Jim James has spent his career singing big, booming songs that echo into the sky. With My Morning Jacket, he specializes in letting his gigantic voice ring out past the rafters in songs that boom and blare. But on his first solo album under his own name, this year's Regions of Light and Sound of God, James turns inward and recasts himself as a lost wanderer in search of redemption, salvation and comfort.
Pete Yorn has long had a way with hooky rock songs, so it was easy for him to connect with fellow L.A. musician J.D. King over a mutual love for '60s music. The two first started recording together just for fun, blending folk-rock and subtle psychedelia into a joint project they call The Olms.
Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 9:12 am
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the heavily taped packages that can't be opened without the aid of a utility knife and a blowtorch is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives. This week: an array of tips for anyone hoping to launch and sustain a career in music journalism.
And now we continue our summer song series. We're talking to Gwen Thompkins, host of the program "Music Inside Out," which is heard on member station WWNO in New Orleans. She's introducing us to a handful of contemporary artists who've offered a new take on some old classics. Allen Toussaint has been writing songs and shaping the New Orleans rhythm and blues and rock sound since he was a teenager. Now he's in his 70s and he's experimenting with jazz. And Gwen Thompkins is back with us. Hi, Gwen.
Host Ellis Finger welcomes Charisse Baldoria, classical pianist and professor at Bloomsburg University, to the studio. She will be performing as part of the Vesper Concert Series at 5pm at the Central Moravian Church. (Original air date August 7, 2013.)
Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 3:55 pm
In a sense, Alela Diane's new album About Farewell represents both a new beginning and a return to form. The Portland, Ore., singer-songwriter's fourth record is a candid collection that finds her adopting a contemplative tone, especially compared to the meatier full-band sounds of 2011's Alela Diane & Wild Divine.
The new record contains the most personal songs Diane has written, and with good reason: Her recent divorce from Wild Divine bandmate Tom Bevitori serves as a constant inspiration, though not always in a direct way.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 1:46 pm
We forget to listen closer, look closer. As a big-picture kind of guy, I do that myself, and that means missing details that make day-to-day life more vivid. Listening to High Aura'd, it's apparent that creator John Kolodij hears life with great clarity. Last year's Sanguine Features was a personal favorite of mine: a dark and buzzing LP that, when turned up loud, felt like a dark hallway with treasures tucked away in the corners.
Host Keith Kelleher welcomes teenage singer-songwriter Lily Mae, whose voice has been compared to Joni Mitchell, to the studio for an interview and live performance prior to her performance at 5pm at Musikfest on the Lyrikplatz stage, for which WDIY is the media sponsor.
Host Mike Space welcomes band members from the Whiskeyhickon Boys to the studio for a live performance prior to their show on Main Street at Musikfest later that night. They are also performing at Liederplatz on Friday.