Music News

The Record
6:03 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Benjamin Booker Faces The Past

David Goldman Courtesy of the artist

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Animals
6:25 am
Sat March 7, 2015

These Tunes Are Music To Your Cats' Furry Ears

Could this cat be enjoying "Spook's Ditty"?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 8:42 am

When you leave the house, do you ever turn on some music to keep your cat company?

What kind do you choose? Tom Jones crooning "What's New Pussycat?" A ballad by Cat Stevens? Perhaps Al Stewart's "The Year of the Cat"?

Nonsense. Cats don't to want to hear humans singing about them, says composer and University of Maryland music professor David Teie.

Researchers at U.Md. and the University of Wisconsin have teamed up with Teie to make music that was more feline friendly.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:29 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Saying Goodbye To A Manhattan Classical Music Mecca

Owner Heidi Rogers Tuesday at her famous Manhattan shop, Frank Music Company, before the store's final closing Friday. Judging silently from on high is composer Igor Stravinsky.
Anastasia Tsioulcas NPR

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 5:04 pm

There's a kind of little village of artisans on Manhattan's West 54th Street. In a couple of plain looking office towers, there are a bunch of rehearsal studios, violin makers' workshops and other music businesses. Behind one of those office doors on the 10th floor sits Frank Music Company — Frank's, as everybody calls it.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:02 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Young Composer's Work Dropped For Nazi Melody

21-year-old Estonian-American composer Jonas Tarm.
Elena Snow Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 6:28 am

It was supposed to be a celebratory occasion, a high-profile performance of a piece given life by the orchestra that commissioned it — a young composer's music played by other young musicians.

Instead, the performance scheduled for Sunday of Jonas Tarm's music at Carnegie Hall by the highly regarded New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) has been canceled after it came to the attention of the ensemble's administration that the piece contains a quotation from the Nazi "Horst Wessel Lied."

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The Record
9:28 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Planet Of Sound: The Long, Unmistakable Orbit Of Aphex Twin

Courtesy of Warp Records

Releasing music under multiple names is a standby in the world of electronic dance music, but nobody in the early 1990s made more of the tendency than Aphex Twin, born Richard D. James in Cornwall, England in 1971. In addition to his main moniker, James had perhaps the most perversely odd pseudonyms in a field heavy on dweebs, gearheads, sci-fi nuts and other language-as-alien-device types.

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Remembrances
2:58 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Legendary Jazz Producer Orrin Keepnews Dies At 91

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 4:38 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Record
8:21 am
Sat February 28, 2015

Sympathy For The Devils

Josh Tillman's latest album as Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear, is a sincere and shocking catalog of the main character's adventures in sex and love.
Emma Tillman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 2:17 pm

It's been five years since Kanye West raised his glass to "the a--holes" in the song "Runaway," a poetic taxonomy of bad behavior that formed the emotional center of his masterwork My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. It's a sad song about romantic failure, but also a strong statement connecting West to popular music's longstanding practice of being dangerously outrageous.

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Music News
3:09 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

A Wrong Note Sets The Right Mood In 'House Of Cards'

House of Cards stars Kevin Spacey as the ruthless politician Frank Underwood.
David Giesbrecht Netflix

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 7:42 pm

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The Two-Way
9:09 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Madonna's Tumble At Brit Awards Lights Up Twitter, Stirs Ageism Debate

Singer Madonna falls during her performance at the Brit music awards at the O2 Arena in London on Wednesday night.
Toby Melville Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 3:16 pm

Singer Madonna fell off the steps next to the stage while performing her song "Living for Love" at the Brit Awards in London. The 56-year-old singer picked herself up and continued her performance.

The fall at Wednesday's music awards show was apparently caused by a move that went wrong: A dancer tugged at Madonna's cape, which failed to detach, and the singer fell down a flight of steps. Almost immediately, she rose and continued singing.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:26 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Podium Diplomacy: Conductor Takes Chinese Music West And Vice Versa

Chinese conductor Long Yu.
P.A.D. Studio Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 12:40 pm

By some measures, China is now the world's largest economy. It's also a gigantic market for American brands, from Hollywood blockbusters to KFC and Pizza Hut. But one Chinese conductor, Long Yu, would like these cultures to hear each other a little more clearly. He's launching a new project to do just that, and it's starting tonight with the New York Philharmonic.

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A Blog Supreme
10:24 am
Sun February 22, 2015

Clark Terry, Ebullient Jazz Trumpeter, Has Died

Clark Terry wasn't just a trumpeter with flawless technique; he was also, according to one peer, a "natural-born educator" who devoted much of his later career to passing on his immense musical knowledge.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun February 22, 2015 5:22 pm

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Music News
6:01 am
Sun February 22, 2015

Taylor Swift, Savvy Trademark Titan

Originally published on Sun February 22, 2015 10:36 am

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

Movies
6:01 am
Sun February 22, 2015

In Oscar Nominations For Best Score, Some Hear Sour Notes

Michael Keaton is up for an Academy Award for his performance in Birdman. The movie's original score, despite receiving critical acclaim, was declared ineligible for Oscar consideration.
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 4:46 pm

The movie Birdman is favored to pick up several major Academy Awards Sunday night, but it will not be taking home the Oscar for best original score. That's because it was declared ineligible for Oscar consideration.

Birdman has one of the year's more distinctive musical scores, propelled by the unaccompanied jazz drumming of Antonio Sanchez, a bandleader and longtime drummer for guitarist Pat Metheny.

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Music News
3:53 am
Sun February 22, 2015

To Set The Mood In Period Drama, A Composer Paints Around The Emotions

Timothy Spall as the British painter J.M.W. Turner in Mike Leigh's Mr. Turner, whose score is nominated for an Oscar.
Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sun February 22, 2015 10:36 am

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Music News
3:05 am
Fri February 20, 2015

First Listen: Public Service Broadcasting's 'Race For Space'

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 6:10 am

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

Deceptive Cadence
2:16 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Composing The Folk Music Of A Made-Up Country

Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori as hotel concierge M. Gustave and his lobby-boy confidante, Zero, in The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 6:13 pm

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The Record
7:47 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Blur Announces First Album In 12 Years

Blur, producer Stephen Street and BBC host Zane Lowe during the band's Facebook webcast.
Facebook

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 8:08 am

Blur, one of the greatest rock bands of the 1990s, will release an album in 2015. It's called The Magic Whip, and it's due out April 28 in the U.S.

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NPR Story
3:04 am
Tue February 17, 2015

'It's My Party,' ' You Don't Own Me' Singer Lesley Gore Dies At 68

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 5:58 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Deceptive Cadence
12:21 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

One Night Only: The Streets Meet The Opera House

The Dallas Street Choir performed in T-shirts, then changed into formalwear for the Street Requiem. Baritone Russell Rodriguez is in front, far right, in an orange T-shirt.
Courtesy of Mark Mullaney

Originally published on Mon February 16, 2015 5:35 pm

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Music News
5:32 am
Sat February 14, 2015

A Hero At Home, Deacon John Moore Is New Orleans' Best-Kept Secret

New Orleans bandleader John Moore chose his "Deacon" nickname at the suggestion of a mischievous drummer. At 73, he's one of the city's most beloved musicians.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun February 15, 2015 12:04 pm

Deacon John does it all. The veteran New Orleans bandleader plays weddings, birthdays, proms, debutante parties. He holds his own at Jazz Fest and at carnival balls. He'll play 1950s R&B, rock, jazz, gospel, soul and disco — whatever the people want to hear. But when it's up to him, he chooses the blues.

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Remembrances
3:00 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Singer Anita Darian Remembered For Genre-Spanning Career

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 4:26 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A moment now to remember a soprano whose voice was heard by millions of people who never who she was.

(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED SONG)

ANITA DARIAN: (Singing) How I wish we weren't...

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All Songs Considered
4:00 am
Thu February 12, 2015

The Tiny Desk Concert Contest Winner Is ...

Fantastic Negrito is the winner of the first-ever Tiny Desk Concert Contest.
Brian Gibel Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 9:22 am

Today we're thrilled to announce that the winner of the Tiny Desk Concert Contest is Fantastic Negrito.

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NPR Story
3:09 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Centuries-Old Cello Is Awakened; Smells Like The Maestro's Pipe

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 7:09 am

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

Music News
3:12 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Tiny Desk Concert Judges To Announce Contest Winner

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 6:00 am

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

The Record
2:39 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

D'Angelo At The Apollo: We Were All Here Before

D'Angelo.
Gregory Harris Courtesy of RCA Records

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 3:24 pm

We were all here before. Rising up out of the subway onto 125th Street, it strikes me that I should come uptown to Harlem more often. The Popeye's on 125th and St. Nicholas Avenue is still there, offering the same crispy bird parts and sodium-heavy buttermilk biscuits; it's still the same bustling, up-til-3-a.m. refuge it always was. Vendors still hawk street literature, pamphlets and incense sticks on fold-up tables that line the sidewalks. It could just as easily be 1995. That's when I was restless and unsettled.

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Music News
2:48 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

One Of Sam Smith's Grammys A Win For Tom Petty, Too

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 4:27 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Sam Smith won four Grammy Awards last night. And that was good news for Tom Petty. Petty and another songwriter will get royalties from Smith's hit "Stay With Me" because it sounds a lot like one of their songs. NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports.

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Monkey See
12:10 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

A Grammy Wrap-Up, With Soft Music And Extra Beck

Actress Kristen Wiig participated in Sia's performance during the Grammy Awards.
Larry Busacca Getty Images for NARAS

On Sunday night, the big Grammy Award winners included Beck and Sam Smith, both of whom put out records that moved pretty slowly. As Stephen Thompson and I note in our wrap-up of the night, the ceremony was a little heavy also, despite some strong performances and a helpful infusion of social commentary.

Music News
3:14 am
Mon February 9, 2015

The Rise And Fall Of Marion 'Suge' Knight

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 5:38 am

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

I'm David Greene, and I want to remind you what commercial rap music sounded like in 1991.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GOOD VIBRATIONS")

MARKY MARK: (Singing) Yo, it's about that time to bring forth the rhythm and the rhyme.

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The Record
7:21 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

Sam Smith Wins 4 Grammy Awards, Including Song Of The Year

Michael Tran Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 12:48 pm

Sam Smith, the British singer whose debut album, In the Lonely Hour, was one of only two albums released in 2014 to go platinum, won four Grammys, including Record and Song of the Year, as well as Best New Artist.

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The Record
10:57 am
Sat February 7, 2015

Radio, Radio: How Formats Shaped, Splintered And Remade Pop Music

Colin Davey Getty Images

Music critics these days love to argue about "rockism," the unexamined prejudices we bring to our musical judgements, and "poptimism," an effort to celebrate commercial stuff that some think goes way too far. My book, Top 40 Democracy: The Rival Mainstreams of American Music, aims to get us out of that endless back and forth by focusing on the key place songs become pop: radio, which, beginning on AM with Top 40 in the 1950s and then moving to FM in the 1970s, gave music its deepest connection to Americans. Radio made new tunes and styles familiar, perennial, memories.

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