After several failed musical ventures and two bankruptcies, New Yorker Hilly Kristal decided to try something new. In 1973, he opened a bar in Lower Manhattan intended to showcase sounds not so indigenous to the urban landscape: country, bluegrass and blues. And so came the name for the dive bar CBGB.
Woodstock didn't just bring together some of the most important musical acts of the late 1960s: It showed that a music festival could be a truly historic event.
These days, leave any pasture open long enough and someone will start setting up amps and concession stands. The outdoor music festival is ubiquitous in 2013. But so far, there has been no Woodstock for comedy.
The band Darkside is made up of two men - two halves really. Dark, scary electronics and a funk, rhythmic guitar line. The electronic half is Nicholas Jaar. He got noticed as a laptop music prodigy when he was a student at Brown University. And up until a year or two ago, he mostly worked alone. Then, the other part of Darkside entered the picture - Dave Harrington, a composer and jazz bassist. Now, they've got this first album out together. It's called "Psychic." Nicholas Jaar explains why he chose a bass player as his guitarist.
When you think about the geography of hip-hop, chances are you're thinking East Coast, West Coast, probably not north of the American border. That's why you probably haven't heard of Canadian hip-hop star Shad.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
SHADRACH KOBANGO: (Rapping) (unintelligible) Warmest wishes of snow (unintelligible) the show (unintelligible) what I'm spitting. Oh, Michigan snow. Listen, no, I don't put on airs. I'm conditioned to blow...
Short of seeing her live and in person, this is the best way to encounter Valerie June's heartfelt sound. Her new album Pushin' Against a Stone is terrific, but when I first heard that voice unadorned, I was hooked. The same may happen to you.
Ron Isley has been R&B royalty for more than half a century. He began his musical career as one of the Isley Brothers, recording hits like "Shout," before embarking on a successful solo career. Host Michel Martin talks with Isley about his long career, and new album This Song is For You. This segment initially aired July 16, 2013 on Tell Me More.