Music

Deceptive Cadence
6:00 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Verdi's Gift: Wringing Catchy Music From Touchy Subjects

In his operas, Giuseppe Verdi had a knack for empowering marginalized people — like the title character of Aida, who is an enslaved Ethiopian princess (played in this 2011 French production by American soprano Indra Thomas).
Gerard Julien AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:24 pm

Two hundred years ago this week, Giuseppe Verdi was born in an Italian town midway between Bologna and Milan. On the occasion of his bicentennial, All Things Considered wanted to know what makes the great opera composer so enduring — why his work is still so frequently discussed and performed these two centuries later. The answer, says conductor and arranger John Mauceri, is that Verdi had a knack for making thorny topics accessible.

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All Songs Considered
4:00 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

First Watch: Rubblebucket, 'Save Charlie'

Rubblebucket video for 'Save Charlie'
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 10:37 am

There's a moment in this rousing tune by the Brooklyn-based band Rubblebucket I think we can all connect with: singer Kalmia Traver screams "15 missed calls / can you blame me? / Charlie tell me, do you love me?" It's that exasperation, that moment in a relationship when one person finds themselves caring a whole lot more than the other, that makes this a fabulous pop song. I also love how much life this lyric video has; the color and style feel fresh and so perfect for the blasting horns and funk of the music.

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Music Reviews
3:59 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Sleigh Bells: Stomping The Fine Line Between Sweetness And Menace

Bitter Rivals is Sleigh Bells' third studio album.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:24 pm

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Mountain Stage
3:33 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

The Black Lillies On Mountain Stage

The Black Lillies perform on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 10:08 am

The Black Lillies' members make their second appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.V. The group formed in East Tennessee in the late 2000s as a collaboration between members of other up-and-coming roots bands: songwriter Cruz Contreras' CCstringband and the everybodyfields.

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All Songs Considered
2:04 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

New Mix: Of Montreal, Gem Club, Perera Elsewhere, More

Clockwise from upper left: Gem Club, Perera Elsewhere, Of Montreal, Remi
Courtesy of the artists

It's been a dreary, rainy week in D.C. On this episode of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are a little stir crazy after being stuck inside during the storms. But, with thunder rolling in the background, Robin kicks things off with an ethereal cut from the Berlin-based trip-hop artist Perera Elsewhere that perfectly captures the mood.

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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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