Music

Music
11:42 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Gretchen Peters, Blackbirds, feature CD, 1/16

 Fresh off her induction into the prestigious Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Gretchen Peters is about to release her new album Blackbirds. Co-produced with Doug Lancio and Barry Walsh and recorded in Nashville, the album features a who’s who of modern American roots music: Jerry Douglas, Jason Isbell, Jimmy LaFave, Will Kimbrough, Kim Richey, Suzy Bogguss and more.

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Favorite Sessions
8:55 am
Mon January 12, 2015

KEXP Presents: Alvvays

Alvvays performs live in the KEXP studio.
Brittney Bollay KEXP

Alvvays hasn't been around forever, but its members channel a sound that's eternally appealing. The Toronto band's Chad VanGaalen-produced debut is a smart throwback to several generations and iterations of popular music: sun-drenched surf rock, woozy dream pop, jangly twee pop, and so on.

In the studio at KEXP, singer-songwriter Molly Rankin didn't exactly wear her heart on her sleeve, but she did display Morrissey on her chest. Her well-worn vintage T-shirt speaks volumes about witty, wistful songs like "Archie, Marry Me."

SET LIST

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All Songs TV
8:48 am
Mon January 12, 2015

First Watch: Mount Eerie, 'This'

A still from the Mount Eerie video for "This."
Courtesy of the artist

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First Listen
9:03 pm
Sun January 11, 2015

First Listen: Sleater-Kinney, 'No Cities To Love'

Sleater-Kinney's new album, No Cities To Love, comes out Jan. 20.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 8:30 am

Reunion mythology is a powerful force in the music industry. It can artificially preserve overripe bands past their sell-by date, or rob stellar releases of thoughtful criticism in favor of tireless gossip. Former bandmates pursuing other projects have to shout louder than their own histories to be heard in a new context. The lionization and dramatization of reunions ignores the fundamental alchemy of all music-making, regardless of chronology: that artists find each other and choose each other, out of all the artists in the world, to create something new every time they interact.

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First Listen
9:03 pm
Sun January 11, 2015

First Listen: Viet Cong, 'Viet Cong'

Viet Cong's self-titled album comes out on Jan. 20.
Colin Way Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 8:30 am

Two miserable experiences hang heavily over the band Viet Cong. First came the acrimonious dissolution of Women, of which bassist Matt Flegel and drummer Michael Wallace were members. Not long after came the death of that band's guitarist, Chris Reimer. Both of Viet Cong's records — last year's Cassette EP and this self-titled full-length debut — labor to process grief and move forward from its grip. Cassette weaved its way through several carefully donned styles before letting the bottom drop out into dark, aggressive rock.

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First Listen
9:03 pm
Sun January 11, 2015

First Listen: Red Baraat, 'Gaadi Of Truth'

Red Baraat's new album, Gaadi Of Truth, comes out Jan. 20.
James Bartolozzi Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 8:32 am

One of the greatest, biggest, most enjoyable brass bands has just made its best studio recording. Red Baraat is a beat- and brass-driven affair, with a double-headed Indian drum as its timekeeper and rhythm maker. Sunny Jain plays the dhol, and on Gaadi Of Truth he feeds those rhythms through processing pedals, expanding on the Indian traditions he experienced growing up in his Rochester, N.Y., home. This is the first record I can think of that applies a lot of effects to the sousaphone.

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Music News
4:00 pm
Sun January 11, 2015

Country Quartet Little Big Town Finds Fun In Being A Foursome

The Nashville country quartet Little Big Town recently released its sixth studio album, Pain Killer.
Courtesy of Sandbox Entertainment

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 7:36 am

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Music News
5:49 am
Sun January 11, 2015

The More, The Better: Repetition Propels Songs Up The Charts

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 8:30 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

What makes a song a hit? Is it a catchy beat, an amazing voice? Let's use this song as an example.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SHAKE IT OFF")

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Music Interviews
3:37 pm
Sat January 10, 2015

Uptown Boy: Mark Ronson And The Producer As Rock Star

Mark Ronson's latest album is Uptown Special.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat January 10, 2015 4:47 pm

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Remembrances
5:50 am
Sat January 10, 2015

An Evangelist Who Spread The Gospel Of The Accordion

Originally published on Sat January 10, 2015 9:31 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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