Produced by D. James Goodwin, Glow marks a kind of artistic reboot for Kaki King, whose most recent recordings integrated traditional songcraft, additional musicians, and her own vocal stylings, all in pursuit of her tenaciously individualistic sonic vision. Glow returns to her instrumental roots and is accompanied by the string quartet 'Ethel'.
Sometimes it pays to be somebody's little brother. Were it not for his fraternal ties, singer and multi-instrumentalist Asa Taccone probably wouldn't have been able to get acclaimed songwriter and producer Brian Burton (better known as Danger Mouse) to produce his band's debut album. Taccone's older brother, a friend of Burton's, asked the producer to listen to the songs his little brother had been working on and give some constructive criticism.
Getting San Cisco to the U.S. airwaves was a serendipitous event. Early in the summer of 2012, The Current's local-music producer (Jon Schober) was watching the YouTube video for Metronomy's "The Look," and saw San Cisco's video for "Awkward" pop up as a recommended follow-up. The charming song, with its back-and-forth vocals between drummer Jordi Davieson and guitarist Josh Biondillo, stuck.
Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 11:50 am
Three albums into a thriving career, Ben Folds Five abruptly announced it was over in 2000. Luckily for fans, Folds got the band back together 11 years later and even released a new album, The Sound of the Life of the Mind, this September.
The album is classic Ben Folds Five — at times irreverent, cerebral, quirky, wistful and playful. The Sound of the Life of the Mind peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 and the video for the first single, "Do It Anyway," features Anna Kendrick, Rob Corddry and the cast of Fraggle Rock.
Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 7:23 am
We at NPR Music spend most of our days listening to music, thinking about music, writing about it, arguing with each other over it, calling the people who made it to ask them about their work, enthusing over songs, griping about albums. Our thirst for the new and the intriguing and the great is insatiable. And every year at about this time try to we sum up a fruitful year of listening in our best-of-the-year bonanza.
Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 12:33 pm
It's not easy to pin a single genre on Calexico. Joey Burns and John Convertino's band blends Americana, Tejano and indie rock music. Burns and Convertino began recording under the name — borrowed from the California border town — in 1996 in Tucson, Ariz., and have released several well-received albums, including this year's Algiers.
Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 1:38 pm
If you're back in your old neighborhood this weekend or just need an excuse to get out of the house, Record Store Day is a pretty good option. The twice-annual event when independent record stores around the country offer brand new, reissued and limited-edition vinyl has become an opportunity for artists to find a home for that extra song that didn't fit anywhere or to put out that remix that was just plain odd.