Music

All Songs Considered
1:02 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Altar Of Plagues: Scalding, Industrial Chants From Ireland

Altar of Plagues.
Barbora Mrazkova Courtesy of the artist

There's something to be said for unconventional artists who can still connect to an audience. The band Broadcast funneled oddball library-catalog music through dreamy space-pop. Shabazz Palaces is hip-hop's cubist Sun Ra. Altar of Plagues, which works outside the roots of black metal, knows a thing or two about unconventional sounds. But the Irish band has, until now, strictly been a longform outfit, stretching drones and abrasive tones across sides of vinyl.

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Song Travels
12:52 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Neil Sedaka On 'Song Travels'

"I like the emotional criers," Neil Sedaka says of ballads.
Courtesy of the artist

Neil Sedaka is synonymous with popular music. For more than 50 years, he's written, performed and produced the soundtrack for America's collective psyche. Sedaka had a string of early-1960s pop hits, and his songs have been recorded by Frank Sinatra, Connie Francis, Elvis Presley and The Monkees, among others.

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World Cafe
12:34 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Emmylou Harris And Rodney Crowell Get The Old Band Together Again

Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris.
David McClister Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:48 pm

It was 1975 when Emmylou Harris had to figure out how to make a solo album after her classic work as Gram Parsons' duet partner. Her record company told her to "get a hot band." So she got The Hot Band with James Burton on lead, as well as a newcomer, Rodney Crowell, on rhythm guitar and, more importantly, songwriting.

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All Songs Considered
12:03 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

First Watch: Iron And Wine, 'Joy'

Craig Kief Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 1:11 pm

"Deep inside the heart of this crazy mess, I'm only calm when I get lost within your wilderness."

That's a key line in this song, "Joy," by Iron and Wine, the project of Sam Beam. Sam is a songwriter who has a way of making the personal very universal. It's also the line that piqued the interest of director Hayley Morris, who made a video for "Joy." Morris writes to us:

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Deceptive Cadence
11:53 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Portrait Of The Heldentenor As A Young Man

Pablo Helguera

Got an idea for a classical cartoon or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book is Helguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work atArtworld Salon and on his own site.

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Music Interviews
11:48 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Dale Watson: A Honky-Tonk Man With An Outlaw Spirit

Dale Watson (second from left) and His Lonestars. Their new album is titled El Rancho Azul.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 11:34 pm

Honky-tonk veteran Dale Watson has an impressive white pompadour and arms that tell his story: flag tattoos of Alabama, where he was born, and Texas, where he lives. Musical notes circle his biceps. And he has an inked portrait of his first musical inspiration — his late father, a truck driver and sometime country singer who passed on to Dale his love of traditional country, from Hank Williams to Lefty Frizzell.

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Alt.Latino
11:12 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Alt.Latino Radio

Ulises Hadjis.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 10:49 am

From Latin rock to psychedelic cumbia and everything in between, Alt.Latino Radio spins a genre-bending mix where tradition meets innovation. Listen here or in the NPR Music iPhone and iPad apps.

A Blog Supreme
9:03 am
Fri April 12, 2013

South By South Africa: 5 Jazz Acts From The Rainbow Nation

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 1:08 am

Brilliant art often hides in plain sight. Such is the case in South Africa, where, for centuries, the country turned its back on black and "coloured" musicians.

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Music
3:31 am
Fri April 12, 2013

The Thatcher Era's Effect On British Music

Morrissey, an outspoken critic of Margaret Thatcher, is one of many U.K. musicians who responded to the late British leader's reforms in song.
Album cover

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 10:55 am

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Music
11:59 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

On the Next Galactic Travels 2013-04-18

On the next Galactic Travels...
Credit Bill Fox / WDS Productions

On the next Galactic Travels, the month-long Special Focus on Ken Elkinson continues.  The Featured CD at Midnight will be Music for Commuting Volumes 5 - 6, from August Sun Productions.

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