Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 10:22 am
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the shampoo samples we accidentally tossed into the fireplace is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives â and, this week, the etiquette surrounding the giving and receiving of mix CDs.
If you look at the cover art of new albums by flutists Nicole Mitchell and Anna Webber, you'll see crystals. On Percussive Mechanics, Webber depicts a handful of glass shards carefully arranged as if to create an abstract sculpture. On Aquarius, Mitchell wraps herself in a sting of icicle lights â the kind you see hanging around Christmastime â which is appropriate, as her band is called Ice Crystal.
There are three stages at the Newport Jazz Festival. At least two are always running simultaneously. Given the surfeit of options, it's rare to hear a complete set. The question begins to nag: Should be we somewhere else? And away you go, leaving a work in progress to make sure you don't miss one getting underway.
But sometimes if you choose a spot on the lawn and stay put, the juxtaposition of two bands delivers a fine festival experience. Sunday morning, August 5, 2012, on the Quad Stage is such a time.
Emily Wells is one woman with the force of a band â and her sound has evolved as much as her setup. Starting with a loop pedal and a violin, she's incorporated additional instrumentation to add depth to her hip-hop-influenced style, which is one part Biggie and two parts lullaby.
On the day after the Supreme Court concluded its epic term in June, two of the supreme judicial antagonists, Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, met over a mutual love: opera.
When it comes to constitutional interpretation, the conservative Scalia and the liberal Ginsburg are leaders of the court's two opposing wings. To make matters yet more interesting, the two have been friends for decades, since long before Scalia was named to the court by President Reagan and Ginsburg by President Clinton.
Join Fiona Ritchie at The Swannanoa Gathering in the mountains of North Carolina for a conversational, musical encounter with vocalist and leading banjo and mandolin player Claudine Langille, known for her work in the 1980s with Touchstone and her current band Gypsy Reel. Hear why songs and tunes from the Canadian Maritimes, Ireland and Appalachia flow through Langille's music.
Soul man Charles Bradley knew he could sing â former band members and friends always told him that. But he just never got the shot, shuttling from one odd job to another. Into his 50s, Bradley was living with his mother in New York and performing as a James Brown interpreter under the name "Black Velvet." When Daptone Records co-founder Gabriel Roth saw him perform, this soul man finally got his shot at fame.