Music

Music Interviews
4:27 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Thao Nguyen's Musical Life Is Far From 'Common'

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down's new album is titled We The Common.
Nick Walker Courtesy of the artist

Thao Nguyen, of the folk-rock group Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, has been on a musical journey since she started performing in her teens in Northern Virginia. Delicate yet fierce in her vocal delivery, she writes often about her social concerns — and it was a trip to a California women's prison that inspired much of her latest album, We the Common.

Ngyuen and her band are on the road for the first time in several years; she spoke with NPR's Jacki Lyden from a tour stop in Kansas City.

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All Songs Considered
8:48 am
Thu April 11, 2013

We Get Mail: When Someone You Love Likes Music You Hate, What Do You Do?

If someone you love likes Jack Johnson, but you don't, how do you find common ground?
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 12:11 pm

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the fruit baskets welcoming us to our new office is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, how to reconcile a person you like with musical tastes you don't.

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All Songs Considered
2:03 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

First Watch: Thao And The Get Down Stay Down, 'We The Common'

This American Life's Ira Glass and John Hodgman in a video for Thao Nguyen's song "We The Common."

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 11:14 am

I first met Thao Nguyen in 2008, in the earliest days of the Tiny Desk Concert series. I was a big fan of her witty, catchy songs. After she finished playing the Tiny Desk, Thao said something that has endeared me to her forever. Walking toward the elevators on her way out of NPR, she said, "That was intimate and awkward ... a lot like my last boyfriend!"

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The Record
12:46 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Talking 21st Century Songwriting With Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile.
Shawn Brackbill Courtesy of Matador Records

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 3:22 pm

The first time I met Kurt Vile we played a show together in Philadelphia to less than 200 people. That was sometime in the fall of 2010. When I saw him just over a year later he was headlining the 1,500 capacity Webster Hall in New York City, and Smoke Ring For My Halo, his album released in early 2011, had turned me and almost everyone I knew from simply curious to full devotees.

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World Cafe
7:03 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Moon Taxi On World Cafe

Nashville's Moon Taxi.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 8:26 pm

You might be tempted to call World Cafe's Sense of Place: Nashville guest Moon Taxi a jam band — that is, if its instrumental excursions weren't so concise, carefully thought-out and frequently refined in the years it's spent touring.

The quintet formed at Belmont University in Nashville and released its debut, Melodica, in 2007. Moon Taxi's second studio album, Cabaret, came out last year. Here, the band performs an intricate live set and discusses what makes Nashville's independent music scene special.

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All Songs Considered
7:03 am
Wed April 10, 2013

30 Years Later, Sodom Is Still All Brass And Knuckles

Sodom.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 8:27 pm

Tom Angelripper has been a part of the brash German thrash-metal game for more than 30 years now. Sodom's damning 1989 anti-war screed, Agent Orange, is a bona fide classic, but the impeccably named bassist and vocalist still has plenty of targets to hit and thundering bass riffs to deploy. Therein comes crashing "Stigmatized" from Sodom's 14th studio album, Epitome of Torture.

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NPR Front Row
6:03 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Brainstorm: NPR Front Row

NPR

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 1:11 pm

There was a "fire in the belly" feel when Brainstorm took the stage at TenOak in Austin, Texas, during the South by Southwest music festival this past March. In its best moments, the trio from Portland, Ore., has an edge that embodies both African highlife guitar and the sounds of late-'70s post-punk a la Gang of Four.

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All Songs Considered
10:10 am
Tue April 9, 2013

The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne, Guest DJ

Wayne Coyne (center) with the rest of The Flaming Lips.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 2:17 pm

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Favorite Sessions
5:37 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Chelsea Light Moving: A New Song, Inspired By Chocolate

Thurston Moore performs with his band Chelsea Light Moving, live on KEXP.
Brittany Brassell KEXP

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 7:11 am

After nearly 40 years in music, Thurston Moore can still find inspiration in the unexpected — like a candy-bar wrapper.

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World Cafe
2:20 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Leagues On World Cafe

Leagues.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:26 pm

Today's guest, Leagues, provides a perfect start to World Cafe's week-long visit to Nashville, because it perfectly encapsulates the change going on there. A new rock band, Leagues was formed by an amazing singer, Thad Cockrell, who'd been so disenchanted with his alt-country career that he was ready to leave the music business altogether.

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