Keyboard player Walter Martin is best known for his part in the indie band The Walkmen. After the group took a break last year, though, Martin ventured into kids music. Reviewer Stefan Shepherd says Martin's solo debut, We Are All Young Together, is surprising, sweet and playful.
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside our neighbors' mis-delivered subscription copies of unnerving magazines is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives â and, this week, thoughts on sharing music that might inadvertently expose someone else's kids to foul language.
This week on Alt.Latino, we pay tribute to immigrant stories. With the help of Cuban-American writer and editor Achy Obejas, we're bringing you readings by celebrated authors on the topic of immigration, from Latin America to Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It's all part of a new book called Immigrant Voices: 21st Century Stories, edited by Obejas and Megan Bayles.
I love mixtapes. Don't we all? If I'm having a party or even a dinner, I meticulously program the music â even though, if it's a good party, no one will hear it because they're all talking!
Here's my Fourth of July mixtape for you. No in-studio guest today, just a wide variety of music with the only stipulation that "America," "American" or "U.S." has to be somewhere in the title. It's not even all from the U.S.! There's a version of the Brazilian singer Jorge Ben's "So Loco Porti America." There are some stirring classic tunes from Tom Petty and The Steve Miller Band.
This week we celebrate our nation's independence with drum fills (and one intro) from songs that say "America, we love you!" Some may be more blatantly patriotic than others, but all capture, in some way, the spirit of freedom that unites and binds us.
It's been nearly 200 years since Francis Scott Key wrote the words of "The Star-Spangled Banner" as he watched America's flag fly over Fort McHenry during the war of 1812. Set to the melody of a popular English tune, it officially became the national anthem in 1931.
But spanning one and a half octaves, America's national song is awfully hard for the average citizen to sing. So NPR went down to the National Mall on Flag Day and asked folks to give it their best shot (without looking up the lyrics, mind you!)
The Essence Festival, in New Orleans this weekend for its 20th edition, calls itself "the party with a purpose," for cause. The goal of the three nights of performances at the Superdome and three days of panels and talks at the Convention Center is to brand and supplement Essence Magazine â but what actually goes down every Fourth of July weekend in New Orleans begins in airports all over the country.