music

Entertainment
2:42 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Pharrell Williams On Juxtaposition And Seeing Sounds

Pharrell Williams.
Credit the artist

Pharrell Williams is a man of many hats, from his massively successful production work with the Neptunes (responsible for writing mega-hits like Britney Spears' "Toxic") to his chart-topping vocals on Daft Punk's "Get Lucky".  Williams recently spoke with NPR's Morning Edition, where he outlined the methodical processes—including a three-step writing method that he says anyone can use—that have helped him ascend to stardom.  

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Entertainment
2:58 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

2013: Year Of The... One-Hit Wonder?

Macklemore (left) and Ryan Lewis, whose "Thrift Shop" was the biggest song of 2013, according to Billboard's year-end chart.
Credit John Keatley/Courtesy of the artist

When it comes to popular music, Chris Molanphy correctly points out that "past performance is definitely no guarantee of future success"—as part of NPR's Best Music of 2013 series, Molanphy examines the concept of career longevity as it relates to hit-makers in 2013, dissecting the likes of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' smash hit "Thrift Shop" and Robin Thicke's controversial—but undeniably ubiquitous—"Blurred Lines".

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Entertainment
2:49 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Metropolis: 12/28/13

Toro Y Moi (Chaz Bundick) is featured in this week's edition of Metropolis.
Credit the artist

We cover a wide range of music here at KUER, but this one hits on some of my personal favorites.

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Entertainment
8:34 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

De La Soul's Resistance To Pop, 20 Years Later

David Jude Jolicoeur aka Trugoy (from left), Vincent Mason aka P.A. Mase and Kelvin Mercer aka Posdnuos pose for a portrait outside the Apollo Theater in Harlem in September 1993.
Credit David Corio/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

1993 was a landmark year for hip-hop, with seminal albums from Snoop Dogg, A Tribe Called Quest, The Wu Tang Clan and more helping to forever change the landscape of the burgeoning art form.  Amongst these visionaries were De La Soul, a New York trio whose third LP, Buhloone Mindstate, flew directly in the face of expectation.

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Entertainment
2:56 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

Closing The Lid On Chopin's Favorite Pianos

The Pleyel piano factory, which once supplied instruments to Frederic Chopin, will close its doors at the end of the year.
Credit Francois Guillot /AFP/Getty Images

The Pleyel piano factory, based in Paris, has been manufacturing 88-key masterpieces—a personal favorite of the legendary Frédéric Chopin, as well as impressionist composers like Claude Debussy —for more than 200 years.  2013 is a sad year for ivory-ticklers, then, as Pleyel will shut its doors for good at the end of the year.  But... why?  Was it a case of sub-par marketing?  Over-expensive merchandise?  A waning demand for top-quality pianos?

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Entertainment
2:46 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

'Together Again' With Wynton Marsalis, 20 Years Later

Pianist Marcus Roberts, who is blind, hadn't worked with Wynton Marsalis for two decades before his latest slate of recordings.
Credit John Douglas/Courtesy of the artist

It's the kind of story that highlights the collaborative, social nature of jazz; in 1985, Marcus Roberts was a gifted young pianist when he caught the attention of legendary trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, who brought Roberts into his own band.  Roberts went on to compose, record, teach and perform both jazz and classical music, and subsequently built his own career largely separate from Marsalis.  It took almost twenty years, but Roberts and Marsalis have reunited, recording a pair of albums: Together Again in the Studio, and Together Again Live in Concert.

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Entertainment
6:14 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

Country Grammar: How Nelly Helped Florida Georgia Line Score One Of 2013's Biggest Hits

Florida Georgia Line was unsigned when it recorded the year's biggest country song, "Cruise."
Credit the artist

As ubiquitous as the remix has become, it's not something you hear much about when it comes to country music.  It came as a bit of a surprise, then, when a hip-hop remix of Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise", featuring rapper Nelly, helped the track ascend to the top of the country charts and stay there long enough to break the all-time record.

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Entertainment
5:58 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

2013: The Year In Tiny Desk Concerts

With 17 members packed into the studio, Mother Falcon took the cake for "Biggest Band" in 2013's Tiny Desk Concert series.
Credit Hayley Bartels/NPR

At this point, the web—and, we'll admit, NPR in particular—is awash with year-end lists, seeking to summarize 2013 in pictures, song, film and more.  For fans of unconventional live performance, though, the final list to top them all is right here, with a round-up of the year's most interesting Tiny Desk Concerts.

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Entertainment
8:35 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Venezuelan Hip-Hop Takes On Political Corruption

Rappers Apache and Canserbero.
Credit the artist

For all the talk of chains and private planes, there still exists plenty of hip-hop with a real message, made for a very real reason.  Venezuelan rappers Apache and Canserbero are a prime example of this—their recent track "Stop" took aim at widespread police corruption in Venezuela.  The duo have managed to transcend a limited budget to reach a wide audience; check out an in-depth examination of their work over at Morning Edition.  

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Entertainment
8:27 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

The Story Of R&B In 2013

Kelela performing in Los Angeles in October.
Credit Donato Sardella/WireImage

From the soulful tones of Frank Ocean to Kelela's bold crossovers into experimental dance music, 2013 was a fascinating year for R&B. Head over to NPR Music to check out Jason King's selection of five tracks that summarize the progress and direction of R&B in 2013.

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Entertainment
11:04 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Tiny Desk Concert: Lawrence Brownlee

Lawrence Brownlee has conquered the world's great opera houses. But for this performance for NPR Music, the tenor circles back to his roots as a singer of spirituals.

Entertainment
10:55 am
Wed December 4, 2013

5 Soundtracks for Awkward Family Gatherings

Credit FOX

Dreading that upcoming holiday dinner with the in-laws? NPR Music's got the soundtrack covered for your next awkward family gathering.

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Entertainment
10:47 am
Wed December 4, 2013

All Songs Considered: Best of 2013

Top row, L to R: Laura Marling, Lorde, Mike Milosh of Rhye; middle row: Ty Segall, James Blake, Valerie June; bottom row: Khaela Maricich and Melissa Dyne of The Blow, Earl Sweatshirt, Lou Reed.
Credit NPR Music

On this special edition of All Songs Considered, Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and Ann Powers for a roughly chronological tour through the musical high points of 2013.

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Entertainment
12:50 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

David Byrne & St. Vincent video rehearsal

Take a peek at the final rehearsal before David Byrne (of Talking Heads) and Annie Clark (of St. Vincent) took their collaborative album, Love This Giant, out on the road — complete with eccentric choreographed dance moves and an eight-piece horn section.

Entertainment
12:41 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Morning Becomes Eclectic: Jon Hopkins

Check out London-based electronic composer Jon Hopkins perform songs from his fourth studio album, Immunity, live in-studio on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic.

Entertainment
12:28 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Happy Birthday, KRCL!

34 years ago today, a new commercial-free radio station located at The Blue Mouse in Salt Lake City broadcast Pete Seeger's "We Shall Overcome" over the FM airwaves. Since then, KRCL has become a beloved community resource for thousands of listeners throughout Utah. Happy Birthday, KRCL! Here's to another three decades and beyond...

Entertainment
1:26 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Live Jazz with Jason Moran

Credit Jati Lindsay/Courtesy of the Kennedy Center

He's not 40 yet, but Jason Moran is a 2010 MacArthur Fellow, the Artistic Advisor for Jazz at the Kennedy Center, and a Resident Artistic Director at SFJAZZ in San Francisco. WBGO's JazzSet brings you a live set by Moran and his trio, The Bandwagon, from the Kennedy Center.

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Entertainment
1:12 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

The Punk Singer

The new documentary 'The Punk Singer' chronicles the life and music of Kathleen Hanna.
Credit Allison Michael Orenstein/Opening Band Films

Musician and riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna — formerly of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, now with The Julie Ruin — is the fascinating central figure in the biographical documentary The Punk Singer.

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Entertainment
1:03 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Tiny Desk Concert: Kronos Quartet

Entertainment
10:50 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Folk Alley Presents: Mandolin Orange

This isn't just another folk song about whiskey...

Entertainment
10:47 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Foreverly Yours

'Foreverly' is the new album by Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones.
Credit Marina Chavez

What happens when Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong collaborates with Norah Jones to cover songs by The Everly Brothers? Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep talks with Armstrong and Jones to find out.

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Entertainment
10:40 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Songs of the Civil War Re-Imagined

A Union soldier poses with a banjo.
Credit Library of Congress/NPR.org

Divided & United is the name of a new collection of songs from the Civil War era. The selections tell tales of fear, loneliness, exhaustion and triumph. Producer Randall Poster and historian Sean Wilentz talk with NPR's Melissa Block about the music featured on the album.

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Entertainment
2:46 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

WXPN's Year in Review

The fine folks at WXPN public radio (home to World Cafe) would like you to vote on your favorite artists and albums from 2013. Vote by December 9, 2013 and you'll be entered to win a 16 GB iPad Air loaded with the Top 200 songs from the year-in-review countdown, plus a $100 gift card to Springboard Media.

Entertainment
2:36 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Esperanza Spalding's America

Credit NPR Music

Grammy-Award winning musician Esperanza Spalding talks with NPR's Celeste Headlee about her new recording, 'We are America.' Spalding's song and video demand congressional action to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. "Part of the message of the song is, 'This is not our America. We are America. I am America. Esperanza Spalding is America.

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Entertainment
2:54 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Live & Local: Pentagraham Crackers on RadioWest

Watch SLC-based Pentagraham Crackers play "Danger Blues" live in-studio during KUER's RadioWest (weekdays, 11 a.m. / rebroadcast at 7 p.m. on 90.1). Listen to the show in its entirety here.

Entertainment
2:45 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

For Dev Hynes, Every Sound is a Color

Dev Hynes recorded his new album, 'Cupid Deluxe,' as Blood Orange.
Credit Stacey Mark / NPR

Devonté Hynes has recorded a punk album, a folk-pop-country album, and his new record features a mix of synth pop. NPR's Melissa Block talks with Hynes about his musical exploration and living with synesthesia, a neurological condition that links the senses — for Hynes, every sound he hears is associated with a color.

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Entertainment
2:35 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

How to meet your favorite band without looking like a fangirl/boy

How to meet Bono and keep your dignity...
Credit Beth.Anderson 2007 (Flickr)

Stephen Thompson from NPR's All Songs Considered busts open the virtual mail bag to answer this question: can you meet your favorite band without making a fool of yourself? You'll also want to check out this collection of awesome superfan stories/pictures.

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Entertainment
2:21 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Ebony Bones live in WNYC's Soundcheck Studio

Credit Michael Katzif / WNYC

U.K.-born Ebony Bones throws down three songs from her new electronic/afropunk album, 'Behold, A Pale Horse,' at WNYC's Soundcheck Studio. Check out her electrifying performance here!

Entertainment
2:35 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Country Music for Drinking and Thinking

Brandy Clark's new album is called '12 Stories.'
Credit Becky Fluke / NPR Music

The new record from Nashville singer-songwriter Brandy Clark, 12 Stories, is a collection of rural tales told from a variety of perspectives. In a conversation with All Things Considered's Melissa Block, Clark says her goal as a songwriter is to create songs that everyday people can relate to.

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Entertainment
2:26 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Producer, Director & KCRW DJ Judd Apatow

Judd Apatow, Tribeca Film Festival
Credit Wikipedia (2012)

Producer, director, and screenwriter Judd Apatow is drawn to songs that are “deeply truthful” and allow your “inner self to shine,” a life philosophy presented by The Who, Cat Stevens and more in his Guest DJ set as featured on KCRW in Santa Monica.

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