Music News

Around the Nation
5:56 am
Sat March 1, 2014

New Orleans Piano Legend's Home Finally Restored After Katrina

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 8:34 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Professor Longhair's house has been saved. Now, last year we brought you a story about the piano legend and the nationwide effort to rebuild his home following Hurricane Katrina. Henry Roeland Byrd, better known as Professor Longhair, is widely considered to be the father of modern New Orleans music. He died in 1980, but at carnival time especially, it's evident that Professor Longhair's influence endures. Now, his house will too. Gwen Thompkins brings us this story of music and more.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Music News
5:56 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Playing To The Rafters, Singing Like A Man Possessed

Possessed by Paul James is the performing title of Konrad Wert, a country-folk artist from Austin, Texas.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 9:03 am

Konrad Wert is a teacher by day, but when he plays his country-folk songs for fans in his home of Austin, Texas and elsewhere, he goes by the moniker Possessed By Paul James. In truth, "Paul James" is a fiction, a combination of the names of Wert's father and grandfather. Those who have seen him perform, however, would agree he seems possessed by something.

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Music News
2:02 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

From Recife, Brazil, 3 Rhythms Get The Carnival Party Started

Colorful umbrellas long ago replaced concealed knives during frevo parades.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 6:23 am

It's Carnival this weekend in Brazil. While it costs hundreds of dollars just to get a bad seat in Rio de Janeiro, the northern city of Recife hosts the most unique and varied celebration in the country, with two million people expected to attend.

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Music News
12:13 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

And The Oscar Goes To ... Mr. 'Star Wars' Or Arcade Fire?

William Butler of Arcade Fire: not the most typical contender for Best Original Score.
Jason Oxenham Getty Images

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The Record
7:18 am
Thu February 27, 2014

A Rational Conversation: What's With All The Drummers Leading Late-Night Bands?

Arsenio Hall with his band. Robin DiMaggio stands to the right of Arsenio.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 7:36 am

"A Rational Conversation" is a column by writer Eric Ducker in which he gets on iChat or Gchat or the phone or whatever with a special guest to examine a music-related subject that's entered the pop culture consciousness.

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The Record
3:22 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Paco De Lucia, Modern Superstar Of Flamenco, Dies

Paco de Lucia in 1982.
Paco Junquera Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:08 am

Paco de Lucia, considered by his fans and critics to be the world's greatest flamenco guitarist, died Wednesday in Mexico of a heart attack. The 66-year-old musician was a modern superstar in a Roma, or Gypsy, tradition that is hundreds of years old.

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Music News
2:09 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

'Let It Go': A Global Hit In Any Language

Queen Elsa embraces her power to freeze things with the anthem "Let It Go" in Frozen.
Disney

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:02 pm

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The Two-Way
5:49 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Last Of The 'Sound Of Music' Von Trapps Dies At 99

Maria von Trapp in 2008 at the age of 93. The daughter of Austrian Baron Georg von Trapp points to her father on an old family picture. She died on Tuesday at her home in Vermont.
Kerstin Joensson AP

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 11:29 am

Maria von Trapp, the last surviving member of the seven original Trapp Family Singers — the Austrian family that inspired the 1965 film The Sound of Music -- has died at 99 at her home in Vermont.

Von Trapp, whose family escaped Nazi Germany, died on Tuesday of natural causes, her brother Johannes von Trapp said, according to the New York Daily News.

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Code Switch
3:54 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Iconoclastic Musician Takes Measure Of His Life: 'I Became A Fighter'

Fred Ho practices his baritone saxophone in a dressing room before a performance.
Joseph Yoon Courtesy of Fred Ho

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 1:43 pm

When I first walked through the door of Fred Ho's apartment in the Greenpoint area of Brooklyn, I asked, "How are you?" And he said, "Not good. I'm dying."

Ho has always been matter-of-fact and in-your-face. He painted himself green and posed naked for the cover his album, Celestial Green Monster. In the photo, he has a baritone saxophone placed strategically between his legs. He looks strong — like the Hulk.

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The Record
1:39 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Hearing Devotion In Pop's Details

Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons performs onstage at the Amnesty International Concert presented by the CBGB Festival at Barclays Center on February 5, 2014 in New York City.
Neilson Barnard Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 9:08 am

This week, the rock band Imagine Dragons set a record for the longest run on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart — 77 weeks, since it debuted in August of 2012.

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The Record
11:34 am
Thu February 20, 2014

A Phony Article Epitomizes Hip-Hop's Struggling Underclass

The rapper Shirt created a counterfeit article designed to look like it was written by the New York Times critic Jon Caramanica and published on the Times' website.
NPR

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 12:32 pm

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The Record
10:31 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Computer Love: Beats Music Wants To Be Your Everything

Beats Music

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 2:21 pm

I have a new streaming music service in my life. Let's call him Beatsy. It's an open relationship — I'm still accessing other music streams, and Beatsy's positively promiscuous, winning the hearts of the music press and thousands of trial subscribers. But I don't mind. When I'm with Beatsy I feel special. Yes, he is a computer program — the world knows him as Beats Music, just one of many services that make it possible for me to listen to music stored in its cloud library via my phone or computer.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:42 am
Wed February 19, 2014

We Love Him For More Than Twizzles: Charlie White Plays Violin, Too

Ice dancing champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White visit the set of the NBC TODAY Show in Sochi on February 18, 2014.
Scott Halleran Getty Images

It's no secret that gold-winning American ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White have become favorite faces in Sochi. But it turns out that the charming White has done his share of woodshedding along with his hard work on the ice.

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Music News
3:14 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Music Education For Creativity, Not A Tool For Test Scores

Advocates are pushing for the virtues of music education that can't be measured numerically.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 5:58 pm

In a mobile classroom — basically a trailer outfitted with a desk and some chairs — music teacher Chris Miller works with a group of active kindergartners dressed in green and khaki school uniforms. He teaches them the basics: musical concepts, artists and styles of music.

"Everybody repeat after me," he says. "Wade in the water." Kids sing back, "Wade in the water."

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The Record
1:12 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Skrillex, King Of The Dance Club Hit-And-Run

Skrillex on stage at HARD Day Of The Dead on November 2, 2013.
Gabriel Olsen FilmMagic/Getty Images

It had been snowing all day and raining all evening when the doors opened at Output on Friday night right after 10 p.m. for Skrillex's appearance, so I felt ready for anything. Not that anyone was expecting too many surprises — a lot of hard, hiccuping beats and jackhammer bass, trap and dubstep and Dutch house, the lingua franca of mainstream nightlife the last few years — in short, what people mean by "EDM."

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Arts & Life
3:18 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Classical Music Piece Enhances Roald Dahl's 'Dirty Beasts'

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 9:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The children's author Roald Dahl died almost 25 years ago, and yet, today you can find more musical adaptations of his work than ever.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

"Matilda" is a hit on Broadway. A musical version of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is running in London's West End.

GREENE: Over the weekend, the London Philharmonic Orchestra debuted the newest adaptation of Dahl's work, a classical piece for children based on a collection of poems called "Dirty Beasts."

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Race
3:03 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Pop Music Lags In Dealing With Interracial Love Anxieties

They're most likely not listening to a song about cross-cultural love.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun November 16, 2014 1:52 pm

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The Record
2:22 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

In The Digital Era, Hit Songs Aren't Everything

American Idol winner Phillip Phillips, whose song, "Gone, Gone, Gone," went to No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100. Each time it's played in public, the song's writers get a royalty, which is tracked and collected by ASCAP. Bigger hits usually translate into bigger checks.
Buda Mendes Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 5:58 pm

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Music News
3:50 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Heavy Rotation: Shlohmo & Jeremih

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 6:22 am

Each month NPR Music asks public radio hosts and DJs to pick a favorite new song. Today we'll hear from Jason King, host of I'll Take You There, NPR Music's new 24 hour Soul and R&B stream. He's talking about his pick for Heavy Rotation: "No More" by Jeremih and Shlohmo.

Music News
12:03 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Collecting Money For Songwriters, A 100-Year Tug Of War

ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento, member Katy Perry and president Paul Williams at the 2012 Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards in Hollywood, Calif.
Frank Micelotta PictureGroup

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 4:06 pm

A hundred years ago, the Italian operatic composer Giacomo Puccini was having lunch in New York with Victor Herbert, the leading composer of operettas in this country. Then, the band in the restaurant began playing music from Herbert's current hit, Sweethearts. Puccini became outraged, according to songwriter Paul Williams, the current president of the performing-rights organization ASCAP.

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Deceptive Cadence
6:03 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Fiddler On The Slopes

Violinist-turned-Olympian Vanessa-Mae checks out her fellow skiers in Sochi, Russia on Feb. 10.
Clive Rose Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 3:08 pm

Classical music has managed to take center stage at sports events in the last few weeks. Soprano Renée Fleming sang the National Anthem at the Super Bowl two weekends ago.

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Music News
4:13 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Singing To The Strength Of New Orleans

Alynda Lee Segarra is the lead singer and songwriter of the New Orleans folk ensemble Hurray for the Riff Raff.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:00 pm

Beneath the benevolent gaze of a statue of Saint Roch, the patron saint of dogs, invalids and bachelors, Alynda Lee Segarra sings: "People are dying. No one understands."

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Monkey See
9:52 am
Sun February 9, 2014

The Beatles, As America First Loved Them

It's been 50 years since The Beatles first appeared on Ed Sullivan, to an audience of screaming, hair-pulling, ecstatic (in the classic sense) teenage girls. Cutes in suits, you might call them, like (and, of course, nothing like) countless other bands of the time that wore skinny ties and shared microphones and said "oh" and "yeah" and "baby."

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Music News
9:20 am
Sat February 8, 2014

A Male Singer Shines In A Woman's World

Portuguese singer António Zambujo occupies a distinct place in the world of fado, a musical style better known for its female stars.
Rita Carmo

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 10:05 am

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The Record
3:44 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

The Beatles' Yearlong Journey To 'The Ed Sullivan Show'

Ed Sullivan smiles while standing with The Beatles on the set of his variety show on Feb. 9, 1964.
Express Newspapers/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 2:25 pm

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The Record
8:36 am
Fri February 7, 2014

A Rational Conversation: Ambition Returns To The Music Video

A still from the 24-hour-long interactive video for Pharrell Williams' song "Happy."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 10:11 am

"A Rational Conversation" is a column by writer Eric Ducker in which he gets on iChat or Gchat or the phone or whatever with a special guest to examine a music-related subject that's entered the pop culture consciousness.

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Music News
3:55 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Violin Worth $5 Million Makes A Safe Return Home

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:55 pm

Police in Milwaukee have recovered a Stradivarius violin and arrested three suspects in its theft. The instrument, said to be worth approximately $5 million, was stolen in a brazen armed robbery from the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra late last month. Mitch Teich of WUWM in Milwaukee reports on the violin's recovery.

All Songs Considered
2:13 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Playing SXSW 2014? Send Us Your Songs

Several of us loved The Soil and the Sun at SXSW 2013 — and we'd have never heard the band if it hadn't sent us an MP3 before the festival.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 3:23 pm

Every year around this time, the All Songs Considered team begins the process of listening to nearly 2,000 MP3s by bands playing the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. We acquire them from any number of sources, as bands willing to circulate their songs for consideration make them available online. But every year, we wind up missing something. In pursuit of music by thousands of bands, hundreds slip past our radar altogether.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:18 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Update: 'I Have Begun To Hear A Little Again'

Takashi Niigaki stepped forward today in Japan as the ghostwriter for popular composer Mamoru Samuragochi — and added another twist to the breaking story.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 7:50 am

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Stolen Stradivarius Found By Milwaukee Police

A Stradivarius violin is pictured in December 2009 at the restoration and research laboratory of the Musee de la Musique in Paris.
Patrick Kovarik AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:26 am

Police in Milwaukee have recovered "Lipinski" – a 300-year-old Stradivarius stolen last month from a concertmaster as he was walking to his car with the rare violin.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, quoting law enforcement officials, says the instrument has been found:

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