Music

Music Interviews
8:39 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Watch: Pearl Jam In Conversation With Judd Apatow

Pearl Jam with writer and director Judd Apatow (third from right).
Karen Loria Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 8:53 am

When you operate within the pop world — that is, the world in which whatever you make becomes a cultural commodity (i.e. you record a song, it gets played on the radio and various hands exchange money) — you have to engage with the process of generating hype. It's a given, no matter how carefully made your work or how pure your intentions. Some people are in the thick of hype, but let's put thoughts of today's provocateurs aside for a moment. Instead, it's interesting to think about how artists who've had the machine spin around them a few times choose to play the game, or change it.

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World Cafe
8:01 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Pearl Jam On World Cafe: Part 1

Pearl Jam.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 10:50 am

Pearl Jam is set to release its 10th studio album, Lightning Bolt, on Oct. 15, making it the band's first record since 2009's Backspacer. The group members aren't doing much publicity for the album — but when they do, they make it count.

On Tuesday's edition of World Cafe, listeners can hear director and producer Judd Apatow (Anchorman, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up) talk with the premier American rock band in a wide-ranging interview.

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World Cafe
3:32 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

World Cafe Next: Jesse Woods

Jesse Woods.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 10:56 am

  • Hear Two Songs By Jesse Woods

Jesse Woods performs a unique style of echo-laden folk music. The singer moved to Austin, Texas, about four years ago — and says he was drawn to the area because of its "hint of strange."

Woods spent most of 2012 recording songs for his full-length debut, Get Your Burdens Lifted, in a studio he built himself. Hear a pair of tracks from the album and download this week's podcast.

World Cafe
3:11 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Vampire Weekend: A-Punks On Afro-Pop

Vampire Weekend
Courtesy of the artist

This segment, from Jan. 24, 2008, is part of our Vintage Cafe series, in which we revisit some of our best studio performances.

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Favorite Sessions
2:15 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

KEXP Presents: Shugo Tokumaru

Shugo Tokumaru performs live on KEXP.
Dave Lichterman KEXP

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 2:07 pm

KEXP's session with Japanese musician Shugo Tokumaru would be charming in any language. On his albums, the young multi-instrumentalist meticulously crafts every aspect by himself, and he's reported to have used more than 100 different instruments in his recordings. Live in the studio here, he's backed by a small army of musicians who wield a colorful arsenal of tiny plastic whistles, toy xylophones, bird whistles and more. The band even brings along a clown puppet.

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All Songs Considered
2:13 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Question Of The Week: What Was The Last Record You Obsessed Over?

The Blow is a duo from Portland, Ore., featuring Khaela Maricich and Melissa Dyne.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 5:57 pm

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:04 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Superchunk: Tiny Desk Concert

Superchunk performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 30, 2013.
Abbey Oldham NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:06 pm

It's remarkable to think that Superchunk's career has spanned four decades. The North Carolina band got its start in 1989, and here it is in 2013, with a new record called I Hate Music that demonstrates an undying passion for punk-fueled story songs with catchy phrasing.

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Music
12:24 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Blitz: The Ambassador Of Hip-Hop And African Music

Quazi King Blitz the Ambassador

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 1:23 pm

Rapper Blitz the Ambassador explains to Tell Me More for the occasional series "In Your Ear," that his favorite songs are the ones that helped shape his sound. "I keep these songs really close because they always remind me of where it all begins, and what makes me the artist that I am," he says.

As his name suggests, Blitz sees himself as an ambassador for Africa and hip-hop.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Guest DJ Angela Meade: Hitting The Big Time With Help From Verdi

Soprano Angela Meade made her professional debut in the role of Elvira in Verdi's Ernani at the Metropolitan Opera.
Marty Sohl Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 1:23 pm

Most opera singers work their way to the big league by singing bit parts in regional opera houses. Not soprano Angela Meade. She landed on top instantly with her professional debut in the lead soprano role of Giuseppe Verdi's Ernani at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 2008.

It was a dream come true. The star soprano took ill and the understudy, Meade, was suddenly shoved into the spotlight. The press said she sang "like an old pro from start to finish."

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Music Interviews
12:03 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Returning To Music, Tested By Loss

Cellist and composer Erik Friedlander's new album is titled Claws & Wings.
Angelo Merendino Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 5:06 pm

Cellist and composer Erik Friedlander lost his wife of many years, dancer and choreographer Lynn Shapiro, to breast cancer in 2011. She'd been diagnosed a decade earlier, and Friedlander says music became a place of vital release for him as her condition worsened.

"During the difficult years, I did take refuge in working," he says. "It was a place where I could make the rules; where I could control what I could control."

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