Contemporary music, local and international acts, ten concerts, seven venues and three days of music…that’s the promise of the Parma Music Festival that begins Aug. 14 and runs through the 17 in Portsmouth. Music fans can hear world musicians, hometown artists, classical, contemporary and chamber music alike; music for film, electronica, SCI panel discussions, a kid’s concert… and many of these events are free! Dipping into this all you can eat buffet of music is Bob Lord. We guarantee that listeners will have heard his theme for NHPR’s “The Exchange” and his clever covers of thematic songs as leader of Dreadnaught, the house band for our Writers on a New England Stage series. He now wears his other hat as CEO of Parma, and the keynote speaker for the festival.
Bluegrass music is close to America’s musical heart. Its recurring themes of love, loss, and longing for home resonate deeply with the American psyche. The sounds of bluegrass – beginning with the fiddle and banjo - draw on the contributions of America’s diverse immigrant communities, from Europe to Africa.
Created just 70 years ago by professional musicians, bluegrass first raged across the country in the 1940s. It was a driving, supercharged view of American folk roots, named for the style’s creator and his band: Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys.
Los Tigres del Norte’s 1972 breakthrough hit, “Contrabando y Traicion” – is a song which, despite its cheery tone and instrumentation, tells the dark tale of two lovers trafficking marijuana in the tires of their car…a story that ends in betrayal and murder. The song is what is called a “narco-corrido”, or drug ballad. After returning from a two-year stint teaching grade-school in one of the most dangerous parts of Honduras, Ted Griswold and Chris Valdes find themselves wanting to return… they’re raising funds on Kickstarter for a documentary film about Honduras’ most famous underground drug-ballad band, Los Plebes de Olancho.
Our favorite content, curated in one amazing hour of radio. This week, the science behind J.K. Rowling's unmasking, a guy who played Mr. Darcy at a Jane Austen Summer Camp, the Libertarian festival for Seasteaders, a new telescope technology that will send balloons into space, regular folks drive NASCAR cars, and a musician who writes songs based on the New York Times column, "Modern Love."
Journey Song, a group of singers based in the New Hampshire Seacoast, brings the solace of music to hospice patients and their families. Ed Brown remembers how the group sang for his wife, Judith Whipple Brown.
There’s plenty to do this summer weekend in New England, including a few Word of Mouth favorites and others yet to be discovered. In the favorites category, Ethan Lipton, the man Time Out New York says is to lounge lizardry what Peter Sellers's Inspector Clouseau is to policing, performs “No Place To Go” at the Hop at Dartmouth on July 20th. The Obie-Award winning theatrical song cycle is about the anxieties and driftlessness of being suddenly jobless. Ethan and his orchestra then travel to the Music Hall in Portsmouth to play songs from their vast and repertoire of old-timey style swing and songs.
One of NPR’s Fifty Favorite Albums of 2012 was the self-titled debut album fromDebo Band. The eleven member band, based in Boston, blends 1960’s Ethiopian music with American funk, brass band music, and rock. Tonight, the Debo Band is playing on the Dartmouth Green in Hanover. Band leader and saxophonist is Ethiopian-American Danny Mekonnen, who we spoke with about the band and their unique sound.
We spoke with beatboxer, comedian, musician, and kinda TV talk show host Reggie Watts about his music and other ongoing projects. Reggie takes suggestions submitted via Youtube and turns them into original songs which have never before been performed, and may never be performed again. It’s all part of his online comedy collective called Jash with comedians Sarah Silverman, Tim and Eric, and actor Michael Cera. In addition to his online performances, Reggie has also been playing shows and festivals around the country. He’ll be at the Portsmouth Music Hall in the fall.
“Yellow Cocktail Music: The Great Gatsby Jazz Recordings”, is a kind of way-back machine for the contemporary songs featured in the new film adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Jay-Z, Will-I-Am, and Beyoncé, are featured on the original soundtrack and this follow-up album imagines what the songs might have sounded like coming out of a Victrola in 1922…with help from the Bryan Ferry Orchestra. Joining us to discuss the album is Baz Luhrmann; the distinctive director, producer, and screenwriter for Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge, among others, including the movie that kicked off the summer blockbuster season – The Great Gatsby.
Have you ever heard some music on NHPR and wondered, "what was that song?" Those musical interludes set the tone and pace for the stories you hear, because great storytelling demands great music. It’s why we choose the music that surrounds our reporting so carefully. This week, we’ll hear more of that music in between.
Our favorite content from Word of Mouth's weekday show...all wrapped up in one gratifying and glam program.
This week: The emerging forum for high school confessions on Facebook; a sunny picture for the relationship success of online daters; a documentary looks at the life of experiential journalist George Plimpton; Dr. Who's potential recast as a woman; and Glam Rock...it matters more than you know.
Our favorite content, all in one spit-polished piece of ear candy.
This week, a program pairs juvenile delinquents with Russian literature, a musician asking NYC commuters what inspires them, a play about traumatic brain injury, Pulitzer Prize winning author Elizabeth, and the healing power of a special horse named Chester.
Vinx has performed, recorded and toured as a singer and percussionist with Sting, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, and many others. As far as we know, he's the only R&B crooners of his caliber currently working and residing in the state of the New Hampshire. This memorial day weekend he’ll be leading Soul Kitchen Volume 29 – that’s three days of collaborative jams and songwriting workshops hosted at Dreamsicle Arts and Entertainment Studios in Suncook Village. But first, we invited Vinx to our Concord studio to tell us a little bit about the event, and maybe even give us a lesson or two.
Back in 2010, I interviewed Ray Manzarek, founding member of The Doors. I was sad to hear of his death earlier this week, and went back to listen to that interview...here it is in case you want to hear it, too.