We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the whale-sedatives we ordered to help us endure the Green Bay Packers' losing streak is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, how to handle the desire to take a break from music.
When your first full-length album draws fans like ?uestlove of The Roots and Gilles Peterson from the BBC, you've probably hit on something special. That's just what Melbourne, Australia's Hiatus Kaiyote did with Tawk Tomahawk, a record that blends jazz and soul with warm vocals and fuzzy effects.
It's hard to keep your eyes off singer Nai Palm: She's a true original, as you can see in this live performance of "Nakamarra" as part of Hiatus Kaiyote's Morning Becomes Eclectic debut.
Friday night at 1:45 a.m., at least a hundred people were on the main door line for Output, a dance club in Brooklyn that opened near the beginning of the year. They wouldn't be getting in for a while: the spot had reached capacity a half-hour before, shortly after the night's headliner, John Digweed, had begun his DJ set, and they were only letting in folks who'd bought tickets specifically for the show. "No wristbands," said the doorman. The wristbands were all-events passes for the sixth annual Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival (BEMF) — the nominal reason for Digweed's appearance.
"I feel as though there's almost two streams going through my veins, two bloodstreams," says trumpeter and composer Amir ElSaffar, leader of Two Rivers. "A lot of my life has been about reconciling the two."
Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 4:25 pm
On this installment of World Cafe's Latin Roots series, music producer and singer-songwriter Rachel Faro discusses an Afro-Uruguayan style of Latin music called Candombe.
Separated by a river from Argentina and nestled next to southern Brazil, Uruguay experienced the same influx of African slaves as Brazil, which resulted in a similar but often overlooked musical impact. Played on sets of three drums, Candombe is highly rhythmic; it's been an integral part of carnival celebrations for centuries.
Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 4:26 pm
Today's Vintage Cafe is a studio performance from the Austin band Okkervil River. The music performed here, from 2013's The Silver Gymnasium, pays homage to singer Will Sheff's life as a boy in Meriden, N.H., during the late '80s.
Red Baraat appears on this special 800th episode of Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston, W.V. The Brooklyn band's eight members draw on North Indian rhythms, hip-hop, funk and New Orleans jazz to create undeniably singular party music. The band has performed during its own TED Talk, at the White House and at Google's Mountain View headquarters, and closed the 2012 Paralympic Games.
And now it's time for the occasional feature we call In Your Ear. That's where some of our guests give us a taste of the music that has special meaning to them. Today, we hear from singer-songwriter Chrisette Michele. We spoke with her earlier this year about her latest album "Better." And she told us about the music that makes her days better.
CHRISETTE MICHELE: Hey, this is Chrisette Michele, and what is in my ear is "No Way" by Tye Tribbett