NPR Music

Favorite Sessions
1:43 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

KCRW Presents: TV On The Radio

TV On The Radio perform live for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic.
Ethan Shvartzman KCRW

TV On The Radio waited a few years between album releases, and with their last record, Seeds, it's clear that the group has returned energized and inspired. At an intimate show in Santa Monica, Calif. for KCRW's Apogee Sessions, the Brooklyn-based band rolled through new songs with influences from punk to dance, all with precise harmonies and intricately layered production. Check out the album's first single, "Happy Idiot," live from KCRW.


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Around the Nation
1:42 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

'Crabs For Christmas': A Tuneful Baltimore Tradition (Really!)

Every year, David DeBoy and The Hons (Wendy Savelle, center, and Karen Fitze) perform a live β€” and often sold-out β€” show in the upstairs cabaret of a Baltimore restaurant.
Courtesy of David DeBoy

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 2:09 pm

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The Thistle & Shamrock
11:53 am
Wed December 24, 2014

The Thistle & Shamrock: Nollaig

Fiona Ritchie and Cerys Matthews at the BBC Music studios.
Alison Gardiner BBC

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 10:46 am

Enter the spirit of a traditional Scottish, Irish and Welsh Yuletide this week with Fiona Ritchie and special guest Cerys Matthews. The Welsh singer-songwriter and broadcaster has recorded "A Child's Christmas in Wales" by Dylan Thomas to mark the poet's centenary year. Matthews tells Fiona about the project, set to music she co-wrote with Mason Neely, and narrates excerpts from this timeless holiday classic. You'll also hear a set of reels played by fiddler Eileen Ivers, including "Christmas Eve."

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
10:52 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Michel Petrucciani On Piano Jazz

Michel Petrucciani.
Frederic Reglain Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Born with the genetic disease osteogenesis imperfecta, he only stood at three feet. But with hands unaffected by his disease and an extraordinary talent, Michel Petrucciani is one of the greatest French jazz pianists of all time.

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World Cafe
8:16 am
Wed December 24, 2014

An Americana Christmas On World Cafe

Luther Dickinson.
Courtesy of the artist

We have a wonderful collection of artists β€” friends old and new β€” visiting to perform music from the new compilation An Americana Christmas. We will hear a high-energy original by Nikki Lane, called "FaLaLaLaLove Ya." Robert Ellis covers a Willie Nelson classic. Ronnie Fauss adds to a growing history of "Christmas in prison" songs.

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World Cafe
7:20 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Judith Owen And Harry Shearer On World Cafe

Judith Owen and Harry Shearer.
Courtesy of the artist

For 15 years, singer-songwriter Judith Owen and her husband, humorist and actor Harry Shearer, have been hosting holiday singalongs at home and in venues throughout the country. Today, they're with us on the World Cafe. This year's edition is called Christmas Without Tears β€” originals, a SpΔ±n̈al Tap Christmas song and classics, all in an intimate in-studio performance.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
5:03 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Tiny Desk Concert: HMSTR


Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 9:00 am

You could never fully steal the show when you're followed by the blown-out spectacle of Sun Ra Arkestra's Tiny Desk Concert. But the opening act kept jumping on the piano and nibbling on the set, literally pulling up the carpet and leaving "presents" on the floor. How could we not have them back? Did I mention they're hamsters?

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Holiday Music
11:03 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Couldn't Miss This One: Behind 'Christmas Wrapping'

The Waitresses' members were in the middle of a tour behind "I Know What Boys Like" when "Christmas Wrapping" took over the radio in 1981.
David Corio Redferns

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 5:02 am

Chris Butler founded The Waitresses, a smart-aleck New Wave band, in late-'70s Akron, Ohio. He recalls a long-ago summer when the owner of ZE Records asked him and his collaborators to come up with a Christmas song.

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All Songs Considered
11:03 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Have An Oddly Jolly Christmas: A Quirky Holiday Playlist

Crate-digger and director Mitchell Kezin shows off one of his Christmas finds in a still from his documentary, Jingle Bell Rocks!
Elaine Littman Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 6:27 am

Searching for Christmas music you've never heard before? Well, Mitchell Kezin is a collector of what he calls "Christmas orphans," those Christmas songs hardly played and mostly unknown. After being a closet collector of Christmas music for years, now he's directed a documentary about obsessive crate-diggers who specialize in rare Christmas music.

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2:00 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

How To Compose Music For A Movie About Music

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 8:17 am

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All week this week, we've been exploring the process of composing for film. It's a series we're calling Scoring the Screen.


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