Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 3:39 pm
(Pianist Jonathan Biss decodes the unconventional relationship between Robert Schumann and his wife Clara in this second essay for our week dedicated to this composer. Click the audio link above to hear him play Schumann and discuss his work with Performance Today host Fred Child.)
Iris DeMent possesses one of the great voices in contemporary popular music: powerfully, ringingly clear, capable of both heartbreaking fragility and blow-your-ears-back power. Had she been making country albums in the '70s and '80s and had more commercial ambition, she'd probably now be considered right up there with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette.
Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 11:21 am
Peter Bjorn and John are releasing a catchy, espionage-inspired track on the latest installment of the Yo Gabba Gabba! soundtrack. Yo Gabba Gabba! is a popular children's show in its fourth season on Nick Jr. The colorful cast of characters and landscapes captivates kids, while the show's soundtrack featuring alternative rock stars appeals to parents.
This week, Bob and Robin kick off the show by celebrating the 50th anniversary of the James Bond franchise, and how well it coincides with a new cut from Swedish pop trio Peter Bjorn and John called "I Wish I Was A Spy."
Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 5:18 pm
We've reached episode three of Treme's third season and things are starting to get interesting. Through the Everett, Lt. Colson, Toni Bernette and Nelson storylines, we begin to see how deep police and government corruption runs in New Orleans. Davis is funding his next scheme; Janette is funding her next restaurant; Annie is funding her next musical adventure. The possible endgame for Chief Lambreaux (and by extension, his son) draws near. And a lot of dudes get laid.
Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 1:41 pm
Field Report founder and frontman Chris Porterfield assumed his music career was over after he left the Wisconsin band DeYarmond Edison, which also featured Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and several current members of Megafaun. Following the band's 2006 breakup, Porterfield started writing music for the first time, taking years to hone his skills.
Singer-songwriter Tift Merritt makes her fourth appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. Unlike many country-influenced songwriters, Merritt made a conscious decision to eschew Nashville for New York City — which might come as surprise upon hearing the honeyed twang in her speaking voice.
Shemekia Copeland says she didn't really find her singing voice until her teen years, when her father, the late blues guitarist Johnny Copeland, began suffering from health issues. On her new album, 33 1/3, she finds a different kind of voice — one that's eager to participate in a national dialogue.
Over the past decade, Swiss musician Gregoire Maret has redefined the role of the harmonica in modern jazz. After cutting his teeth as a sideman for some the biggest names in jazz, he's now taken center stage as a bandleader.
Here, Maret talks with NPR's Neal Conan about recording his self-titled debut album, building a following for the jazz harmonica and making the transition from sideman to headliner.
It's been a while for The Helio Sequence. The Portland, Ore., duo returned in September with its first album in nearly five years, and Negotiations finds the band's tight, inventively spacey rock sound in fine form. Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel recently played a set of songs from the new record, including the lead single, "October," for our in-studio audience.