Death Cab for Cutie is known for bittersweet love songs, stirring melodies and frontman Ben Gibbard's unmistakable voice, soft and sincere. After 15 years in the band, Gibbard is releasing his first solo album, Former Lives.
"Over the years, I've accrued a number of songs that I've always been very fond of but didn't fit tonally, lyrically, musically in with the palette of songs that were in front of us for a Death Cab for Cutie record," Gibbard tells NPR's Guy Raz.
Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 11:49 am
This week, we've been watching reports from the CMJ Music Marathon spill out of clubs in New York and onto the Internet, wondering who the next big band will be, even as we kept our eye on news that Beyonce would be performing on a much bigger stage in February and mourned the death of saxophonist David S.
Deep Sea Diver singer Jessica Dobson took a roundabout way to get where she is now. Signed to Atlantic Records at 19, Dobson moved to New York to record her first LP, which was eventually shelved; a second recording hit the same dead end. After leaving the label, she went on to play guitar in Beck's touring band, toured with Yeah Yeah Yeahs and most recently played with The Shins.
John Lennon loved word play; he wrote songs that have not only become standards, but also milestones, like "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "Strawberry Fields," which he wrote with the Beatles, and "Imagine" and "Give Peace a Chance," which he wrote on his own. For most of his life, he also composed letters to friends and family; then lovers, as he grew up; and strangers, as he grew famous. His notes, letters and postcards often contained small, funny drawings and self portraits.
Placido Domingo is one of the most influential people in classical music. During a 50-year career, he's played more than 140 roles, conducted more than 450 operas, and won just about every award that a human being can win in opera and life.
Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 7:43 pm
"James Moody is the most beloved jazz musician in the world," reedman Paquito D'Rivera says.
These may be strong words, but D'Rivera is far from alone in his appreciation of the tenor saxophonist, who died in 2010. On the bandstand, Moody was universally admired for his musicality, his generosity — he gave away mouthpieces, saxophones and, once, even the coat off his back — and his ability to illuminate any room with his personal warmth.
Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 5:46 pm
Grizzly Bear began in 2004 as a bedroom project for Ed Droste. By 2006, Droste had a full band alongside him: Daniel Rossen, Christopher Bear and Chris Taylor. They released Yellow House the same year, but it was 2009's Veckatimest that propelled the group to worldwide fame.
Billed as "all-ages folk and children's music from East Asia," Rabbit Days and Dumplings collects mostly traditional songs from China, Tibet, Taiwan, Japan and Korea. The album is the creation of Elena Moon Park. She's spent six years playing family music with Dan Zanes, who has a fanatically devoted following among the smaller set. For this project, she brought in dozens of other musicians from around New York City.