Woody Herman, who would have turned 100 on Thursday, bloomed early and late — and then later still. He turned pro by age 9, singing and dancing in movie theaters on summer vacation. He'd perform one song deemed too risqué for radio when he recorded it decades later: "My Gee Gee From the Fiji Isles."
Thursday morning, the Boston Symphony Orchestra announced that conductor Andris Nelsons is being appointed as its music director. The selection puts an end to the uncertainty that has cast a long shadow over the celebrated orchestra in recent years.
Whether its members see it as blessing or a curse, Vampire Weekend's early success placed the band squarely under a microscope. Since even before the release of its first album, Vampire Weekend's clever lyrics and use of worldly rhythms have commanded attention; fortunately, the group's fame hasn't waned as its music has become more dynamic and confident.
Two years ago on Memorial Day, Nashville songwriter Connie Harrington was driving in her car, listening to a story on the public radio program Here & Now. And she heard a father remembering his son — a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan.
The competition for your ears — and dollars — just got a little tougher. On Wednesday, Google launched a paid music subscription service that will put it in direct competition with other streaming services like Spotify and Pandora. The announcement may just be the beginning for Google.
When 23-year-old Solomon "Sully" Omar felt the music scene in his native Denver wasn't giving him what he was looking for, he made a radical move. He headed for Kabul, capital of the war-torn country his parents had fled decades ago.
"I came here to continue my education and at the same time see what's in the music scene here and bring some of the skills and abilities that I have to the music scene," says Omar.
RNDM is a new band featuring Joseph Arthur, Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament and drummer Richard Stuverud. Ament and Arthur met when the latter opened for Pearl Jam on tour.
Ament tells World Cafe host David Dye that he was mesmerized by Arthur's ability to create band sounds by looping his guitar and vocals. He also describes how RNDM formed and explains the process behind creating its debut album, Acts.
Milo Greene — a band, not a person — makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. The cinematic pop band offsets its atmospheric melodies with a driving, energetic edge.
Four of Milo Greene's five members — keyboardist Marlana Sheetz, bassist Graham Fink and guitarists Andrew Heringer and Robbie Arnett — share lead-vocal duties, and often swap instruments between songs. Along with Curtis Marrero on drums, they've opened for The Civil Wars on a 2011 tour and are set to play Lollapalooza this summer.