Music

Music

In the early 2000s, Mr. Lif — also known as Jeffrey Haynes — made a good living writing, performing and rapping with the other artists on the hip-hop label he helped define, Definitive Jux. And then, things changed suddenly: His tour bus crashed, he left his label and his home studio was flooded.

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

Tania Maria On Piano Jazz

May 13, 2016

Born in Brazil to a musical family, pianist and vocalist Tania Maria was leading her own group of professional musicians by the time she was 13. In the 1970s, she moved to Paris, where she found the international spotlight through her work in jazz festivals. In the 1980s, Maria moved to New York, where she recorded hit albums and worked with some of the most renowned jazz artists in the world.

On this 1994 episode of Piano Jazz, Maria performs her own composition "Carona," then solos in "Ta Tudo Certo."

Originally broadcast in the fall of 1994.

Congratulations, music lovers! We managed to get through an entire week without a major album dropping out of the blue. So if you're like us this means you've finally had a chance to catch your breath and dig into all the amazing stuff that has come out.

Airports are like petri dishes for humanity's worst traits. Most people are in various states of agitation over endless lines or invasive searches or some perceived slight. Everyone's exhausted. Everyone's on high alert.

The Shining was Stephen King's first hardback bestseller. Stanley Kubrick's film version was listed by no less than Martin Scorcese as one of the scariest horror films ever made. Now, the story is an opera — and its creators want it to be even more terrifying than the book or the movie.

Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop On World Cafe

May 12, 2016

Collaboration is nothing new to Sam Beam of Iron and Wine: He has recorded with Calexico and recently made an album of cover songs with Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses. For Beam's new album with Jesca Hoop, Love Letter For Fire, he says he wanted to try it differently.

The Jayhawks, Paging Mr. Proust, feature CD, 5/13

May 12, 2016

KSUT will feature the new Jayhawks album 'Paging Mr. Proust', Friday 5/13 at 12 noon. The new recording finds the 2016 Jayhawks based around leader Gary Louris’ gift for melody that has made them such a respected and seminal group for almost three decades. Paging Mr. Proust features the long-time core of the band: Gary Louris, Marc Perlman, Tim O’Reagan, and Karen Grotberg, though notably missing Mark Olsen. REM's Peter Buck and Tucker Martine served as producers for the sessions.

The pioneering electronic band Underworld just released one of the best albums in its 30-year career with this year's Barbara Barbara We Face A Shining Future. The group stopped by KCRW for a session before heading to the desert for Coachella, taking us on an emotional roller coaster that veered from elation to beautiful sadness — particularly in this track, "Low Burn."

SET LIST

  • "Low Burn"

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released.

Review: Mudcrutch, '2'

May 12, 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.

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.

Rokia Traore On World Cafe

May 11, 2016

Rokia Traoré wasn't supposed to be a musician at all; it was discouraged among the noble caste of Mali's Bambara ethnic group, into which she was born. But, like musicians everywhere, she was also born with the drive to create. Against tradition, she started playing in college and was noticed by the revered Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré, who helped her immensely in the early 2000s.

Nowhere to begin but with the brutal fact that we're still crying purple tears here in Rx Dose land, and this month's selections reflect that somewhat. We're not going to spend this short space rhapsodizing Prince Rogers Nelson's impact on electronic and dance music, especially when others have done the job more thoroughly for us, in both listicle and essay form.

This review has been revised from its original version. An excerpt of the Car Seat Headrest song "Just What I Needed/Not Just What I Needed" used an unlicensed sample of The Cars' "Just What I Needed." That excerpt has been removed from the review at the request of Matador Records.

Seattle's Dust Moth scans metal: Thick riffs rumble in and out of heavy atmospheres, with sludgy guitar, melodic bass way out front, and muscular drumming that swings like a thumping heart. Its pedigree scans as metal, too, as the band features guitarist Ryan Frederiksen (These Arms Are Snakes, Narrows) and Giza's rhythm section (bassist Steve Becker and drummer Justin Rodda).

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

Santana On World Cafe

May 10, 2016

Carlos Santana has just returned with a new album featuring his original band, which split up in 1972 — including guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Gregg Rollie (both of whom left to form Journey), Michael Shrieve on drums, and Michael Carabello on percussion.

In this episode of World Cafe, Carlos Santana tells the story of how the group's new album, Santana IV, came together. He also discusses the new instrumental "Fillmore East," which was influenced by the legendary music venue.

There are rhythms that guide us. The syncopated funk of go-go music internally recognizes the everyday juggle of life by bouncing different parts of the body in staggered time. The motorik rhythm — a 4/4 tempo with an accent on each beat — is linear in its drive, but pulsing with tension. For its part, the feel John Fogerty dubbed chooglin' has always been tied to both an undulating rock 'n' roll rhythm and a philosophy of keeping life free and easy.

Overcoats On Mountain Stage

May 10, 2016

Overcoats' members perform on Mountain Stage, recorded live in Charleston, W.Va. Based in New York City, Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell play folk-inspired electro-soul, a sound they describe as "sort of Chet Faker meets Simon & Garfunkel." Their songs draw strength from vulnerability, finding uplifting beauty in simple, honest songwriting.

In her song "American Oxygen," Rihanna sings, "On the other side of the ocean, you can be anything at all / in America, America."

Now the pop star and Barbados native is putting some of her money where her mouth is. On Monday she announced on Instagram the launch of a scholarship program to help citizens or natives of Brazil, Barbados, Cuba, Haiti, Grenada, Guyana and Jamaica attend college in the U.S.

Stephen Steinbrink's unfussy imagery stays detached from meaning. That's part of what makes his seven albums worth your time: In their lushly arranged pop songs, the listener can tie and untie Steinbrink's vivid and unrelated images into something meaningful — or not. Even his new album's title, Anagrams, suggests engagement through emotional and lyrical rearrangement.

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

Violinist Lara St. John has attitude in spades. It's in the sound of her playing and in the arc of her career.

The federal government is getting into hip-hop — well, sort of.

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

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