Music

The Two-Way
10:57 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Scott McKenzie, Who Sang 'San Francisco' In The Summer Of Love, Dies

Scott McKenzie, center, with the members of The Mamas and the Papas in 1967. John Phillips, far right, wrote San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair). McKenzie died Saturday.
Worth AP

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 1:04 pm

He sang a gentle song that became a hit and something of a theme song for 1967's "Summer of Love."

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Tiny Desk Concerts
10:40 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Rufus Wainwright: Tiny Desk Concert

Rufus Wainwright performs a Tiny Desk Concert, at the NPR Music offices on July 24, 2012.
Claire O'Neill NPR

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 5:21 pm

We'd never tried to squeeze a piano behind the Tiny Desk, but when I saw a chance to have Rufus Wainwright play here, I wouldn't — and he probably wouldn't — have had it any other way. Somehow, we managed to fit a glossy black Yamaha upright against my full bookshelves. Then we tuned it and waited for some glorious moments.

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All Songs Considered Blog
10:33 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Song Premiere: Freelance Whales, 'Spitting Image'

Freelance Whales
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 12:17 pm

It's been a couple of years since we first discovered and fell in love with the music of Freelance Whales. That was back in 2010, shortly after the group of multi-instrumentalists from Queens, N.Y. released its breathtakingly beautiful debut Weathervanes.

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Why Music Matters
5:02 pm
Sun August 19, 2012

Dark Side Of The Operating Room

Divya Singh in the operating room.
Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 6:20 pm

Weekends on All Things Considered continues its "Why Music Matters" series with a story from the operating room.

"The O.R. is a naturally rhythmic place, in that you have the beating of the anesthesia machines and the autoclave comes on," says Divya Singh, an orthopedic and hand surgeon. "So music just becomes another sound."

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Music News
3:19 pm
Sun August 19, 2012

Arizona Dranes, Forgotten Mother Of The Gospel Beat

Detail from a print advertisement for Arizona Dranes' Okeh recordings.
Tompkins Square

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 6:20 pm

In the 1920s, the sound of music in the black church underwent a revolution. Standing at 40th and State Street in Chicago, Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ was a witness to what occurred.

The high-energy gospel beat of the music that can still be heard in this Pentecostal church is the creation, music critics say, of Arizona Dranes, a blind piano player, a woman who introduced secular styles like barrelhouse and ragtime to the church's music.

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Music Interviews
8:54 am
Sun August 19, 2012

Bill Fay: A Cult Figure Returns, Skeptical But Optimistic

Bill Fay's new album Life Is People is out August 21.
Courtesy of Steve Gullick

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 4:19 pm

In the early 1970s, British musician Bill Fay recorded a couple of luscious folk albums — which didn't sell very well. Fay was dropped from label after label, and though he continued to write his storybook songs over the years, he eventually fell off the map.

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Music Al Fresco
6:21 am
Sun August 19, 2012

A Honky-Tonk Duo Takes The Piano Outdoors

Pianist Kirby Lee Hammel and drummer Jake Alexander perform as Clangin' & Bangin' at an Oakland farmers market.
Nina Thorsen KQED

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 2:41 pm

Weekend Edition continues its series on the sounds of music al fresco with a musical act founded on a very inconvenient choice. You'd think a street musician would want to travel light when selecting an instrument — say, a ukulele, a violin, maybe a guitar. But a piano?

"It's about 300 pounds," says Kirby Lee Hammel. "Only one pulled muscle in the last year and a half, I think."

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Music Interviews
3:23 pm
Sat August 18, 2012

Rhiannon: An Improviser Resists The Urge To Reuse

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"There was this sensation of going on a journey together, without seat belts," says Rhiannon of her band's first totally improvised performance. Her newest album is called Spontaneous.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 7:14 pm

If you ever listened to jazz vocalists and wondered if you could ever in your life scat like them, there's someone who's willing to teach you. The vocalist Rhiannon has long held the importance of improvisation as a personal credo, and in her career has blended that art form with jazz, world music and storytelling.

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Favorite Sessions
7:14 am
Sat August 18, 2012

The Devil Makes Three: Punk Ethos With A Country Twang

Folk Alley

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 5:15 pm

Based on their instruments, they seem like an old-time string band; based on their appearance, they seem like they might play punk music. The answer lies somewhere in between. Pete Bernhard (guitar) and Cooper McBean (banjo) grew up in New England to parents who liked ragtime and old blues. The two moved to Santa Cruz temporarily, where they met Lucia Turino (upright bass), and The Devil Makes Three was born. (For our session, Adam Chilenski fills in for Lucia, who had a broken arm.)

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The Record
6:31 am
Sat August 18, 2012

It's Her Spotlight, The Band Just Lives In It

Lighting director Jackie Finney runs the light show during concerts for the band fun.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:17 pm

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