Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 5:29 pm
Best Coast is known for simple, beachy pop songs, but the L.A. duo's new album The Only Place steps up the production quality significantly. Singer Bethany Cosentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno are driven by shared appreciation: Crazy For You and the new record both showcase the pair's infectious love of California.
On the drive from his home in Charlottesville, Va., to the Manhattan studios of Piano Jazz, pianist Hod O'Brien was inspired to compose an original tune in honor of the occasion. By the time he'd arrived, he'd worked out a swinging little ditty in his head, so he kicked off this session with a tune he called "Clarion for Marian."
"His playing was wonderful," recalls host Marian McPartland. "And I really enjoyed playing on Charlie Parker ['Now's The Time'] with Hod. I thought it came off very well."
Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 10:03 am
This week's quiz comes from Sean Carey, the drummer for Bon Iver and a fantastic solo artist (who records and performs as S. Carey). We featured his stunningly beautiful debut album, All We Grow in our First Listen series back in 2010. Earlier this summer he released the EP Hoyas.
Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 10:11 am
The up-tempo string band Scythian makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Featuring twin fiddles and energy to spare, Scythian sets itself apart from other traditional bands by blending Celtic music and bluegrass with touches of French Canadian, zydeco and gypsy styles, a product of founder Alexander Fedoryka's Ukrainian ancestry.
Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 1:34 pm
Broadway and film legend Marvin Hamlisch died Monday in Los Angeles at age 68. Also the pops conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, he began studying at Juilliard at age 7 — and at the time, he was the youngest student to be accepted at there. "My big thing at Juilliard — because I hadn't taken that many piano lessons at that point — was not that I could play Bach or Beethoven, but that I could play 'Goodnight Irene' in any key," Hamlisch told NPR's Scott Simon in 1987.
Dysrhythmia makes the kind of highly charged, neck-breaking instrumental metal that fuels late nights spent glued to a glowing screen. Besides inadvertently creating an alternate soundtrack to Contra, Dysrhythmia inspires gape-jawed awe: These musicians are ridiculously adept at their instruments, but have also embraced an otherworldly melodicism that keeps listeners hooked — especially throughout "In Secrecy," the opening cut from the band's forthcoming sixth album, Test of Submission.
I'm trying to imagine Amanda Palmer, in Amsterdam, working on this show-stopping rocker on a ukulele. But she did, and she'll tell you the tale below. This song is from the about-to-be-released album Theatre Is Evil, billed as Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra. The record was produced by John Congleton and is out on September 11.