Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:50 pm
The National's rise has been slow and steady, to match the growth and evolution of its dour but beautiful rock sound. In this installment of World Cafe, the band tells host David Dye how sleep deprivation led its members to craft more straightforward songs on their new album, Trouble Will Find Me.
Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist and a founding member of The Doors, died Monday in Germany. He was 74.
A statement from publicist Heidi Ellen Robinson-Fitzgerald said Manzarek died in Rosenheim, Germany, after a long battle with bile duct cancer.
Manzarek and Jim Morrison founded the iconic band after meeting in California. The Doors went on to become one of the most successful rock 'n' roll acts of the 1960s — and continues to have an impact decades after Morrison's death in 1971.
Singer Sarah Vaughan came up in the 1940s alongside bebop lions Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, starting out in Earl Hines' big band. Hines had hired her as his singer and deputy pianist, while Gillespie praised her fine ear for chords as she grasped the arcane refinements of bebop harmony.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 5:59 pm
Hear The Discussion
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.
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.
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.