Music News

Deceptive Cadence
9:10 am
Mon January 27, 2014

New Music Shines at Classical Grammy Awards

Composer and bandleader Maria Schneider accepts her Grammy Award. Her album Winter Morning Walks earned three awards yesterday at the pre-telecast Grammy ceremony in Los Angeles.
Michael Buckner Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 1:52 pm

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Music News
2:55 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Grammy Show: Light On Awards, Heavy On Entertainment

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 1:51 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Well, let's move from the pre-telecast to the artists you did see on TV, if you were watching; the winners and nominees who were on stage at the Staples Center for a marathon evening ceremony. NPR television critic Eric Deggans joins us to talk about the big show.

Good morning.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: First, let me ask you this. With most of the awards given out actually before the ceremony, the Grammys - unlike the Oscars - are not really an awards show. What would you call it?

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The Record
11:19 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

Daft Punk, Lorde And Macklemore Win Major Grammy Awards

Daft Punk won the Grammy for Album of the Year for Random Access Memories and for Record of the Year for "Get Lucky."
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 10:29 am

French dance music producers Daft Punk won Album of the Year for Random Access Memories and Record of the Year for their hit "Get Lucky" at the 56th annual Grammy awards on Sunday night. In a ceremony heavy on collaborative performances (Robin Thicke with Chicago, Kendrick Lamar with Imagine Dragons and Metallica with Lang Lang were a few of the more random pairings) and light on surprise, no single artist dominated.

Read The Complete List Of Winners

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The Record
10:03 am
Sun January 26, 2014

The Woman Behind The Curtain, Making Good Songs Sound Great

Mastering engineer Emily Lazar poses with producer Scott Jacoby (top right) and members of the band School is Cool at her Manhattan studio, The Lodge.
The Lodge

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 10:47 am

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The Two-Way
6:19 am
Sun January 26, 2014

5 Things To Know About The Grammy Awards Show

Jay-Z performs during his Magna Carta World Tour at Connecticut's Mohegan Sun Arena earlier this month. Jay Z has nine nominations at this year's Grammys.
Anthony Nesmith CSM /Landov

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 12:27 pm

The 56th annual Grammy Awards will air Sunday on CBS beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The Los Angeles Times says:

"[The] Grammy Awards show is chock-full of star-studded performances. And like every year, the performances are all about the collaborations.

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Around the Nation
3:23 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Artist Transforms Guns To Make Music — Literally

Mexican artist Pedro Reyes received 6,700 weapons from the Mexican government, from which he sculpted instruments.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 10:14 am

Pedro Reyes says being Mexican is like living in an apartment where an upstairs neighbor has a leaking swimming pool.

"Just what is leaking," says Reyes, "is hundreds of thousands of guns."

He wants people to think about the availability of guns in the United States, and the impact that has in Mexico.

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Music News
12:02 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Reinventing The Music Video, One Street Corner At A Time

The American band San Fermin performs an informal "Take Away Show" in a Chinese restaurant in Paris — part of a series of videos produced by the French website La Blogothéque.
Christopher Werth Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 10:14 am

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The Record
4:04 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

How The Organization Behind The Grammys Spends The Other 364 Days

Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow, host LL Cool J and Executive Vice President of Specials, Music and Live Events at CBS Entertainment Jack Sussman pose at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 23, a few days before the 2014 Grammy Awards.
Kevin Winter WireImage

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 5:29 pm

This Sunday's Grammy Awards ceremony is the annual big-ticket item for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. More than 28 million people around the world tuned in to watch the concert show last year. And this year's telecast is once again being touted as the most complicated — and expensive — production on TV.

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A Blog Supreme
6:49 am
Fri January 24, 2014

To Preserve 'America's Gift To The World,' A Jazz Elder Becomes A UCLA Professor

Kenny Burrell performs at his 80th birthday concert in 2011.
Reed Hutchinson UCLA

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 11:42 am

Just before 11 o'clock on a crisp Monday night in Hollywood, 82-year-old Kenny Burrell put his Gibson guitar in its velvet-lined case and said goodnight to several members of the Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra Unlimited. He had just finished an intermission-free, two-hour-plus set with the large ensemble, as he has done once a month since the summer. Waiting patiently among the suits and smiles was a 21-year-old guitarist eager to meet his idol. When the room finally cleared, Burrell was amiable and inquisitive, talking to the young fan about music and Michigan, where he grew up.

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Deceptive Cadence
6:44 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Inspiration Or Embarrassment? Lang Lang And Metallica Teaming Up At Grammys

Guitarist Kirk Hammett (left) and his band Metallica will join classical pianist lang Lang on stage at the Grammy wards telecast Sunday night.
Getty Images/Courtesy of the artist

Odd musical mergers in the Grammy Awards telecast are nothing new — remember Paul McCartney, Linkin Park and Jay-Z singing "Yesterday?" Still, when thrash metal band Metallica and classical pianist Lang Lang take the stage together Sunday night, it may seem more like a head-scratcher than a clever match.

Or will it?

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Rather Than Joking About Justin Bieber, Watch This Video

This police booking mug made available by the Miami Dade County Corrections Department shows pop star Justin Bieber on Thursday (Jan. 23, 2014).
AP

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 12:58 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
1:02 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Tracing The Career Of Claudio Abbado, A Consummate Conductor

Celebrated conductor Claudio Abbado in 1979 in his native Milan, during his tenure as music director of the city's famed opera house, La Scala.
Giorgio Lotti Mondadori/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 1:55 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
12:11 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Guess Who's Singing The National Anthem At The Super Bowl?

From taffeta to tackles: Soprano Renee Fleming has been tapped to sing at Super Bowl XLVIII.
Karin Cooper Courtesy of Washington National Opera

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 2:05 pm

She's probably not among your first, or second, or 10th, or 20th-round guesses, but the NFL just announced that American soprano Renee Fleming will sing the national anthem at Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2.

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The Record
10:02 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Gimme The Beat (Box): The Journey Of The Drum Machine

The Oberheim DMX rose to popularity in the mid-1980s, one of the first commercial drum machines that came close to mimicking real drum sounds.
Courtesy of Get On Down Publishing

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 3:06 pm

About 10 years ago, a disgruntled pianist in Los Angeles named John Wood began a popular bumper sticker campaign with the slogan, "Drum Machines Have No Soul." Not everyone was convinced, including producer Eric Sadler.

"Drum machines don't run themselves," Sadler says. "It's the people who put into the drum machines that give the drum machines soul, to me. I've definitely given some drum machines some soul."

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Music
2:56 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

The Minnesota Orchestra's Labor Dispute Is Over. What's Next?

The Minnesota Orchestra musicians and management have finally bridged their long and bitter labor dispute.
Ann Marsden Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 5:44 pm

After 15 months of acrimony, the longest labor dispute at a major American symphony orchestra has ended. The Minnesota Orchestra and its musicians reached an agreement last night and players will return to work on February 1. While all sides are relieved, most admit the hard work of rebuilding some seriously damaged bridges is just about to begin.

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The Record
1:43 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

A Long Road To 'High Hopes': An Interview With Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen performing in November at Madison Square Garden.
Jemal Countess Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 2:48 pm

  • Listen To Ann Powers Interview Bruce Springsteen

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Wed January 15, 2014

VIDEO: Springsteen, Fallon Do 'Gov. Christie Traffic Jam'

Bruce Springsteen (left) and Jimmy Fallon doing their "Gov. Christie Traffic Jam."
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon blog

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:39 am

Being stuck in a horrendous traffic jam is no joke.

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Strike Up The Band! Minnesota Orchestra Lockout Ends

After more than 15 months, the bitter labor battle between the Minnesota Orchestra musicians and management has ended. Whether the orchestra's music director Osmo Vänskä (pictured here) will return, after resigning in October, remains to be seen.
Greg Helgeson Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 10:39 am

"The 15-month lockout at the Minnesota Orchestra ended Tuesday after management and musicians announced an agreement," Minnesota Public Radio writes.

"Musicians will return to work on Feb. 1," the network adds. They had been locked out since October 2012.

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A Blog Supreme
3:45 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Winter Jazzfest 2014: Tips Of The Iceberg

Rene Marie.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 5:07 pm

The logo for the 2014 Winter Jazzfest, marking the festival's 10th anniversary, is a giant iceberg floating into New York harbor. Like the iceberg, this year's edition was both big — 90-plus groups over five nights, representing just a small portion of a larger scene — and cold and wet, in that it rained both nights of the music marathon last Friday and Saturday evening. But Winter Jazzfest was hot on the inside, as we soaked up great music like a sponge.

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The Record
1:03 am
Mon January 13, 2014

A Big 'Frozen' Ballad Speaks To Tweens

YouTube

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 10:18 am

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Music News
7:56 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Insane Clown Posse Sues FBI For Targeting Fans

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:02 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSANE CLOWN POSSE: (Singing) If magic is all we've ever known, then it's easy to miss what really goes on.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Music News
3:24 am
Sat January 11, 2014

Sax Great Jimmy Heath 'Walked With Giants,' And He's Still Here

Jimmy Heath and friends at a session at New York's WOR Studios in 1953. Left to right: Miles Davis, Kenny Drew, Art Blakey, Jimmy Heath.
Temple University Press / Jimmy Heath collection

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 9:31 am

In the room he uses as a practice space and office in his apartment in Corona, Queens, Jimmy Heath recalls a hit record from long ago.

"It's a song Bill Farrell, a popular singer, had years ago," he says, and then sings: "You've changed, you're not the angel I once knew / No need to tell me that we're through / It's all over now, you've changed." Then the 5'3" musician with the big sound picks up his tenor saxophone and blows.

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Remembrances
3:44 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Amiri Baraka's Legacy Both Controversial And Achingly Beautiful

Amiri Baraka, shown here in 1972, was a renowned poet whose politics strongly shaped his work.
Julian C. Wilson AP

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 8:31 am

One of America's most important — and controversial — literary figures, Amiri Baraka, died on Thursday from complications after surgery following a long illness, according to his oldest son. Baraka was 79.

Baraka co-founded the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s. His literary legacy is as complicated as the times he lived through, from his childhood — where he recalled not being allowed to enter a segregated library — to the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. His poem about that attack, "Somebody Blew Up America," quickly became infamous.

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The Record
1:43 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

An Under-The-Radar Albums Preview For 2014

Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, whose album, the imagined savior is far easier to paint, will be released on March 11.
Emra Islek Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 7:40 am

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A Blog Supreme
8:25 am
Thu January 9, 2014

The Drummer Who Invented Jazz's Basic Beat

It doesn't take an expert to identify this sound as a jazz rhythm:

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The Record
6:02 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Loving Morrissey The Way We Used To, Despite Lacerating 'Autobiography'

Morrissey performing in Seattle last March.
Mat Hayward FilmMagic

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 10:31 am

"Loudly and wildly the music played, always pointing to the light, to the way out, or the way in, to individualism, and to the remarkable if unsettling notion that life could possibly be lived as you might wish it to be lived."

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Deceptive Cadence
10:02 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Cachet And Cash For Rafał Blechacz, Named 2014 Gilmore Artist

Rafał Blechacz has been named the 2014 Gilmore Artist. In 2005, he swept the five top prizes at the International Chopin Competition.
Felix Broede DG

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 9:19 am

Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz, who at age 20 swept all five top prizes at the 2005 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, can now add another prestigious award to his collection. Early Wednesday, Blechacz was named the 2014 Gilmore Artist.

The Gilmore may not have quite the name recognition as the Chopin Competition, but it has a distinguished cachet of its own, plus a generous $300,000 cash award.

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A Blog Supreme
10:31 am
Tue January 7, 2014

The Jazz Men And Women We Lost In 2013

The late documentary filmmaker Jean Bach stands next to an enlarged 1958 photograph of many jazz musicians titled "A Great Day in Harlem." Her documentary about the photo shoot was nominated for an Academy Award in 1995.
Thomas Monaster/New York Daily News Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 5:21 pm

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Music News
6:52 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Hip-Hop's Aboriginal Connection

Two turntables carved from wood scratch out the sound of Beat Nation artist Jordan Bennett learning his native Mi'kmaq language.
David Sommerstein / NCPR

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 12:38 pm

At the entrance of a new exhibit at Montreal's Musée d'Art Contemporain, visitors are greeted with a red neon glow and a ping-pong of sounds. A dubstep groove thumps. A high-hat skitters. A pow-wow chant echoes from another room.

Beat Nation: Hip Hop as Indigenous Culture has become something of an art sensation in Canada. Featuring more than two dozen artists using beats, graffiti, humor and politics to challenge stereotypes, the exhibit coincides with the growth of Idle No More, an indigenous political movement in Canada.

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Music News
6:52 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Pushing A Tradition Forward, Bandolim In Hand

A master of the Brazilian bandolim, Hamilton de Holanda is determined to show the world what the instrument can do.
Betto Arcos

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 12:38 pm

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