Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:04 am
Pennsylvania singer-songwriter Daughn Gibson has a deep baritone voice like Johnny Cash and a country style not unlike Lee Hazlewood. Toss in a few electronic loops and bagpipes, and Gibson's second album, Me Moan, is a spooky production.
WWNO's Gwen Thompkins on "Ballet Class" by Jason Marsalis
Another month, another great mix of new music chosen by public radio's top DJs. Download an explosive new track from Neko Case, discover the Shabazz Palaces-approved Seattle rapper Porter Ray and get to know Valerie June, one of public radio's frontrunners for Best New Artist of 2013. Grab all 10 of our picks below, as chosen by the following contributors:
Chris Campbell, DJ at WDET's ALPHA channel in Detroit
Lars Gotrich, producer and host of Viking's Choice at NPR Music
Each month, NPR Music asks public radio personalities at member stations across the country to tell us about a song they can't get enough of. David Greene introduces listeners to member station WWNO's Gwen Thompkins — she's NPR's former East Africa correspondent. Her choice for July's installment of "Heavy Rotation," is "Ballet Class" by the Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet.
Fulcrum Acoustic engineer Rich Frembes (left) and founder Dave Gunness pose in their workshop. The company produces more than 2,000 speakers a year, often testing and tweaking the units obsessively to meet each client's specific needs.
The headquarters of Fulcrum Acoustic is only an hour outside Boston, but finding the audio company can be tricky:Its address in Whitinsville, a quaint former industrial village in Massachusetts' Blackstone Valley, doesn't register on GPS. Fulcrum's founder, Dave Gunness, opened his workshop here five years ago and says people still have trouble finding it.
The name of the An-sky Yiddish Heritage Ensemble doubles as its mission statement: The quartet of performers and researchers has built a repetoire of old Yiddish folk songs dating back 100 years to the shtetls of Ukraine, in hopes of keeping that music from disappearing. Michael Alpert, who sings in the group, says it's part of a revival of Eastern Eurpoean Jewish culture that's be going on for nearly 40 years.
The bands Phish and Insane Clown Posse have spawned some of the most rabid fans in music history. Their world of obsession is not an easy one to break into, but on a warm December night in Miami back in 2009, pop culture writer Nathan Rabin went to see a concert that would inspire him to enter the orbit of these infamous groupies.
He wrote a book about them, You Don't Know Me But You Don't Like Me, and tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rebecca Sheir about his first-hand look at the two often-reviled sub-cultures.
You could say George Benson's latest album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, was conceived decades ago. Benson was just a kid when he first mimicked Cole off the radio, singing his own version of "Mona Lisa" while accompanying himself on the ukulele. He even made a recording.