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1:32 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

After Sandy Hook, A Saxophonist Remembers A 'Beautiful Life'

"There was a lot of tears. There was a lot of anguish," Jimmy Greene says of writing Beautiful Life.
Jimmy & Dena Katz Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 3:31 pm

Jimmy Greene's Beautiful Life is dedicated to the memory of his 6-year-old daughter, Ana Márquez-Greene, one of the 20 children killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The first song is an arrangement of "Come Thou Almighty King." The hymn was in a piano book that Greene's son, Isaiah, was learning.

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11:39 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Four Holiday Goodies, Including 'Christmas At Downton Abbey'

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 11:42 am

In the record industry, it's not too early to be releasing Christmas albums, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker has been listening to a lot of them. He's narrowed down his list of goodies to these four: A Merry Friggin' Christmas soundtrack, Christmas at Downton Abby, Earth Wind and Fire's Holiday and the Living Sisters' Harmony is Real.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:26 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Guest DJ Jessye Norman: From Augusta To Valhalla

Soprano Jessye Norman leaves the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York on Thursday after taping the Late Show with David Letterman.
Ray Tamarra WireImage

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 8:39 am

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Songs We Love
10:23 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Father John Misty, 'Bored In The USA'

Father John Misty
Emma Tillman

You might want to sit down for this one. The song is "Bored In The USA" and it's the first single from Father John Misty's upcoming album I Love You, Honeybear.

A biting spin on Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The U.S.A.," "Bored In The USA" is a scathing takedown of the mindless materialism and overmedicated emptiness that has come to define the lives of far too many Americans.

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The Record
8:50 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Commerce Vs. Consumption: A Revolutionary Rethink Of Billboard's Album Chart

Taylor Swift, whose 1989 is currently the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 and whose song "Blank Space" is at the top of the Hot 100, even though her music is not available on Spotify.

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 3:32 pm

Imagine you're in a Tower Records in the late '90s. You head for the cash register with a credit card and two compact discs in your hand. Let's say one CD is by OutKast, the other by Smash Mouth (remember, it's the late '90s). The following week on the Billboard 200, America's premier album chart, both of the CDs you bought have been tallied.

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Favorite Sessions
5:03 am
Tue November 25, 2014

WAMU's Bandwidth Presents: Cass McCombs

Cass McCombs performs live for WAMU's Bandwidth.
Rhiannon Newman WAMU

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Favorite Sessions
12:33 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

KEXP Presents: Merchandise

Merchandise performs live in the KEXP studio.
Dave Lichterman KEXP

Some singers were born to brood across the stage with enigmatic allure, but Merchandise's Carson Cox is not one of them. When the Tampa, Fla., quintet arrived at KEXP's studio in October, the loquacious frontman spun a series of one-liners, ad-libs and shoutouts to fellow musicians. But in spite of Cox's gift for funny off-the-cuff remarks ("This song is for driving... so if you're at home... get in your car and turn on the radio"), his charisma never overshadowed the music.

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The Record
12:23 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Paramore Feat. Joy Williams, 'Hate To See Your Heart Break'

Hayley Williams (left) of Paramore and Joy Williams, formerly of The Civil Wars, perform together on a version of the song "Hate To See Your Heart Break" from the deluxe version of Paramore's self-titled album.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on

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12:07 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Metropolis: 11/22/14

The 2 Bears contribute a mini-mix to this week's Metropolis.
Courtesy of the artist

This Week's Playlist

  • Klo., "Under Lie"
  • Ten Walls, "Walking With Elephants" (Life And Death)
  • Basement Jaxx, "Just Be Free Wit Ur Body" ([PIAS] America)
  • SBTRKT, "New Dorp New York (feat. Ezra Koenig)" (XL)
  • Alt-J, "Hunger Of The Pine (Penelopes Remix)" (Canvasback/Atlantic)
  • Jody Wisternoff, "Paramour" (Anjunadeep)
  • Digitalism, "Wolves (feat. Youngblood Hawke) (RAC Remix)" ([PIAS] America)
  • Urban Cone, "Sadness Disease" (Universal)
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World Cafe
11:57 am
Mon November 24, 2014

World Cafe Next: Springtime Carnivore

Springtime Carnivore.
Eddie O'Keefe Courtesy of the artist

Greta Morgan, who records as Springtime Carnivore, writes concise, breezy pop songs, each wrapped in a warm layer of psychedelic fuzz. Her self-titled debut, co-produced by Richard Swift, came out earlier this month. Hear two songs from the album on this week's installment of World Cafe: Next.