Music

Best Music Of 2012
7:03 am
Sun December 30, 2012

IMHO: A Survey About The Year In Music

The crowd at Orbital's performance at Moogfest in October.
Adam Kissick for NPR

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.

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Music
6:45 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Investigating The Anatomy Of The Musical Earworm

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 12:45 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Unless you spent December avoiding the mall, the television, higher ends of the FM dial and those cute carolers that come to your door, there's a pretty good chance you heard one of these.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG MONTAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Singing) Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (Singing) Silver bells, silver bells...

MARIAH CAREY: (Singing) All I want for Christmas is you...

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Music
5:38 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

'Prayer Flags,' A Song About Waiting On Heavenly Help

Musician Kristina Olsen says Tibetan prayer flags flying over porches near her home in Venice, Calif., became the inspiration for a song.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 5:37 pm

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.

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Music Interviews
4:47 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Beck Explains 'Song Reader,' An Album Fans Perform Themselves

Beck's newest album, Song Reader, is a collection of sheet music intended to be arranged and recorded by his fans.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 2:57 pm

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.

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All Songs Considered
4:32 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Hear All Of Beck's 'Song Reader' Album, Performed By The Portland Cello Project

Tarina Westlund Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:10 pm

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Favorite Sessions
8:03 am
Sat December 29, 2012

KCRW Presents: Robert Glasper Experiment

KCRW

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 3:17 pm

The Robert Glasper Experiment makes a unique mix of jazz, soul and R&B. It's impossible to classify as one particular genre, but as a sound, it's as eclectic and different as it is cohesive and round. Watch the group (with Robert Glasper on keys) perform "Lift Off" from Black Radio, released earlier this year.

Enjoy the full performance from KCRW here.

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Music
6:13 am
Sat December 29, 2012

What's In A Song: The Real 'Prayer Flags'

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:39 pm

In this week's What's in a Song, singer Kristina Olsen describes how Tibetan prayer flags flying over porches near her home in Venice, Calif., became the inspiration for a song.

The Record
5:31 am
Sat December 29, 2012

Reflecting On EMI, An Industry Giant Felled In 2012

The London headquarters of EMI, whose sale this year brought the number of major labels from four to three.
Simon Dawson Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:38 pm

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Music Interviews
2:03 am
Sat December 29, 2012

Johnny Cash's Boyhood Home Tells The Story Of A Town

The Cash family house today.
Michael Hibblen

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:38 pm

It's been almost a decade since Johnny Cash died, but fans still travel from around the world to see the place the music legend often described as key to his development: his boyhood home in the eastern Arkansas town of Dyess. The small house will soon serve as a museum — not only as a tribute to Johnny Cash, but also to tell the history of the town.

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NPR Story
4:18 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Remembering Fontella Bass, Voice Of A Soul Classic

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:06 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The voice of a great soul classic has died. Fontella Bass sang the 1965 hit "Rescue Me." She was 72 years old and died from complications caused by a recent heart attack. NPR's Elizabeth Blair has this appreciation.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: It's a perfect song with a perfect voice.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RESCUE ME")

FONTELLA BASS: (Singing) Rescue me. Take me in your arms. Rescue me. I love your tender charms. I'm rather lonely and I'm blue. I need you and your love, too. Come on and rescue me.

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