Music

Music Interviews
12:01 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Susan Justice: Sometimes You Just Have To 'Eat Dirt'

To get away from a strict religious family, Susan Justice fled to New York in 2001 to busk on the streets.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 10:21 am

In a busy New York subway station, a man serenades passersby with a beat-up guitar. A few of them look up from their BlackBerrys and toss a little change in his guitar case. It's a scene that plays out in subways and streets around the world.

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Folk Show - Tupelo Public Radio Project
8:00 pm
Sun March 25, 2012

Tupelo Public Radio Project Featuring Dar Williams

Dar Williams
(press photo) official website

Kate hosts Dar Williams at the Tupelo Music Hall in White River Junction, Vermont.

The Record
4:00 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Reggae In The U.K.: A Steady Force

Music For 'Disenfranchised Working-Class Youth': The British reggae band Steel Pulse formed in Birmingham in 1975. Mykaell Riley is third from the left.
Echoes/Redfern Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 8:44 pm

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Music Reviews
4:37 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

'The Medium Is The Massage': A Kitchen Sink Of Sound

Artwork for The Medium Is the Massage.
Courtesy of the artist

Few 20th century thinkers predicted the 21st century era of social media and the Internet better than Marshall McLuhan. Beginning in the 1960s, the Toronto-based philosopher and scholar began to theorize about how television and radio were changing society, creating what he termed the "global village."

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Music Reviews
2:37 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Zieti: Music As An Act Of Resistance

Zieti member Tiende Djos Laurent with drum.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 11:24 am

From its start in the late '90s, Zieti faced tough odds. Arranging gigs in Abidjan, Ivory Coast was a high-risk, do-it-yourself affair for the band. And that was before the country underwent a military coup, a rigged election and a brush with civil war. Zemelewa was recorded by 15 musicians in four studios on two continents. For all that, you can sense the band's solidarity, as if merely making this record was an act of resistance.

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Music Interviews
5:14 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Tanlines: Grown-Up Problems, With A Beat

Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm of Tanlines.
Courtesy of the artist

Four years since they first began making music together, the Brooklyn-based duo Tanlines is finally releasing an album: Mixed Emotions, out tomorrow. The band is Eric Emm, who sings and plays guitar, and Jesse Cohen, who plays drums, keyboards and an assortment of electronic instruments. Cohen is also the chattier of the two.

"We use a lot of different drum kits that are in a computer," Cohen explains. "We also play a lot of stuff live, and a lot of time you can't really tell which is real and which is fake. That's sort of a thing that we like to play with."

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Giving Matters
12:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Monadnock Chorus

Todd Bookman, NHPR

The Monadnock Chorus has been sharing song and creating community for more than 50 years. Phyllis Scott joined the chorus in 1972.

PHYLLIS: Wherever I have lived I’ve felt the need to be singing. It’s just very fulfilling to me, it’s a wonderful way to make friends and it’s just part of me that’s all.

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The Record
12:01 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Ann Powers From The Streets Of Austin

Bruce Springsteen and the retooled E Street Band ripped through a nearly three-hour "secret" concert at the Moody Theater, the new home of Austin City Limits, during SXSW. Ever the showman, Springsteen crowd-surfed.
Michael Buckner Getty Images for SXSW

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 4:37 pm

The SXSW music convention takes over Austin, Texas, for five days each March. This year, NPR Music's Ann Powers is in Austin trying to catch as much of the action as she can. At South By Southwest's midpoint, Powers spoke to Morning Edition's Renee Montagne about the highlights so far (including that awesome Springsteen keynote, which you can listen to in its entirety), and what she's looking forward to seeing over the festival's second half.

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Here's What's Awesome
12:00 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Friday is for Memes: Defensive Nickelback Fan

Seriously, you guys, Nickelback is pretty good, right? Right? Anyone?

If you think Rebecca Black of "Friday" fame has had a tough run with web users, imagine being in the band Nickelback, the rockers the web loves to hate.

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Music Interviews
11:45 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Vijay Iyer: The Physical Experience of Rhythm

Vijay Iyer released his latest trio record, Accelerando, on March 13.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

Listen to music from jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer, and you'll hear rhythms that pulse and shift, intricate patterns of notes, a wide range of references. There are lots of examples on his trio's new album, Accelerando.

Iyer, the son of Indian immigrants, started on violin at age three. He later taught himself how to play the piano — learning through improvisation, something he never did on the violin.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
10:30 am
Thu March 15, 2012

What's up at SXSW?

Photo by Nan Palmero via Flickr Creative Commons

Austin’s South by Southwest festival has turned over from movies and technology to music before drawing to a close this weekend. The annual event is a magnet for filmmakers, movie stars, internet execs, musical heavyweights, would-be rock stars and enough techies, coders and developers to give it the nickname of summer camp for geeks. Adam Jones is a kind of media-mashing guy himself.

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The Record
2:00 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Cotton Mather's 'Kontiki,' The Album That Won't Go Gently

Cotton Mather (from left): Dana Myzer, Josh Gravelin, Whit Williams and Robert Harrison.
Todd Wolfson Courtesy of Fanatic Promotion

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 1:44 pm

More than a decade ago, an album came out recorded mostly on cassette in a house, never released on a major label — and until last month it had been out of print for almost that long. When Noel Gallagher of Oasis heard it, he declared it "amazing," and The Guardian called it "the best album The Beatles never recorded."

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Music Reviews
3:24 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Gospel Meets Jazz, With Unpredictable Results

Don Byron released Love, Peace, and Soul with his New Gospel Quintet on Feb. 21.
Till Krautkraemer Courtesy of the artist

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Winter Songs
4:42 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Winter Songs: A Family In Limbo Looks To Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile's song "Dying Day" took on new meaning for a Wisconsin woman hoping to adopt a child from Ethiopia.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 6:11 pm

This year's Winter Song playlist concludes with music that carried one woman though a difficult season that would change her life.

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The Record
2:00 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Disney Songwriter Robert Sherman Has Died

Composer/lyricist Robert Sherman (left) and his brother Richard stand next to the car used in the 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The brothers wrote the songs for the movie, as well as a musical version that began running in 2002.
Ezio Petersen UPI/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 2:33 pm

Robert Sherman — one half of the songwriting team behind Disney movies and major hit musicals — has died. He was 86. The Oscar-winning Sherman Brothers, Robert and Richard, wrote some of the most enduring Disney songs of all time. Their output was astounding: Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Aristocats.

John Lasseter, of Pixar and Disney, once said, "You cannot forget a Sherman brothers song for your life."

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