Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Frannie Kelley on Kanye West
What happened over the weekend? At 8:34 on Friday night, Kanye West tweeted. He said he'd be premiering a song in a half hour and we'd have to do what he said to hear it – we'd have to go to a particular address and stand outside with other people and watch a video projected onto the side of a building. Of course, the first video of the video was up within minutes, so most people didn't have to do any such thing.
This week on All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton offer up a musical sampler of many styles from around the world. There's an upbeat, atmospheric cut with amazing harmonies from the magnetic Laura Mvula, a voice you'll hear a lot more of this year; Firehorse's blazing combination of neo-soul, hip-hop and electronic beats; a heavy, hypnotic track from New York duo Small Multiples and some transfixing psych-pop from Jagwar Ma.
Queens of the Stone Age's first album in six years follows an unusually chaotic stretch for the band: Lineup and label changes, frontman Josh Homme's lengthy stint in the hit supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, and what Homme calls "a manic year" all inform the brooding, stormy sound of ...Like Clockwork.
How much do you know about Richard Wagner? Probably two unfavorable facts: He wrote very long, grandiose operas and was Hitler's favorite composer. As true as they are, those simple examples barely hint at the complexity of this endlessly creative and confounding artist.
The National's rise has been slow and steady, to match the growth and evolution of its dour but beautiful rock sound. In this installment of World Cafe, the band tells host David Dye how sleep deprivation led its members to craft more straightforward songs on their new album, Trouble Will Find Me.
Seeing The National live in concert can be an intense and cathartic experience. Seeing the band play new songs in the cozy confines of The Cutting Room Studios takes that experience to a new level. The band is in fine form here, as it performs "Graceless," one of the many stand-outs on the new Trouble Will Find Me.
Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist and a founding member of The Doors, died Monday in Germany. He was 74.
A statement from publicist Heidi Ellen Robinson-Fitzgerald said Manzarek died in Rosenheim, Germany, after a long battle with bile duct cancer.
Manzarek and Jim Morrison founded the iconic band after meeting in California. The Doors went on to become one of the most successful rock 'n' roll acts of the 1960s — and continues to have an impact decades after Morrison's death in 1971.
Loudon Wainwright III makes his 14th appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Wainwright first played Mountain Stage in 1988 — at that time, he was already regarded as one of America's finest singer-songwriters. Since that time, Wainwright's sardonic, poignant wit has helped him win armloads of awards and countless more fans.
Hanni El Khatib is a first-generation American who grew up with a Palestinian father and a Filipino mother in San Francisco. His music has origins in '50s and '60s soul, blues, R&B and garage rock, with all those influences filtered through an intense love of punk music.