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Entertainment
10:19 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Valentine's Day: What's your song?

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.

Entertainment
9:57 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Neil Young continues archive series with a trip to D.C.'s Cellar Door

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.

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Entertainment
6:32 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Tiny Desk Concert: Pixies

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.  

Entertainment
3:37 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Jazz Elder Preserves "America's Gift to the World" Through Teaching

Kenny Burrell performs at his 80th birthday concert in 2011.
Credit 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.

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Entertainment
12:28 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

'Putting The Pill In The Pudding': An Interview With Danny Brown

Detroit rapper Danny Brown speaks with NPR's Microphone Check.
Credit 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.

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Entertainment
12:18 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Dave Brubeck: The Macklemore of 1954?

Dave Brubeck received a posthumous tribute at the 2013 Grammy Awards.
Credit Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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.

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Entertainment
3:13 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Pete Seeger: America's Tuning Fork

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."

Entertainment
11:48 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Ice Music Festival

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!

Entertainment
2:22 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

With Guitars Like Machetes: Son Jarocho

Alec Dempster is a Mexican artist living in Toronto. Many of his pieces focus on Son Jarocho.
Credit 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."

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Entertainment
11:08 am
Thu January 23, 2014

A Gifted Cellist Sails Beyond Sweden

Linnea Olsson's debut album is called Ah!
Credit 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.

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Entertainment
2:41 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Henry Wakes Up / Alive Inside

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.

Entertainment
12:54 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Gimme The Beat (Box): The Journey Of The Drum Machine

The Oberheim DMX rose to popularity in the mid-1980s, one of the first commercial drum machines that came close to mimicking real drum sounds.
Credit 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.

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Entertainment
1:33 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Tiny Desk Concert: Afro Blue

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!).

Entertainment
1:26 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

A Man and His Guitar (with one string)

Credit 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.

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Entertainment
11:27 am
Thu January 16, 2014

"Llewyn Davis With A Happy Ending": Bruce Springsteen Interviewed

Bruce Springsteen performing in November at Madison Square Garden.
Credit 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.

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Entertainment
12:35 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

The Power of Music

Discover other videos at KUER's VideoWest.

Entertainment
3:07 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Rosanne Cash: Live at Rockwood Music Hall

Credit 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!

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Entertainment
2:54 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

A Gramophone And Mozart

Conductor (and flutist) Nicholas McGegan fell in love with opera as a kid.
Credit 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.

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Entertainment
3:18 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

'No Music, No Headphones': Sharon Jones On Getting Through Cancer

The new album by Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings will be released on Tuesday, January 14, 2014.

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.

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Entertainment
2:58 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Podcasts from Seattle's KEXP

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.

Entertainment
4:01 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Bob Boilen's 116 Favorite Concerts of 2013

Ballake Sissoko (right) & Vincent Segal's concert in Washington, D.C. took the top spot in Bob Boilen's favorite shows of 2013.
Credit 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.

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Entertainment
10:09 am
Thu January 9, 2014

An Album the Whole Family Will Love

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.

Entertainment
12:55 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Question Of The Week: What Are Your Music Resolutions For 2014?

Forget that misguided attempt at a memoir; what if you used the new year to change your music listening habits?
Credit 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.

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Entertainment
1:50 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Novalima pays tribute to Nelson Mandela

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."

Entertainment
1:44 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Hip Hop's Aboriginal Connection

Two turntables carved from wood scratch out the sound of Beat Nation artist Jordan Bennett learning his native Mi'kmaq language.
Credit 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.

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Entertainment
1:32 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Local Music: Mideau on RadioWest

Mideau

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.

Entertainment
4:55 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

A Brotherly Harmony: Remembering Phil Everly

The Everly Brothers, Phil (left) and Don, perform in 2004 in London.
Credit 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.  

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Entertainment
2:56 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Gregory Porter's Liquid Spirit

Jazz singer Gregory Porter.
Credit 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.  

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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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