Music News & Reviews

Music
4:44 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

New Music From The Polyphonic Spree, Jon Hopkins, Eleanor Friedberger, More

Clockwise from upper left: Goat, Eleanor Friedberger, The Polyphonic Spree
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 2:33 pm

This week, All Songs Considered goes big with massive, heart-thumping new music from the gloriously exuberant, sprawling pop group The Polyphonic Spree, and the brilliantly experimental folk-rock band Akron Family. We also check out a gritty album from a Swedish group known as Goat, whose music is part prog-rock, part Afro-pop and undeniably awesome.

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Music
3:59 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Question Of The Week: Do You Hear Music When You Dream?

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 8:13 pm

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Music
5:17 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Big Songs, Big Hype (Oh Yeah, They're Women)

Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches performs at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, in March.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 1:19 pm

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Music
7:40 am
Fri May 3, 2013

6 New Latin Songs To Make You Move

Argentine singer La Yegros' new album is called Viene De Mi.
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 11:00 am

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Music
7:37 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Heavy Rotation: 5 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Savages.
Richard Dumas Matador Records

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 5:16 pm

In this installment of Heavy Rotation — where we bring to you public radio's new favorite songs — we collaborated with KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif., to bring you an exclusive track from British singer Laura Mvula's session on Morning Becomes Eclectic, plus enjoy a download from rising post-punk band Savages, courtesy of WXPN in Philadelphia.

This week's panel includes:

  • Anne Litt, a DJ at KCRW in Los Angeles.
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Music
3:52 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Marc Ribot Isn't Trying To Comfort Anyone

Ceramic Dog is Marc Ribot, Ches Smith and Shahzad Ismaily.
Barbara Rigon Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:01 pm

After six years as a sideman for many soul veterans, Marc Ribot made his name in 1985 with Rain Dogs, the album that marked Tom Waits' permanent transition from eccentric singer-songwriter to truly weird singer-songwriter. Ribot has held down straight gigs since then, but his work has tended toward the avant-garde. That's much less true on the song-oriented second album by the trio he calls Ceramic Dog.

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Music
4:02 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Iron And Wine: Words Like Seedlings

Iron and Wine's new album is titled Ghost on Ghost.
Craig Kief Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 5:48 pm

It's kind of surprising that Iron and Wine's Sam Beam has ended up making his living in music. Early on, he received a cautionary lesson from his dad.

"My father used to book Motown bands in college," Beam says. "And he imparted some wisdom on me that it's an easy gig to lose your shirt in."

Beam grew up in South Carolina; he studied art in college, then got into making movies. Music was just something he did on the side, for fun.

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Music
12:49 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

L.A. Mocks, Cleveland Rocks - The 2013 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Chuck D and Public Enemy bum rush the Grammy Museum
Jack Marchbanks

Okay. Sing the following couplet to the melody of  The Eagles' "Hotel California":

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Music
5:04 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Singing Sisters Reconsider The Everly Brothers

The Chapin Sisters' new tribute album is titled A Date With the Everly Brothers.
Seth Thomas Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 3:57 pm

The Chapin Sisters are a critically acclaimed duo, with tinges of folk, country and pop in their songs. For their latest project, Lily and Abigail Chapin looked to another famous set of singing siblings: Don and Phil, The Everly Brothers.

Lily Chapin says the genesis of their new tribute album, A Date with The Everly Brothers, was a creative workaround of sorts. The duo was once a trio featuring another Chapin sister, Jessica; the three siblings grew up singing three-part harmonies together. Several years ago, Jessica left the group to start a family.

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Music
7:29 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

George Jones: The Voice Of Heartbreak

George Jones
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 5:35 am

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Music
7:08 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

New Mix: Cyborg Love, Heartbreak And A Mystery

Clockwise from upper left: Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson of The Uncluded, guitarist William Tyler, singer Cassandra Jenkins and Laura Marling
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 5:59 pm

On this week's All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton settle into the new NPR Music offices and discover that it comes with their very own butler. After bumbling around in the studio, they also manage to figure out all the new gear and share some great new music.

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Music
1:52 pm
Sat April 20, 2013

New Building, New Mix: Songs About Change

As the NPR Music team and others prepared to leave the network's old headquarters, mysterious messages began appearing on the windows and walls: "Everything will be better!"
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Sun April 21, 2013 12:45 pm

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Music
1:25 pm
Sat April 20, 2013

Jazz Salutes Its Disc Jockeys

Symphony Sid Torin (left) hosts a program at WHOM featuring the saxophonist Arnett Cobb.
William Gottlieb The Library of Congress

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 4:42 pm

The advent of bebop added a fresh sound to American music. It also added new voices to some metropolitan radio stations: the late-night jazz DJs who specialized in presenting this new music to their fellow hipster nightflies.

To recognize the work of the groundbreaking DJs who lent them critical exposure, jazz musicians of the period would occasionally write songs in their honor. Here are five of those songs.

Music
1:21 pm
Sat April 20, 2013

Esperanza Spalding On Piano Jazz

Esperanza Spalding.
Johann Sauty Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 2:03 pm

On this Piano Jazz from 2008, bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding brings her neo-soul style to a set of standards with the aid of pianist Leo Genovese. Spalding is one of the most talked about artists in jazz today.

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Music
1:19 pm
Sat April 20, 2013

What Nick Drake Taught Me About Art And Love

The tribute album Way To Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 9:51 am

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Music
11:32 am
Sat April 20, 2013

12 Reasons To Visit Your Local Record Store On Saturday

Record Store Day is Saturday, April 20, 2013.
Record Store Day

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 6:07 pm

It's a perfect illustration of the current age of music fandom that this year's Record Store Day comes at the end of the week when Twitter introduced its music service — an online streaming music tool that tethers discovery to acquaintances who probably know your taste about as well as the checkout girl at the grocery store does.

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First Listen
11:51 pm
Sun April 14, 2013

First Listen: Mother Falcon, 'You Knew'

Mother Falcon's new album, You Knew, comes out May 7.
Bryan Rindfuss Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 8:12 pm

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

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First Listen
11:42 pm
Sun April 14, 2013

First Listen: Steve Martin And Edie Brickell, 'Love Has Come For You'

Steve Martin and Edie Brickell's first album together, Love Has Come for You, comes out April 23.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 7:51 am

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

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First Listen
11:40 pm
Sun April 14, 2013

First Listen: Laura Mvula, 'Sing To The Moon'

Laura Mvula's debut album, Sing to the Moon, comes out April 16.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 11:05 pm

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

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Music
7:26 pm
Sun April 14, 2013

Nick Drake: 'A Real Musician's Musician'

The cover photo from Nick Drake's 1969 debut, Five Leaves Left, produced by Joe Boyd.
Album cover

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 11:33 pm

English folk musician Nick Drake died decades before the song "Pink Moon" found him a wide audience, thanks to a series of Volkswagen ads back in 1999. They sparked a resurgence of interest in Drake's work — music largely ignored in his day but now inspiring legions of young musicians.

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