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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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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Tiny Desk Concerts
12:25 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Beth Orton: Tiny Desk Concert

Michael Katzif NPR

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 2:26 pm

English singer-songwriter Beth Orton is one of the best-known practitioners of a subgenre in which folk songs are set to electronic beats — it's a sound she employed to popular and powerful effect throughout the late '90s and early '00s, on hit albums such as Trailer Park, Central Reservation and Daybreaker.

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Field Recordings
12:40 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

The Avett Brothers: Hot Tea And Honey

The Avett Brothers Field Recordings video shoot
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 4:00 pm

Seth and Scott Avett spend a good chunk of their lives on one tour bus or another, so asking them to perform in one isn't all that different from asking them to perform in one of their own living rooms. They may be far away from their native North Carolina — to be exact, they're captured here in a Camden, N.J., parking lot in conjunction with the XPoNential Music Festival — but the setting is cozy enough for Seth Avett to brew tea before performing.

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All Songs Considered Blog
12:49 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

First Watch: Aimee Mann, 'Charmer'

Sheryl Nields Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 8:38 pm

Aimee Mann's eighth studio record, Charmer, comes out in a month. Charmer is also the title — and subject — of the album's first video, which features a robot double of Mann played by three-time Academy Award-nominated actress Laura Linney of The Truman Show, The Squid and the Whale and The Big C.

The video, directed by Tom Scharpling, deals lightheartedly with the idea of fame and persona with Mann playing herself and Linney playing her robot double.

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Music Reviews
9:17 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Corb Lund Built This Album With His Own Two Hands

Corb Lund, who wrote most of Cabin Fever, his new album, in a cabin he built himself.
Alexandra Valenti New West Records

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 6:19 pm

The prelude to Canadian singer-songwriter Corb Lund's new album sounds like a classic country music song. Lund built a cabin in rural Alberta with his longtime girlfriend and favorite uncle, but after the cabin was completed, his girlfriend left and his uncle died. Snowed in for weeks at a time, Lund emerged with Cabin Fever, the title of his new album.

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First Listen
12:56 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

First Listen: Yeasayer, 'Fragrant World'

Yeasayer's new album, Fragrant World, comes out August 21.
Anna Palma

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:13 pm

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

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First Listen
12:55 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

First Listen: Divine Fits, 'A Thing Called Divine Fits'

Divine Fits' debut album, A Thing Called Divine Fits, comes out August 28.
Marina Chavez

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 10:51 pm

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

The word "supergroup" gets thrown around like so much confetti, then affixed to any band whose members have worked on high-profile projects of any kind in the past. But not all supergroups are the bloated product of committee thinking or Frankensteinian ego exercises; some are just established musicians who've discovered organically that they like working with certain other established musicians.

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The Record
2:48 am
Wed August 15, 2012

My American Dream Sounds Like The White Stripes

The White Stripes.
Autumn De Wilde Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 3:27 pm

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All Songs Considered
4:31 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Jens Lekman, Amanda Palmer, Swans, The Sea And Cake, More

Omar Rodriguez Lopez (clockwise from upper left), Jens Lekman, Amanda Palmer, Niki And The Dove
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 7:24 pm

On this week's show hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share some of their favorite new discoveries, including the Kate Bush-inspired Swedish duo Niki And The Dove, German experimental pianist Nils Frahm, and a surprising new album from singer Amanda Palmer.

Also on the show: the best new music in a decade from the Chicago-based band Sea And Cake; the inimitable storytelling of Swedish pop singer Jens Lekman; and an epic new album from post-punk veterans Swans.

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