NPR Music

Music Interviews
8:32 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Singer Maysa On Applying To Home Depot And Earning A Grammy Nomination

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 9:02 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. This is the time of year when we've been talking a lot about resolutions and goals and what it takes to see them through. I think most people would agree that one of the traits successful people seem to share is the willingness to press on, even when success is not assured. Well, that could be the story of Maysa. After more than 20 years in the music business, she has been nominated for a Grammy this year in the category of Best Traditional R&B Performance.

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Music
8:00 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Kenny Clarke, Inventor Of Modern Jazz Drumming, At 100

Kenny Clarke in 1971.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 2:50 pm

Jan. 9 marks the 100th birthday of drummer Kenny Clarke. One of the founders of bebop, Clarke is less well-known than allies like Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, but his influence is just as deep.

That thing that jazz drummers do — that ching-chinga-ching beat on the ride cymbal, like sleigh bells? It gives the music a light, airy, driving pulse. Clarke came up with that, and that springy shimmer came to epitomize swinging itself.

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Favorite Sessions
7:48 am
Thu January 9, 2014

KCRW Presents: Rokia Traore

Rokia Traore performs live on KCRW.
Rob LaFond KCRW

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 12:19 pm

When Malian singer-songwriter Rokia Traore stopped by KCRW's studio, she was in the middle of a cross-country tour and bound for Northern California. The travel-ready artist is the daughter of a diplomat who has been all over the world and cites her rich cultural experiences as her source of inspiration. Singing in both English and her native language, songs like "Mama" function as a tapestry of her life.

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A Blog Supreme
7:25 am
Thu January 9, 2014

The Drummer Who Invented Jazz's Basic Beat

It doesn't take an expert to identify this sound as a jazz rhythm:

Musicians call it "spang-a-lang," for obvious phonetic reasons, and it's so synonymous with jazz, it no longer occurs to us that someone had to invent it. But someone did: a drummer named Kenny Clarke, who would have turned 100 today.

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The Record
5:02 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Loving Morrissey The Way We Used To, Despite Lacerating 'Autobiography'

Morrissey performing in Seattle last March.
Mat Hayward FilmMagic

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 9:31 am

"Loudly and wildly the music played, always pointing to the light, to the way out, or the way in, to individualism, and to the remarkable if unsettling notion that life could possibly be lived as you might wish it to be lived."

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All Songs Considered
2:05 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Bob Boilen's 116 Favorite Concerts Of 2013

Ally Newbold Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 6:07 am

I didn't watch any TV shows in 2013. I only saw one movie that I can remember. But I saw over 662 shows in 2013, 549 bands in 139 clubs in 21 cities. It was a perfect year.

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The Record
10:02 am
Wed January 8, 2014

An Interview With Eyehategod's Mike 'IX' Williams

Mike "IX" Williams onstage at The Acheron in Brooklyn in November.
Courtesy of Samantha Marble

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 7:41 am

Mike "IX" Williams has had a rough year. Williams (best known as the vocalist and wild-eyed wordsmith behind revered sludge metal gods Eyehategod) has had a rough life, one stained by addiction, poverty, incarceration, depression and Katrina's flood waters, but 2013 brought with it an unexpected, nearly crippling blow. In September Eyehategod's original drummer — and Williams' lifelong friend — Joey LaCaze died at the age of 42, leaving behind a wife, a daughter and friends. Suddenly, the future of this hitherto unshakable band hung in the balance.

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A Blog Supreme
10:02 am
Wed January 8, 2014

5 Must-See Projects At Winter Jazzfest

Lionel Loueke (left) and Miguel Zenon (right) join Jeff Ballard in the drummer's rhythm-oriented trio.
Andrea Boccalini Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 8:08 am

This week's Winter Jazzfest seems to be a kind of turning point — for the festival, and maybe for jazz in New York City. What started 10 years ago as a one-night showcase under one roof has expanded to five days at 10 venues, featuring more than 90 groups in a vast array of styles.

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World Cafe
8:23 am
Wed January 8, 2014

The Wild Feathers On World Cafe

The Wild Feathers.
Frank Maddocks Courtesy of the artist

The members of Nashville's Wild Feathers describe their sound as "American music" — and call it that to distinguish it from the kinder, gentler "Americana." Ricky Young, Joel King, Taylor Burns and Preston Wimberly come from Texas and Oklahoma, and jammed on Stones songs all night when they first met. Here, we'll hear them perform songs from their self-titled debut, plus a cover of Tom Petty's "Listen to Her Heart."

All Songs Considered
5:02 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Ambien Dreams And Naked Desert Walks: St. Vincent On Her New Album

Renata Raksha Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 11:25 am

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