Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 10:20 am
Sometimes music and life intersect in ways beyond words. Filmmaker James Marcus Haney set out to do two things, make a music video for the British trio Bear's Den and capture the last days of his little brothers carefree college days with friends.
What he wound up with is tragic and poignant. Shortly after arriving in Seattle to film, a campus shooting occurred. Haney relayed his story to me via email. He's as good with words as he is with imagery. I'm going to let him tell the story.
People ask me all the time to name my favorite Tiny Desk Concert. It's my desk and I've seen almost all of the nearly 400 concerts up close. So you'd think this would be easy. Moon Hooch have made it a lot easier.
It's fitting that the first episode of Front Row Boston (a new digital and television series produced by WGBH Music and Crossroads Presents in association with NPR Music) features Boston-based Celtic punk legends Dropkick Murphys. Here they perform "The Boys Are Back" from their eighth studio album, Signed and Sealed in Blood.
And finally it's time for the feature we call In Your Ear. That's the part of the program where we ask some of our guests what they're listening to these days. But as this program winds down, our last broadcast is scheduled for August 1st, we thought it would be nice to hear what members of our staff are listening to. What they like to have playing as they workout, or chill out, or put the show together. So let's hear what the big boss, our executive producer Carline Watson, has on her playlist.
The Westerlies is a quartet of young New York brass players who know each other from school days in Seattle. Their debut album is a set of pieces by Seattle-based composer and improviser Wayne Horvitz. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says Horvitz and the Westerlies are a perfect fit.
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With all the sunlight in Los Angeles, it's easy to overlook the beauty in the darkness there. Yet Chelsea Wolfe doesn't. The SoCal singer-songwriter has carved a unique place in the musical landscape with her epic "drone-metal-art-folk" style. On her recent third album, Pain Is Beauty, she takes a decidedly more electronic approach to her haunting sound, further highlighting her timeless singing, powerful arrangements and seductively mysterious aesthetic.
It seems the unlikeliest of collaborations: Cat Power, a American songwriter and singer who can be quiet and somewhat insular, and Coldplay, now a veteran band from London that is immensely popular, confident and bold. And still, what happens in this recording, the title track for the film Wish I Was Here, feels so right.
Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 11:08 am
Sheffield, England — the setting for The Full Monty and part of the British equivalent of the Rust Belt — seems an unlikely spawning ground for the wistful pop of this duo with a deceptively static name. But from the youthful, acoustic-and-harmony-based pop of their early material to the more elaborate arrangements of 2011's Paradise, Slow Club's music has always had an upful sheen that's sometimes belied by melancholy lyrics and melodies.