First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

First Listen: Thou, 'Heathen'

Thou's new album, Heathen, comes out March 25.
Mary Manchester Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 10:39 am

Thou has never been about convention. The Baton Rouge metal band has little in common with its NOLA sludge peers, bucking Southern tropes for a world-heavy consciousness that comes from doom, punk, grunge, black metal, blues and drone.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

First Listen: Future Islands, 'Singles'

Future Islands' new album, Singles, comes our March 25.
Timothy Saccenti Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 10:41 am

A couple weeks ago a writer friend texted me a screengrab of an Instagram of a stocky guy in a tight black T-shirt tucked into pleated black slacks. The pants were held at his actual waist by a black leather belt with a gold buckle. After the photo the friend texted simply "NORMCORE?" The man in black was Samuel Herring, lead singer of Future Islands, and he was already meme-ing his way into the hearts of thousands on Tumblr because of a certain dance move.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

First Listen: The Bad Plus, 'The Rite Of Spring'

The Bad Plus' new album, The Rite of Spring, comes out March 25.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 10:40 am

This is a recording of a jazz trio playing the score to a 101-year-old ballet. It is not a "jazzing the classics" record or a "fantasia on the themes of" sort of project. It is a band translating one of the landmark works in music history to piano, bass and drum set, and doing it as literally as possible.

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6:40 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Ambrose Akinmusire: 'Music Can Tell You What It Wants To Be'

Ambrose Akinmusire's latest album is the imagined savior is far easier to paint.
Autumn DeWilde Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 11:02 am

For a jazz trumpet player, you couldn't be more on top of the world than Ambrose Akinmusire. The 32-year-old is looking good on the cover of this month's DownBeat, and he's managed to please the jazz critics and connect with audiences.

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Studio Sessions
2:27 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

opbmusic Presents: Yuck

Yuck in the studio at OPB.
Nate Sjol/David Christensen Member Station

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 11:13 am

London band Yuck's buzzworthy 2011 tour included a stop at SXSW, where they played the NPR Music showcase and marked the release of their debut album. They returned with their second album, Glow & Behold, in October. In the interim, former lead singer Daniel Blumberg left the band, opening the door for guitarist Max Bloom to take over the role — something he says was natural to do.

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The Mix
12:52 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Get Lucky On St. Patrick's Day With These 25 R&B Songs

Thomas Samson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 1:12 pm

Get ready for St. Patrick's Day with these 25 lucky love songs from NPR R&B. And if you want to stay up all night, check out hundreds of more soul, funk, disco and slow jams on our NPR Music Radio channel, I'll Take You There.

All Songs Considered
11:41 am
Sun March 16, 2014

NPR Music At SXSW 2014: Saturday

Kishi Bashi performs at The Dirty Dog in Austin, Texas during the 2014 South by Southwest Music festival.
Bob Boilen NPR
  • Listen to All Songs Considered at SXSW - Saturday

Saturday at SXSW, things go over the edge. Language fails. The mind shimmies free from its moorings. Maybe it's the fatigue. Maybe it's the crowds. You could argue that the constant waves of sound that rattle eardrums over five days in Austin jars something loose inside a person's brain.

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Author Interviews
7:47 am
Sun March 16, 2014

'Rebel Music': When Hip-Hop Met Islam

Hip hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa at a press conference in 2006. His Zulu Nation group, formed in the 1970s to combat street violence, soon began incorporating Nation of Islam teachings in its rhetoric.
Scott Gries Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 3:03 pm

Hisham Aidi's new book is a sort of musical tour around the world. It's called Rebel Music: Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture. From hip-hop in Brazilian favelas, to Pakistani punk rock, to Gnawa-reggae in North Africa, it's a look at young urban Muslims and the music they make and listen to.

Speaking with NPR's Rachel Martin, Aidi recalls meeting a French band called 3ème Oeil — "Third Eye" — at a music festival in the Bronx, the birthplace of hip-hop.

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Music Interviews
5:42 am
Sun March 16, 2014

Tycho: Music By A Visual Imagineer

Zac Brown (left) and Scott Hansen of Tycho.
Reuben Wu Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 11:32 am

Let's say you're driving down the Pacific Coast Highway in California — top down, of course. What's the soundtrack you want to hear? The music of Tycho often seems engineered to fill that very role.

The group is the brainchild of producer Scott Hansen, who describes his three-piece band as an audio-visual project. On the new album Awake, the San Francisco-based artist has taken his passion for design and merged it with his interest in ambient music; click the audio link to hear his conversation with NPR's Rachel Martin.

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5:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Eastern Sounds Go West

Yasmine Hamdan gained an underground following in Beirut with the electronic duo Soapkills. Her solo debut is infused with sounds from Paris, where she moved several years ago.
Nadim Asfar Courtesy of the artist

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