Music News

Music News
4:05 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Wilko Johnson Set Out To Make One Final Album, But It Didn't Work Out That Way

Wilko Johnson (left) and Roger Daltrey play a benefit for Pancreatic Cancer UK in London.
David M. Benett Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 4:23 pm

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Music News
4:45 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Encore: A Basic Training Workout Mix

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 5:57 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

If you are one of the many Americans who resolved to spend more time at the gym in 2015, we have a little extra inspiration to help you stick with your new workout plan.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PHYSICAL")

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Music News
2:42 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Ahmad Jamal, 'A Musical Architect Of The Highest Order,' Keeps On Building

At 84, acclaimed jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal is still recording and touring
Karen Michel

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 4:48 pm

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The Record
5:03 am
Tue December 30, 2014

A Rational Conversation: Neal Brennan On What The Hell Happened This Year

Neal Brennan.
Courtesy of Neal Brennan

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Music News
3:25 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Remembering When Johnny Cash Stopped To Talk To A Young Reporter

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 5:52 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Music News
3:18 am
Thu December 25, 2014

Committed's 'Home For Christmas' Has Fun Songs And Some Classics

Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 5:00 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

As always, we have a lot of news to cover today. But on this holiday, we thought it was worth devoting a good bit of time to some Christmas music.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS")

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NPR Story
2:52 am
Thu December 25, 2014

Barry Manilow: I Jump At The Chance To Do A Christmas Album

Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 5:00 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Holiday Music
12:03 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Couldn't Miss This One: Behind 'Christmas Wrapping'

The Waitresses' members were in the middle of a tour behind "I Know What Boys Like" when "Christmas Wrapping" took over the radio in 1981.
David Corio Redferns

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 6:02 am

Chris Butler founded The Waitresses, a smart-aleck New Wave band, in late-'70s Akron, Ohio. He recalls a long-ago summer when the owner of ZE Records asked him and his collaborators to come up with a Christmas song.

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Music News
3:05 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Moreno's 'El Burrito Sabanero', Welcomed Update To A Holiday Song

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 5:28 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Music News
3:04 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

What A Failed Hip-Hop Experiment Can Teach Us About The Future Of U.S.-Cuba Relations

Los Aldeanos' Aldo Rodriguez (left) and El B.
Daniel Hdez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 9:55 am

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Remembrances
2:23 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Charismatic Singer Joe Cocker Dies At 70

Joe Cocker.
Ernesto Ruscio Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 3:54 pm

Joe Cocker died Monday at his home in Crawford, Colo., after what his publicist described as a hard-fought battle with small-cell lung cancer. He was 70.

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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Singer Joe Cocker Dies At Age 70

Singer Joe Cocker, famous for his powerful and raspy voice, has died at age 70.
Ron Wolfson Landov

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 2:02 pm

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The Record
6:03 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Top 10 Top 40 For 2014

Unpublished

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Remembrances
6:20 am
Sun December 21, 2014

When The Beatles Gave Fans A 'Crimble' Present

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 11:01 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Christmas is the time of year for carols, presents, festive cheer, and if you were a member of The Beatles Fan Club back in the 1960s, it was the season for a special edition flexi-disc from John, Paul, George and Ringo.

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NPR Story
3:11 am
Thu December 18, 2014

How Tchaikovsky's 'Nutcracker' Became A Holiday Tradition

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 10:31 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Here is a holiday tradition that seems as old as Christmas trees and mistletoe.

(SOUNDBITE OF PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY SONG, "NUTCRACKER OVERTURE")

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The Record
1:23 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Redman On Music And Marijuana: Now Is The Time For Some Action

Redman onstage at the Best Buy Theater in New York City on November 26th, 2014.
Polina Yamshchikov for NPR

Quick survey: you're going to the Word Wide Rollers Tour, presented by a group of weed connoisseurs called the Smoker's Club. Among the featured performers is a rapper named Berner and a DJ named TreeJay. The tour poster shows a Smokey the Bear type blunting in the woods. What do you pack?

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The Record
9:43 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Listen To 'The Eye,' A New Song By Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile's fifth studio album, The Firewatcher's Daughter, will be out on March 3.
David McClister Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 10:45 am

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The Two-Way
12:03 am
Tue December 16, 2014

2015 Rock Hall Of Fame Class Includes Lou Reed, Joan Jett, Green Day

Billie Joe Armstrong (left) and Mike Dirnt of Green Day play the Reading Festival. Green Day and five other acts will join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year.
Yui Mok PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 6:49 am

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All Songs Considered
9:19 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Hear The First New D'Angelo Album In 15 Years

D'Angelo has just released his first album in 15 years, Black Messiah.
Vallery Jean FilmMagic

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 9:47 am

We woke up to a world with a new D'Angelo album, his first in almost 15 years. For lovers of R&B and soul — hell, for lovers of music that transcends — this is unreal.

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Music News
3:18 pm
Sat December 13, 2014

'Voices Within The Music': A Brief History Of Guitar Effects

"I started thinking about effects pedals as being like a palette with different colors," Wilco guitarist Nels Cline says.
Diverse Images/UIG Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 5:24 pm

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Music News
6:12 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Malawi Mouse Boys: Hunting Mice And Singing In Harmony

The Malawi Mouse Boys.
Marilena Deli

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 12:21 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
3:17 am
Sat December 13, 2014

A Bicentennial For Boston's Handel And Haydn Society

Harry Christophers leads the Handel and Haydn Society, now celebrating its bicentennial.
James Doyle Handel and Haydn Society

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:14 pm

Boston's Handel and Haydn Society is one of the oldest continuously running performing arts organizations in the country. To celebrate its bicentennial this season, the group made a new recording of a holiday perennial, Handel's Messiah, which also happens to be one of the first works it staged nearly 200 years ago. Still, the Handel and Haydn Society is very different from what it was when it started.

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The Record
8:46 am
Fri December 12, 2014

In 2014, Pop Followed Beyonce's Lead

Beyonce's performance during the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards in August included clips of a speech about feminism by author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Kevin Winter/MTV1415 Getty Images for MTV

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 5:28 pm

2014 was a divisive time in popular music, with no single album or song seeming to capture the year's mood and no trend pointing clearly toward the future. But most music lovers could agree on one thing: Beyoncé was flawless. The 33-year-old powerhouse set every standard by which pop music and celebrity are judged.

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The Record
12:19 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

The Political Folk Song Of The Year

Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff.
Joshua Shoemaker Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 8:52 am

When Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff wrote the song "The Body Electric," she knew it would make its way into the world, and hoped its effects would be palpable. Horrified by the rapes that have made tragic news from India to America's college campuses, the singer-songwriter noticed that her own people — music makers and music lovers — would regularly sing along with choruses about killing women, comfortably accepting gender-based violence as part of the ballad tradition.

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The Record
2:23 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Cornell To Digitize A Rich Hip-Hop Archive

Bill Adler (center) with LL Cool J (left) and Fab 5 Freddy at LL's mother's house in 1988.
Daniel Root Courtesy of Bill Adler

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 5:21 pm

Aaliyah, Ace Hood, the Afros, Ali D, Arrested Development: In Bill Adler's extensive collection of hip-hop history, some of the genre's biggest names are arranged next to lesser mainstream artists.

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Parallels
1:43 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Russian Pop Stars Pay A Price For Speaking Out On Ukraine

The Russian pop group Televizor has criticized Russia's involvement in Ukraine. Here, frontman Mikhail Borzykin performs at a 2011 show in St. Petersburg. At some concerts he sings, "Putin is a fascist," a reference to the Russian president, shown on the screen behind him.
Svetlana Bobrova Courtesy of Televizor

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 6:44 am

The conflict over Russia's role in Ukraine is spilling over into many aspects of Russian life, including its music scene. Some of the country's most popular musicians have taken stands against the annexation of Crimea and Russia's support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

And those who oppose Russian involvement have been facing a backlash from the authorities.

The veteran band Televizor is a case in point.

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The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Bob Dylan, In New Album, Will Cover Frank Sinatra

Bob Dylan performs onstage during the 17th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at The Hollywood Palladium on Jan. 12, 2012, in Los Angeles. In his next album, Dylan will "uncover" Frank Sinatra.
Christopher Polk Polk/Getty Images for VH1

He's doing it his way – even though "My Way" won't be on Bob Dylan's new album of Frank Sinatra covers.

Dylan's new album, Shadows in the Night, is being released in February. It's his 36th studio album, and will come three years after Tempest.

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Music News
8:28 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Just Who Is That 'Mean Old Daddy'?

Joni Mitchell, pictured here in 1970, wrote the song "Carey" while living in Matala, Crete.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 8:49 am

This song may take you back a ways — say, about 43 years.

That's Joni Mitchell, back when her voice was high and light. It's "a helium voice," as she describes it in an interview with NPR's Morning Edition.

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The Record
7:42 am
Sat December 6, 2014

WKRP In Perpetuity

The cast of WKRP in Cincinnati, recently reissued on DVD by Shout! Factory, which collected licenses to include most of the original music broadcast on the show.
Courtesy Sony Pictures Television

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 9:06 pm

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The Record
2:43 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

A Supposedly Irie Thing I'll Most Certainly Do Again

Jr. Gong, Stephen Marley, Cham, Sean Paul — the list goes on. A massive jam session ensues and nearly everyone leaps onstage to spit some lyrics. To call this reggae history is no hyperbole.
Empress K For NPR

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 2:21 pm

DAY ONE

How much Bob Marley paraphernalia can you cram on a single boat?

That's no riddle. I'm sincerely pondering this as I stand in line at the Port of Miami, about to board the Norwegian Pearl. I am going on a cruise.

I am going on a cruise.

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