Music

Holiday Music
2:03 am
Tue December 18, 2012

'What Christmas Means' To Soul Singer KEM

Of "Christmas Time is Here," Kem says, "It's one of those songs that I hear and it's like, 'I wish I wrote that.' "
Anthony Mandler Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 6:07 am

For KEM's What Christmas Means, the R&B singer wanted to cover several aspects of the season: the birth of Christ, for one, but also Christmas as a "romantic holiday."

"You spend time cuddled up by the fire, warm and cozy with your wife or your husband," KEM tells NPR's David Greene. "You spend more time being intimate with shopping — we're doing things with the kids, we're together. There's a lot of sincerity, a lot of warmth."

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Mountain Stage
3:57 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Dr. Dog On Mountain Stage

Dr. Dog.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

The oddball rockers in Dr. Dog make their second appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded in partnership with the Marshall Artists Series in Huntington, W.V. Combining an unapologetic love of 1960s pop with a shambling indie-rock aesthetic, Dr. Dog has earned a loyal and growing audience.

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All Songs Considered
3:28 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Question Of The Week: What Are Your Holiday Music Memories?

Members of the Victorian State Youth Brass Band of Australia during an attempt to set a world record by playing Christmas carols for 40 straight hours.
William West AFP/Getty Images

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World Cafe
2:54 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Next: The Henry Millers

The Henry Millers.
Courtesy of the artist

Naturally, the New York band The Henry Millers takes its name from the author, who was famous for creating his own genre of literature out of an assortment of preexisting ones. Miller was also notorious for his books' often-explicit sexual content, which was deemed illicit enough for his work to be banned in the U.S. While The Henry Millers' bright, buoyant songs aren't likely to cause a scandal, the band does share Miller's penchant for drawing from different styles — its debut album, Daisies, is equal parts indie-rock, folk and synth-pop.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:16 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Alt-J: Tiny Desk Concert

Alt-J Tiny Desk Performance NPR 2012
Lauren Rock NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:47 pm

There's mystery in the music of Alt-J: The band's songs are wrapped in enigmatic textures, with swift shifts in arrangements inside every song and an oddness to the drums. Mere glimpses of lyrics are discernible, even after listening over and over — and if you can decipher the words, the meanings don't necessarily follow immediately. Still, those words reside at the core of Alt-J, and they're cinematic and stunning and sometimes brutal.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:06 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Whatever Happened To The Classical Christmas Album?

A sampling of one listener's cherished classical Christmas albums from a few years back.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 2:38 pm

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Music Interviews
3:30 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Why Barry Manilow Loves Christmas Music

Barry Manilow onstage during a tree lighting in Los Angeles in November.
Paul A. Hebert Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 10:39 am

With Christmas looming and the traditional soundtrack to the holiday becoming unavoidable, pop legend Barry Manilow — who has recorded three albums of Christmas music and just released a compilation of them called The Classic Christmas Album — spoke with Morning Edition host David Greene about the season.

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Music Interviews
2:53 pm
Sun December 16, 2012

Upended By Label Drama, Alex Clare Lands On His Feet

Alex Clare's debut album is called The Lateness of the Hour.
Jon Baker Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 6:38 pm

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Holiday Music
8:15 am
Sun December 16, 2012

The Mix: Jingle Jams

Someone took this Santa's violin.
Dimitar Dilkoff AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 1:59 am

This audio is no longer available.

For the last 14 years, WXPN host and producer Robert Drake has programmed and hosted a 24-hour holiday-music marathon called The Night Before, aired from midnight to midnight on Dec. 24. We decided this year to put more jingle in the jangle and create Jingle Jams on XPN2, a 24/7 stream of holiday music.

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