Music

Word of Mouth
11:25 am
Thu October 24, 2013

I've Gotta Have More Cowbell! A History Of The Humble Instrument

This cow has no shortage of cowbell.
Credit Ingo Lütkebohle via flickr Creative Commons

One of comedian Will Ferrell’s most memorable Saturday Night Live characters was musician Gene Frenkle, the belly shirted cowbell player from the ‘70s rock band, Blue Ӧyster Cult. His cowbell playing was intoxicating and hilarious and prompted this now quotable line: "I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell."

That line, delivered by Christopher Walken, catapulted onto t- shirts and bumper stickers, and helped put the instrument designed for agriculture into the mainstream musical spotlight. But where did cowbell come from? And how did it migrate from the farm to the recording studio? Chicago based journalist Lori Rotenberk  wrote an article for Modern Farmer called “More Cowbell: From Herdsman’s Tool to Cultural Icon.

Read more
Word of Mouth
9:21 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Live From Studio D: Red Heart The Ticker

Logan Shannon

Each month the husband and wife duo, Robin MacArthur and Tyler Gibbons, from Marlboro, Vermont write and record a song to be released on the day of the full moon. The beautifully layered, tunes have a backwoods feel are recorded in a barn, and sent out to subscribers. It’s an intimate and unique take on the ever growing DIY music scene.  They joined us in studio back in July to talk about their album and to play live in Studio D.

Read more
Word of Mouth
1:32 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Government Shutdown Playlist

Congress may have gotten back together, but we're not sure the American people have forgiven them yet.
Credit Big Machine Records

Before the legislature agreed on a deal yesterday, we asked for your contribution to our Un-official Partial Shutdown Playlist – music reflecting your feelings about how our government has been functioning, or not functioning these past two weeks. A number of you contributed to the list by posting your picks on Facebook, Twitter, and by calling our listener hotline.

Many in the nation breathed a sigh of relief on the news that the standoff was over on Capitol Hill, the deal makes our collective shutdown playlist a little un-necessary, but we’re pretty happy it didn’t need such a long run.

Perhaps our collective effort had something to do with the shutdown ending...for now.

Read more
Word of Mouth
2:36 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

This Weekend's N.H. Arts Scene: Mary Pickford And Fountains Of Wayne

Mary Pickford

For anyone who’s ever driven by a crumbling old New Hampshire barn and wondered what could be in there, here’s one answer…a stack of dusty old film reels that turned out to be the only surviving reel from a long lost 1911 film. The movie, called Their First Misunderstanding , was written by and stars Mary Pickford, one of the most beloved actresses of the  silent film era. We spoke with Professor Emeritus of Film Studies at Keene State College Dr. Larry Benaquist about the discovery of this rare, important and now celebrated film.

Read more
Word of Mouth
12:16 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

This Weekend's N.H. Arts Scene

Darlingside in Studio D at NHPR
Credit Logan Shannon for Word of Mouth

A round-up of this weekend's New Hampshire arts events, including:

Hawk and Dove & Darlingside, playing Friday at the Capitol Center for the Arts

The Telluride by the Sea film festival in Portsmouth, and Telluride at Dartmouth

"The Mudroom," a story-telling event at the AVA Gallery and Arts Center in Lebanon

Watch Darlingside perform Live From Studio D at NHPR:

Read more
Arts & Culture
11:00 am
Tue September 17, 2013

New Mix: Beck, Best Coast, Joanna Gruesome, More

Clockwise from upper left: Beck, Cate Le Bon, Arp's Alexis Georgopoulos, Best Coast
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:05 pm

On this edition of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share a brand new song from Beck. The new cut, called "Gimme," is the third single he's released since June and by far the strangest (i.e., best) of the bunch. None of the songs will be on the new full-length record Beck hopes to release before the end of the year.

Read more
Word of Mouth
10:49 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Vaud And The Villains Bring Their Singular Sound To The Music Hall

Credit Jessica Verma

Vaud and the Villains is the 19-piece group known for putting on rollicking musical theater and cabaret shows with a "New Orleans in the 1930s" twist. The band is performing this weekend at The Music Hall in Portsmouth.

Joining us is bandleader Andy Comeau, also known as "Vaud Overstreet," as well as his wife, Dawn Lewis, A.K.A "Peaches Mahoney."

Read more
Word of Mouth
2:04 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Musician Gary Burton: Learning To Listen

Credit Via Photobrew

Gary Burton was thirteen when he first heard jazz. By then, he’d been playing the marimba for seven years, and had toured around his home state of Indiana with his siblings. “The Burton Family” band came apart shortly after Gary heard Benny Goodman’s band playing a song called  "After You’ve Gone."

That song helped launch a career that has spanned the globe, the decades, collaborations with musicians from Chick Corea to Stan Getz to Astor Piazolla, and originated what’s called the "Burton Grip," playing the vibraphone holding two mallets in each hand.

Now 70, Gary Burton is a seven-time Grammy award winner. He’s the former Executive Vice-President at Berklee College of Music and has spent the majority of his life playing and teaching jazz. Burton has a new album, called "Guided Tour," and a new autobiography called, Learning to Listen: The Jazz Journey of Gary Burton.

Read more
Word of Mouth
10:58 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Great (And Famous!) Artists Who Kept Their Day Jobs

Poet T.S. Eliot was also a banker!
Credit Courtesy The Poetry Foundation

Minimalist composer Philip Glass is widely acknowledged as one of the late 20th Century’s most influential music-makers.  He’s worked with artists, musicians and filmmakers from David Bowie to Woody Allen, and famously collaborated with theater director Robert Wilson on the landmark opera “Einstein on the Beach” in 1976. Even after “Einstein,” Glass didn’t quit his day job as a New York cabby and some-time plumber…he was once called to install a dishwasher at the SoHo loft of a very shocked Robert Hughes, who was then the art critic for Time.

Here to talk about some other famous artists who stayed in their workaday jobs even after making their mark as an artist. Clay Wirestone, Arts Editor for the Concord Monitor and contributor to Mental Floss.

Read more
Word of Mouth
2:16 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Abigail Washburn

Credit http://www.abigailwashburn.com

Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck are a banjo playing husband and wife duo. Bela,  a fifteen time Grammy winning virtuoso on the instrument plays "Scruggs Style". Abigail  plays "Clawhammer" and sings…together they whip their respective styles into intricate music that sounds big and new. We asked Abigail Washburn about her peculiar journey into music and life on the road with her family. The duo will be at The Music Hall in Portsmouth tomorrow night.

Read more
Word of Mouth
9:35 am
Tue August 27, 2013

The Music Genre 'Americana' Is Predominantly White And Male, But Why?

Wilco at Paradiso in the Netherlands in 2009.
Credit Guus Krol via flickr Creative Commons

Not so long ago, “Americana” was the term for rusty milk jugs, embroidered pillows and souvenir spoon collections found at antique stores. In the mid-1990s, it became the nickname for the rootsy, twangy, weather-beaten music of bands like Uncle Tupelo, Alison Krauss, and a man who embodies rebellion against the country music establishment…Johnny Cash. Americana stalwarts like Wilco, Ryan Adams, Gillian Welch and the big-selling collaboration of Alison Krauss and Robert Plant revived the music of an America that was appealing to boomers and those to the left of the “real” America celebrated by conservatives.

Read more
Word of Mouth
11:16 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Parma Music Festival Offers Something For Everyone

Credit Eric Schwortz Photography via Flickr Creative Commons

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.

Read more
Monadnock Summer Lyceum
3:00 pm
Sun August 11, 2013

August Watters: Bluegrass: Celebrating An American Musical Art

Credit via Monadnock Lyceum

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.

Read more
Word of Mouth
11:11 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Drugs, Murder, And Music: The Narco-Corrido

Chris Valdes and Ted Griswold
Credit Chris Valdes and Ted Griswold via Kickstarter

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.

Read more
Word of Mouth
9:30 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Word Of Mouth 07.27.2013

Credit Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

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."

Read more

Pages