Music

World Cafe
1:49 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

The Handsome Family On World Cafe

The Handsome Family.
Jason Creps Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:53 pm

Brett and Rennie Sparks have inhabited a unique musical world together since the '90s. As The Handsome Family, husband Brett sings and writes the melodies while wife Rennie focuses on the lyrics; the resulting ghost stories and murder ballads have won the band an intense cult following. After years spent in Chicago, where Wilco helped boost its profile, The Handsome Family now resides in Albuquerque, N.M.

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Mountain Stage
1:11 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Lucius On Mountain Stage

Lucius perform on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 3:31 pm

Lucius makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Led by singers Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe, Lucius mixes eerily tight vocals with lush instrumentation for a sound that's won fans everywhere from Seventeen magazine to Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman.

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Remembrances
1:04 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Carline Ray: A Pioneer For Women In Jazz Dies At 88

Carline Ray, who sang with The International Sweethearts of Rhythm and Mary Lou Williams died on July 18 at the age of 88.
Jazz Promo Services

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 2:56 pm

Pioneering musician Carline Ray died July 18 at age 88. In the 1940s, when it was difficult for women to be accepted as jazz musicians, Ray found a home in the all-female band The International Sweethearts of Rhythm as the guitarist and a featured vocalist. She was also a bass player who performed with Sy Oliver, Mercer Ellington and Mary Lou Williams.

Ray was born in Harlem in 1925 during the Harlem Renaissance. She graduated from Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music. Her husband, Luis Russell, led his own band and worked as Louis Armstrong's music director.

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Favorite Sessions
12:12 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

KCRW Presents: Junip

Junip performs live on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic.
Larry Hirshowitz KCRW

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 2:16 pm

Junip relishes distortion, but with with tender melodies and soft tones set atop a bed of electronic production that teeters on chaotic. In songs like "Your Life, Your Call," you can sense the urgency in every note, even as singer José González keeps his delivery sounding hushed and sweet.

Watch Junip's entire Morning Becomes Eclectic session at KCRW.com.

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Mountain Stage
3:38 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Sonny Landreth On Mountain Stage

Sonny Landreth performs on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 3:29 pm

Sonny Landreth makes his eighth appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Widely regarded as one of the greatest electric slide guitarists of all time, Landreth has been featured at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival every year since its inception.

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World Cafe
3:30 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

World Cafe Next: Aisha Burns

Aisha Burns.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:53 pm

  • Hear Two New Songs By Aisha Burns

Aisha Burns is best known as the violinist in the chamber-folk band Balmorhea. But in the last few years, Burns has left her comfort zone to write her own songs and play them on guitar. On her debut album, Life in the Midwater, there's a delicate intimacy to her approach. Hear two songs from the new album, which is due out in September.

Tiny Desk Concerts
2:55 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Guards: Tiny Desk Concert

Guards performs a Tiny Desk Concert in June 2013.
Denise DeBelius NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:21 pm

Guards' music captures the pop sound of the late '50s and early '60s, but with more power and polish. It's hard not to hear a bit of Buddy Holly's melody and spirit — think 1958's "Rave On" — when you hear Guards play "Silver Lining," the first song in this Tiny Desk Concert.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:44 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Licia Albanese: An Opera Diva Hits 100

Soprano Licia Albanese sang the title role in Puccini's Madama Butterfly 72 times at the Metropolitan Opera.
The Metropolitan Opera Archives

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 1:27 pm

It's not every day a great opera diva makes it to the century mark. So let's take a moment to cheer for Licia Albanese, the beloved Metropolitan Opera star, who celebrates her 100th today and who most likely would not care to be called a "diva."

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The Two-Way
8:02 am
Mon July 22, 2013

VIDEO: 'Grandma Drummer' Says She Loves To Play

"Grandma Drummer" — Mary Hvizda — in action.
Coalition Drum Shop video

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 8:52 am

We can't start the new week without posting more video of the "grandma drummer" who captured so much attention on Friday.

As we said in an update Saturday, the mystery woman who became a YouTube hit thanks to video of her rocking out at a La Cross, Wis., drum shop has been ID'd as Mary Hvizda, 63, of Onalaska, Wis.

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All Songs Considered
8:01 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Song Premiere: The Civil Wars' 'Dust To Dust' Is An Ode To The End

John Paul White and Joy Williams are The Civil Wars
Allister Ann Courtesy of the Artist

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 9:38 am

Joy Williams and John Paul White are The Civil Wars, a duo of passionate performers. The first time I saw them perform there were such positive sparks flying between them, but these days they can barely speak to one another. The Civil Wars are about to release a new album — their second and probably their last for a while or perhaps forever ... we shall see.

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