Birds on the Wires

Apr 29, 2014

Studio 360 shares some really great pieces on Facebook. Check this out - you'll never see birds perched on electric wires the same again.

Rich Fury

This quiz has been making its way around the office. I'm proudly touting my perfect score, although I think it was a fluke. "Baggy pants make different music than skinny jeans. Cowboy hats sound different than fedoras. T-shirt-and-jeans bands make a different noise than suit-and-tie bands" - but what about shoes? Bob Boilen from NPR's All Songs Considered challenges you to a band/shoe-matching duel...

Jay Blakesberg

Pixies are back! Well, sort of. Kim Deal is out, but Frank Black and the remaining members rock out a new album that manages to sound old and new...reminiscent of their 1991 release Trompe Le Monde, and reflective of the band's evolution into middle age. Try it (before all of the "cool" kids are listening to it) - I think you'll like it.

Muscle Shoals

Apr 22, 2014

If you missed the screening of Muscle Shoals from Independent Lens, you can catch it this week on KUED-7. This documentary explores the story of FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and the signature sound that turned an "undescript little town" into a legend.

Jordi Vidal/Redferns

In tears after listening to this piece. Musicians remember Jason Molina (Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co.) with a release of Molina's out-of-print 7" records. Iowa Public Radio's Clay Masters brings us this tribute.

Austen Diamond Photography

The five-day music smorgasbord in the City of Trees is manageable, yet offers a bevy of local and national talent.

I want a t-shirt that reads, “Boise is the Bomb!”A happy alternative would be, “Treefort is for Lovers.” Not necessarily lovey-dovey lovers, but lovers of music—the ones that get ecstatic when they discover a new band, the ones that have their eyes closed and their hands in the air in the front row of a show, and the ones that hate waiting in line or navigating an insanely busy music festival.

NPR Music has launched All Songs TV, a stream featuring video interviews, live concert footage and "First Watch" debuts hand-picked by All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton. All Songs TV kicks off with a video for "The Messenger" from one of my favorite duos, Rodrigo y Gabriela. Enjoy!

Angela H. Brown

Last month, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the 27th annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival in Austin, Texas. Started in 1987 with around 700 attendees, the music conference has now grown to become the world’s largest festival of its kind. More than 2,200 official performers play in 100+ venues within five days, attracting 82,000+ attendees. SXSW unites bands, brands, artists, journalists, industry types, street performers, opportunists and music enthusiasts from all over the world.

On scoring radio

Apr 15, 2014
Andy Mills

Producer Andy Mills talks with about how he uses music to create audio magic each week on Radiolab.

I still remember the first time I sat down with my friend Jacob Boll from the band The Hudson Branch to work on scoring a radio story. We were listening to a rough draft of a story I was working on and he said of the subject of the story:

“She is speaking in the key of C most of the time — so let’s start with that.”

Austen Diamond Photography

Concert photography—it will either make or break your passion for the art. It can be the easiest or the most difficult shooting experience you’ll ever have, and it rarely lives anywhere between. 

Last call to check out Mistaken for Strangers (featuring The National's Matt Berninger and his younger brother, Tom) at the Tower Theatre - find details here.

Courtesy of the artists/NPR Music

This week All Songs Considered brings us a new song by Jack White, sounds from the Alabama-based soul band St. Paul & the Broken Bones and something psychedelic by folk rocker Ray LaMontagne - who will be playing at Red Butte Garden this summer as part of their Outdoor Concert Series.

The State Room

Five years ago, Stanley Clarke hit the stage at one of the most intimate music venues in Salt Lake City. Here's to 500 shows in five years, and cheers to 500 more...congratulations to our friends at The State Room!

Music and memory

Apr 1, 2014
Rolling Stone

I was at a friend's house, we were sitting on the porch. It was a drizzly grey day. Do you remember where you were when you found out that Nirvana's Kurt Cobain died? Host Ann Strainchamps explores music and memory in the first hour of To the Best of our Knowledge.


Mar 28, 2014

Studio 360 featured this "portable animation" site on their Facebook page this week and ever since I've been busting out drum beats with the T and Y keys (press any of the keys between A and Z on your keyboard for sounds/animation, and press the space bar for a new palette of sounds). I might just compose the next great symphony here at my desk.

Metropolis, 3/22

Mar 27, 2014

KCRW's Metropolis mix series continues to serve as a concise, well-rounded summary of recent exciting developments within dance music, with the latest offering running the gamut from the disco-tinted house of Todd Terje to Special Request's bass-heavy interpretation of Tessela's "Hackney Parrot." You can stream the playlist right here.  

Chad Tim Tim

In 2002, a bright-eyed, 22-year-old singer-songwriter decided he needed a new name: A stage name. He gave himself the moniker of Drew Danburry, hit the road with his guitar and never looked back.

Twelve years touring the United States and 700 shows later, a lot has changed for Mr. Danburry. He got married, became a father and settled down in Utah County. He bought a house and opened up a small business.

Yo-Yo Ma's Playhouse

Mar 26, 2014

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and members of the Silk Road Ensemble incorporate various theatrical props from Brookyln's ACME Studio for a spirited offstage performance, courtesy of NPR Music Field Recordings.

NPR Music / Stephen Jerkins

John Carter Cash stumbled across a piece of history as he was sorting through his parents' belongings after they passed away. "It's like finding an old Van Gogh in your closet," John says. "What do you do?" Carter Cash, the only child of Johnny Cash and June Carter, had discovered a lost album by his father - recorded in the early 1980s after a stint in rehab. WPLN's Blake Farmer brings us this story about giving life to a forgotten piece of Johnny Cash's legacy.


On February 7, 1964 The Beatles touched down at JFK Airport in New York City. Their subsequent performance on The Ed Sullivan Show could easily fall in the category of events that we often reflect on by saying “I remember where I was when…” Countless musicians have given a nod to seeing the legendary television performance and being mesmerized and inspired. 

Brantley Gutierrez/Courtesy of the artist

Spring hasn't really sprung until you've listened to the new album by Nickel Creek. A Dotted Line will be released to the public on April 1, 2014 - but NPR Music's got the entire album for you through First Listen. I've been streaming it all morning, and I'm smitten. We'll be offering Nickel Creek's A Dotted Line as a thank you gift during KUER's Spring Fund Drive, starting next Friday (April 4).

The Bad Plus

In homage to a new season when everything's in bloom - open the windows, let the sunshine pour through and crank up the volume as The Bad Plus covers Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.

Did you hear this story on Studio 360 last weekend? Holly Welker was on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Taiwan when she finally accepted her truth - she was depressed and experiencing a crisis of faith. “As soon as I said goodbye to my parents, I realized I made a mistake,” she remembers. During a visit to a market one night, she found peace. Take a listen...

Lionel Loueke Performs For Jazzset

Mar 19, 2014
Brantley Gutierrez/Courtesy of the artist

Labeled a "gentle virtuoso" by the New York Times, ​West African guitarist Lionel Loueke specializes in an alluring blend of traditional African styles and the unhindered spontaneity of jazz.  Head over to Dee Dee Bridgewater's Jazzset to catch an impeccable set from the Lionel Loueke Trio, who recently performed at the Kennedy Center Jazz Club.

Tiny Desk Concert: Diane Cluck

Mar 19, 2014

For some bands—like the twelve members of Balkan brass outfit Fanfare Ciocarla—finding enough space in All Songs Considered's Tiny Desk studio can be a challenge.  Not so for singer Diane Cluck, however; armed only with voice, guitar and piano, Cluck's solo session makes the cramped office seem downright spacious.

Global Hit Podcast

Mar 17, 2014
The World

Find out what happens when hip hop collides with the War on Terrorism, listen to the soundtrack to Venezuela's protest movement and learn how a Lebanese woman got a Hollywood gig singing "White Rabbit" in American Hustle - - all just a few clicks away with a subscription to the Global Hit Podcast, brought to you by The World's Marco Werman. You can catch The World weekdays at 2 p.m. on KUER 90.1.

Mayer Hawthorne performs on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. In his jammies.

Angeli Symphony

Mar 13, 2014

Another epic story from Snap Judgment. Meet Stuart. Following the tragic death of his son, he has a vision where he claims that angels have given him a special gift. Stuart then drops everything in his life and spends the next 15 years pursuing this divine offering. Listen to how it all unfolds...

Neil Young talks about his journey of "rescuing an art form" - developing a music player for audiophiles. "You're all listening to a lot of MP3s. They're very convenient.

Live from SXSW

Mar 12, 2014
Bob Boilen/All Songs Considered

Totally overwhelmed by the nonstop action generating from Austin this week? NPR Music is highlighting the festival's best musical performances - check out today's live webcasts featuring Eagulls, Kelis and St. Vincent. And for a daily recap, the team at All Songs Considered is covering the festival with a SXSW podcast.