Music

Music

Dave Douglas On Piano Jazz

Sep 22, 2017

A composer, improviser and trumpeter, Dave Douglas develops music that transcends the boundaries of traditional jazz. In 2000, when he was Marian McPartland's guest, he was JazzTimes magazine's "Artist of the Year." On this 2000 episode of Piano Jazz, Douglas talks about his album Soul on Soul, a stunning tribute to Mary Lou Williams.

Dego & Kaidi have one of those long-running, non-exclusive musical relationships the quality of which is impossible to deny and hard to explain if the context — London's multi-cultural club-life — is unfamiliar. Theirs is a classic example of how, given enough time, underground harmony solidifies into cultural bedrock.

Shilpa Ray is nothing if not honest. Her new album, Door Girl, captures New York nightlife in all its sordid, sweaty chaos and supplies caustic commentary on life in the unfeeling city.

If the Tiny Desk offers one lesson, it's that greatness doesn't diminish with less volume. The lesson doubly applies here.

During their performance, Bomba Estereo's Simon Mejia (bass and keyboards) observed that it was the quietist the band has ever played; they rose to the occasion with an intense performance that reflects their earliest days working smaller venues in Colombia.

The last time Macklemore released a solo album, it wasn't ironic to call him a conscious rapper.

The president had ascended to the nation's highest office despite losing the popular vote. The country was embroiled in an immigration debate stoked, in part, by the politics of fear. And a natural disaster in the making would soon highlight the systemic fault lines of race and class in America.

In 2005, The Language of My World touched on all of those social issues and more. It couldn't have come at a more appropriate time — unless it was released today.

Views From: Warped Tour's 23rd Year

Sep 22, 2017

What is more nostalgic — for those of us with a past mall-punk phase — than a trip to Warped Tour, the 23-year-old, youth-oriented, aggressively branded touring music festival that visits around 40 U.S. cities each year? Twice I've attended and twice I've gotten sun poisoning in the name of ­­pop-punk (and ska, and hardcore, and rap).

These days, David Crosby — one of the world's most recognizable rock stars — lives and works quietly in a ranch near Santa Barbara, Calif. with his three dogs—sometimes, he jokes, all named Fang.

Master P and his New Orleans-bred No Limit Soldiers proved to the music industry that Southern hip-hop was "Bout It, Bout It" in the '90s. But beyond the records that flooded the Billboard charts, it was the guerrilla street marketing he brought to rap — as the founder of one of the biggest independent record labels of all time — that changed the game.

Join host Fiona Ritchie and guests as they explore selections from the American Folklife Center's collection of about half a million sound recordings, including songs from Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Carrie Grover.

As we have shown in so many previous episodes of Alt.Latino, the cultural interchange between the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean has been going on practically since there were people in these parts of the world.

Portland, Ore.'s The Decemberists and British singer-songwriter Olivia Chaney have teamed up to cover traditional English (and Irish and Scottish) folk songs under the name Offa Rex.

Since the beginning, Corbin — formerly known as Spooky Black — has, in his languid and gurgling and romance-afflicted music, foregrounded the landscapes of his home state, Minnesota. Flicking through the search results of his early videos, there's always a forest visible.

One look at (and listen to) the cross-dressing, Asian rock band SsingSsing and you would hardly think they're singing music inspired by traditional Korean folk. But SsingSsing isn't like any other band I've ever seen or heard.

It's one thing to be a Hollywood actor who can respectably warble your way through a karaoke scene now and then. It's another to be able to perform the lead in a Broadway production of a Stephen Sondheim musical. Sondheim's melodies are complicated, the vocal ranges they require are considerable, and the surprises buried in them are startling. They require not only a lot of sound, but a belly full of feeling.

At first glance, Devonté Hynes and Philip Glass might appear like musical opposites. Hynes, the 31-year-old British producer and songwriter who performs under the name Blood Orange, makes hit records with Solange and Carly Rae Jepsen.

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

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

Review: Loney Dear, 'Loney Dear'

Sep 21, 2017

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

In this special episode, we're having a listening party inspired by Turning the Tables, NPR Music's list of 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women. It was spearheaded by Ann Powers, our Nashville correspondent. She joins us — along with Alisa Ali from WFUV in New York City, Andrea Swensson from The Current in Minneapolis, and me, Talia Schlanger — to focus on a couple important records from that list that came out in the '90s.

NPR Music and program directors from VuHaus' public radio music station network today announced Big Thief, Jamila Woods and Lo Moon as the inaugural class of Slingshot, a new collective effort among taste-making stations to elevate the profiles of exceptional emerging artists.

Kishi Bashi With Strings On Mountain Stage

Sep 20, 2017

Eclectic pop maestro Kishi Bashi makes his front-and-center debut on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va.

The first time I saw the soulful singer Moses Sumney was in a church in Iceland. The Los Angeles-based singer was laying down loops with his guitar, and the sounds that day made and the songs that he sang had me eager to hear an entire album from this talented man.

Watch Lo Moon Play 'This Is It' In 360 Degrees

Sep 20, 2017

Lo Moon's carefully crafted dream-pop songs have made them one of Los Angeles' most exciting bands to watch. Get inside KCRW's studios with a virtual reality performance of the group's shimmering single, "This Is It."

Over the past couple of years, Big Thief has quickly gained a passionate and devoted fan base with a rare, quiet force.

Appearing to come out of nowhere last year with its critically hailed, and aptly titled debut, Masterpiece, the band has already taken a quantum leap on its fast (and also aptly titled) follow-up, Capacity. Indeed, Adrianne Lenker's solo performance and conversation at WFUV gave us the rare opportunity to get an intimate glimpse of the vulnerability she wields in powerful ways.

Between songs at her soundcheck at PUBLIC ARTS, the venue attached to Ian Schrager's PUBLIC hotel in downtown Manhattan, Jamila Woods is quick to pull out her phone. For the Chicago-based singer, it isn't a sign of disengagement; in fact, it's just the opposite. As her musical star has risen, Woods has held onto her full-time job as the Associate Artistic Director at Young Chicago Authors. She teaches, writes curricula and trains teachers at the non-profit, and is still coordinating via email, even as she takes vacation to promote her album's re-release on Jagjaguwar Records.

Anyone who has heard Jamila Woods' music knows she's an extraordinary artist. In our inaugural edition of Slingshot, you'll also learn what an extraordinary person she is, too.

Woods' lyrics depict a childhood spent growing up black on the south side of Chicago — emphasis on growing up. Her debut album, HEAVN, combines familiar playground double-dutch rhythms alongside references to Toni Morrison folk-tale collections. She is part poet and part professor.

Last night, at the nightclub and circus-arts space House of Yes in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law legislation that establishes an Office of Nightlife and a Nightlife Advisory Board.

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