music

Pete Seeger: America's Tuning Fork

Jan 28, 2014

President Obama pays tribute to folk singer and activist Pete Seeger, who has died following a short illness at the age of 94. "Over the years, Pete used his voice - and his hammer - to strike blows for worker's rights and civil rights; world peace and environmental conservation. And he always invited us to sing along."

Ice Music Festival

Jan 27, 2014

I stumbled across a post about Norway's Ice Music Festival on Studio 360's Facebook page. The festival celebrates music and nature, using naturally harvested ice and snow - and features the world's first ice music orchestra. Scroll through the images...check out the cello made of ice!

With Guitars Like Machetes: Son Jarocho

Jan 24, 2014
Alec Dempster/NPR Music

Alt.Latino explores the Mexican music style known as Son Jarocho, heavily influenced by the African slave trade to the port city of Veracruz. Musician Fredi Vega describes his grandfather's guitar style, "His guitar strums, they sound like his machete whacks."

A Gifted Cellist Sails Beyond Sweden

Jan 23, 2014
Tammy Karlsson

Did you hear this during All Things Considered yesterday? Take a listen - an interview with Linnea Olsson, a Swedish-born musician who started playing the cello when she was a young girl. I love her lyrics.

Henry Wakes Up / Alive Inside

Jan 22, 2014

Featured as a favorite on VideoWest - check out this excerpt from the documentary Alive Inside (opening at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival). It features Henry, a 94-year-old man who lives in a nursing home in Brooklyn.

Get On Down Publishing

From their inception, synthesized drum machines have always had supporters and detractors on both sides of the fence; some claim the machines drain the soul from a song's percussion, while others posit that the technology allows for previously unheard-of developments in rhythmic arrangement.

Tiny Desk Concert: Afro Blue

Jan 16, 2014

Afro Blue is a nine-member a cappella troupe from Howard University in Washington, D.C. The students stopped by NPR's Tiny Desk for a powerful performance (set list: Swing Low, Sweet Chariot; Motherless Child; Ain-a That Good News!).

A Man and His Guitar (with one string)

Jan 16, 2014
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

You'll never believe the sound one man and a guitar with one string can make. Check out Brushy One String's performance here, recorded live earlier this week during New York City's globalFEST.

Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Despite his status as a veritable institution within American music, Bruce Springsteen's allure has often stemmed from an aura of relatability, the indescribable sensation of "I could have a beer with this guy".  Springsteen is casual, smart and funny—when compared to Picasso, he's quick to refer instead to the likes of Abbot and Costello—and these qualities emerge in spades as part of a recent interview with NPR's Ann Powers.

The Power of Music

Jan 15, 2014

Discover other videos at KUER's VideoWest.

Rosanne Cash: Live at Rockwood Music Hall

Jan 14, 2014
Laura Fedele

The night before the release of her new album, The River & The Thread, Rosanne Cash played to a packed house of WFUV contributing members at Rockwood Music Hall. Thanks to WFUV for sharing the love!

A Gramophone And Mozart

Jan 14, 2014
NPR Music

British conductor Nicholas McGegan celebrates his 64th birthday by recalling how he first fell in love with opera. It came by way of a newfangled record player and one heavenly Mozart recording.

Sharon Jones and her band, The Dap-Kings, are making a comeback after Jones was diagnosed with stage-two pancreatic cancer. Jones talks with NPR's Arun Rath about wrapping up chemotherapy (without headphones) and hitting the road for a demanding tour schedule.

Podcasts from Seattle's KEXP

Jan 13, 2014

There's a lot of good stuff happening at the University of Washington's KEXP. Check out their podcast offerings - including DJ-curated mixes, in-studio videos, unreleased songs and full-session live performances.

Bob Boilen's 116 Favorite Concerts of 2013

Jan 9, 2014
Claude Gassian/Courtesy of the artist

Got some free time?  ...A lot of free time?  Good, because All Song's Considered's Bob Boilen has compiled a year-end list that is, frankly, kind of insane.  Boilen has ranked his 116 favorite concerts of 2013—and no, that's not a typo; it really is one hundred and sixteen.

An Album the Whole Family Will Love

Jan 9, 2014

Luscious Jackson bassist Jill Cunniff was inspired by her little ones to get the band back together to record some kid-friendly tracks. Secure the laces on your dancing shoes and check out NPR's Stefan Shepherd's review of Luscious Jackson's Baby DJ.

NPR

Lose weight, be more productive, smile more; new year's resolutions are a bit of a tired concept at this point, but what about applying that idea—a decision to change habits for the better with the coming of a new year—to your approach to music? Over at All Songs Considered, NPR's Robin Hilton examines the potential of the new years resolution to change a person's musical horizons.

Novalima pays tribute to Nelson Mandela

Jan 7, 2014

The Afro-Peruvian collective Novalima recently visited KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic for a live session, during which its members paid tribute to South African icon Nelson Mandela with their song "Liberta."

Hip Hop's Aboriginal Connection

Jan 7, 2014
NPR

Beat Nation: Hip Hop as Indigenous Culture has become something of an art sensation in Canada. Featuring more than two dozen artists using beats, graffiti, humor and politics to challenge stereotypes, the exhibit coincides with the growth of Idle No More, an indigenous political movement in Canada. David Sommerstein reports for NPR's Weekend Edition on the connection between native culture and hip hop.

Local Music: Mideau on RadioWest

Jan 7, 2014

Missed the live show from electro-poppers Mideau on KUER's RadioWest? Check out the Provo/D.C.-based duo as they play songs from their debut LP and talk with Doug Fabrizio about their music.

A Brotherly Harmony: Remembering Phil Everly

Jan 5, 2014
Jo Hale/Getty Images

Phil Everly's work as half of The Everly Brothers—often providing the high harmonies that lent an alluring depth to the vocals of his brother Don—helped forever change the landscape of popular music in America.  Phil passed away at the age of 74 on Friday, as a result of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Sam H. Sanders offers remembrance of a legend lost for NPR's The Record.  

Gregory Porter's Liquid Spirit

Jan 3, 2014
Shawn Peters/Courtesy of the artist

Gregory Porter's 2010 album Water helped solidify his status as one of jazz's most interesting new voices; the singer recently spoke with NPR's Song Travels, describing the influence of gospel and Nat King Cole on his work, and performing a few songs from his most recent offering, Liquid Spirit.  

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.  

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

Dec 31, 2013
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".

Metropolis: 12/28/13

Dec 31, 2013
the artist

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

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

Dec 30, 2013
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.

Closing The Lid On Chopin's Favorite Pianos

Dec 29, 2013
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?

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.

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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