KUER Music

The Punk Singer

Dec 2, 2013
Allison Michael Orenstein/Opening Band Films

Musician and riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna — formerly of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, now with The Julie Ruin — is the fascinating central figure in the biographical documentary The Punk Singer.

Tiny Desk Concert: Kronos Quartet

Dec 2, 2013

Folk Alley Presents: Mandolin Orange

Nov 26, 2013

This isn't just another folk song about whiskey...

Foreverly Yours

Nov 26, 2013
Marina Chavez

What happens when Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong collaborates with Norah Jones to cover songs by The Everly Brothers? Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep talks with Armstrong and Jones to find out.

Songs of the Civil War Re-Imagined

Nov 26, 2013
Library of Congress/NPR.org

Divided & United is the name of a new collection of songs from the Civil War era. The selections tell tales of fear, loneliness, exhaustion and triumph. Producer Randall Poster and historian Sean Wilentz talk with NPR's Melissa Block about the music featured on the album.

WXPN's Year in Review

Nov 22, 2013

The fine folks at WXPN public radio (home to World Cafe) would like you to vote on your favorite artists and albums from 2013. Vote by December 9, 2013 and you'll be entered to win a 16 GB iPad Air loaded with the Top 200 songs from the year-in-review countdown, plus a $100 gift card to Springboard Media.

Esperanza Spalding's America

Nov 22, 2013
NPR Music

Grammy-Award winning musician Esperanza Spalding talks with NPR's Celeste Headlee about her new recording, 'We are America.' Spalding's song and video demand congressional action to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. "Part of the message of the song is, 'This is not our America. We are America. I am America. Esperanza Spalding is America.

Live & Local: Pentagraham Crackers on RadioWest

Nov 21, 2013

Watch SLC-based Pentagraham Crackers play "Danger Blues" live in-studio during KUER's RadioWest (weekdays, 11 a.m. / rebroadcast at 7 p.m. on 90.1). Listen to the show in its entirety here.

For Dev Hynes, Every Sound is a Color

Nov 21, 2013
Stacey Mark / NPR

Devonté Hynes has recorded a punk album, a folk-pop-country album, and his new record features a mix of synth pop. NPR's Melissa Block talks with Hynes about his musical exploration and living with synesthesia, a neurological condition that links the senses — for Hynes, every sound he hears is associated with a color.

Beth.Anderson 2007 (Flickr)

Stephen Thompson from NPR's All Songs Considered busts open the virtual mail bag to answer this question: can you meet your favorite band without making a fool of yourself? You'll also want to check out this collection of awesome superfan stories/pictures.

Ebony Bones live in WNYC's Soundcheck Studio

Nov 21, 2013
Michael Katzif / WNYC

U.K.-born Ebony Bones throws down three songs from her new electronic/afropunk album, 'Behold, A Pale Horse,' at WNYC's Soundcheck Studio. Check out her electrifying performance here!

Country Music for Drinking and Thinking

Nov 20, 2013
Becky Fluke / NPR Music

The new record from Nashville singer-songwriter Brandy Clark, 12 Stories, is a collection of rural tales told from a variety of perspectives. In a conversation with All Things Considered's Melissa Block, Clark says her goal as a songwriter is to create songs that everyday people can relate to.

Producer, Director & KCRW DJ Judd Apatow

Nov 20, 2013
Wikipedia (2012)

Producer, director, and screenwriter Judd Apatow is drawn to songs that are “deeply truthful” and allow your “inner self to shine,” a life philosophy presented by The Who, Cat Stevens and more in his Guest DJ set as featured on KCRW in Santa Monica.

Tiny Desk Concert: John Legend

Nov 20, 2013

NPR Music: First Listen

Nov 19, 2013

Check in often with NPR Music's First Listen page for exclusive previews of select new albums in their entirety. Albums currently featured include Shearwater's 'Fellow Travelers,' Jake Bugg's 'Shangri La' and Cate Le Bon's 'Mug Museum.'

The Biggest Jazz Riff Ever Written

Nov 19, 2013
Eric Thayer, NPR Music

Pianist Jeremy Denk was awarded a MacArthur "genius" grant in September. Weekends on All Things Considered host Arun Rath invited the pianist to talk about his new recording of the iconic Goldberg Variations, a nearly 90-minute masterwork that Denk has referred to as "the biggest jazz riff ever written."

Pianist Paul Lewis plays Schubert

Nov 18, 2013

The Soulful Sounds of Stax

Nov 18, 2013

The city of Memphis is a main character in Robert Gordon's book, "Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion." NPR's Don Gonyea talks with Gordon about the story of the white, country-loving brother and sister from rural Tennessee who started Stax Records and "wound up making some of the most soulful, swinging music that we still listen to today."

The (Syrian) Wedding Singer

Nov 15, 2013
Hisham Bharoocha/NPR Music

Morning Edition's Renee Montagne talks with Omar Souleyman, one of Syria's most popular wedding singers. Souleyman serenades newlyweds with songs of love performed on a synthesizer.

Overwhelmed by Music?

Nov 15, 2013
NPR Music

Are you missing out if you're not actively exploring the newest beats? Have you ever felt like taking a break from music? NPR's Stephen Thompson responds to listeners' concerns about music overload.

'12 Years a Slave' soundtrack

Nov 14, 2013
Fox Searchlight/NPR Music

NPR's Ann Powers talks about the soundtrack to Steve McQueen's film '12 Years a Slave,' and why it's the most compelling film about music to be released this year.

Debashish Bhattacharya: Tiny Desk Concert

Nov 14, 2013

Cumbia: The Music That Moves Latin America

Nov 11, 2013
Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images

Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd—hosts of NPR's ongoing series on Latin alternative music—recently stopped by for an episode of Weekend Edition to discuss the history and far-flung influence of cumbia, a syncopated style of music and dance that ranges from the traditional to the Top 40 (you can hear cumbia's influence on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' chart-topping "Thrift Shop.) You can listen to the piece here, along with a handful of song selections that illustrate the various flavors of

The Do's and Don'ts of Going Solo

Nov 11, 2013
Brian Aris

It's an age-old story; band finds success, band's momentum dwindles, lead singer departs for greener pastures in the form of a solo career.  But why is it that some solo ventures—like Morrissey's post-Smiths output, or Beyonce after leaving Destiny's Child—seem to strike gold, while others (like, for instance, Van Halen's David Lee Roth) simply fizzle out of existence?

Ari Shapiro's Five Songs for Earbud-free Biking

Nov 9, 2013
Denise DeBelius/NPR

In the interest of safety, NPR's Ari Shapiro doesn't wear headphones while riding his bicycle; instead, Shapiro prefers to tuck his iPhone into a jacket pocket and crank up the volume on the phone's external speaker.  As he prepares to depart from his position as White House Correspondent to cover London for NPR, he's picked five songs that still shine despite the undeniably tinny speakers mounted on most smartphones.

Hans van der Linden (http://www.flickr.com/photos/herrhanz/)

John Fahey pioneered a musical style called American Primitivism (or American Primitive Guitar) in the 1950's, a sort of amalgamation of the various flavors of American guitar.  Head over to All Songs Considered to check out Lars Gotrich's picks of five contemporary records keeping Fahey's tradition alive.

Tyler, The... Director?

Oct 31, 2013

For those familiar with the work of Tyler, The Creator—the divisive rapper whose Odd Future crew rose to prominence at the close of the 00's with a slew of jarring mixtapes centered around murder, mutilation and mayhem—the new video for "Glowing" might be a bit of a surprise.

Fresh Air Remembers Lou Reed

Oct 30, 2013
Karl Walter/Getty Images

From his counter-culture anthem "Walk On The Wild Side" to a questionable but undeniably bold collaboration with Metallica, Lou Reed was always pushing: pushing himself, his listeners, and often the entire landscape of American popular music in electrifying new directions.  It wasn't always a successful strategy—take that record with Metallica, for instance—but when Reed's restless creative drive was in top form, it really was something to behold.

Beneath The Wig: Bach Examined In New Book

Oct 30, 2013
courtesy of William H. Scheide, Princeton, N.J.

Johan Sebastian Bach's music has enjoyed considerable longevity as a cornerstone of the musical zeitgeist, but his personal life is, for the most part, the stuff of speculation.  The composer's little known personality—his emotions, flaws, and triumphs—may be about to become significantly clearer, however, with the publication of Bach: Music in The Castle of Heaven.  Written by John Eliot Gardiner—himself a renowned composer—the book attempts to unravel a man "filled with contradictions".

First Listen: Cut Copy, Kronos Quartet and More

Oct 28, 2013
Cut Copy

The fine folks over at NPR Music headquarters have rolled out a fresh batch of First Listen streams; head here to hear new music from indie dance mainstays Cut Copy, experimental string outfit Kronos Quartet and more.