The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest feature stories.
This week, Watson talks with guest host Kelly McEvers about a rising star who has made hip-hop serious business, and the advertising tactics that life insurance companies are using to attract young people.
This Sunday's Grammy Awards ceremony is the annual big-ticket item for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. More than 28 million people around the world tuned in to watch the concert show last year. And this year's telecast is once again being touted as the most complicated â€” and expensive â€” production on TV.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra is the work of Ruban Nielson, a New Zealand-bred musician who moved to Portland, Ore., six years ago. While there, he started working with samples in his bedroom that would later become the first Unknown Mortal Orchestra album in 2011. He released another in 2013, called II, as well as an EP.
Widely admired as a gifted and innovative player, jazz guitarist Jim Hall had a career that spanned more than five decades. In a session recorded in 2003, the NEA Jazz Master teamed up with host Marian McPartland and bassist Gary Mazzaroppi for "Blue Monk," and performed solo in "All the Things You Are."
Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 9:24 am
Jitterbug Vipers' members perform 1930s-style "viper jazz" with a rock 'n' roll twist. The Austin band's original music â€” crafted by singer Sarah Sharp, guitarist Slim Richey, bassist Francie Meaux Jeaux and drummer Masumi Jones â€” recalls swing classics by Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Cab Calloway.
On this installment of Song Travels, you can hear Jitterbug Vipers perform a set live in the studio. Host Michael Feinstein also sits down with Sharp to discuss the history of viper jazz and the inspiration behind the band's sizzling original music.
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 10:11 pm
Actress' declarative 2008 debut Hazyville announced a new voice in underground British dubstep, at which point the electronic music producer (a.k.a. Darren Cunningham) began to push beyond the confines of that bass-heavy genre. By the time of 2010's Splazh, Actress was all but ignoring the tropes of dubstep, instead mincing modern R&B for a type of digital funk and Disclosure-esque vocal house (as in "Always Human") that delectably stayed just this side of abstraction.
Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 9:30 am
Each year's Grammy Awards offer their own questions and controversies based on how the nominations pan out, but there are a few points of contention that come up year after year. There's the difference between Song Of The Year and Record Of The Year. How a song can be eligible for nomination this year when the album it came from was nominated last year (or vice versa). The precise eligibility requirements for Best New Artist, a category that can be (and has been) won by performers several albums into their careers.