NPR Music

World Cafe
10:45 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Robbie Fulks On World Cafe

Robbie Fulks' latest album is titled Gone Away Backward.
Courtesy of the artist

As a songwriter, Robbie Fulks can be devastatingly funny, then slay with sentiment in the next moment. He's made a career of it, while approaching the music business from nearly every angle. He had a brief run on a major label in the 1990s, which helped inspire his memorable critique of Nashville's country music industry, titled "F--- This Town."

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The Record
5:02 am
Tue January 21, 2014

A Rational Conversation With Ebro Darden, Program Director Of Hot 97

Ebro Darden (left) with (from left to right) Young Guru, Bun B and DJ Premier in June 2012 in New York City.
Johnny Nunez WireImage

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 10:18 am

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Music Reviews
2:25 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Ray Benson Steps Out: 'Wheel'man Goes Solo In New Album

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 2:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For more than 40 years, Ray Benson has been the front man for the Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CHOO CHOO CH'BOOGIE")

RAY BENSON: (Singing) Choo, choo, choo choo, ch' boogie. Woo, woo, woo, woo, ch' boogie. Choo, choo, choo, choo, ch' boogie. Take me right back to the track, Jack.

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Music Reviews
9:02 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Lafayette Gilchrist: An Old Soul, At Ease In A Modern World

Lafayette Gilchrist.
Leo H. Lubow

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 10:57 am

For someone who came to piano rather late, at 17, Lafayette Gilchrist has dug deep into its history. He loves the old piano professors who'd pack the punch of a dance band into two hands at the keyboard. Players like Eubie Blake, James P. Johnson and Willie "The Lion" Smith could keep going for hours without exhausting their folkloric materials.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
7:55 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Robert Glasper Experiment: Tiny Desk Concert

NPR

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 5:37 pm

The third song in this Tiny Desk Concert, explains the jocose pianist Robert Glasper, first appeared on one of his trio's albums of acoustic, instrumental jazz. It was called "F.T.B." then, though it later acquired words and a singer and was retitled "Gonna Be Alright" on the record which won the 2013 Grammy for Best R&B Album. That in itself provides a sense of the worlds to which Glasper has access; depending on your point of view, he either freely traverses or explodes those boundaries.

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First Listen
8:02 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

First Listen: Angélique Kidjo, 'Eve'

Angélique Kidjo's new album, Eve, comes out Jan. 28.
Pierre Marie Zimmerman Courtesy of the artist

Language is not universal: Every user, every listener, every usage changes its shape and scope. It ebbs and flows, includes and excludes, goes extinct and re-emerges, changed — that is universal. Angélique Kidjo is, in every sense, a multi-linguist. She speaks four languages fluently, and sings in five. When, as a child in the West African nation of Benin, she couldn't understand the lyrics of the music she loved, she invented her own.

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First Listen
8:02 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

First Listen: Quilt, 'Held In Splendor'

Quilt's second album, Held In Splendor, comes out Jan. 28.
Allison Pharmakis Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 7:02 pm

Quilt is the perfect name for this band, whose every song seems to seamlessly knit together at least three distinct tunes. There's a sense of adventure, shifting perspectives and surprise in these pop treasures, each of which feels like a long jam distilled to its essence.

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First Listen
8:02 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

First Listen: Hospitality, 'Trouble'

Hospitality's new album, Trouble, comes out Jan. 28.
William Mebane Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 7:01 pm

On its self-titled debut, the charming Brooklyn pop-rock band Hospitality burst out of the gate like a batch of 4.0 GPA indie-rock students, not unlike their forerunning New York City bros in Vampire Weekend.

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First Listen
8:02 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

First Listen: Laura Cantrell, 'No Way There From Here'

Laura Cantrell's new album, No Way There From Here, comes out Jan. 28.
Amy Dickerson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 7:04 pm

"I'm under city lights, and it's all right," Laura Cantrell sings in one of the 12 deceptively lovely songs on No Way There From Here — her first album, besides a 2011 Kitty Wells tribute, in nine years. The line is about a love that thrives in spite of occasional separation; its story is typical of Cantrell's wry, wise viewpoint on feminine maturity. But it also says something about this Queens-based lover of vintage Nashville sounds.

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First Listen
8:02 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

First Listen: The Autumn Defense, 'Fifth'

The Autumn Defense's new album, Fifth, comes out Jan. 28.
Chloe Aftel Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 7:07 pm

Side projects often provide a chance to take wild left turns; to indulge a desire to experiment outside the formulas dictated by a musician's primary creative outlet. For The Autumn Defense — which features bassist John Stirratt and multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone, both of Wilco — it's actually a chance to pursue a narrower focus. Where Wilco sprawls, The Autumn Defense drills down to a sweetly straightforward style of classic pop and rock.

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