Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 9:00 am
It's hard to keep track of new artists these days. Anyone with a credit card can start a Bandcamp page, and there are only so many hours in the day you can listen to music.
In an effort to make it a littler easier on you, we asked some colleagues around the country to share their favorite new discoveries of 2012, bands that made a real dent in their communities. Here are the artists you should have known in 2012.
From mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli's ambitious revival of the early Baroque composer Agostino Stefani (and yes, she's got another outrageous album cover) to three very different roles for the violin, here's a clutch of classical albums I returned to again and again this year for sheer delight and aural inspiration. Bartoli lavishes extravagant attention on the music of a fascinating but forgotten link in the history of opera.
As 2012 winds down and the Top 10 game kicks into high gear, we're all replaying the past year in our heads. Hype recedes as we reflect and the industry begins to check out for the holidays. That doesn't mean the fires are out — Camille Paglia waded into the feminist conversation around Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, Geeta Dayal poked holes in Beck's latest project and a collection of quotes from Pitchfork interviews got under our skin all over again.
This past week marks a sad anniversary in one corner of the music world. In December 2009, the Philadelphia guitarist Jack Rose died of a heart attack. He was just 38 years old and about to release a new album of the fingerstyle guitar music he was known for.
Rose's career was relatively short, and the style of music he played doesn't have a huge fan base these days, but for one artist, Rose meant a lot.
Daniel Bachman is a 23-year-old guitarist who loves traditional guitar music, He's his own musician, but he grew up listening to Rose.
Dave Brubeck died this week, a day short of his 92nd birthday. The pianist and composer was jazz for millions around the world, building blocks of chords that mixed classical influences with contemporary harmonies and opposing rhythms.
Dave Brubeck and saxophonist Paul Desmond created fresh sounds in the 1950s, with the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Their 1959 collaboration, Take Five, may be the best-known jazz composition of all time.
NPR Special Correspondent Susan Stamberg grew up with the sounds of Dave Brubeck, and has a Brubeck memory that's dear to her.
Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 9:31 am
For the better part of this year, I haven't been able to shake a certain phrase from the back of my mind. It was written by the pianist and composer Vijay Iyer in the liner notes to his brilliant trio album Accelerando: "[T]his album is in the lineage of American creative music based on dance rhythms."
Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 10:09 am
Diana Newlon sits on her living-room couch leading choir practice. With her laptop balanced on one arm of the sofa, she looks at a screen full of videos of girls singing "Jingle Bell Rock." Each girl is in her own little square, arranged Brady Bunch-style on the screen.
Newlon teaches at the Ohio Distance and Electronic Learning Academy — OHDELA for short — and she's the founder of perhaps the only all-online school choir in the state, or even the nation.