Ante Meridiem

Weekdays, 9:15am - Noon

Mike Taylor starts your musical day with a generous serving of world music followed by a variety of Triple A music, including singer songwriters, rock, blues, jazz, reggae and more. Listen to Pulse of the Planet (9:30 am), and on Fridays at 11:55 am, listen here for the Dick & Jane Project - Song of the Week.

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First Listen
11:57 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

First Listen: Aimee Mann, 'Charmer'

Aimee Mann's new album, Charmer, comes out Sept. 18.
Sheryl Nields Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 9:14 pm

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

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Music News
2:03 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Sauti Sol: Native Sons Sing Straight To Kenya's Youth

Sauti Sol has become the most popular band in Kenya.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 8, 2012 9:40 pm

The members of Sauti Sol rehearse in a cramped recording studio above a chapati restaurant off a noisy highway in Nairobi. Bien-Aime Baraza, Delvin Mudigi and Willis Chimano — the founding members, all 25 — have been friends since they sang together as part of a gospel ensemble in high school. When they graduated in 2005, they didn't want to stop singing, so they formed Sauti Sol. Sauti is Swahili for voice, while sol is Spanish for sun. "Voices of light."

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Music Reviews
12:14 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Harmony, Teenagers And 'The Complete Story Of Doo-Wop'

Vocal groups like The Ink Spots went on for decades, often without a single member of the original group appearing with them.
Fred Ramage Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 12:31 pm

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The Record
4:54 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Requiem For A Monster Hit

Gotye and Kimbra in the video for "Somebody That I Used To Know".
Courtesy of Universal Republic

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:15 pm

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Music Reviews
12:38 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

When Ian Hunter Is 'President'

Ian Hunter once is at once crafty and mindful of craft, striving mightily to make his music seem tossed off.
Ross Halfin

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 3:54 pm

Recently, I was listening to a new tribute album covering the songs of Fleetwood Mac, and thought once again how dreadful most tribute albums are: They don't add much to the legacy of the artists being saluted, while inadvertently freezing vital old music in an amber of sentimentality. Then I turned to When I'm President, an album of new songs by Ian Hunter.

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Music News
2:14 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Bang On A Pan: Steel-Drum Orchestras Ready For Battle

Every year at the Panorama Competition in Brooklyn, massive steel-pan orchestras perform virtuosic arrangements of calypso songs.
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 7:40 pm

Despers USA practices on a big parking lot off Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, N.Y. Band members start wandering in around 6 or 7 p.m. and slowly take their places behind racks of steel drums. Like a symphony orchestra, they're organized by section — the thin tenors ringed around the outside; the big, deep, oil-drum basses toward the center; the midrange "guitars," as they're called, nearby.

Their section leader counts them in. He stops them, and then stops them again, saying the opening needs to be stronger. Eventually, they get it.

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First Listen
2:09 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

First Listen: Astro, 'Astro'

Astro's self-titled debut album is out now.
Camilo Bustos Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 11:50 am

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

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First Listen
2:07 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

First Listen: David Byrne & St. Vincent, 'Love This Giant'

David Byrne and St. Vincent's new album, Love This Giant, comes out Sept. 11.
Andreas Laszlo Konrath Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 11:47 am

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

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Music Reviews
12:03 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Miguel Zenon And Laurent Coq Play 'Hopscotch'

Miguel Zenon.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 2:57 pm

The new quartet album by alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón and pianist Laurent Coq is called Rayuela, which means "hopscotch." It's named for Julio Cortázar's novel, the fragmented tale of a wandering bohemian and his social circles in Parisian exile, as well as back home in Buenos Aires.

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First Listen
1:21 pm
Sun September 2, 2012

First Listen: The Avett Brothers, 'The Carpenter'

The Avett Brothers' new album, The Carpenter, will be released on Sept. 11.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 11:43 am

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

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Music Interviews
1:15 pm
Sun September 2, 2012

Cat Power: 'I'm Not Ashamed To Hear My Voice'

Chan Marshall's new album as Cat Power, her first set of new songs in more than six years, is called Sun.
Austin Conroy Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 10:20 am

The musician known as Cat Power has a penchant for goofing around. That might come as a surprise to those familiar with her music, which is always at least a little bit mournful.

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Music Interviews
7:50 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Derek Hoke: Three Quiet Chords And A Microphone

Nashville singer-songwriter Derek Hoke describes his crowd-pleasing music as "quietbilly."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 7:40 pm

Every Tuesday night at the 5 Spot, some 200 people show up the East Nashville bar for Two Dollar Tuesdays: a $2 coverage charge, $2 beers and five musical guests. It's hosted by Derek Hoke, an unassuming, laid-back guy with the cowboy hat and retro-vintage eyeglasses.

"I call it a speed showcase," Hoke says. "Everybody plays five songs, and I tell them to play the 'best of' — you know, get up there, kill and get off. There's somebody coming up right after you, and we have to plow through this thing."

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World Cafe
1:54 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Family Band On World Cafe

Family Band.
Courtesy of Caleb Seppala

The Brooklyn-based ambient-folk duo Family Band is a collaboration between visual artist turned frontwoman Kim Krans and her husband, former heavy-metal guitarist Jonny Ollsin. Together, they craft beautifully dark, folk-influenced songs, which they fittingly describe as "heavy mellow."

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First Listen
3:18 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

First Listen: Cat Power, 'Sun'

Cat Power's new album, Sun, comes out Sept. 4.
Stefano Giovannini Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:55 pm

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

Chan Marshall, the creative force behind Cat Power, has long been indie rock's standard-bearer for melancholy navel gazing. In a career spanning nearly two decades, she's produced a large catalog of mostly moody confessionals, mixing blues, folk and arty punk with a swoon-inducing, transcendent voice. She could sing random figures from her tax returns and convey more heartache and angst than many other artists could match in their deepest moments.

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First Listen
11:33 am
Tue August 28, 2012

First Listen: Stars, 'The North'

Stars new album, The North, comes out Sept. 4.
Norman Wong Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:48 pm

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

The Montreal pop band Stars has always kept several sensibilities in rotation: Its arsenal includes fizzy pop, melancholy dance music, boy-girl ballads that flesh out the painful realities of modern romantic life, and anthems that address war, politics, gender dynamics and even the meaning of life. As such, Stars' albums tend to jump around a bit — rarely more so than on The North, the group's sixth full-length record, out Sept. 4.

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First Listen
9:29 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

First Listen: Sean Rowe, 'The Salesman And The Shark'

Sean Rowe's new album, The Salesman and the Shark, comes out August 28.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:50 pm

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

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All Songs Considered Blog
9:27 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Song Premiere: Bob Dylan, 'Duquesne Whistle'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 8:35 pm

"Duquesne Whistle," begins in the middle of a scene, like the fade-in in a classic Western. It's the first song we get to hear from Bob Dylan's Tempest, the album he will release on September 11, 50 years and six months after the commencement of his recoding career.

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Music Interviews
12:30 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Regina Spektor: On Growing Up A 'Soviet Kid'

"To me, the voice is an instrument, just like any other instrument," Regina Spektor says.
Shervin Lainez

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 10:05 pm

Regina Spektor plays the piano so loudly, she has to convince piano tuners to adjust the instrument to her liking.

"It gets so loud that the strings reverberate in a certain way," Spektor says. "And I always want them to work on the voicing and to soften the hammers, and they get kind of argumentative with me — they're like, 'You're not supposed to play this loud.'"

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Music Interviews
1:19 pm
Sun August 26, 2012

The Avett Brothers: Matters Of Life And Death

The Avett Brothers are real-life siblings Scott (left) and Seth Avett (right), and bass player Bob Crawford. The band's newest album is The Carpenter.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 6:15 pm

In 2009, The Avett Brothers became one of the surprise hits of the year. Paste Magazine considered their I and Love and You the best album of that year, calling it "an overpowering acoustic album brimming with sadness and soul."

That sadness took on new meaning recently. Bassist Bob Crawford took a temporary leave from the band to tend to his infant daughter, Hallie, after she developed a brain tumor.

Next month, The Avett Brothers release a new album, The Carpenter, which explores the delicate balance between life and death.

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Music Interviews
2:03 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Sean Rowe: An Outdoorsman Enters Civilization

Sean Rowe's new album is The Salesman and the Shark.
Marius Bugge

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Sean Rowe has a voice and a style that stands out in popular music. His voice is deep — really, truly deep — fine, and often doleful. He's a baritone troubadour who sings of roads not taken, regrets and the dreams that shake you awake at 3 in the morning.

After years of working bars, road houses and more bars, Rowe is playing concert stages and winning over critics for his story-songs and that remarkable voice. But, as he tells NPR's Scott Simon, he wasn't always so proud to be a singer.

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