Ra Ra Riot has experienced constant change in its six-year existence, from commercial success and an aborted label deal to the 2007 death of drummer John Pike. But the band's sound has never shifted as radically as it does on its new album, Beta Love, which comes out Jan. 22. With the departure of cellist Alexandra Lawn — there's that constant change again — Ra Ra Riot shifts gears once more, dialing down the string arrangements in favor of a more synth-driven sound.
Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 10:21 am
I've seen thousands of concerts over the years but none of them, since 1978, have been in an arena. I never had that eureka moment, I just stopped going. That means for 34 years, I've passed on major, monster acts. No McCartney, no Springsteen, no U2 and no Led Zeppelin (that one hurts the most).
Watching Flaco Jimenez play his button accordion is like looking back in time. His grandfather started playing an accordion in cantinas and family parties along the Texas/Mexican border around the late 1800s. Then Flaco's dad, Santiago Jimenez Sr., carried on the family tradition when he released his first record in 1936.
After a three-year stint as a touring pianist with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, California native Aaron Embry struck out on his own. Embry wrote his solo debut, Tiny Prayers, while on the band's Railroad Revival Tour, crafting bare-bones acoustic melodies that recall the work of Embry's past collaborators, including Elliott Smith and Willie Nelson.
U.S. Olympian Leo Manzano won the Silver Medal in the men's 1500 meter run, becoming the first American to do so since 1968. In Tell Me More's occasional series, "In Your Ear," Manzano talks about the kind of music that gets him pumped and ready to run.
Singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell makes his fourth appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of Ohio University in Athens. From the time he arrived in Nashville in the early '70s, Crowell has remained one of country music's most important songwriters. His work with Emmylou Harris' Hot Band — and, later, alongside Vince Gill and Tony Brown in The Cherry Bombs — is the stuff of legend.
Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 12:03 pm
Who says a rock 'n' roll queen can't do country? Not Wanda Jackson. Best known as a rockabilly pioneer and original FOE (Friend of Elvis — she toured with him in 1955), the 75-year-old Oklahoma native has always had a thing for twang, too. Rock fans who've recently discovered Jackson know her for ravers like 1960's "Let's Have a Party. Last year, the Jack White-produced The Party Ain't Over caught that fiery spirit and ran with it.
Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 10:55 am
Over the course of an exceptionally long and productive life, the late Elliott Carter was championed by many leading conductors, soloists and ensembles. Among the most prominent is pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, who has premiered many of Carter's works.
Each year around this time, weekends on All Things Considered welcomes world music DJ Betto Arcos onto the show to share some of his favorite nominees from this Latin Grammys, the 2012 installment of which is coming up next week. Arcos hosts the program Global Village on KPFK in Los Angeles; his picks include singer-songwriters from Mexico and Brazil, a Chilean rapper and a Puerto Rican-American jazz saxophonist.