Three for a Song is a performing trio with a love for the 1930s, during which some of the greatest songwriters who ever lived wrote music that would enter the canon of American popular song. But the group has recently added a quirk to its repertoire: performing songs that were never popular.
"You will always hear Burton Lane's 'How Are Things in Glocca Morra?' " says the trio's pianist, Alex Hassan, who is also a pop-music archivist. "But you will not hear an incredible torch song that he wrote for a 1935 MGM flick that never got made."
Six finalists for the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition were announced last night in Fort Worth, Texas. For the first time since its inception more than 50 years ago, the contest is taking place without its namesake. Cliburn died in February of cancer, and the competition is dealing with his loss and other changes as well.
Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:13 pm
Nonchalant raw riffage and perfect off-the-cuff lyrics are what attracted me to Light Up Gold, the second full-length album from the Brooklyn indie-rock band Parquet Courts.
On this edition of World Cafe, we were lucky enough to hear three new songs that were written after the release of Light Up Gold. We can't say what will become of them, but "Dear Ramona," in particular, is extraordinary.
When singer-songwriter Grant Olney started working on his latest album, Hypnosis For Happiness, he never imagined it'd take six years to finish. But after laying down the first tracks in 2006, Olney left for the U.K. and the Netherlands to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics. After finishing a 300-page dissertation on something called "high dimensional geometry," Olney returned to music and found himself reflecting on identity, friendship and what it means to really know someone. It's a knotty mix of emotions and ideas he tackles in a touching new video for the song "Not From Body."
Patty Griffin is back on the road to support American Kid, her seventh studio album, which she wrote as a tribute to her father. She recorded the album in Memphis, working with Luther and Cody Dickinson from the North Mississippi Allstars. Robert Plant, Griffin's tourmate and significant other, also makes an appearance on the album.
Finally, you know those movies you pull out time and time again when you can't figure out what you want to watch. Our colleagues at Weekends on All Things Considered regularly ask filmmakers and actors about the movies they never get tired of watching. Today, rapper and actor Common tells us about one of his favorites.
COMMON: Peace, this is Common and I'm a artist, an actor. And the movie I've seen a million times is "Coming to America," directed by John Landis, starring Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, and James Earl Jones.
Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:58 pm
Madeleine Peyroux started singing blues and jazz on the streets of Paris. Over the course of her career, Peyroux has released six albums, sold more than a million copies of her second record (Careless Love) and developed a following for her easygoing, Billie Holiday-tinged sound.