Music

Fifty years ago this week, Sam Cooke strolled into a recording studio, put on a pair of headphones, and laid down the tracks for one of the most important songs of the civil rights era.

KCRW Presents: The Crystal Method

Feb 1, 2014

The Crystal Method has been instrumental in the evolution of dance music for more than 20 years now — and, on the occasion of its return to Morning Becomes Eclectic, the duo took another step by bringing along a full band. Having only played with this setup one other time (and never before on stage), Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland played new songs from their latest album in unexpected ways. Here, they work their way through "Over It," featuring Dia Frampton on vocals.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And now, a musical lift for all our listeners who were hit maybe a little too hard this week by old man winter.

(SOUNDBITE FROM SONG "STAYING ALIVE")

BARRY GIBB: (Singing) Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk, I'm a woman's man, no time to talk...

CORNISH: It's a taste of the ALL THINGS CONSIDERED Cabin Fever Playlist. Earlier this month, we asked you to tell us about the songs that make you move and groove despite the cold weather. Here's one of them.

(SOUNDBITE FROM SONG "STAYING ALIVE")

Months ago, Kim Alexander sent a letter to folk musician and activist Pete Seeger, professing her gratitude for his music and asking his advice. One day after Seeger's death, Alexander found his response waiting in her mailbox.

Herbie Hancock On Piano Jazz

Jan 31, 2014

On this episode of Piano Jazz, composer and keyboardist Herbie Hancock stops by in a program recorded in 1987. The ever-inventive Hancock sticks with the acoustic piano for this set of solos and duets with host Marian McPartland. Hancock performs a mix of his originals — "Dolphin Dance" and "Still Time" — and standards including "Limehouse Blues," "It Never Entered My Mind" and "That Old Black Magic."

Elaine Stritch On 'Song Travels'

Jan 31, 2014

Three-time Emmy winner Elaine Stritch became a star on Broadway before going on to play a string of highly regarded film and television roles. She recently played Colleen, mother of Alec Baldwin's character Jack Donaghy, on the hit sitcom 30 Rock.

After more than 40 years in New York, Elaine Stritch moved home to Michigan not long ago. But before leaving town, she sat down with host Michael Feinstein for an episode of Song Travels full of hilarious music and candid talk about her life and career in the spotlight.

Bell X1 On World Cafe

Jan 31, 2014

For its sixth album, last summer's Chop Chop, Bell X1 simplified its recording process and ended up with some of its strongest songs. The Dublin band formed out of another group led by Damien Rice, but when Rice went solo, Paul Noonan took over songwriting duties and Bell X1 was born — named after the first airplane, Bell X-1, to break the sound barrier. Hear a full live set from the band on World Cafe.

When soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom plays Kurt Weill's "My Ship" on her new album Sixteen Sunsets, a pale glow around her notes comes from a simple special effect: pointing her horn under the hood of a piano whose strings are free to resonate. Bloom has always been preoccupied with sound, and has one of the prettiest, clearest tones around on soprano.

Latin Roots: Songs In Two Languages

Jan 31, 2014

Josh Norek from the Latin Alternative radio show returns to World Cafe with Latin music for Spanish speakers and English speakers alike. Hear a pair of bilingual songs, with a classic from Carlos Santana and another from Los Abandoned that speaks to the Mexican immigrant experience.

Reality is nine-tenths perception, even in our most intimate relationships. Is it love? Infatuation? Is it real and lasting? All we have are the choices we make. In the latest video from electro-beat guru Son Lux, a torrid relationship plays out between two lovers, as frontman Ryan Lott reflects on the possibilities of an "Alternate World."

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