Music

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

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."

K'Naan: A Song 'More Beautiful Than Silence'

Mar 6, 2012

The last time Morning Edition spoke with K'naan, he had just gone back to his native Somalia for the first time in 20 years to highlight the effects of the famine there.

Ever since The Rising in 2002 — and arguably since 1984's Born in the U.S.A.Bruce Springsteen releases have functioned as State of the Union addresses as much as pop LPs. Wrecking Ball does, too, beginning with its Occupy-era lead single "We Take Care of Our Own," an anthemic bit of wishful thinking which, like "Born in the U.S.A.," seems easy to misinterpret by 180 degrees if you don't pay attention to the verses between the chorus.

Suzanne Ciani's start in music was traditional enough. She was classically trained, majored in music at Wellesley College, and got a fellowship to study composition at UC Berkeley. But when she arrived there in the mid-1960s, just in time to witness the student protests that consumed the Bay Area during that decade, her focus shifted.

Monty Alexander: Jazz Piano Via Jamaican Pop

Mar 1, 2012

The sound of one of this year's Grammy-nominated reggae albums, Harlem-Kingston Express Live, may seem perplexing at first. But don't let the blend of swing and dub confuse you: That's just the unique sound of pianist Monty Alexander.

Alexander's music has variously been described as bebop, calypso and reggae. But after 50 years in music and more than 70 albums, he's earned the right to call his music simply his own.

Alexander grew up in Jamaica playing the piano and the accordion, and he was versed in the up-and-coming popular music of the island.

Kitty Eisele is supervising senior editor at NPR's Morning Edition. In this essay she remembers Monkees band member Davy Jones, who died Wednesday at age 66.

This is embarrassing to write, but years ago when my first crush erupted, I asked my dad to write a love note on my behalf to Davy Jones.

Music In Political Campaigns 101

Feb 29, 2012

It's true that you can still get by in rock 'n' roll on the strength of a unique voice. But it helps if said voice has something interesting to work with.

On the first three records by Heartless Bastards, that wasn't always the case. The Mountain, from 2008, had some terrific songs about a breakup, and a few that got bogged down in a rut. But on the band's latest release, Arrow, every song has a powerful, almost magnetic melody.

While we at StateImpact like to talk about trends and broad-brush movements in business and economics, occasionally it’s helpful to zoom-in and look at individual cases of business success.

Photo: NHPR

Fiddler Jordan Tirell-Wysocki and guitarist Matt Jensen join Kate in-studio on the Folk Show.

Tirell-Wysocki, a Canterbury fiddler who studied under Dudley Laufman and Carolyn Parrot will be appearing at the NHAMA (New Hampshire Acoustic Music Association) Spring Fling this Sunday, March 4 at the TupeloMusic Hall in Londonderry.

 

This week, weekends on All Things Considered begins a new series called "Why Music Matters": stories from fans, in their own words, about how music has changed their lives. In this first installment, Seattle resident Nathan Hotchkiss reflects on a sheltered childhood.

"My parents were very religious," he says. "I was limited to listening only to Christian music and classical. My father would stay away a lot, and my mother would be wrapped up in her own turmoil, and it would spill over onto me."

When some of the biggest names in R&B and hip-hop are clamoring to be on a jazz record, you know you're dealing with a special kind of jazz musician.

Just about three years after he violently assaulted her, R&B singer Chris Brown is back with pop star Rihanna — musically, at least. On Monday night, each released a new version of a previously released song. Both remixes feature the other party, and both are causing quite the stir.

Before the rise of Def Jam as hip-hop's definitive record label, there was Profile, which helped shepherd in some of the genre's early shifts in sound and style. A new two-CD anthology, Giant Single: The Profile Records Rap Anthology, chronicles the label's 15-year history and legacy.

Winterpills

Feb 21, 2012
Photo by woxy, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

All My Lovely Goners, the fifth release and fourth full length album from the indie rock outfit, Winterpills, who hail from the creative spring that is Northampton, Massachusetts.  Their songs have appeared on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, NBC’s Parenthood, and now, NHPR’s Word of Mouth.  Joining us from a studio in Amherst is Philip Price, guitarist and one of the leading vocalists for the band.

 

ClassicalNH Launched!

Feb 20, 2012

New Hampshire Public Radio has teamed up with Highland Community Broadcasting to make classical music more readily available to the Granite State and beyond.

This collaboration allows an expansion of services in the Capital Region and enables both organizations to take advantage of new technologies now available on HD Radio and online.

NHPR Folk Show 02.19.12

Feb 19, 2012

7 pm Hour

World Turned Upside Down-John McCutcheon-What It's Like-Rounder

Promised Land- Gina Forsyth-Promised Land-Waterbug

A Summer Wind, A Cotton Dress- Richard Shindell-Shanachie

Dishes- Rita Hosking-Burn-ritahosking.com

One of Those Things-David Mallett-Alright Now-North Road Records

The Phoenom-Chuck Brodsky-Subtotal Eclipse

Prodigal Daughter-Michelle Shocked-Arkansas Traveler

Dad's Song-Pharis & Jason Romero-A Passing Glimpse-Lula Records

Kate hosted Suzanne Vega live at Tupelo Music Hall in White River Junction on Friday, February 17. Listen to the complete performance!

Country Music Award winner Gretchen Peters had an eventful 2010: The BP oil spill washed up on her doorstep, a good friend committed suicide, and her son announced that he's transgender. The last of those in particular, she says, got her thinking about personal conflict.

Who'd have thought a 77-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter would be hovering near the top of the pop charts?

For his third symphony, the 26-year-old American composer Mohammed Fairouz decided to incorporate text in three languages. Poems and Prayers, which had its debut Thursday in New York, features passages in Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic.

The symphony was commissioned by Northeastern University, where Fairouz teaches. The idea was to write something exploring the conflicts in the Middle East, so for inspiration, Fairouz delved into the region's poetry — both ancient and modern.

Sometimes I wonder: Do the members of young indie-rock bands know that they're walking stereotypes? There's the scruffy dude who's obsessed with everything vintage and analog, the Pavement-worshiping, whiny-voiced lead singer, the rhythm section that knows its way around every oddity recorded by The Kinks. That's pretty much how I pegged the Philadelphia sextet Dr.

Paul McCartney, Madonna, Doc Watson and Luciano Pavarotti have at least one thing in common: They've all collaborated with Irish folk band

Note: A number of listeners responded to this story and said the definition of appoggiatura was incorrect. Music commentator Rob Kapilow has a second opinion here.

Heavenly Sight

Feb 13, 2012
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithwj/5740707490/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Burnt Pixel</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

Since the time of Aristotle, blind seers have been regarded as bearers of special insight. Host David Marash brings us the stories, music and this insight from the blind gospel tradition that transformed American song and gave it soul.

Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/structures-nyc-photos/5243693787/">Structures:NYC</a> / Flickr/Creative Commons

BOB MARLEY - LIVE FOREVER is a free one-hour program with live music from and stories about his last concert.  Songs recorded live at Pittsburgh's Stanley Theater in Sep 1980 include "Exodus," "Could You Be Loved," "Redemption Song," "No Woman, No Cry," "Jamming" and more.  Rita, Damien and Rohan Marley are interviewed, as well as Marcia Griffiths, biographer Vivien Goldman, and Doug Gebhard - a former journalist who covered the 1980 Pittsburgh show and is now a priest. These interviews discuss the concert, Marley's philosophies and influential moments from his life. 

Photo: Jack Delano / Library of Congress

Langston Hughes, an enduring icon of the Harlem Renaissance, is best-known for his written work, which wedded his fierce dedication to social justice with his belief in the transformative power of the word. But he was a music lover, too, and some of the works he was most proud of were collaborations with composers and musicians.  Hosted by Terrance McKnight, WQXR host and former Morehouse professor of music, I, Too, Sing Americawill dive into the songs, cantatas, musicals and librettos that flowed from Hughes’ pen.

One Grammy Award You Won't See On TV

Feb 12, 2012

The 54th Grammy Awards will be handed out Sunday — not all of them during the evening telecast. The winners of the lower-profile categories are announced earlier in the day, and Weekend Edition host Rachel Martin spoke to Ken Shipley, who's nominated for two of those: Best Historical Album and Best Album Notes.

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