Shovels & Rope's presence in the NPR Music offices attracted plenty of interest; many in attendance had long since fallen in love with the husband-and-wife duo's mix of rowdy folk-rock and rootsy balladeering.
"Everyone's jumping on the hipster hippie train," one commenter said of KEXP's recent session with The Bats. The irony, of course, is that the New Zealand band has been on that train, if not leading it, for more than 30 years. It's no surprise that Brooklyn's Captured Tracks label is reissuing LPs from The Bats' label, Flying Nun, as many of today's acts have borrowed heavily from its jangly pop sound.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 6:03 pm
Over the 12 months of 1993, the Wu-Tang Clan, Snoop Dogg, A Tribe Called Quest, Queen Latifah, Tupac Shakur and more than a dozen other rap groups all released albums that helped change the sound of America.
Jazz pianist Art Hodes, born in Russia in 1904, grew up near Chicago. His recording career really took off in the 1940s in New York, where he also hosted a radio show and wrote for the magazine The Jazz Record. Later, he moved back to Chicago and the atmosphere that nurtured him.
The punchy L.A. indie-pop band Wildcat! Wildcat! is made up of three members who've been friends since middle school. They've released a couple of singles — including the latest, "Mr. Quiche" — and recently compiled them on a new EP. Hear a couple of the band's songs on this installment of World Cafe: Next.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 8:41 am
As summer winds down and cool breezes fill the evenings here on much of the east coast, summer never ends in the music of Best Coast. "I Don't Know How" is the new single from the L.A.-based duo, featuring Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno. The song is the last cut from their seven-song EP called Fade Away due out October 22.
The songwriter and guitarist Sidi Touré is a superstar in his native Mali. But in the last 18 months, it hasn't been easy for Malian artists.
Islamic extremists are fighting for control of the area around Timbuktu, in the northern part of the country. The violence, along with a rebel-imposed ban on both music and secular art, has forced many of Mali's artists to flee the country.
Sidi Touré, who is from the North, was in the middle of recording his latest album when all this started happening.
Mike Doughty spent the 1990s as the gravel-voiced frontman for Soul Coughing. Fusing elements of pop, jazz, hip-hop and house music, the band had a sound all its own — but Doughty says he was never satisfied with it.