Music

Music

Nashville may be famous as the country music capital, but it's also a great rock 'n' roll town. In recent years, the city's spawned a new generation of joyfully ragged garage-punk purveyors, currently represented on the national scene by enduring bands like Jeff the Brotherhood and newer ones like Bully. Thelma and the Sleaze's Lauren Gilbert, who goes by the initials LG, has been part of that community since moving to Nashville from Iowa to study audio engineering.

World Cafe Next: Psychic Ills

Jun 13, 2016

At its heart, Psychic Ills is the duo of singer and guitarist Tres Warren and bassist Elizabeth Hart. The New York City band has covered a lot of musical ground in its career, which is certainly evident in its fine new album Inner Journey Out. Country, blues, gospel and jazz are all handled extremely well on this album. In this segment, hear "I Don't Mind," featuring Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval on vocals, along with the gospel-inflected song "Another Change."

Sometimes big-name artists need special attention. But in this case, it wasn't because they've been jazz pioneers and innovators since the 1960s and are considered to be founding fathers of jazz fusion, not to mention two of the most important jazz figures performing today. It's not because they've collectively recorded more than 100 albums and won 29 Grammy Awards. The agitation was because both of their instruments couldn't fit behind Bob Boilen's Tiny Desk.

Sara Watkins returns to the Four Corners for the 43rd Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival this weekend. KSUT will feature her latest solo project, Young In All The Wrong Ways, due out July 1, this Friday (6/17) at noon.

This video is a mix of horror, heavy metal and a dose of Pee Wee Herman humor. "The Life And Times Of A Teenage Rock God" is over-the-top — in the best of ways — bookended by the devil himself. Musician, film director and producer Rob Zombie emailed his description of his new music video to me. He wrote:

Haley Bonar's songs marry fizzy arrangements to cuttingly quotable observations about love, disappointment, identity and the curdling of youth. Her new album, Impossible Dream, finds the underrated Minnesotan in top form, mixing darkness and light with a deft touch.

When Chaz Van Queen decided to take on the stage name Chazmere, he had a certain kind of duality in mind. "It felt direct, it felt strong, it felt confident — but it also was smooth at times," he says. "Cashmere is very durable and strong, but it's also smooth to touch and feels nice on the skin."

That spirit carries over into his latest album, simply called Chazmere, on which tales of skateboarding in project hallways as a kid show two sides of his upbringing in the Bronx.

Alt.Latino Takes On Classical Composers

Jun 12, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shalimar the Clown is Salman Rushdie's eighth novel. Published in 2005, it tells the story of a young man who seeks revenge after he's jilted by the love of his life. There's intrigue, violence, and conflict between tradition and modern society — the sort of stuff that makes for grand opera.

Now, Shalimar the Clown is just that. Adapted by composer Jack Perla and Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Rajiv Joseph, the opera premieres tonight at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Rushdie says the novel sprang from one tragic image.

White Denim On World Cafe

Jun 10, 2016

White Denim's new album, Stiff, takes the Austin band back to the frenetic guitar-rock sound of its earlier days. World Cafe last caught up with the band after it released its 2013 album Corsicana Lemonade, which was partially recorded with producer Jeff Tweedy in Wilco's studio space in Chicago.

It's been a while since we've heard from Lorde. Now, a new song the singer co-wrote with her fellow New Zealanders in Broods, has just come out. "Heartlines" is a bubbly, revelatory dance track with references to "jumping state lines" and midnight car rides. The artists not only share a country, but also a producer, Joel Little, who helps shape the sound of both Lorde and Broods.

Since it was founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma 16 years ago, the Silk Road Ensemble — an artistic collective comprised of master musicians and other artists from more than 20 countries, spanning the globe — has become an incubator for inspiring cross-cultural collaborations.

Director Morgan Neville made one of the most memorable music documentaries in recent times. His 2013 film 20 Feet from Stardom, for which he won an Oscar and a Grammy, chronicled the paths of five undersung rock heroes: the backup singers who enlivened some of popular music's biggest hits.

For a particular sect of people, notice of a new Dinosaur Jr. record means a misty pang in the chest or throat. Where — or who, or what — were we when we loved them last? This sort of reflex wistfulness seems to be the general response toward new albums by bands mythologized in the early '90s, but Dinosaur Jr.'s spell is uniquely strong.

At this point, it feels borderline-disrespectful to discuss the rocky road that Dawn Richard has journeyed to the present. But the hype around her isn't nearly lofty enough just yet, so it only makes sense to start at the beginning.

There's something nearly unhinged about Weaves' music. Some of that is in the frenetic guitar of Morgan Waters and the way it contrasts with the swaying-in-the-breeze feel of singer Jasmyn Burke. But then it can all turn upside-down in a hurry — the guitar becomes almost lyrical as Burke sings:

A portion of popcorn that's popping and shopping for fresh hands

Distortion is motion that's ridden forbidden

Don't you dare, don't you dare

You're so coo coo I'm so coo coo

You'd figure Paul McCartney, the most well-known songwriter on planet Earth, would, by now, have confidence in his ability to write a song. But as he tells us in this week's All Songs +1 podcast, "You never get it down. I don't know how to do this. You'd think I do, but it's not one of these things you ever really know how to do."

There is a scandal rocking the financial industry — or we should say, a small but important part of that industry: online lending.

Ahead of the 2016 Tony Awards, it seems fair to make a few educated guesses. First: This stands to be the most widely watched Tonys in recent memory, thanks to a little show called Hamilton and its record-breaking 16 nominations. Second: Even fans of that beloved musical are going to be a little on edge — since, in a few of those categories, the show's stars are up against one another.

Maracuyá means "passion fruit" in Spanish. For the DJ collective Maracuyeah, it's all about a passion for music — and connection.

At the D.C.-based group's fifth anniversary party, the dance floor at Judy's Bar & Restaurant is packed with a diverse crowd, from punk artists to recently arrived immigrants and buttoned-down, office types. Nohora Arrieta Fernandez, a Ph.D. student at Georgetown University who identifies as Afro-Colombian, says there's something for everyone here.

Ben Bridwell and the Band Of Horses crew were in high spirits and feeling loose during a special recent acoustic session they played for KCRW. Smiles, hoots and hollers abounded as they rolled out new songs like this one, titled "Throw My Mess."

SET LIST

  • "Throw My Mess"

Watch Band Of Horses' full Morning Becomes Eclectic performance at KCRW.com.

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

The Columbus Theatre has sat in vaudevillian splendor atop Federal Hill in Providence, R.I., since 1926. It's a place invested with peculiar meaning. Off the intersection of America Street and Broadway by the Atlantic ocean blue, the Columbus supposedly has 1,492 seats. Once a movie theater, then a smut house, the theater has recently found new life through another national pastime, indie folk.

Review: Mogwai, 'Atomic'

Jun 9, 2016

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

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

This month's survey of the dance music underground is energetic to say the least. Looking for mellow backyard BBQ jams? Hold off on those for another month. All six of our selections for May 2016 keep the tempos in the 120s or above, ranging from the ecstatic screams of the anonymous Mainline to the tribal polyrhythms of Lisbon's DJ Marfox.

Animal Collective On World Cafe

Jun 8, 2016

Animal Collective returns to World Cafe after a four-year absence since its last studio album, Centipede Hz. In an effort to approach its newest record, Painting With, a bit differently, the three-piece version of Animal Collective (Panda Bear, Avey Tare and Geologist) flipped its typical script and recorded the album before ever performing the songs in concert. In this session, hear the band discuss its process and perform live.

With the first warm, long days of summer, we're excited to premiere the first new video in the Road Sessions series, recorded live at some of Oregon's beautiful and unique State Parks. Cottonwood Canyon is a new state park in central Oregon; it just opened in 2014. It includes 8,000 acres of grassland, sagebrush and high cliffs along the John Day River, as it cuts a winding course through the high desert toward the Columbia River.

Pages