitney On World Cafe

Oct 24, 2016

Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek were feeling pretty low in the winter of 2014. They had each gone through a romantic breakup; the band they used to play in, Smith Westerns, had broken up, too. Things were looking pretty grim until the day Kakacek brought home a tape machine, and an impromptu recording session made way for a new songwriting outlet. They called their new band Whitney.

Run The Jewels has always been heavy as hell, a hip-hop duo that can hang with leather-clad metalheads as much as the club.

Drake has released three new songs. The Canadian rapper and singer debuted "Two Birds, One Stone," "Sneakin'" and "Fake Love" Sunday night on his Beats 1 radio program. The latter two tracks are out now via Spotify.

Few in the roots scene had heard of Yola Carter before she made her first appearance at Nashville's Americana Fest in September, which might've suggested that she was some sort of musical rookie. In fact, the 33-year-old black, British singer-songwriter is a seasoned studio and stage pro.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Lalin St. Juste, leader of the seven-piece, genre-bending band The Seshen, wrote the song "Distant Heart" in memory of a friend.

"She struggled with a lot of darkness and addiction and trauma and things like that," she says. "And over the course of our relationship, I watched her struggle to be resilient with it."

Thirty years ago this week, an unknown filmmaker walked into a club in Washington, D.C., with a videotape in his hand. It was one of those nights when anyone could screen their work ... but this was the first public screening of a short documentary that's gone on to become the very definition of a cult classic.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Bee Gees need no introduction. They've sold more than 220 million albums. They're in the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Leonard Cohen's new album, You Want It Darker, certainly delivers on the promise of its title. It's a meditation on mortality that soars to the highest of musical heights and sinks to the lowest of vocal and existential depths. The record is truly one of the 82-year-old Cohen's best — and it was produced by his son, fellow musician Adam Cohen.

Warpaint On World Cafe

Oct 21, 2016

The Los Angeles band Warpaint put out its first album in 2010 — six years after the band formed. In fact, Warpaint has always taken its time. In the two years between its self-titled 2014 album and its most recent release, Heads Up, its members worked on other projects, including bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg's solo album.

Sunday is the 10th anniversary of My Chemical Romance's The Black Parade, a defining album for both the band and a generation of pop-punk fans. A decade later, NPR's Daoud Tyler-Ameen is still processing what it means to love this record, and what its impact says about the culture around it.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

On this week's +1 podcast: A conversation with Henry Hey, the orchestrator, arranger and musical director for Lazarus, the off-Broadway musical set to the songs of David Bowie.

Ruminations is one of Conor Oberst's most personal records — and it was a surprise, even for its creator. He didn't intend to make an album — he was trying to recover from exhaustion after he was rattled by a health scare, a cyst on his brain. But when he left New York, N.Y., and moved back to his hometown of Omaha, Neb., the songs started coming. He recorded Ruminations on piano, guitar and harmonica in 48 hours during the winter after he moved home.

Forth Wanderers, a band from Montclair, N.J., is a shining slacker-rock beacon in its particular DIY scene — the very same one that raised others like Pinegrove and, in nearby suburbs, Screaming Females and The Front Bottoms.

Blind Pilot and the Tiny Desk series both launched in the same year, 2008, so it's hard to comprehend how the two hadn't converged until now: The band's shimmery folk-pop sound, with its vibraphone and overarching vibrancy, is perfectly suited to the space behind Bob Boilen's desk.

"I am lost, I confess, in the age of the social," Lady Gaga intones in her saddest alto in "Angel Down," the anti-violence anthem that concludes her fifth studio album, Joanne, officially released today. It's a strange disclosure from a pop star whose entire career has seemingly played upon the 21st-century practice of inhabiting constructed online identities to escape reality, earn a lover's affections or scam a path toward success. Gaga crashed the Top 40 in 2008 with The Fame, an examination of the risks and limits of democratized glamor written in cool club bangers.

Herbie Hancock's Latest Voyage

Oct 20, 2016

Herbie Hancock always seems to be on some kind of voyage. Whether he's improvising in a spaceship surrounded by 11 keyboards or forming new iterations of bands, you can always count on him to push the possibilities and the boundaries of jazz.

History moves through all of our voices, in inflection, tone and vocabulary. Some people call this collective language "the spirit"; to others, it's "the voice of the people." Valerie June just calls it song: the ongoing record of human sorrow and delight that she shapes into tunes and verses that may start small, but open up to the centuries.

Born out of Washington, D.C.'s revitalized punk and hardcore scenes, Flasher is what happens when punk grows up. Featuring guitarist Taylor Mulitz (Priests), bassist Daniel Saperstein (Bless), and drummer Emma Baker (Big Hush), the trio's self-titled cassette is a moody and lush affair with hushed, dueling vocals that dart in and out of shadows.

Punk rock is not terribly romantic, or at least not enough to get an on-air dedication from Delilah. That's not to say punk rock doesn't know, understand and screw up relationships — it's just that the gooey underbelly of love and lust is mostly left to belters and crooners.

I've always thought Nina Diaz was fierce.

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