Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 4:11 pm
Alabama Shakes, a soulful rock 'n' roll quartet, is riding a well-deserved wave to fame. Since the release of its self-titled debut in 2011, the band has entranced listeners with its diverse and energetic songs. Alabama Shakes' style is marked by lead singer Brittany Howard's powerful voice and the group's irresistible energy. Together, they enthusiastically blend rock with soul, country, blues and roots.
This show was originally broadcast on May 11, 2012.
Friday, May 11, 2012 marked the 25th anniversary of the day Fresh Air became a daily national NPR program. Before that, the show was broadcast only on WHYY in Philadelphia. How long ago was May 11, 1987? On Fresh Air's first edition, TV critic David Bianculli reviewed the finale of the TV series Hill Street Blues.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now I would like to tell you about a special performer, someone many people have called one of a kind. She is a native Washingtonian. She fuses pop, R&B and hip-hop and she does all that while accompanying herself on an instrument you don't see very often in contemporary music - her harp.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THERE'S NO ONE ELSE LIKE YOU")
Miguel turned up in the NPR Music offices early one morning, after playing a show late the night before. He appeared light and calm, and betrayed no hint that he was nervous about stripping his highly produced hits down to their bones. Accompanied by just his guitarist, Dru DeCaro, Miguel eschewed flash and went big on small gestures — ingratiating ad libs, only one full spin and voice control that kept the songs close to his chest but emotive enough to translate to the back of the room.
Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:26 pm
We asked musicians, music industry folks, writers, programmers and DJs — fans all — to tell us how they saw 2012 in music. We sent them five questions asking what began and what fell apart, what made them happy and what disappointed them. They told us about bands that broke up, albums they fell in love with, trends that waxed and waned, tools and ideas that came and went. They rue the movement of some sounds into the mainstream and celebrate the partnering of others. They took our questions seriously, and they've got jokes.
For some, bringing in the new year means praying for good things to come. Kristina Olsen ponders the reasons for prayer in her song, "Prayer Flags." She tells the story behind it in the latest edition of What's in a Song, a series from the Western Folklife Center.
Few artists have changed the face of music over the past two decades quite like Beck. Wherever his interests took him — through experiments in hip-hop, electronica, Tropicália, blues, funk, folk — Beck Hansen found a ravenous audience awaiting each new departure. For his latest project, however, he hasn't recorded a note.