Music

Music Interviews
5:29 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

Yiddish Preservationists Take Their Subject To The Stage

Michael Alpert and Ethel Raim perform as part of the An-sky Yiddish Heritage Ensemble.
Janina Wurbs Courtesy of The Center for Traditional Music and Dance

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 12:49 pm

The name of the An-sky Yiddish Heritage Ensemble doubles as its mission statement: The quartet of performers and researchers has built a repetoire of old Yiddish folk songs dating back 100 years to the shtetls of Ukraine, in hopes of keeping that music from disappearing. Michael Alpert, who sings in the group, says it's part of a revival of Eastern Eurpoean Jewish culture that's be going on for nearly 40 years.

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Author Interviews
5:29 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

Finding Meaning In The Mosh Pit Among Often-Reviled Groupies

Shaggy 2 Dope, left, and Violent J make of the rap duo Insane Clown Posse, seen here in their stage makeup in 1999.
Joseph Cultice AP

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 12:49 pm

The bands Phish and Insane Clown Posse have spawned some of the most rabid fans in music history. Their world of obsession is not an easy one to break into, but on a warm December night in Miami back in 2009, pop culture writer Nathan Rabin went to see a concert that would inspire him to enter the orbit of these infamous groupies.

He wrote a book about them, You Don't Know Me But You Don't Like Me, and tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rebecca Sheir about his first-hand look at the two often-reviled sub-cultures.

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Music Interviews
9:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

George Benson Follows The Path Of His 'Unforgettable' Idol

George Benson's latest album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, is a tribute to his hero.
Greg Allen Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 1:22 pm

You could say George Benson's latest album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, was conceived decades ago. Benson was just a kid when he first mimicked Cole off the radio, singing his own version of "Mona Lisa" while accompanying himself on the ukulele. He even made a recording.

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Music
9:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Seinfeld Lends Himself To An 'Album About Nothing'

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

WALE: (Singing) Ain't been a black hero since Robert Townsend, so, Meteor Man, I hope you found something profound enough to expand on before the sound (unintelligible).

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

That's Washington, D.C.-based rapper Wale with a song from his latest album "The Gifted." The 28-year-old is riding high in the Billboard charts. taking the number one spot from Kanye West's "Yeezus." But we think Wale's album is interesting for reasons other than just its success - namely this:

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Tiny Desk Concerts
4:22 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Cheick Hamala Diabate: Tiny Desk Concert

Cheick Hamala Diabate performs a Tiny Desk Concert in the NPR Music offices.
NPR

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

There was an awful lot of dancing going on the first time I stumbled upon the music of Cheick Hamala Diabate. On the dance floor at U Street's Tropicalia that night was a rich cross-section of D.C. life, all entranced by the music of Mali.

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Music
4:25 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Summer Songs: Since You Can't Escape Them, Hope To Enjoy Them

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 5:49 pm

It's the time of the season when love for pop music runs high. Summer is officially here, and an unofficial competition is underway to crown 2013's "Song of the Summer." We're talking about those unavoidable pop anthems that are played over and over again on the radio, at the beach and out the window of passing cars. You can't escape them — you can only hope to enjoy them. NPR Music curated a list featuring more than 100 of the hits from the last 50 years.

NPR Story
2:24 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Ron Carter On Piano Jazz

Ron Carter first appeared on the national scene as a member of Miles Davis' second great quintet, which coalesced around the recording of Davis' album Seven Steps to Heaven.

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Music Interviews
1:38 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Writing Tunes to Tune In To

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 1:56 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

That music has never been played publically before today. It's our brand new SCIENCE FRIDAY theme song. And joining me now to talk about - a little more about the tune, how to make music that sounds like science is the man who created it, BJ Leiderman, a composer, producer. I'm sure you know him, because he did the theme songs for MORNING EDITION, MARKETPLACE and I think WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! Right, BJ?

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World Cafe
12:50 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Portugal. The Man On World Cafe

Portugal. The Man.
Hayley Young Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:05 am

Portugal. The Man is a shape-shifting indie-rock band originally from Wasilla, Alaska. Led by vocalist John Gourley, the group just released a new album called Evil Friends, which was produced by Brian Burton, a.k.a Danger Mouse. Burton helped the band capture the potential of each track, while lending a rhythmic feel to its psych-rock style.

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Song Travels
12:43 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Mark O'Connor On 'Song Travels'

Mark O'Connor.
Jim McGuire Courtesy of the artist

Violinist Mark O'Connor is one of the most versatile fiddlers in music today: He seems equally at home playing bluegrass, country, jazz and classical. With its roots in Texas fiddling, O'Connor's music has shaped an entirely American school of string playing. His approach to teaching violin is considered a rival to the Suzuki method.

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