Music

Music

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The leaders of North and South Korea will meet on Friday. And ahead of that summit, things have gotten quieter in the DMZ, the demilitarized zone between the two countries. For the moment, no more of this.

Ahead of a summit scheduled for Friday between the leaders of South and North Korea, Seoul says it is no longer blasting pop music toward its northerly neighbor.

The South Korean Defense Ministry announced the move Monday, saying it aims "to establish the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" and to reach a peace settlement and "a new beginning" between the countries.

The U.S./Mexico border is the source of intense political discourse and heartbreaking stories of people caught in between a multi-sided immigration debate. For quite a while now, very strident music has been coming out that reflects all of the above.

Matthew Yokobosky finds food inspirational — which is perhaps not entirely surprising, considering that as an art curator, it's his job to make connections between seemingly disparate objects, just as a chef creates a cohesive dish out of contrasting ingredients.

So when New York City restaurateur and chef Saul Bolton suggested developing a themed menu and a series of dinners around the "David Bowie Is" exhibition now on view at the Brooklyn Museum, Yokobosky was intrigued.

If you haven't heard Bad Breeding's Divide, it is 26 minutes of grueling, noise-punctured punk that channels and couples the rage of Crass to the weirdness of Killing Joke and No Trend. Released in 2017, it was the second album in two years from the U.K. punk band.

Multi-platinum country-pop star Shania Twain is walking back a statement she made in an interview with The Guardian in which she said she would have voted for Donald Trump were she an eligible voter.

The Canadian songstress, in an interview over the weekend to promote her first album in 15 years, said:

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.

Logan Richardson's latest project, Blues People, is a condition, a state of being. The album was derived from the early slave calls that inspired the earliest American jazz and blues musical traditions. Here at the Tiny Desk, the saxophonist revisits that history with four remarkable songs from the album, all performed with a hope that our country's future will be less painful than its past.

Rhiannon Giddens isn't afraid to carry the weight of history in her music. The North Carolina singer-songwriter and banjoist is a founding member of the Grammy-winning group the Carolina Chocolate Drops which won both critical acclaim and loyal fans for their revival of the African-American string band tradition.

Ten years ago today — on April 22, 2008 — NPR Music published our first Tiny Desk concert. Laura Gibson was the inspiration, and the event that sparked the idea of concerts at my desk came from NPR Music's Stephen Thompson. He and I were at the SXSW Music Festival, at one of those lousy shows where the audience chatter was louder than the performer.

Juliana Hatfield was a darling of the '90s indie music scene. She played with Blake Babies and The Lemonheads and had a hit with the edgy pop song, "My Sister." Hatfield released a string of alternative albums since those days, full of distorted guitars and strong vocals.

John B. McLemore is probably best known as the charismatic, obsessive, antique-clock-repairing, hedge-maze-building, dog-loving, murder investigating, tattooed focus of S-Town, the hit podcast from 2017. But he was also was a composer, who remixed the music of an artist he never met.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We wanted to talk some more about the big pop culture stories of the week, so let's take it to the Barbershop. That's where we talk to interesting people about what's in the news and what's on their minds.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAURA VEIRS SONG, "EVERYBODY NEEDS YOU")

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Last time we heard Laura Veirs, she was collaborating with Neko Case and k.d. lang on a critically acclaimed album. Now she's returned to her solo work.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Too young and way too soon - that's what artists and musicians all over the world said today remembering one of their own, Swedish DJ Avicii.

(SOUNDBITE OF AVICII SONG, "HEY BROTHER")

Earlier this week Kanye West ended his social media hiatus and hopped on Twitter to share anecdotes about life, existence and the universe. West announced that he is writing a book on philosophy. He also tweeted that he will release two new albums later this spring (he'd been spotted around Jackson Hole, Wyo. over the last few months, where many believe he is working on his new albums with some of hip-hop's finest).

Arvo Pärt is one of the most popular, most performed living composers. He's beloved worldwide for his signature sound – a spacious, meditative music that tends to sound timeless.

But there's a lesser-known side to the 82-year-old Estonian's career. It's a story that can be traced in a new recording of Pärt's four Symphonies. The album is a musical journey spanning 45 years in fervently detailed performances by the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic, conducted by fellow Estonian Tõnu Kaljuste.

Willie Pickens On Piano Jazz

Apr 20, 2018

Piano Jazz remembers Willie Pickens (April 18, 1931 – Dec. 12, 2017), who passed away at the age of 86. A master of digital speed and harmonic sophistication, the Chicago pianist was McPartland's guest for this 1997 program.

Recorded live at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in Pittsburgh, the set kicks off with an improvised boogie-woogie that shows why Pickens' contemporaries revered him as "one of the foremost piano players in jazz."

If John and T.J. Osborne hadn't been born brothers, each might have found artistic success in his own lane. John's a hotshot guitarist who developed his smooth, inventive style emulating hard rockers and bluegrass pickers. T.J. has the resonant baritone of a classic country crooner, with a little Eddie Vedder thrown in.

Updated at 2:56 p.m. ET

Avicii, the Swedish producer who was one of the world's most successful DJs, was found dead today in Muscat, Oman, his publicist confirmed to NPR Music. He was 28. No cause of death was given.

Since diplomatic relations broke off between the United States and Cuba in 1961, musical exchange between both countries has been largely left, outside of tours, to the underground. Yissy García remembers her father, Bernardo García — a co-founder of Irakere, one of the most iconic bands in the history of Cuban music — sharing cassette tapes full of artists like Herbie Hancock after he would toured the U.S. These treasured souvenirs shaped her musical foundation — and the methods of sharing music haven't changed much since, either.

Colombia's Monsieur Periné is at that sweet spot of a band's maturation process wherein they've solidified what they know, but are unafraid to venture towards what they don't.

Consider that the group's last album, Caja de Musica, flowed with French-inspired swing-jazz feel-goodness, leading to a breakout 2015 Latin Grammy win for best new artist.

On his fifteenth studio album, Moby reconciles his rage about the state of things with a zen-like acceptance of the apocalypse. The lush, haunting songs on this record paints a beautiful picture of a broken world, as indicated in the title: Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt.

SET LIST

  • "Falling Rain And Light"

"Thank you for allowing me to be the first black woman to headline Coachella," Beyoncé said toward the end of her headlining set at Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival last Saturday while glistening with sweat and her waist-length, gold hair flowing in the fan-created breeze. The chart-topping Queen Bey paused for only a moment before scoffing, "Ain't that 'bout a bitch."

Bey's candid acknowledgment of this elephant in the desert simultaneously silenced any doubters and ignited her Beyhive.

MorMor's music is a study of opposites. It soothes by fully basking in uncertainty. "Whatever Comes To Mind," the latest track from the Toronto newcomer balances fear and fulfillment on a feathery, percussive wire.

Look, let's just puff-puff right past the 4/20 jokes, OK? There's no reason to toke up all of your time with silliness when you could be nodding your head (slowly) to Sleep's first album since Dopesmoker, considered by many to be the high-water mark of stoner-metal epics. (Its release date is something of a rabbit hole — if you're interested, here.)

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