Author Interviews
2:03 am
Sat June 9, 2012

How 'The Queen Of British Ska' Wrestled With Race

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 7:44 am

The British ska-revival band The Selecter formed in the late 1970s, playing what can be described as rock fused with calypso and American jazz.

Much of what set the band apart was its charismatic lead singer, Pauline Black. As one of few women in a musical movement dominated by men, she was called "The Queen of British Ska."

That experience is one of many recounted in her new memoir, Black by Design, which has just been released in the U.S.

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Dick and Jane
2:27 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Dick and Jane Song of the Week: "Soar Like a Bird"

I spread my wings to fly, but all they do is die. My brother already soars, yet I’m behind closed doors.I look up into the sky. Everything seems so high.

But if you don’t quit. It’s your goal you’ll get. But if you don’t quit

Just like a baby bird who’s falling, your life it might be stalling. The bird will soon succeed. Just follow its lead. But if you don’t quit.

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The Fresh Air Interview
10:59 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Neil Young: The Fresh Air Interview

Neil Young.
Danny Clinch

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 11:08 am

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Music Interviews
5:05 pm
Sat June 2, 2012

The Beach Boys: The Harmony Is Endless After All

The Beach Boys' new album — the first collaboration in decades between founding members Brian Wilson (third from left) and Mike Love (second from right) — is called That's Why God Made the Radio.
Guy Webster Courtesy of the artist

The Beach Boys are in harmony again. The group is recording and performing together, after years of disputes and estrangement.

Brian Wilson and Mike Love tell Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, that they're not surprised at the reunion.

"We've had 50 years' practice," Wilson says, "not just in music but in being guys."

Love says once they got back in the studio and started writing again, it felt like they had never left.

"It was nuts," Wilson says. "It was a nutbuster."

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1:04 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

CD Review: The Dave Brubeck Quartet "Their Last Time Out" 1967

LP cover art - Neil Fujita
Columbia Records (CK-40585)


Music now has some what alienated listeners due to what has seemed to me like random popularity spikes in genres of music. In my age group, I tend to hear a lot of Indie Rock, Hip-Hop, and Electronic music.

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All Songs Considered Blog
1:40 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

You've Never Heard Simon And Garfunkel's 'Bookends'?!

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 1:42 pm

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World Cafe
5:31 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Polica On World Cafe

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 4:33 pm

Despite the slow, twisting, synth-looping style of Polica, the group's album came together in only a few recording sessions. Recovering from the breakup of her folk rock band Roma di Luna and the breakup of her marriage to one of her bandmates, Channy Leaneagh turned to friend and collaborator Ryan Olson, founder of Gayngs. The two worked together on Gayngs' album Relayted in 2010 and they were interested in working together again.

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Dick and Jane
12:00 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Dick and Jane Project Song of the Week: "Bumper Cars"

Listen Here for the Story Behind the Song


A beautiful sunny day started out like any other. Driving down the street in his rusty old clunker, “Can I make it there?” he wondered. The big promotion was his for the taking. He could finally see to the top. This is the day when he needed to get there the most. You can’t give up.Your can’t give in. If you’re meant to be on the road that you’re on, then you’re bound to win. No, you can’t give up. You can’t give in. Take your time. Slow down. See life through to the end.

Well she sits and she thinks, “I’m so glad I’m on this road, I have no idea where I’m going but I have room to be bold.” And sweeping by all of the slow ones, the busses and the tractors. All that’s left is the open road. And all she can do is go faster.

Oh, that last left turn was a time to forget. But you’ll always remember and always regret. Never before has something bad been so good. Both cars in pieces and as you stand to the side, it could have been worse. You’re still living life.

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Dick and Jane
12:00 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Dick and Jane Song of the Week: "Heartbroken"


lyrics by Angelique & Nakita / music by The Town Monster

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The Record
8:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Indian Record Label Hits The Road To Save Traditional Music

Sakar Khan with his kamancha in his home in Hamira, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. He's passed his favorite kamancha — the one he got from his father — to his son, Darra. But this one plays just fine, if he's the guy playing it.
Michael Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 4:24 pm

The number of major record labels is down to three. But that's not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to promoting music that's out of the mainstream. A label called Amarrass Records, founded in the Indian state of Rajasthan, is dedicated to exposing and preserving indigenous folk music before it disappears.

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The Record
4:30 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

How To Succeed In The Music Business (By Trying Really, Really Hard)

Raka Dun (left) and Raka Rich of the Oakland, Calif., duo Los Rakas.
Laura Sydell via Instagram NPR

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 2:43 pm

It's never been easy to make a living as a musician. But there was always a dream: to become a star on the strength of your talent and your music. The Internet is a rude sandman, however, and today that dream is a lot more convoluted.

No longer can a would-be rock star follow the once-accepted checklist: (1) sign with a big label, (2) get a hit, (3) buy mansions and cars. The number of ways a musician can make money is now varied. The question, for many musicians still trying to make a go of it in the industry, is whether those many sources can add up to something sustainable.

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World Cafe
3:30 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Archie Powell And The Exports On 'World Cafe: Next'

Archie Powell and the Exports.
Carolina M. Rodriguez

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 4:32 pm

With simple melodies and sardonic lyrics, Archie Powell and the Exports' new album, Great Ideas in Action, may well be the soundtrack to this summer. The group released its first EP (Loose Change) in 2009, and its debut album, Skip Work, followed a year later. Skip Work was praised for its addictive hooks, lyrical wit and sophistication. Buried beneath catchy, raucous rock 'n' roll, the album's emotional content reflected the nervous energy and anxiety that the band members say they felt graduating college.

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8:45 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Sugar + The Hi-lows: Live from Studio A REPLAY

Sugar + The Hi-lows played live from Studio A on October 10th, 2012. They played their songs "Two Day High", "Snow Angel", and "Skip the Line"! Check out the performance and interview, and enjoy! 

Do you like what you hear? Let us know what you think about our online Live from Studio A REPLAY series!    

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11:02 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Jared Mahone: Live from Studio A REPLAY

Jared Mahone performed live from Studio A on November 27th, 2012! Check out his amazing performances of "California", "From Joe to Betsy", and "Come Find You". Enjoy!

Do you like what you hear? Let us know what you think about our online Live from Studio A REPLAY series!  

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Music Reviews
8:22 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Hugh Masekela: Wedding Songs That Don't Sound Blue

Hugh Masekela.
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 8:50 am

In 1968, Hugh Masekela was not quite 30 years old and though he was in exile from his homeland of South Africa, he seemed ready to become at home on the American jazz and pop markets. That summer, he had scored a number one single, "Grazing in the Grass." A year earlier, he'd been one of the few international performers at the 1967 Monterrey International Pop Festival and had appeared in its D.A. Pennebaker documentary. Yet strangely enough, over the next 45 years Masekela never quite found his sweet spot.

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Dick and Jane
2:40 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Dick and Jane Song of the Week: "I Love Nature"

Listen Here for the Story Behind the Song.


I love nature because of the beautiful colors. I love nature because nature is pink. I like the colors because of the green in the trees. The colors are lovely just the way they are.

I love nature because of the beautiful sounds. I love nature because the sounds are so funny. I just think to myself, ”they’re magnificent.” The birds chirp and sing ’cause that’s the way they are.

I feel the grass when I go hiking. I feel the bugs when they bite me. And the flowers they are colorful. And the berries are juicy just the way they are. The colors are lovely just the way they are. The birds chirp and sing ’cause they way they are. The berries are juicy just they way they are.

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World Cafe
3:04 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Bright Moments On 'World Cafe: Next'

Bright Moments' debut album, Natives, comes out Feb. 21.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 11:36 pm

With its fresh, upbeat sound, Bright Moments' debut album Natives will likely sound familiar when it's released later this month.

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World Cafe
11:09 am
Mon February 6, 2012

Polica On 'World Cafe: Next'

Channy Casselle of Polica combines jazz, blues and electronic elements with AutoTuned vocals for a chilling effect.
Colin Kerrigan

Polica's sound is crisp, minimalist and mesmerizing. Singer Channy Leaneagh plays her voice like an instrument, using AutoTune both in the studio and at live shows to manipulate her vocals. Against the sliding violins, saxophone solos, relaxed bass and dueling drums of Polica, it's hard to believe that before this, Leaneagh sang folk music for six years in her previous band, Roma di Luna.

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3:30 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Tommy Castro: Live from Studio A REPLAY

Tommy Castro performed live from WCBE's Studio A on November 15th, 2011. Check out the incredible performance and interview here! Enjoy! 

Do you like what you hear? Let us know what you think about our online Live from Studio A REPLAY series!

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