Remembering Devo

Feb 18, 2014
Gerald Casale/Devo

The guitarist for Devo, Bob Casale, passed away yesterday. To the Best of our Knowledge remembers him by looking back at their 2010 interview with his brother and bandmate, Gerald Casale.

You can't always get what you want...

Feb 18, 2014

Ever try to use music by The Rolling Stones to look cool in front of a classroom of sixth graders? I heard this piece featuring comedian Tig Notaro on This American Life over the weekend and I'm still cracking up...

5 Jazz Songs for 2014

Feb 17, 2014
Ingrid Hertfelder/Courtesy of the artist

We're not even two full months into 2014, but the state of jazz for the coming year is looking promising.  Following new offerings from mainstays like Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau, NPR's A Blog Supreme has compiled five tracks from exciting new jazz releases, including the likes of James Brandon Lewis and Zara McFarlane.

Happy Birthday, Daddy-O!

Feb 13, 2014

The Mayor of Jazz City celebrated his birthday this week. Kick up your heels, pour something bubbly and toast the man who brings you jazz music every night on 90.1. We love you, Steve!

The Moth & The Flame, "Winsome"

Feb 13, 2014

This just in from All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen: The Moth & The Flame (formerly based in Provo, Utah) have just released a new video for "Winsome," as featured on their 2013 EP, &.  The Moth & The Flame were interviewed on KUER's RadioWest back in 2012, and later composed the show's theme music.

Download: 10 Love Songs On Heavy Rotation

Feb 13, 2014
the artist

With Valentine's Day coming up tomorrow, it's time for a special installment of NPR's Heavy Rotation series, complete with 10 tracks—all available to download for free—that should do well to set the mood for your day of romance.  Contents include the newest collaboration from LA electronic experimentalist Shlohmo and sensual R&B star Jeremih, alongside the like of The Juan Maclean and Jhené Aiko.  You can grab the whole playlist right here.  

Greetings: Autobiography of a Cratedigger

Feb 12, 2014
Robert Nelson Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives

Greetings! My name is Robert Nelson. As an introduction to KUER Music, I can imagine I was asked to participate because of my legacy of 25+ years of radio programming on Salt Lake City’s local community station KRCL 90.9FM - Your Station that Rules the Nation. (KUER’s head-man John Greene “hired” me when he managed KRCL).

10 radiators hissing = A Pastoral Symphony

Feb 12, 2014

"That's a radiator in my apartment. It's like I'm living at a dry cleaner's." If winter's got you down, you'll want to check out this story. Writer Henry Alford finds inspiration from his radiators - along with the radiators of his friends and neighbors - and creates a musical composition of the hissing and banging (10 total radiators). Classical music critic Fred Plotkin reviews the piece. Produced by Studio 360's Pejk Malinovski.

The worst songs of all time?

Feb 12, 2014

Disclaimer: Listening to this story might result in "We Built This City" playing in your head over and over all day long, and well into the night, seeping into your dreams...

All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen and NPR Music's Stephen Thompson  talk with musician/Portlandia actor Carrie Brownstein about horrible music.

Your brain on music

Feb 11, 2014

"In the same way that a drug-induced dopamine surge leaves you craving more, music becomes addictive — the dopamine tells your body it was rewarded and creates a desire to seek out more."

Valentine's Day: What's your song?

Feb 11, 2014

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton explores the love songs that inspired a "long line of sentimental types" in his family. "But of all the things we find evocative — a handwritten letter, a cork from a particular bottle of wine or an old photo — few if any resonate with the past quite like a song." The love songs that resonate with me change with the seasons. As spring approaches, and I think about all that's soon to be in bloom, this one comes to mind.

Neil Young has long been a staple in my own musical collection, and it would be appropriate to name Young as one of the first artists that really launched me into my passion for music. I was introduced to Neil Young at a young age, and I quickly took note of the intimacy and productivity of Young as an artist.

Tiny Desk Concert: Pixies

Feb 3, 2014

It's been a long time since 1989's stellar Doolittle​, and the Pixies have changed quite a bit as a band.  Still, the remaining members carry the name with gusto, as evidenced by their recent performance at NPR's Tiny Desk.  

Reed Hutchinson/UCLA

82-year-old jazz guitar legend Kenny Burrell is a rare musician for his generation, acquiring his bachelor's degree in music theory and composition. "When I was at Wayne State University in the '50s, it was a problem studying jazz, even talking about it in some cases," he says. "So I decided if I had a chance, I would teach jazz." Sean J. O'Connell of NPR Jazz talks with Burrell about his career in music and academia.

Sara Kerens/Courtesy of the artist

Detroit rapper Danny Brown is nigh impossible to summarize; whether it be his penchant for rapping about club drugs, his (rather unexpected) appearance in Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone" video, or Brown's surprising ability to wring real and disturbing pathos from tales of street life, the gap-toothed MC has always shown a knack for shape-shifting.

Dave Brubeck: The Macklemore of 1954?

Jan 30, 2014

For all the Twitter buzz, the Macklemore/Kendrick Lamar Grammy debacle seems like a story that could only be from 2014; this is isn't exactly the case, however, as the events draw striking parallels to 1954, when jazz musician Dave Brubeck made the cover of Time magazine.  It was a distinction that many—including Brubeck—believed should have gone to Duke Ellington, and it mirrors the uncomfortable position in which Macklemore finds himself today.

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.

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.