In a way, singer Julianna Barwick's ethereal voice and seemingly shapeless songs are a form of abstract art: colorful and curious, with lines that drift and flow in unexpected but beautiful directions. For her latest video, and a new song called "Offing," Barwick finds commonality in architect Philip Johnson's Glass House and a strange sculpture from artist Ken Price. Barwick performs alongside the sculpture for a live audience, filling the Glass House with layers of her sublime voice.
Guitarist Alvin Lee, whose incendiary performance with the British band Ten Years After was one of the highlights of the 1969 Woodstock festival, has died.
He was 68. Lee's website says he "passed away early this morning [Wednesday] after unforeseen complications following a routine surgical procedure." An assistant to his daughter also confirmed the news to NPR.
His band's biggest hit — "I'd Love to Change the World" — came a couple years after Woodstock. We'll embed a clip from that.
For a party-friendly metal-punk band like Kvelertak, "Spring fra Livet" sure is a curveball. The stomping, AC/DC-style intro? That's a party-starter. But 20 seconds in, there's a twangy, melodic riff that sounds like an Allman Brothers-indebted '90s alt-rock band, like Better Than Ezra or Toad the Wet Sprocket or maybe just the Empire Records soundtrack — if the Empire Records soundtrack were about to lay into a blast-beaten chorus. Respectfully, Kvelertak, just what is going on here?
Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 11:46 am
Somewhere along the way, Dave Grohl has become the unofficial Mayor of Rock 'n' Roll: a gregarious ambassador who wins armloads of Grammys and even directs a documentary — Sound City: Real to Reel — about the artistry, technology and magic that goes into making a great studio recording. So it makes sense that Grohl would address the assembled music fans at the SXSW music conference for the year's keynote speech.
The latest Morning Edition "Music Moment" focuses on the band Cloud Cult. The group is known to fans for making music to soothe the soul, as it does on the new album Love.
"This album really looks at all the different aspects of the self that need to be healed up in order to facilitate the process of stepping aside and allowing love to speak for our life rather than our wounds," lead singer Craig Minowa says.
Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:47 pm
Idaho native and folk-rock singer-songwriter Josh Ritter has been named one of the 100 Best Living Songwriters by Paste. Ritter's seventh album, The Beast in Its Tracks, was released last March. Inspired by the breakup of his marriage, the record offers a raw and personal account of heartbreak and recovery.
Get some earplugs and a case of your favorite caffeinated beverage ready: The annual sensory-overload-joy-fest known as South by Southwest is almost here. Bob Boilen, Ann Powers, Stephen Thompson and I, along with a small army of other NPR Music peeps, will be there next week for the whole thing. Whether you'll be in Austin for the festival, or watching and listening on our website, we hope you'll join us for these events:
After a nearly 10-year break between recordings, Cody ChesnuTT returned in 2012 with Landing on a Hundred. The album showcases a new songwriting direction, a rich R&B sound and even a string arrangement in the song "Chips Down (In No Landfill)."
ChesnuTT brought that song to life during his recent visit to Portland, Ore. He was joined by pianist Alvin Lee Giles and members of the Portland State University Orchestra for this opbmusic session.