Music

Concerts
12:04 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

First Listen Live: Real Estate, 'Atlas'

Real Estate plays Atlas at SubCulture in NYC.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 1:16 pm

The members of Real Estate are awfully young to pine for their lost youth, but nostalgia remains crucial to the New Jersey band's tender, impeccable sound. Real Estate's shimmering pop-rock seems to echo out of the past — from beaches and garages and tape decks — with the kind of melancholy beauty few bands outside The Beach Boys could hope to match.

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Music
12:03 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

First Listen Live: ScHoolboy Q, 'Oxymoron'

ScHoolboy Q onstage at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City on Sunday, February 23rd.
Polina Yamshchikov for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 3:03 pm

Within Black Hippy, the Los Angeles-based crew consisting of Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, ScHoolboy Q is the fun-loving middle child who taunts you with a straight face but can't always help cracking a smile. He's a wildcard who put out two highly-regarded independent albums and has become a reliable source for bracing guest spots. Sometimes he's incisive, sometimes he's callous. He's always charismatic and perceptive and forthright.

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Music
11:57 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Nigerian-American Writer Teju Cole Shares His Personal Playlist

Courtesy of Teju Cole

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 2:45 pm

Nigerian-American writer Teju Cole's fans and followers — especially on Twitter — are scattered across the globe.

For Tell Me More's "In Your Ear" series, he shares the music that's a part of his world.

"Lately I've been listening a lot to Nigerian dance music," he says about Naeto C's 5 & 6. "Nigerian pop music is very, very big in Lagos right now."

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The Edge
11:42 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Olympic Snowboarders Groove To DJ Naka G

Who pumps up the crowd as Shaun White throws down in Sochi? DJ Naka G.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 1:29 pm

It's hard to tell on TV, but in person, the Olympics are loud.

Every competition has its own DJ, and for the snowboarding, Russia has brought in a little help from the USA: Mike Nakagawa, better known as DJ Naka G.

The men's snowboarding team is hitting the halfpipe Tuesday in Sochi, and it's Naka G's job to pick the song for each rider.

"We're really providing the soundtrack for a story," he says. "We're making it dramatic. We're making it exciting. We're making it just pure fun."

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Deceptive Cadence
11:36 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Classical Couples: Sweethearts Sharing The Stage

Soprano Ailyn Perez and tenor Stephen Costello met in music school. Now married, the couple sings together around the world — as in Gounod's Romeo and Juliet at Opera Philadelphia in 2001.
Kelly & Massa Photography Opera Philadelphia

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Deceptive Cadence
2:03 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Monastic Life At The Top Of The Charts

Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 1:28 pm

When the sisters of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles aren't hard at work on the monastery grounds, they're topping the charts with albums of sacred music.

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World Cafe
2:54 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

World Cafe Next: Sekou Kouyate & Joe Driscoll

Sekou Kouyate and Joe Driscoll.
Alex Munro Courtesy of the artist

Today on World Cafe: Next, we feature a unique duo. Sekou Kouyate, from Guinea in West Africa, has been described as "the Jimi Hendrix of the kora" for the way he electrifies the 21-string African harp. Joe Driscoll is an American living in England; he's a rapper, beat-boxer and loop-maker.

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World Cafe
2:44 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Bert Jansch On World Cafe

Bert Jansch.
Brian Shuel Redferns

British folk musician Bert Jansch died in October 2011, about 10 months after recording this interview with World Cafe. A founding member of the folk-jazz-blues band Pentangle, along with fellow guitarist John Renbourn, Jansch was one of the most influential players of the '60s, though he never became hugely well-known.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:03 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Suzanne Vega: Tiny Desk Concert

Suzanne Vega performs at a Tiny Desk concert in January 2014.
Meredith Rizzo Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 2:51 pm

In pop-music circles, Suzanne Vega is known almost entirely for two songs from the late 1980s: the child-abuse ballad "Luka" and a song that launched literally dozens of dance remixes, "Tom's Diner." But Vega has been making vital, inventive music the entire time — much of it folk-based, though her sound has taken many smart detours along the way — and is about to put out her first album of original material in seven years, Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles.

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The Mix
1:58 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

I'll Take You There: R&B From NPR Music

Luther Vandross is one of many classic R&B singers you'll hear on our "I'll Take You There" channel.
GAB Archive Redferns/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 12:35 pm

"I'll Take You There" is a 24/7 R&B and soul channel from NPR Music. Curated and hosted by Jason King of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University, the playlist runs the gamut from the genre's origins in the 1940s to today's slow jam stunners. You can follow the program on Twitter at @NPRandB and Jason King's personal Twitter account at @jasonkingsays.

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