If you listen to the music on Charmer, hearing Aimee Mann's vocals as just another lilting instrument, you'd probably think the album was just what the title suggests: a charmer. The melodies have an airy quality, at once floating and propulsive, and even without fixing on the words, you can hear that they're metrically precise, with carefully counted-out syllables and tight rhymes.
Grizzly Bear, which has just released its fourth studio album, Shields, spoke to Morning Edition host David Greene about democracy within the band, censorship and candor in interviews, and achieving success as an indie band. Hear the radio version at the audio link and read part of their conversation below.
Weekends on All Things Considered continues its "Why Music Matters" series with music from the heavens, as chosen by astronaut Stan Love.
"In space, every day is an important day of work," Love says. But when he was sent up to the space station to drop off and pick up crew members, the returning station crew member asked, "Dudes, where are the tunes?"
Violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman compares Jewish cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot to some of the giants of opera. Helfgot is the chief cantor at Manhattan's Park East Synagogue. He has sung at the Metropolitan Opera. Now, he and Perlman have recorded an album together that goes back to a time when cantors were opera stars. Jon Kalish reports.
In the 1980s, Elliott Sharp was the height of New York City cool, a central part of that town's experimental music scene. His creations were inspired by advanced mathematical concepts. He tuned his guitars according to the Fibonacci Sequence and wrote challenging pieces inspired by fractal geometry.
Imagine you're strolling down a dark and steamy alley. In the distance, you think you overhear Adele jamming with some combination of country and bluegrass pickers. As you round the corner and get a look at the band, you realize it's actually Lake Street Dive: singer Rachael Price, drummer Mike Calabrese, bassist Bridget Kearney and guitarist Mike "McDuck" Olson.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 12:17 pm
Pianist Ethan Iverson launched a debate last month when he evoked "the dark side" of musical competition — specifically, of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, whose semifinals and finals take place this weekend in Washington, D.C. Iverson took issue with overemphasizing technical convention, and with the very nature of judging art, making the somewhat hyperbolic suggestion that Monk couldn't have competed in the contest named for him.