Music

Music

Four days after its signing, President Donald Trump's executive action that temporarily bans travel from citizens of seven countries continues to make waves.

Break out the tissues, because Aurora says, "I have always enjoyed watching my songs make people cry."

The music website Bandcamp will donate the money it earns from music sales that occur this Friday, Feb. 3, to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The move, which amounts to 15 percent of all dollars spent on bandcamp.com, was announced in a blog post Tuesday afternoon.

Ethan Diamond, Bandcamp's founder, writes:

It's perhaps the unlikeliest symphony orchestra in the world — an all-female ensemble from a strict Muslim society where it's often dangerous for young women to step outside of their homes unescorted. It's called Zohra — the name of a music goddess in Persian literature, according to its founder.

And they were performing at an unlikely venue — a hall attached to Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, a bombed-out ruin in western Berlin commemorating the horrors of World War II. It's just steps from where Berliners experienced their first ISIS-linked terror attack six weeks ago.

For Brazilian vocalist Liniker Barros, it's almost impossible to avoid politics. As a trans black woman fronting one of Brazil's most compelling soul bands, Liniker E Os Caramelows, she says her mere presence is a statement.

On more than one occasion, I've passed along James Toth's songwriting tips and tricks to help musician friends out of a rut. These are just a few of his actionable suggestions for a creative in crisis: "Put a capo on a random fret," "Write a song that sounds like what you imagine the unheard band/record sounds like, based solely on the description in the review," "Borrow an instrument from someone who plays the same one that you do."

There's a sort of mythology about art that comes from isolation: the fable of the artist who, removed from the pressure and commotion of the big city, shuts off distractions and emerges from the woods with a heartbreaking masterpiece. "Frost Burn," the newest song from Half Waif's forthcoming form/a EP, almost fits into this narrative. Nandi Rose Plunkett — the musician and producer behind Half Waif's experimental electro-pop — wrote the song while on a writing retreat in western Massachusetts.

John Wetton, a former singer, bassist and songwriter for King Crimson and Asia, has died at the age of 67. The news was announced Tuesday in a message from his former Asia bandmate Carl Palmer, also of Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Bob Dylan is about to release a triple album of classic songs. These are not his classics — Triplicate continues Bob Dylan's passion for making new recordings of the Great American Songbook.

Nick Hakim, sitting in the cold outside at the Songbyrd Cafe, on the flat stretch of a hill in Washington's Adams Morgan neighborhood, laughs when I say his new record sounds like it's being played back on an old 78.

In a very short amount of time, 21-year-old singer-songwriter Tash Sultana has gone from busking in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia, to selling out concert venues worldwide. But the bigger challenge has been extracting herself from addiction and drug-induced psychosis, which threatened her mental well-being and her life. She credits doing only what made her happy for her recovery. That meant it was out of school and onto Melbourne's sidewalks, where she used a looping pedal to construct her own backing for her powerful songs.

Ty Segall is never predictable. He's a rock 'n' roll shape-shifter who has dabbled in experimental garage, British-influenced space rock, fuzzed-out acoustic folk and psych-pop. He has performed entire shows wearing a rubber baby mask, he's dressed as a mad scientist while explaining a concept he calls "emotional mugging" and, just for kicks, he's filmed himself smashing a toilet with producer Steve Albini.

It's become a January tradition for NPR to look ahead to some of the most anticipated jazz albums of the year. Bassist Christian McBride, who hosts NPR's Jazz Night In America, and jazz critic Nate Chinen of NPR Member station WBGO join NPR's Audie Cornish to preview three albums coming out in 2017.

Read some of McBride's and Chinen's thoughts below, and hear more of their discussion — including a reflection on the relationship between musicians and critics — at the audio link.

Facebook has, for the most part, kept music at an arm's remove, and for good reasons.

Sometimes all it takes is a sound to conjure the '90s, and Sonder, the R&B trio composed of vocalist Brent Faiyaz and producers Atu and Dpat, knows this well. The trio's hypnotizing ballads take the listener back to a time when music had to be bought in a physical store, the Los Angeles Lakers were entering their Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O'Neal dynasty and Beyoncé was still in Destiny's Child.

When Christopher Gallant was featured in Forbes' 30 Under 30 list, the testimonial came from none other than Elton John, who said, "When I hear his voice, I just lose it." The two even performed Gallant's song "Weight In Gold" together back in September.

Charley Pride is the first African-American country singer to ever perform at the Grand Ole Opry. In total, he's sold some 70 million records and recorded dozens of No. 1 hits — and in two weeks, Pride will be presented with a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys. Pretty extraordinary for a man born and raised in Mississippi, the son of a sharecropper.

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

Geoff Nicholls, Black Sabbath's keyboardist for 25 years between 1979 and 2004, died today from lung cancer at the age of 68.

Nicholls' passing was first confirmed by Black Sabbath's founding guitarist Tony Iommi via social media:

Public radio is a proven and powerful force for music discovery across genres. That's why, every month, we turn to a panel of 10 public-radio DJs and bloggers to see what they've had on repeat recently.

Courtney Barnett has been one of our most beloved recent musical imports from Australia. Both 2013's double EP A Sea Of Split Peas and 2015's Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit were remarkable works of lyrical dexterity. (The latter earned her a Best New Artist Grammy nomination.)

Cloud Nothings began when leader Dylan Baldi was a freshman in college back in 2009, and the Cleveland band's early recordings capture the bratty scrappiness of seemingly directionless kids.

It's been a strange week. Tensions are high. If you haven't yet, you should probably take a break to watch Migos rap a children's book.

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

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

The music business is infamously — or maybe just famously — litigious. Lawsuits are filed with striking regularity by artists who claim, with often teeth-skin-thin justification, that they had penned a phrasing or spun a melody that was later stolen by one monumentally successful artist or the other.

Hold on tight: it's another relentlessly exuberant, propulsive jam from The New Pornographers. The latest in the band's deep catalog of clever and addictive power pop is "High Ticket Attractions," taken from the group's upcoming full-length Whiteout Conditions. It's the first new music from The New Pornographers since 2014's Brill Bruisers album.

I've heard the same story from both our previous Tiny Desk Contest winners: They weren't going to enter the Contest until someone encouraged them to do it. Well, the entry period closes at 11:59 p.m. ET this Sunday, Jan. 29.

American composer Philip Glass turns 80 years old on January 31. To mark the occasion, we asked several of Glass' colleagues and collaborators to pick a piece of his music and write about it.

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