Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:10 pm
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If there's one thing public radio DJs know how to do, it's spot a great song. They spend the entire year combing through every album that shows up at their station and endlessly surfing the web, looking the world over for overlooked gems. It's nice work if you can get it.
Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:55 pm
Stile Antico is a 13-member a cappella choir based in London. Most of these fresh-faced singers are still in their 20s, but they've already racked up some impressive awards for their recordings — mainly of intricately woven music from the Renaissance.
Back in 1985, a young Malian named Zani Diabate became one of the first African musicians to release a successful album in Europe. He was soon crowded out by a flood of superstar African singers, but for anyone who experienced Diabate's rocking guitar tone and edgy African phrasing, the sound is unforgettable.
Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 12:48 pm
Every year for the past decade, The Polyphonic Spree has celebrated the holidays with a special "extravaganza" in Dallas, featuring dancing, DJs and, of course, the band performing seasonal songs. This year, The Polyphonic Spree celebrates the 10th anniversary of that extravaganza with a live tour of the show, as well as a new CD called Holidaydream. The group also has this beautiful new video for one of the album's standout tracks: John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)."
Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 10:53 am
Composers Hubert Parry, Charles Villiers Stanford and Edward Elgar dominated the British musical scene in the latter half of the Victorian age through the Edwardian era. Albums of Parry's music have been rare lately, so this new recording by Neeme Järvi and BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales is most welcome. Except for Parry's ever-popular Jerusalem, all the selections here are world premiere recordings.
Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 1:11 pm
If you aren't excited to have the loud, aggressive post-hardcore band Metz live on the air with you, then you might as turn in your headphones. All early reports back from listeners and fellow DJs had been that the Toronto band brings it live, and in the studio at KEXP, Metz did just that. Alex Edkins' ferocious vocals and guitar work, Chris Slorach's rumbling bass and Hayden Menzies' pummeling drums all added up to one of the loudest and best sessions I've seen this year.