In the western suburbs of Paris 150 years ago today, a boy was born to an unassuming couple, proprietors of a china shop who had no great taste for music. But that little boy felt otherwise, and grew up to write music of bold color, timbre and harmonic daring.
Claude Debussy ignored the old rules about how to write music and in the process created a brave new world of sonic possibilities.
Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 10:52 am
Seth and Scott Avett spend a good chunk of their lives on one tour bus or another, so asking them to perform in one isn't all that different from asking them to perform in one of their own living rooms. They may be far away from their native North Carolina — to be exact, they're captured here in a Camden, N.J., parking lot in conjunction with the XPoNential Music Festival — but the setting is cozy enough for Seth Avett to brew tea before performing.
Former Nickel Creek fiddler Sara Watkins is a musical protege, both as a vocalist and as a multi-instrumentalist who plays the guitar, mandolin and ukulele. Watkins enjoyed widespread success in Nickel Creek, which included her older brother Sean and childhood friend Chris Thile.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 8:36 pm
Michael Jackson and the word "undiscovered" don't generally fit together: He had his first hit with the Jackson 5 at age 10, after all, and spent the subsequent 40 years in various stages of superstardom and/or notoriety. But troves of rare and unreleased Jacksonalia are sure to keep flooding out in the years to come.
Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 11:59 am
The Float marks the first release in 11 years from former Spinanes singer Rebecca Gates, who enlisted a host of musical friends (17 by our count, collectively addressed as The Consortium) while working on the record on and off over the past few years. In this session, she joins us with the slimmed-down version that's been joining her in Portland over the past year or so: Joanna Bolme on bass, Rebecca Cole on keys and Ji Tanzer on drums.
Now in its 40th year together, the North Carolina string band Red Clay Ramblers appears on Mountain Stage, recorded live in Charleston, W.V. Red Clay Ramblers' roots reach from the mountain music of the group's native Carolinas to country, bluegrass and New Orleans jazz. The Ramblers also have a long association with musical theater, including their Tony-winning Fool Moon on Broadway and their many collaborations with actor and playwright Sam Shepard.
Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 4:33 pm
This month's installment of Heavy Rotation demonstrates the breadth of music played on public radio stations every day. Hip-hop, electronica, contemporary classical, Cuban jazz, blues rock — it's a truly eclectic mix.