Music

Alex Giron via Flickr Creative Commons

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.com

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.

Geraldine Petrovic via CathyGrier.com

While everyone else is going somewhere, musician Cathy Grier is staying still. She's the New York City Subway Girl.

Gabriel Kahane

Apr 18, 2013
Gabriel Kahane via gabrielkahane.tumblr.com

Gabriel Kahane made his recital debut as a composer and performer at Carnegie Hall, played piano for Mark Morris Dance Company, premiered a song cycle with John Adams conducting the LA Philharmonic, and performed his “Craigslistlieder” at a number of New York City bars. It’s little wonder the NY Times called Gabriel Kahane a one-man cultural Cuisinart. He’ll be mixing it up Friday, April 19th at the HOP with the premiere of “Gabriel’s Guide to the 48 States”. It’s the culmination of two years as composer-in-residence with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

wfuv via Flickr Creative Commons

Moving back in time for a moment to 1976 when The Band released The Last Waltz, Martin Scorcese’s film of that final show at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco.  The film is often held up as the greatest rock movie ever and almost universally loved, except by Levon Helm…the musician,  actor, composer and original member of The Band who died a year ago this week. But then, Levon Helm was a drummer who marched to a different drummer, Helm ’s creative struggles,  crippling personal losses, and musical renaissance after battling cancer are at the heart of a new documentary film,and a new book by the writer, editor and spy magazine alum Jamie Malanowski.

Cody York via cloudcult.com

You may know the band cloud cult from an animated commercial that aired during the Super Bowl a few years ago. In exchange for the work, e-Surance helped fund some of the band's costs for greening the recording of album. The fact that Cloud Cult chooses deals like that--writes heart-warming songs, and travels across the country to perform for good causes--may have you wondering if they are for real. But doing good and staying positive are deeply embedded in the DNA of Cloud Cult. This evening the band will perform a live acoustic set during a yoga class at the At Om Yoga studio in Concord. It’s a benefit for a local child with pediatric cancer. I talked with Craig Minowa, singer, guitarist, and leader of Cloud Cult before they headed to New Hampshire and can say that the whole kind-hearted thing is not just PR. In fact, I told him that they are just about the least cynical indie band I can think of.

Howard Fishman

Mar 21, 2013
via howardfishman.com

Howard Fishman is no stranger to the diverse potential of musical genres. His first project, The Howard Fishman Quartet, captured the New York City music scene. The group has released three eponymous quartet volumes since its inception in 1999. After several live and studio albums, he diversified further by helming a brass band echoing hints of bluegrass and New Orleans street music in 2008. This was followed by an original theater work, “We Are Destroyed”. His most recent endeavor consists of a concept album, “No Further Instructions,” which illuminates the traversement of Romania and Eastern Europe.

Howard will appear at the Portsmouth Music Hall tomorrow night, and the Stone Arts Church in Bellows Falls, Vermont on Saturday.

njj4 via Flickr Creative Commons

The Eiffel Tower has inspired countless t-shirts, souvenirs and sentimental works of art. A new Kickstarter project aims to turn the iron and lattice landmark into a gigantic instrument. That’s the dream of composer Joseph Bertolozzi, who proved that he can tackle projects on a mammoth scale when he wired and then played New York’s Mid Hudson Bridge.

The Makem & Spain Brothers' Rory Makem

Mar 14, 2013

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, we get a visit from Rory Makem of The Makem & Spain Brothers, a new generation of Celtic music royalty with roots right here in New England.

Carlos Casas/Aga Khan Music Initiative

New Sounds From Arab Lands is five musicians from Syria, Tunisia and Lebanon respectively. They were brought together in collaboration with the Aga Khan music initiative, and are artists in a residency at Dartmouth College curated by ethnomusicologist and music professor Ted Levin. The group performs this evening at the Spaulding auditorium. We caught up with the group from a studio at Dartmouth College.

Marc Averette via Wikimedia Commons

Recently, long time Miami resident and author Dave Barry joined us for Writers on a New England Stage and he spoke a lot, as he always does, about his wacky adopted home:

"I think of myself as sort of an ambassador for the city of Miami - which needs an ambassador because it doesn't have a good reputation.

Photo courtesy Moonmilk.com

Ranjit Bhatnagar is no stranger to cool projects...he's made iambic pentameter from tweets, and is creating a bunch of instruments out of unexpected items, like a robo- toy piano.  Now, the sound artist can add one more feather to his cap...coming on our show.

It’s not often you get to hear authentic world music in New Hampshire, especially in the dead of winter. But on February 6th at the Spaulding Auditorium in Hanover, the southern Italian band Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino will be bringing their high energy pizzica tarantata music and dance.  Leading a new wave of young Italian artists reinventing and invigorating traditional Italian music, CGS includes six singers/musicians and a dancer.

I think it would be impossible not to have fun at a show like this:

The ukelele has never gotten the respect it deserves. When you think of one, you may think of something like Tiny Tim's famous falsetto version of "Tiptoe Through the Tulips." But the ukelele has come a long way.

We sit down with Marco Werman, host of the Public Radio program “The World”. This summer he came to New Hampshire, promoting his new film about Senegalese musician and activist Youssou N'Dour. We’ll learned more about it and talked with Werman about his long career at “The World”, from the huge political and cultural shifts he’s covered, to his particular interest in uncovering unique music from around the globe.

Guest

Marco Werman - Host of the PRI radio program, "The World"

A New Hampshire schoolteacher is one of four finalists for National Teacher of the Year.

Heidi Welch is director of the music department at Hillsboro-Deering High School. She is one of just four nominees in the country for that award.

She talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about how she teaches literacy through music and how overcoming challenges growing up in Manchester helps her reach students who could benefit from joining band and chorus.

VikieVictoria via Flickr Creative Commons

Virginia Prescott chats candidly with Guster's Ryan Miller. Topics include: flying to the wrong city for a show, drawing album art on iPads, not wanting to listen to your own music, and the struggle to age gracefully as a band.

You can also listen and share on Soundcloud here:

Here's a video playlist of music we talked about today with Melissa Locker based on her article for Time, 11 Albums to Look Forward to in 2013

NOTE: Please be aware that some of these songs contain explicit language.

Tegan and Sara: Closer

Like any major life event, the annihilation of life as we know it deserves a soundtrack.  It’s easy to decide what to listen to when the four horsemen of the apocalypse are coming around the bend…So, for everybody hosting an “end of the world party” in the next 48 hours, we compiled a few suggestions to help you kick out the jams one final time.  

Gina Gioldassis / NHPR

The New Hampshire Music Festival is holding an open house to welcome their new musical director to the state.

Donato Cabrera is the man Festival officials say will provide “bold, visionary leadership” in the years to come. But first, he joins All Things Considered host Brady Carlson to talk about his new job - which, by the way, is in addition to jobs with orchestras in San Francisco and Green Bay.

Tysh / Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1: The Awesomeness of Procrastination/Fashion Trucks

Zach Nugent / NHPR

Schooled in jazz and infatuated with pop… the Brooklyn based band Lake Street Dive came together at the New England Conservatory with a goal to play improvised, avant-garde country music. Think Loretta Lynn meets Ornette Coleman. Yeah, it sounded about as rough as it is to imagine.

Brian_Kellett via Flickr Creative Commons

Recent studies out of Duke University have discovered that everyone’s favorite lab rat, the humble mouse, has a penchant for singing – and more importantly, singing in tune...in a way.  Producer Taylor Quimby is Word of Mouth’s always willing investigator of strange science, and he has the story.

Check out Cinderella's singing mice. They are true heroes:

Fatoumata Diawara

Sep 27, 2012
retorta_net via Flickr Creative Commons

West African singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara has a back story not unlike many of today’s cosmopolitan Africans. She was born in Ivory Coast to parents from Mali and now lives in Paris. She’s a stage and film actress, singer, and songwriter. There's a world of experience that shines through on her album ‘Fatou’ which plays to her roots, but retains an infectious western pop sensibility.  Fatoumata and her band are playing tonight at the Dana Center, St.

The Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music brings musicians from around the globe to tiny Nelson, New Hampshire. They learn and share chamber music, and come to understand one another’s cultures and perspectives. Amelia Perron talks about her experience there.

Doing Whatever It Takes...

Sep 10, 2012
Sara Hallie Richardson by Robbie Kanner

The unsteady path of an artist is never an easy one. Especially in today’s ambiguous economy, the choice to reject a  steady paycheck or conventional job is all the more difficult to justify. One Portland, Maine-based songwriter has made that conundrum into a source of inspiration. Zach Nugent takes us on a radio field trip to meet Sara Hallie Richardson.

Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1: Chasing Lightning/Birth Photography

Groove Interrupted

Aug 30, 2012
New Orleans Lady via Flickr Creative Commons

As Hurricane Isaac continues to creep over the Gulf Coast and cause massive flooding, we can’t help but think of Katrina, and the devastation that storm left in her wake. Images this week of weary Louisiana residents make it difficult to remember the hopeful, yet not always easy rebirth of New Orleans after that storm.

Al Green via his Facebook Page

Some conversations you just can't pass up. For me, talking to this man was one of them.

When The Reverend Al Green takes the stage at the Music Hall in Portsmouth tonight, many people will be able to sing along with his hits. We reached him before he left for Portsmouth to explore some of the lesser known songs of the man who has aided in countless seductions.

crazybobbles via Flickr Creative Commons

Listeners tuning in to WWHK in Concord might remember the station as the “The Hawk,” which had a classic rock format.

Now, the station has changed its tune in a big way.  Classical covers of songs like “Pour Some Sugar on Me” are all that have played on 102.3 for weeks. The music, recorded by the L.A.-based Vitamin String Quartet, is a placeholder, and not likely to last. 

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