KUER Music

Can you believe that May is on its way out and summer is upon us? If you’re a music junkie like me, it’s easy to overlook the amount of time that passes as new albums are released at lightning speed. Musicians and bands do a stand-up job of keeping me distracted, and with that thought in mind, I’d like to share some of the music that's been keeping me occupied. Don’t worry, I’m keeping the list short, but definitely sweet, with some of my top releases so far for 2014.

NPR Music

Celebrate the iconic jazz label by streaming this special two-hour concert (courtesy of NPR Music) featuring Wayne Shorter, Norah Jones, Jason Moran and more. And don't miss Steve Williams as he brings you a mix of jazz music weekdays from 8 p.m. to midnight on 90.1.

Robin Hilton of All Songs Considered is soliciting songs for this week's playlist. What's your go-to windows-down song? Comment to the post here or tweet @allsongs with your selection. Hopping in my car, rolling down the windows and singing my lungs out as I drive down a lonesome highway is one of my favorite activities. My pick? "Exit Flagger" by Guided by Voices.

D.D Dumbo is a sort of bluesy busker version of St. Vincent. He plays a 12-string electric guitar, uses loop pedals and is a rumored nomad. NPR Music brings us a live performance by D.D Dumbo in an Austin alley: best paired with lunch.

Move over, Don Draper...Timber Timbre's new video for Curtains?! is dark and delicious.

Courtesy of the artists/NPR Music

Sigh and swoon...here it is, the new album by Conor Oberst (you might know him as Bright Eyes). Stream the album in its entirety (you can play individual tracks, too) before it's released to the public on May 20. And don't miss the man himself, performing live at Red Butte Garden on September 14, 2014 - ticket details here.

Courtesy of the artist

Summer concert season is looming, and whoa, some impressive line-ups have emerged! Wu Tang Clan, TV on the Radio and De La Soul are all slated to play Pioneer Park, and Trombone Shorty will hook up with Galactic for a spirited show under the stars at Red Butte Garden. Whether you prefer your soundtrack with a hint of twang, or bursting with brass, you'll have every excuse under the sun to get out of the house this summer!

Sam Baker

Did you hear the interview with singer/songwriter Sam Baker on Fresh Air today? Sam was on a train heading to Machu Picchu in 1986 when he and fellow passengers became the target of a terrorist act. His body was torn apart by a bomb planted by the Peruvian terrorist group Shining Path. As his body healed, the melodies and lyrics began streaming in.

migrants

Fans gathered in New York last weekend for the third annual MCA-Day, honoring MCA of Beastie Boys. Adam Yauch (MCA) died after a long battle with cancer in 2012. Miss your gigantic soul, MCA!

Dallas-based Air Review takes us on an adventure...love the color and imagery in this video for "Young."

The Colorado Symphony will roll out a new series this month - Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series. The series will include three BYOC (bring your own cannabis) chamber concerts at a gallery with an enclosed smoking area complete with food trucks.

Future Talks Influence, Relatability And Experience

Apr 30, 2014
The Chamber Group

It's not often that you hear Future's voice without some sort of effect on it; his love for auto-tune has crowned him the de facto successor to T-Pain, but there's more to the Atlanta rapper than his penchant for vocal tricks.  Head over to NPR's Microphone Check to read a full interview, which finds Future discussing record label dynamics, his own work ethic, and the difference between veterans and newcomers in the rap industry.  

Four Musicians Talk About What Moves Them

Apr 30, 2014
Brady Harvey

NPR's Ann Powers recently sat down with Sharon Jones, Mike McCready, Alynda Lee Segarra and Meshell Ndegeocello for what she thought would be a casual discussion of road stories.  Instead, what happened was entirely more dynamic, a wide-ranging conversation that touched on personal stories, industry truisms and unforeseen commonalities between the participants.  You can check out the whole interview here, courtesy of The Record.

Courtesy of the artists/NPR Music

I loved Kishi Bashi's debut album, 151a (funded by Kickstarter), so I had high hopes for K. Ishibashi's (performing as Kishi Bashi) new album, Lighght. Violins, 80's-style synthesizers, a bit of psychedelia, upbeat and hopeful - best listened to in the sunshine. Stream the entire album before it's released on May 13. This one delights!

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 Transom.org 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.

Patatap

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
SBTRKT

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.  

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