When the pianist Esbjorn Svensson died in a scuba accident in 2008, many fans of his group, the Swedish trio known as E.S.T., wondered if there might be some unreleased experiments lurking in a studio vault. There were. Just out is a disc called 301, which was recorded in 2008 during sessions for the group's final album.
Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 10:49 am
The Antlers' 2009 album Hospice was the kind of feat no one would want to duplicate: It was audaciously beautiful and belovedby critics, but its wrenching songs reflect and expound upon highly specific personal losses for singer-guitarist Peter Silberman.
Originally published on Mon June 25, 2012 12:01 pm
Musical genres always evolve in parallel worlds.
In the 1920s, composers of classical music such as Stravinsky and Copland began incorporating sensibilities of American jazz into their otherwise European musical culture. Various styles of folk music have always been fountainheads of inspiration for "classical" composers, so it was almost inevitable that blues-based music would make its way into the Western concert-music tradition.
Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of Siamese Dream, the second album by The Smashing Pumpkins and the one, along with 1995's Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, that broke the band into the mainstream and spawned its most lasting hits.
Human evolution is all about survival of the fittest. Over thousands of generations, the weak have been weeded out, and the strong have survived. But how would that kind of natural selection work in other settings - like, say, music? Well, one biologist decided to find out. He designed a website where listeners can rate collections of notes according to their musicality. The nice sounds survive, and other users listen to them. But the ugly sounds die off.
This is June, the time of year when our friends at NPRMusic compile songs, artists and albums for something they like to call their Best of the Year So Far List. And we thought we'd give you a sampling of some of their favorites. We're focusing today on Latin alternative music.
Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd hosts NPR's online show Alt.Latino and they spoke to WEEKEND EDITION's Rachel Martin about the sounds that are catching their ears in 2012.