Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 12:05 pm
In Minneapolis right now, even small matters have the potential to escalate — fast. Take the latest flashpoint in the Minnesota Orchestra's ongoing tribulations, which in about 24 hours has flared up a lot of ire in the classical community.
About a week ago, a semi-professional musician, blogger and longtime fan of the Minnesota Orchestra named Emily Hogstad was talking with some fellow Minnesota fans about the possibility of organizing a dedicated group of music lovers who want to see an end to the longstanding labor disputes at the Minneapolis-based ensemble.
Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 12:34 pm
In this edition of Latin Roots, we look at the music of Colombia's Caribbean coast. Our guest, Beat Latino host Catalina Maria Johnson, selected some older music from Petrona Martinez and her family, as well as a more modern example from Lido Pimienta, who is part of the large Colombian population based in Toronto. Pimienta uses traditional elements in her music, yet records on her laptop.
Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:17 pm
The wonderful half-garage, half-glam band Smith Westerns recently released its third album, Soft Will. In this installment of World Cafe, the group's members tell us that a lot of the record was written as a reaction to returning home to Chicago after touring for five years during their late teens and twenties. And, of course, they perform some of their songs live in the studio.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 6:33 pm
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the monthly bale of sunflower seeds we've decided to order from Amazon Prime via subscription is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, a request for advice on when and where it's courteous to wear headphones in public.
Brian Bowen writes via Facebook: "When is it OK to wear headphones in public — in transit, at work, during events large or small, standing in line at the post office, etc.?"
And now we continue our summer songs series. We've been talking to Gwen Thompkins - the host of Music Inside Out on WWNO in New Orleans - about current artists who reinterpret old classics. This week she tells us about musician Alex McMurray. He takes us on a little bit of time travel back to the heyday of the rock band Led Zeppelin. Welcome back, Gwen.
GWEN THOMPKINS, BYLINE: Thank you so much, Celeste. It's great to be back.
HEADLEE: So this song is an American version of a tune by a British band.
Iowa City librarian Jason Paulios reviews recently donated CDs. Paulios says donations of old music give the library greater freedom to purchase new stuff, as well as license digital versions directly from smaller artists.
Iowa City librarian Jason Paulios pulls out his smartphone, enters his library-card number and begins downloading an album by local metal band Blizzard at Sea.
"So it's extracting now," he says, eyes on the screen. "It's at about 90 percent."
The download takes about five minutes to complete. Paulios says it's a great way to check out local music: You could be waiting for a concert to start, download an album by the band you're about to see and then listen to it on the way home.
It takes a bit longer than a full minute before Berkeley, California-based artist Dan Casey's song "Empty City" builds to its gorgeous swirl of vocal harmonies, drum machines and hook-laden guitar riffs, but the sonic pay off is worth every second. At the heart of the song lies a unique mix of bright guitar lines intertwining with up-tempo electronic production that illustrates Casey's mastery at layering the sounds from his head.