Music

Music Reviews
3:11 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Ani DiFranco: Embracing Stability, Remaining Outspoken

With more than a dozen studio albums to her credit, Ani DiFranco has a strong handle on outspoken, politically charged music. Her latest is Which Side Are You On?
Shervin Lainez Courtesy of the artist

For any Ani DiFranco fan amazed by her one fine album a year between 1995 and 1999, the many albums she put out in the '00s just weren't up to par. So her new record, Which Side Are You On?, comes as a surprise and a tremendous relief.

The first words out of her mouth are the most striking she's uttered on record in over a decade. The opening track, "Life Boat," is sung in the voice of a homeless woman who's pretty jaunty, considering:

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The Record
1:18 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

'Soul Train' Creator Don Cornelius Dies At 75

Don Cornelius posing for a portrait in 1973 in Los Angeles.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 1, 2012 11:30 am

The host and executive producer of Soul Train has died. The Los Angeles police department is reporting that Don Cornelius was found dead at his home in Los Angeles this morning from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:49 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Philip Glass!

Photo by mae noelle, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Composer Philip Glass turns 75 today. His birthday is being celebrated with festivals and performances around the globe and the premiere of his 9th symphony at Carnegie hall tonight. Glass is easily the most famous composer of his generation.  How many other composers have received commissions from the Metropolitan Opera and inspired a knock-knock joke? Philip Glass began playing works to tiny, often hostile audiences back in the 1960’s.

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Word of Mouth
10:16 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Word of Mouth for 01.28.12

Photo by urbanmkr, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1: "Ready for Liftoff: 3...2...None?"

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Word of Mouth - Segment
10:59 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Ancient Sound, Modern Virtuoso

 To the average American, Chinese music might evoke a stereotype, the atonal, plucky sounds of soundtracks to martial arts films, or the ambience in Chinese restaurants. But like Chinese culture, the traditions of Chinese music reach back thousands of years and pull from myriad styles that reflect the diverse landscape of the worlds most populous nation. And weaving through much of it is the distinctive strain on the pipa, the ancient, four stringed instrument sometimes referred to as the Chinese Lute.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:25 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Musical Change

Photo by cjggbella, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

This segment begins with a recording of a 26-year-old Gustavo Dudamel conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar in Leonard Bernstein’s Arrangement of Mambo. Dudamel is the most energetic young thing on the podium. Before being named music director of Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and principal conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony in Sweden, he was a violinist in the Bolivar Youth Orchestra in Caracas, Venezuela.

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Word of Mouth
12:34 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Word of Mouth for 01.21.12

Photo by Leo Reynolds, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

                                                         

 

Part 1: Revenge of the Web-nerds

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:55 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Darlingside

Photo by Abby McBride

The “string-rock” quintet Darlingside is based in New England, but its lineage includes California pop harmonies, Appalachian root riffs, and classical arrangements all shadowing that full-on American mongrel we call rock music.  After earning high praise and an eager following for a self-produced EP, Darlingside is rolling out a new subscription album, called Pilot Machines, throughout 2012. Darlinsgide

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Music News
12:01 am
Wed January 18, 2012

From Mega Man To Final Fantasy, Live Video Game Music

Nobuo Uematsu plays keyboard with Earthbound Papas, a rock band made up of video-game soundtrack composers.
Lindsay Totty NPR

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 9:03 am

Every year, thousands of video-game fans flock to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area for a unique music festival called MAGFest. It's short for "Music and Gaming Festival," and it's designed to celebrate the music of video games.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:53 pm
Mon January 16, 2012

Violinist Joshua Bell: 'French Impressions,' Yesterday And Today

Joshua Bell revisits the classic Violin Sonata by Cesar Franck on his new album.
Lisa Marie Mazzucco

When Joshua Bell was 21, he recorded an iconic piece of chamber music for piano and violin — the Sonata in A major by Cesar Franck. Today, Bell is 44 and he's recorded it again. It's on his new album, French Impressions, with pianist Jeremy Denk.

All Things Considered host Robert Siegel invited Bell to listen to his old recording for a little session of compare-and-contrast.

"Do you hear the same violinist?" Siegel asks, after playing for Bell the opening bars of his 1989 recording.

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Folk Show - Tupelo Public Radio Project
8:00 pm
Sun January 15, 2012

Tupelo Public Radio Project Featuring Peter Yarrow

Kate hosts Peter Yarrow at the Tupelo Music Hall in White River Junction, Vermont.

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Word of Mouth
12:00 pm
Sat December 31, 2011

Capitol Steps: Politics Takes a Holiday

The Capitol Steps began as a group of Senate staffers who set out to satirize the very people and places that employed them.  In the years that followed, many of the Steps ignored the conventional wisdom ("Don't quit your day job!"), and although not all of the current members of the Steps are former Capitol Hill staffers, taken together the performers have worked in a total of eighteen Congressional offices and represent 62 years of collective House and Senate staff experience.  Since they began, the Capitol Steps have recorded 27 albums and have been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS, an

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Special Program
6:00 pm
Sun December 25, 2011

A Carolina Christmas with Kathy Mattea

A Carolina Christmas from Biltmore Estate, with Kathy Mattea is a festive celebration of holiday music -- from one of the most magnificent acoustic venues in the country! A Carolina Christmas features soloists and large ensembles performing a rich variety of songs, including sacred music of the season, African-American spirituals, Celtic jigs and folk favorites.

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Special Program
3:00 pm
Sun December 25, 2011

Echoes of Christmas

This program features moving selections of choral classics celebrating Christmas. The Dale Warland Singers provided magical performances to listeners across the country for over 30 years and were acclaimed as America's premier choir. Their signature holiday concert—beloved by public radio listeners nationwide—was the annual Echoes of Christmas program. Drawing upon the archive of their live performances, Dale Warland and host Brian Newhouse create a very special Christmas musical treat.

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Special Program
2:00 pm
Sun December 25, 2011

A Chanticleer Christmas

A Chanticleer Christmas is American Public Media's one-hour celebration of the season as told through the glorious voices of Chanticleer, the 12-voice San Francisco-based men's choir. The program spans the globe and the centuries — from England in the 1300s to new arrangements of classic and contemporary carols.  Information is available at http://americanpublicmedia.publicradio.org/programs/chanticleer_xmas/

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Special Program
1:00 pm
Sun December 25, 2011

Christmas with Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs

One of the great holiday traditions in America, the choirs of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges -- two of the most prestigious historically black institutions in the nation -- get together to present a spine-tingling concert program. This encore presentation features the best works of the last several years. It's a joyous celebration of the schools' tradition of singing excellence, with their trademark mixture of spirituals and carols.

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Special Program
12:00 pm
Sun December 25, 2011

Christmas Daybreak

Christmas Daybreak brings together two of the finest groups of singers and actors at the cutting edge of live performance in America today, the singers of The Crossing and actors from the Pig Iron Theatre company.  Specializing in work of the finest contemporary composers, The Crossing has commissioned many beautiful new carols for Christmas by composers such as Andrew Gant and Benjamin Boyle and sung many new works by British composers Gabriel Jackson, Jonathan Varcoe, and James MacMillan.

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Special Program
10:00 pm
Sat December 24, 2011

A Paul Winter Solstice Concert

The towering walls of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine reverberate with sounds of celebration in this NPR holiday tradition. Paul Winter welcomes gospel singer Theresa Thomason, multi-instrumentalist/singer Arto Tunçboyaciyan, double reed wizard Paul McCandless, and the Paul Winter Consort in live performances from their recent Grammy-winning album MIHO and their timeless solstice songs.  Give your listeners an affirming and celebratory holiday season. Pass the longest night of the year with Paul Winter's Solstice Celebration.

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American Public Media
8:00 pm
Sat December 24, 2011

St. Olaf Christmas Festival

A service in song and word that has become one of the nation's most cherished holiday celebrations. Tickets to the event, which takes place at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, are always gone months in advance. The festival includes hymns, carols, choral works, and orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity and featuring more than 500 student musicians who are members of five choirs and the St.

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Best of Public Radio
4:00 pm
Sat December 24, 2011

Lessons & Carols from Washington National Cathedral

The National Cathedral bring you their signature broadcast from the Cathedral's service of lessons and carols as heard at 6pm on Christmas Eve from Washington DC.  Each Christmas-tide the Cathedral hosts a number of special services, including a quietly spectacular Lesson and Carols on Christmas Eve at 6pm, combining biblical readings that mark out the story of the birth of Christ with much-loved, as well as new, carols, from folk to ethereal polyphony, from the splendor of all the voices and organ together, to the hush of Silent Night, as the service draws to a close.  Washington National

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American Public Media
3:00 pm
Sat December 24, 2011

Welcome Christmas

This year's VocalEssence Welcome Christmas concert celebrates the holidays with the warmth of traditional carols and the exhilaration of new songs for the season. The concert features a garland of carols from Sweden, and the world premiere of this year's Welcome Christmas! Carol Contest-winning carols, composed for chorus and bell choir. Other carols were chosen by VocalEssence fans in an online audience favorite poll.  Join us for holiday classics new and old, when Philip Brunelle and VocalEssence Welcome Christmas!

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All Songs Considered
2:00 pm
Sat December 24, 2011

All Songs Considered for the Holidays

Third time's a charm, or maybe not. It's the third edition of the not so new, wonky holiday tradition from NPR Music.  Join host Bob Boilen and his friends as they trade holiday cheer and snarky barbs while bringing you the best holiday songs from new and emerging breakout bands. This show is filled with fun and fresh renditions of great holiday music.  Listener information at http://www.npr.org

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Word of Mouth
10:21 am
Fri December 23, 2011

Word of Mouth for 12.24.2011

(Photo by zizagou76 via Flickr Creative Commons)

                                                                            

Part 1:

Why Music Writing Matters in 2011

In his introduction to an anthology of The Best Music Writing 2011, Alex Ross shares a selection of tweets reacting to bassist and singer Esperanza Spaulding’s upset over teen star Justin Bieber for the Best New Artist Grammy.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:34 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

A Tuba Christmas

Photo by: missgeok

Whether you’re listening to a Glee Christmas, or you’re stuck on Perry Como, whatever paints your peppermint, Christmas music is in the ear – or maybe memory – of the beholder. We spoke to a man who’s Christmas spirit springs not from a specific era, genre, or artist – but from an instrument…the tuba or a euphonium…your pick. A

Naperville Illinois Tuba Christmas

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:31 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Why Music Writing Matters in 2011

(Photo by Nicole Abalde via Flickr Creative Commons)

In his introduction to an anthology of The Best Music Writing 2011Alex Ross shares a selection of tweets reacting to bassist and singer Esperanza Spaulding’s upset over teen star Justin Bieber for the Best New Artist Grammy.

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Folk Show - Tupelo Public Radio Project
8:00 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Tupelo Public Radio Project Featuring Martin Sexton

Kate hosts Martin Sexton at the Tupelo Music Hall in White River Junction, Vermont.

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Folk Show
7:00 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

The Folk Show Holiday Edition - 12/25/11

Join NHPR’s Kate McNally on December 25, as she serves up a warm and comforting menu of folk holiday favorites. 

Word of Mouth - Segment
11:42 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Here's What's Awesome: 2011!

(Photo by Colinaut via Flickr Creative Commons)

Awesomator Brady Carlson runs down his top ten awesomest online moments of the year.  

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Best of Public Radio
4:00 pm
Sat December 17, 2011

Chanukah in Story & Song

Narrated by Leonard Nimoy and sung by the acclaimed vocal sextet The Western Wind Vocal Ensemble, "Chanukah in Story and Song" is a unique holiday program created especially for public radio listeners.  This delightfully engaging program presents 25 eclectic selections, from the Ladino songs of the Spanish Jews and Yiddish melodies of Eastern Europe to modern Israeli tunes and the ensemble's original version of "I Have a Little Dreydle."  The ensemble performs a cappella as well as with instrumental accompaniment.

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Word of Mouth
8:00 am
Sat December 17, 2011

Word of Mouth for 12.17.2011

(Photo by Elizabeth/Table4Five via Flickr Creative Commons)

Part 1: Auto Paparazzi

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