Music

Favorite Sessions
4:35 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

KEXP Presents: Lee Ranaldo And The Dust

Lee Ranaldo and his band The Dust perform live at KEXP in Seattle.
Jim Bennett KEXP

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 1:48 pm

With the fate of Sonic Youth up in the air, founding guitarist Lee Ranaldo has found steady ground with his group The Dust, featuring fellow SY orphan Steve Shelley on drums, along with guitarist Alan Licht and bassist Tim Lüntzel.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:02 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Pixies: Tiny Desk Concert

John W. Poole John W. Poole

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:48 pm

The windowsills were lined with people standing, as every nook between every office desk filled to capacity with NPR employees and their assorted guests. Pixies, after getting misplaced for a time in our parking garage during a moment worthy of This Is Spinal Tap, showed up in time to encounter the largest crowd we've ever assembled for a Tiny Desk Concert. (Our new office space allows for more guests than the old one did, but it's still a mark of this band's significance for so many youthful grownups.)

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World Cafe
1:22 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

20 World Cafe Downloads To Get You Through February

Dr. Dog.
Nicky Devine Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 7:37 pm

We made 20 stellar World Cafe in-studio performances available for download during February, but they're all coming down Feb. 28 at midnight. Grab music from Neko Case, Parquet Courts, Jason Isbell and more today, before they're gone tomorrow.

To download each song, click the title in the SoundCloud playlist (the song will begin playing), and then click "download" arrow to the right of the title.

First Listen
12:03 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

First Listen: 'Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1997'

Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1997 comes out Feb. 11.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 11:17 am

Dance Mania might have been Chicago house music's most popular 1990s label — not only in Chicago, but in the entire upper Midwest. To go to a rave between 1993 and '99 was to very likely encounter a handful of Dance Mania tracks per night. Odds were good you'd encounter one of its artists, too: DJ Funk, Paul Johnson, DJ Deeon and Robert Armani, to pick just a few artists on Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1997, kept full schedules of one-nighters across the U.S.

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Music
11:04 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Langston Hughes Poetry Reimagined On Singer Leyla McCalla's New Album

Tim Duffy

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:23 pm

Leyla McCalla, formerly of The Carolina Chocolate Drops, had an ambitious idea for her solo debut as a musician. She wanted to take poems by Harlem Renaissance legend Langston Hughes and put them to song. But McCalla told Tell Me More's host Michel Martin that she wasn't overwhelmed by the challenge.

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First Listen
11:02 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

First Listen: Tinariwen, 'Emmaar'

Tinariwen's new album, Emmaar, comes out Feb. 11.
Marie Planeille Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 3:35 pm

  • Hear All Songs Considered Hosts Bob Boilen And Robin Hilton On 'Emmaar'

How do you build on the reputation that has made your band the most visible ambassador of an entire people? For its seventh international album, Emmaar, Tinariwen has some striking ideas that were born out of both creativity and absolute necessity.

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First Listen
11:02 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

First Listen: Temples, 'Sun Structures'

Temples' new album, Sunstructures, is out Feb. 11.
Ed Miles Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 11:15 am

It makes cosmic sense that Sun Structures, the debut album from Temples, arrives at the height of the current nostalgia wave associated with the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania and the British Invasion.

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First Listen
11:02 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

First Listen: Hurray For The Riff Raff, 'Small Town Heroes'

Hurray for the Riff Raff's new album, Small Town Heroes, comes out Feb. 11.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 3:29 pm

New Orleans is a tricky place to put into song. To a degree matched only by California and New York City, the Big Easy makes and is made by the American geographical zeitgeist, and has captured the imaginations of songwriters since its founding. It seems massively daunting, if not impossible, to tell a story about Storyville that hasn't been told before.

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First Listen
11:02 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

First Listen: Eric Church, 'The Outsiders'

Eric Church's new album, The Outsiders, comes out Feb. 11.
John Peets Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 10:15 pm

Eric Church was surely aware that he was cribbing from one of America's most beloved young-adult novels when he called his fourth full-length album The Outsiders. The title song opens the record with lines that could have been ripped from the jacket copy of S.E. Hinton's classic heartland/gangland story: "They're the in-crowd, we're the other ones / It's a different kind of cloth that we're cut from." Electric power chords crest and crash as Church howls out declarations in a voice that's part preacher, part rapper, part metalhead and all alpha dog.

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First Listen
11:02 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

First Listen: Thumpers, 'Galore'

Thumpers' new album, Galore, comes out Feb. 11.
Oliver Smith Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 11:18 am

Galore, the first album by the London duo Thumpers, is rooted resolutely in the first-person plural: Temperamentally as well as lyrically, it reaches out as a piecemeal missive both to and from you and me and everyone we know, assembling a steadfast vision of the whole world as a sprawling family in a tiny neighborhood. These are songs whose collective narrative engine is a belief in the power of a passionate few to forge meaningful connections, to keep life's ills at bay or, as "Unkinder (A Tougher Love)" would have it, to move the earth.

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