Music

Music

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.

The Barr Brothers — siblings Brad and Andrew Barr, along with harpist Sarah Pagé – are set to release a new album, Queens Of The Breakers, via Secret City Records on Oct. 13.

Where cultures converge, great music happens. Last Sunday night three of the biggest acts in Latin Alternative music were brought together at the historic Hollywood Bowl amphitheater in a rare and brilliant line-up, as part of the Getty-led Pacific Standard Time LA/LA to create dialogue between Latin American arts and Los Angeles.

This essay is one in a series celebrating deserving artists or albums not included on NPR Music's list of 150 Greatest Albums By Women.

When you see and hear a performance by Mandy Harvey, one of the final ten contestants in the latest round of America's Got Talent, the first thing you notice is her voice. Look down at her feet, though, and you might also notice she's not wearing shoes.

Gucci Mane has an extensive resume. As a founding father of trap music, Mane's been carving out the rap genre since 2001 when he put out his first underground release: Str8 Drop Records Presents Gucci Mane La Flare. Since then, he has amassed a long list of musical achievements: dozens of mixtapes, singles, collaborations and eight studio albums.

Some people float through change; others aggressively swim. Still others find themselves deeply challenged to find ways to follow a current that can carry them to a safe shore. The Lone Bellow, the Brooklyn-born trio of Zach Williams, Kanene Donehy Pipkin and Brian Elmquist, negotiated many changes while making its third album, Walk into a Storm. Babies were born; a close friend of the band committed suicide. One member sought and found a way to deal with alcohol addiction.

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

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Rolling Stone magazine is facing a defamation suit — again — as a federal appeals court ruled that three former University of Virginia students have a plausible case that they were personally implicated in a now-retracted story about an alleged gang rape.

The lawsuit began more than two years ago but was dismissed by a district court. Now the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has said the case should move forward, at least in part.

When Leon Russell died last November, the 74-year-old star was recuperating from heart surgery and itching to get back out on the road. So it's no surprise that Russell — whose music fused soul, rock, gospel and country — left behind an impressive batch of songs that hadn't yet seen release. On Friday, 10 months after his death, On a Distant Shore continues a recorded legacy that hasn't dimmed.

In a posthumous new video for Leonard Cohen's "Leaving The Table," an animated paper cutout of the late singer dances and flies over a cityscape of Montreal, free as a bird, untethered from the mortal world.

"'Freedom Is Free' is a move to unravel our minds of fear from the powers that be and replace it with self-empowerment. FREEDOM must be restored to what it has always been: controlled by no person and subject only to the infinite flow of the elements. While we are here on Earth, we should rejoice in its worth."

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Last Tuesday, pop megastar Lady Gaga revealed on Twitter that she suffers from a debilitating disorder called fibromyalgia. Today, the singer shared more about her struggle on her social media, and the concert company Live Nation announced that Gaga will be postponing the European leg of her "Joanne" tour.

Gaga shared her diagnosis in advance of the premiere of Gaga: Five Foot Two, a Netflix documentary debuting on Sept. 22 which touches upon her struggles with chronic pain.

Wenner Media, the company founded by publisher Jann Wenner, is selling its controlling stake in the iconic music and culture magazine Rolling Stone, citing a desire "to best position the brand for future growth."

The news comes one year after Wenner Media sold 49 percent of Rolling Stone to BandLab Technologies, a digital music company based in Singapore.

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