NPR Music

First Listen
8:02 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

First Listen: Tinariwen, 'Emmaar'

Tinariwen's new album, Emmaar, comes out Feb. 11.
Marie Planeille Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 12:35 pm

  • Hear All Songs Considered Hosts Bob Boilen And Robin Hilton On 'Emmaar'

How do you build on the reputation that has made your band the most visible ambassador of an entire people? For its seventh international album, Emmaar, Tinariwen has some striking ideas that were born out of both creativity and absolute necessity.

Read more
First Listen
8:02 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

First Listen: Temples, 'Sun Structures'

Temples' new album, Sunstructures, is out Feb. 11.
Ed Miles Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:15 am

It makes cosmic sense that Sun Structures, the debut album from Temples, arrives at the height of the current nostalgia wave associated with the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania and the British Invasion.

Read more
First Listen
8:02 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

First Listen: Hurray For The Riff Raff, 'Small Town Heroes'

Hurray for the Riff Raff's new album, Small Town Heroes, comes out Feb. 11.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 12:29 pm

New Orleans is a tricky place to put into song. To a degree matched only by California and New York City, the Big Easy makes and is made by the American geographical zeitgeist, and has captured the imaginations of songwriters since its founding. It seems massively daunting, if not impossible, to tell a story about Storyville that hasn't been told before.

Read more
Music News
2:19 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Duke Ellington's Lost Opera, Forever A Work In Progress

Karen Marie Richardson (right) plays the title role in the Long Beach Opera's staging of Queenie Pie, the jazz opera Duke Ellington left unfinished when he died in 1974.
Bryan Frank Long Beach Opera

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 3:42 pm

Duke Ellington added more than 3,000 songs to the American music vault before his death in 1974. He also started composing what he hoped would be a great American street opera — which composers have spent 40 years adapting, trying to figure out what the Duke wanted for his unfinished opus.

But before you imagine soothing arias or boisterous trills and vibrato, let me stop you: Ellington's opera is very much a work of jazz.

Read more
Music Interviews
4:53 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Music For Folks Who've Been Through A Few Things

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 8:57 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Shelby Earl always loved music, and straight out of college in Seattle, she went to work in the music industry. She worked as a booking agent, then at a record label, an eventually at Amazon's music department.

SHELBY EARL: So, all of those little blurbs you see all over the music page on Amazon - those are written by people. And I was one such person.

Read more
All Tech Considered
2:17 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Wheels On The Bike Go Round And Round (To Make Music)

Sound designer and composer Steven Baber used state-of-the-art recording equipment to get gorgeous sounds from his bikes.
Devin Whetstone

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 3:45 pm

Steven Baber knows sound. And chances are, you know his work.

The sound designer and composer, who works under the name Johnnyrandom, produces advertisements for companies from Google to Adidas. In fact, he's the mastermind behind the larger-than-life "crunch" sound that caps off the Doritos commercials (How did he do it? Ate two bags of chips into a microphone and layered the audio).

Read more
Music Articles
9:48 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Sing Out: A Concert Celebration Of Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger in New York City. 2009.
Steve Mack FilmMagic

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 12:47 pm

Pete Seeger was a lanky banjo player who showed up at every rally, every singalong, every town meeting, for as long as anyone could remember. He came singing songs of dissent; songs that helped to find the courage to change.

Read more
Simon Says
7:03 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Opera Star Renee Fleming Brings Grace To The Super Bowl

Opera singer Renee Fleming will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" live on Sunday night.
Larry Busacca Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 9:00 pm

Who knows who'll win the Super Bowl tomorrow, but history will be made before the coin toss.

Renee Fleming will sing the national anthem at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. She is the first opera star to be asked, and it seems so utterly fitting, both for the first Super Bowl to be played within view of the towers of New York, and in the 200th anniversary year of the national anthem.

Read more
Pop Culture
6:40 am
Sat February 1, 2014

A Major Oscar Dust-Up Over A Song From A Minor Movie

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 2:45 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

When the Oscar nominees for best song were announced earlier this month, there were, of course, several well-known titles, including Karen O's "The Moon Song," from the movie "Her"; and Pharrell Williams' "Happy," from "Despicable Me 2." Then there was this...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ALONE...YET NOT ALONE")

JONI EARECKSON TADA: (Singing) I will not be bent in fear. He's the refuge I know is near...

Read more
Music
6:40 am
Sat February 1, 2014

The Jersey-Boardwalk Sound Of Nicole Atkins

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Nicole Atkins is a New Jersey artist with a voice that has been compared to Patsy Cline, Janis Joplin and Roy Orbison - that's quite a trio - all rolled into one.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

NICOLE ATKINS: (Singing) I first saw you (unintelligible), from my (unintelligible) down for me...

SIMON: A voice that could melt the heart of a devil. Sense of humor dryer than a drought. Nicole Atkins's latest album is called "Slow Phaser." She joins us from our studios in New York. Thanks so much for being with us.

Read more

Pages