Music

All Songs Considered
8:03 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Old Music Tuesday: Le Tigre

Le Tigre.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 5:39 pm

Twelve years ago this month, I was handed a sensitive document and charged with making sure it found its way into the right hands.

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Favorite Sessions
8:03 am
Tue November 27, 2012

San Cisco: An 'Awkward' Upstart From Down Under

San Cisco performs on The Current.
Nate Ryan The Current

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 10:33 am

Getting San Cisco to the U.S. airwaves was a serendipitous event. Early in the summer of 2012, The Current's local-music producer (Jon Schober) was watching the YouTube video for Metronomy's "The Look," and saw San Cisco's video for "Awkward" pop up as a recommended follow-up. The charming song, with its back-and-forth vocals between drummer Jordi Davieson and guitarist Josh Biondillo, stuck.

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Mountain Stage
6:37 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Dave Alvin On Mountain Stage

Dave Alvin.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 12:03 pm

Dave Alvin makes his sixth appearance on Mountain Stage alongside his band The Guilty Ones, recorded live in West Virginia. Since 2009, Alvin has explored his acoustic honky-tonk side, but his latest album, Eleven Eleven, marks a return to his fiery electric roots. Alvin's road-worn '64 Stratocaster screams throughout "Harlan County Line," which he wrote for the TV show Justified.

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World Cafe
6:09 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Next: Elephant Stone

Elephant Stone.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 2:30 pm

Though the shock value of dropping a sitar into Western pop music has decreased since George Harrison's Hare Krishna days, the metallic, resonant drones of the instrument can still take a normal pop song and twist it into something unexpected. Rishi Dhir, sitarist, bassist and founding member of Elephant Stone, takes full advantage of the juxtaposition.

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Music Interviews
4:48 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Meshell Ndegeocello Honors Nina Simone's 'Sovereign Soul'

Meshell Ndegeocello says she hopes her new album, a tribute to Nina Simone, revives interest in the work and life of the late artist.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 11:28 am

On her latest album, Pour Une Âme Souveraine, singer and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello performs the songs of Nina Simone. The French title is a nod to the fact that Simone spent the later years of her life in France, but it's also Ndegeocello's way of honoring her idol.

"It means 'for a sovereign soul,' " Ndegeocello tells NPR's Melissa Block. "She was one of the people, but I felt she was like royalty."

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The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

State Department: Andrew W.K. Won't Party In Bahrain On Government Dime

Becky Lettenberger/NPR

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 5:29 pm

Andrew W.K., whom NPR Music described as the "long-haired, wild-eyed, keyboard-pounding, sublimely over-the-top party-rocker," won't be taking his party to Bahrain.

At least not on the government's dime.The State Department has rescinded its invitation, stopped the music if you will, just as word started to spread that the U.S. Embassy in Manama had invited W.K. to perform.

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All Songs Considered
2:19 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Question Of The Week: When Should You Start Playing Holiday Music?

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 4:39 pm

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:03 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Martha Wainwright: Tiny Desk Concert

Martha Wainwright performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Oct. 15, 2012.
Ryan Smith Ryan Smith/NPR

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 4:37 pm

Martha Wainwright's songs examine uncomfortable moments and life experiences gone wrong, but as she acknowledges in between songs at this Tiny Desk Concert, she often has to fudge her own life story to make the details more unsettling. ("Take everything with a grain of salt," she says, "except the good stuff.") What she does is the opposite of sugarcoating: She roughs up life's smooth spots, then digs her fingertips into the cracks that form.

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Music Reviews
12:18 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Jason Kao Hwang: From The Blues To China And Back

Burning Bridge personnel, left to right: Jason Kao Hwang (violin), Wang Guowei (erhu), Sun Li (pipa), Ken Filiano (string bass), Andrew Drury (drum set), Joseph Daley (tuba), Steve Swell (trombone), Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet/flugelhorn).
Scott Friedlander Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 2:20 pm

Jazz reflects who we are as a people — democracy in action and all that. But a jazz tune or solo is also a portrait of the musician who makes it; the music reflects the particular background and training that influences how composers compose and improvisers improvise. Jason Kao Hwang makes that autobiographical component explicit throughout his extended composition for eight pieces, Burning Bridge. His parents made the move from China around the end of WWII, and he grew up attending Presbyterian services in suburban Chicago.

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Music
12:14 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

'Life Of Pi' Star's Favorite Melodies

Suraj Sharma plays the lead role in the new film Life of Pi. For the Tell Me More series "In Your Ear," Sharma shares some of the songs that inspire him and give him goose bumps.

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