KUER Music

John Zorn's Challenges and Opportunities

Sep 3, 2013
Scott Irvine

Multi-talented saxophonist/composer John Zorn makes music that can be pretty hard to define, running the gamut from jagged noise rock to unhinged experimental jazz.  Zorn recently spoke with NPR's Fresh Air; you can find the interview here.

Tiny Desk Concert: Steve Gunn

Sep 2, 2013

The latest in NPR's Tiny Desk concert series brings quasi-folk specialist Steve Gunn into the studio to perform two songs from his latest record, Time Off.  

La Mar C. Taylor

The newest in NPR's series of First Listen advance album streams brings new sounds from left-field r'n'b outfit The Weeknd, alongside offerings from homespun folk/soul singer Willis Earl Beal and indie dance group Factory Floor. Rounded out with upcoming releases from acts like Okkervil River and The Julie Ruin, you'll find an impressive range of styles to choose from; listen here.  

Jazz With A Jamaican Accent

Sep 1, 2013
Peter Dean Rickards

For A Blog Supreme's jazz series, NPR's Matt Fleeger takes a look at the jazz of Jamaica, and how the island nation has fostered a thriving musical community. Fleeger offers five cuts to summarize the various flavors of Jamaican jazz; listen here

The Artists

NPR's All Songs Considered takes a look at exciting new music for Fall 2013, with new releases from TV On The Radio, Jackson and His Computerband, and more. 

Franz Ferdinand On Structure

Aug 26, 2013
Franz Ferdinand

Nine years after their celebrated debut, left-field Glasgow rock outfit Franz Ferdinand are readying a new album, titled Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.  Frontman Alex Kopranos talks with NPR's Jacki Lyden about the ideas and inspiration behind the new record.

First Listen: King Krule

Aug 21, 2013
Jamie-James Medina

Archy Marshall's work as King Krule is instantly recognizable.  The reason for this is Marshall's voice, a deep-throated mumble that alternates between growls and slurs but always manages to remain both enthralling and surprisingly emotive.  At points, Marshall sounds more like he's chewing his words than singing them. Talented beyond his years - he began his career in music in 2010, at 16 years old - Six Feet Beneath The Moon is a powerful, confusing record that draws on jazz, punk hip-hop and blues in a dizzying variety of speeds and colors.

Goodie Mob Talks Hip-Hop Maturity

Aug 21, 2013
The Chamber Group

As part of NPR's Microphone Check music interview series, Atlanta hip-hop foursome Goodie Mob discuss the ideas behind their newest albumAge Against The Machine.  While front-man Cee-Lo Green has recently been making a name for himself with chart-topping hits, Goodie Mob's members say that Age Against The Machine comes from a more mature place, offering a take on hip-hop from the perspective of "elder statesmen."

Hear How a Song Takes Shape

Aug 20, 2013

Jordon Gieger (known as Hospital Ships) unveils his journey as a songwriter on NPR's All Songs Considered.


Aug 20, 2013

Discover new and emerging artists with KCRW's ECLECTIC24, an all-music channel blending the talents and tastes of KCRW's DJs into a single voice, streaming 24/7. Artists currently in the mix include Gotye, Regina Spektor, The National, Django Django and Charlie Hunter w/Norah Jones.

Musical caravan for peace

Aug 20, 2013

After years of unrest, voters in Mali recently went to the polls to elect a new president. One of the casualties of the country's chaos was the celebrated Festival in the Desert. While organizers canceled this year's festival, they decided to take the show on the road. The result is a traveling Caravan for Peace.

Tiny Desk Concert: Alpine

Aug 15, 2013

Australian sextet Alpine perform four songs from their debut album for NPR's Tiny Desk series—A Is For Alpine is rooted in glossy, expansive pop, but the group's stripped-down, quasi-acoustic arrangements of tracks like "Gasoline" translate surprisingly well to the relatively sparse setting of the Tiny Desk. 

Five Sides of Woody Shaw

Aug 15, 2013
Tom Copi

Writing for NPR Jazz's A Blog Supreme, Michael J. West pays tribute to the late jazz trumpeter Woody Shaw, with a selection of five songs spanning the breadth of Shaw's illustrious career.

Fall Pop Preview

Aug 15, 2013
NPR/Lady Gaga/Katy Perry

Ann Powers tackles this fall's upcoming releases from the biggest names in popular music for NPR's The Record, from the saccharine sounds of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry to rapper Kendrick Lamar's heated diatribe against a bevy of his hip-hop peers on the recent Big Sean single, "Control". 

D.L. Anderson

John Darnielle—founder and central member of California's The Mountain Goats—talks with Weekend Edition, explaining the lonely and low-tech origins of The Mountain Goats'  2002 album All Hail West Texas.

Chris Baldwin

A Philadelphia native best know for his work as the bassist for the genre-bending Robert Glasper Experiment, jazz musician Derrick Hodge recently stopped by to chat with Morning Edition. Hodge describes being drawn to church via music, the percussive nature of his breakfast gatherings, and the making of his most recent album, Live Today.

First Listen: No Age

Aug 13, 2013
No Age

Slated for an August 20 release date, An Object marks a bit of a departure for forward-thinking LA punk duo No Age. NPR's Steven Thompson writes that singer Dean Spunt and guitarist Randy Randall are "keeping one eye on upsetting and upending expectations", with a new offering that "seethes stubbornly."  

Has Hip-Hop Reached Middle Age?

Aug 13, 2013

On August 11, 1973, New York DJ Clive "Kool Herc" Campbell threw the first in a series of parties that would later be credited as the birthplace of hip-hop.  NPR's Dart Adams commemorates the genre's 40th anniversary with an in-depth look at the trajectory of the American-born art form.

sounds of summer: Salt Lake City music

Aug 12, 2013
Cityhome Collective

If you can stand the heat, Salt Lake City in the summertime is an excellent place for live music. In the coming months, a wide variety of venues will offer musical outings for music fans of all shapes and sizes, from jazz and classical to electronica and reggae. Here’s a brief taste of what’s happening in SLC music this summer.

Chris Thile Looks Back to Bach

Aug 12, 2013
Brantley Gutierrez

Chris Thile of Punch Brothers is stretching the limits of the mandolin with his new album, Sonatas and Partitas. Thile spoke about his album with NPR's Rachel Martin.

Tiny Desk Concert: Keaton Henson

Aug 9, 2013

London-based musician Keaton Henson performs three songs from his new album, "Birthdays."

Five books about music

Aug 9, 2013
NPR Music

The staff at NPR Music has compiled a few of the most notable music-themed books of the year so far, from an interview with composer Leonard Bernstein to one man's quest to understand Insane Clown Posee fandom.

Banda Magda: Bossa Nova to French Pop

Aug 8, 2013
Banda Magda/Facebook

KCRW's music reviewer Tom Schnabel talks about Banda Magda's debut CD, featuring everything from sunny Brazilian bossa nova to frothy French Pop.

The Avett Brothers, 'Another is Waiting'

Aug 8, 2013
The Avett Brothers/NPR Music

North Carolina's The Avett Brothers are set to release a new full-length album, "Magpie and the Dandelion," on October 15, 2013. Whet your Avetts appetite with this track, 'Another is Waiting' - brought to you by NPR Music.

Public radio: 10 songs on heavy rotation

Aug 8, 2013
NPR Music

Each month, NPR Music polls public radio DJs/programmers and asks them to share their favorite new songs. You get to download the tracks! Here are the picks for August 2013, including songs by New York City-based composer Daniel Wohl, Louisville band Handmouth and D.C. trio Misun.

Anna von Hausswolff inspired by pipe organ

Aug 5, 2013

The World's April Peavey reports on Swedish musician Anna von Hausswolff, who recorded her new album in Annedals Church in Gothenburg, Sweden. Hausswolff  incorporated the church's organ into her album, "Ceremony."

First Listen: Valerie June

Aug 5, 2013
Susan Riddle/Duke Photography

Check out the blues-country-gospel-rock balladry of Valerie June - her new album, "Pushin' Against a Stone," comes out August 13, 2013.

Beloved Jersey venue calls it quits

Jul 31, 2013
George Kopp / NPR

Maxwell's is a tiny club that's hosted some of the biggest names in music for 30+ years - including R.E.M., Nirvana, The Replacements and David Byrne. NPR's Joel Rose looks at the fate and legacy of this seemingly typical neighborhood tavern.

RadioWest: Drew Danburry

Jul 31, 2013
Mark Johnston

It's been three years since local singer/songwriter/barber Drew Danburry made a record. He's back now, and the album he'll release this September tells the story of how he became Bastian Salazar. Drew talks with Doug and plays live in KUER's studio.

What's new in jazz music

Jul 30, 2013
Laura Ferreira/NPR Music

Check out the latest in jazz music from an elder statesman of piano, a trumpeter who understands creole music personally, a drummer who writes tunes with a payoff, and a singer in her early 20s with maturity and kick.