Music

Music Reviews
4:15 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

The Weeknd Revels In Raw Emotion On 'Kiss Land'

Kiss Land is singer Abel Tesfaye's major-label debut as The Weeknd.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 8:21 pm

Even if they're brokenhearted, R&B singers tend to come off as cool customers who can make love seem like an achievable ideal. But The Weeknd is a hot mess.

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Music Reviews
2:00 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Bob Dylan's 'Self Portrait,' Now In Vivid Color

Bob Dylan in 1970, the year he released his 10th studio album, Self Portrait.
John Cohen Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 2:36 pm

In the late 1960s, it wasn't just that Bob Dylan's music was eagerly anticipated — it was music that millions of people pored over: for pleasure, for confirmation of their own ideas, and for clues as to the state of mind of its creator. In this context, the double-album Self-Portrait arrived in 1970 with a resounding, moist flop. I don't mean it was a commercial flop; it sold well.

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A Blog Supreme
9:03 am
Tue September 10, 2013

The Odd Jobs Of Dave King

Dave King.
Courtesy of the artist

Among musicians, drummers are the explorers, the tinkerers, the polymaths. They don't just play one instrument, but dozens at the very least.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
8:03 am
Tue September 10, 2013

The 1975: Tiny Desk Concert

The 1975 performs a Tiny Desk Concert in June 2013.
Hayley Bartels Hayley Bartels/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:11 pm

As lead singer of the youthful Manchester band The 1975, Matthew Healy has cranked out a batch of enjoyably wiry songs, most notably the singles "Chocolate" and "Sex" — each of which has attracted more than a million YouTube plays. The group has been bubbling up, here and in the U.K., for the last year or two, as it's toured with Muse and released an album and four EPs full of brash-but-winsome, electronics-tinged pop-rock.

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All Songs Considered
7:43 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Dave Grohl And Krist Novoselic Share Memories, Unreleased Tracks From 'In Utero'

Nirvana in 1993 (from left): Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl.
Anton Corbijn

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 3:53 pm

  • Hear Dave Grohl And Krist Novoselic On 'In Utero'

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World Cafe
5:23 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

The Head And The Heart On World Cafe

Seattle's The Head and the Heart recently performed on World Cafe.
Josh Principe The Billions Corporation

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:29 pm

This session, from Dec. 12, 2011, is the second in our Vintage Cafe series, where we revisit some of our best studio performances.

The Head and the Heart was formed after five twentysomethings met at an open mic night in Seattle.

"None of us knew each other beforehand," recalls singer Josiah Johnson. "I just happened to go to the same open mic. [Jonathan Russell] played some songs and I played some songs, then we started talking and hanging out."

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The Record
4:50 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

We Saw Andre 3000 Play Jimi Hendrix

Andre 3000 on set as Jimi Hendrix.
Wenn.com

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 1:23 pm

This weekend was the first chance critics have had to see musician and actor Andre Benjamin play Jimi Hendrix, in a role that fans have complained has kept him from recording new music with his longtime partner in OutKast, Big Boi. NPR's film critic, Bob Mondello, screened All Is By My Side at the Toronto International Film Festival and sent this missive.

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Music Reviews
12:20 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

When Duke Flirted With The Queen

Duke Ellington, looking dapper in 1958.
Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 9:35 am

In 1958, at an arts festival in Yorkshire, Duke Ellington was presented to Queen Elizabeth II. They tied up the reception line for a few minutes, exchanging royal pleasantries; our Duke politely flirted with Her Majesty. Soon afterward, maybe that very night, Ellington outlined the movements of The Queen's Suite. He recorded it with his orchestra the following year, sent it to Her Majesty, and declined to release it to the public in his lifetime. It's not clear whether Queen Elizabeth has listened to it.

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Music Interviews
12:03 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Blitz The Ambassador: Fighting Against Invisibility

Quazi King Blitz the Ambassador

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 4:06 pm

"I've always felt hip-hop as a culture hasn't really yet embraced its international roots." That's something that Blitz the Ambassador is working to change. Born Samuel Bazawule in Ghana, he grew up listening to Public Enemy. Now, he's a rapper in the U.S. His sound blends his rap influences like Chuck D with the Afrobeat sounds of Fela Kuti and the high-life music of his home.

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Favorite Sessions
10:39 am
Mon September 9, 2013

KEXP Presents: Sharon Van Etten

Sharon Van Etten (right) performs "Tarifa" for KEXP.
KEXP

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 2:06 pm

From within the quaint wooded oasis of the Bunny Glade at the Portland, Ore., festival Pickathon, singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten thrilled us during a brief acoustic set with a brand-new song. "It'll be a radio debut," she said after performing a gorgeously sung version of "Tarifa" with her touring bandmate, Heather Woods Broderick.

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