Music News

Music
2:38 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

State Of The Art: New York Philharmonic's Biennial

Music collective Bang on a Can All-Stars is one of the musical partners sharing a bill with the New York Philharmonic during the Biennial.
Konstantin Sergeyev Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 6:22 pm

Alan Gilbert, music director of the New York Philharmonic, isn't scared of new music — and he doesn't think audiences should be, either.

"Frankly, the reason I do new music is I like a lot of it," Gilbert says.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:35 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

How Do You Get Latino Kids Into Classical Music? Bring The Parents

The 85 musicians in the Santa Cecilia Orchestra are paid professionals who play with other symphonies and in Hollywood studios.
Courtesy of the Santa Cecilia Orchestra

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:53 am

Outside the concert hall at Occidental College, in Los Angeles' Eagle Rock neighborhood, children are invited to test out the instruments the Santa Cecilia Orchestra will play later. Alexa Media Rodriguez, 8, says she and her family have never before been to an orchestra concert. She heard about the orchestra when some of the musicians visited her school.

"I brought my dad, my stepmom," she says, "my sister, my brother and my sister's cousin ..."

That's the thing about this orchestra, says conductor Sonia Marie De Leon De Vega: The children are bringing the parents.

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Music
1:28 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Saturn Still Swings: Celebrating Sun Ra At 100

"In my music I speak of unknown things, impossible things, ancient things, potential things," Sun Ra said in a 1980 documentary. May 22, 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the composer and bandleader's birth.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 7:18 am

Today marks 100 years since Sun Ra was born — or, as the musician might have put it, since he arrived on Earth. An influential jazz composer, keyboardist and bandleader, Sun Ra always insisted he was just visiting this planet.

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The Record
9:21 am
Wed May 21, 2014

The Long Shadow Of Tom Warrior, Metal's Dark Innovator

Throughout his career, Thomas Gabriel Fischer has hinted that he makes his best music under bleak circumstances.
Ester Segarra Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 9:11 am

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Led Zeppelin Sued Over 'Stairway To Heaven' Guitar Line

Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, in 1970. A new lawsuit says the group borrowed from another band's work without crediting it, for the huge hit "Stairway to Heaven."
Roger Jackson Getty Images

Did a band from Los Angeles get ripped off by Led Zeppelin? That's the claim in a new lawsuit by representatives of the band Spirit, which played some dates with the British rock legends in their early days in America.

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Code Switch
2:44 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Macklemore Plays Dress-Up And Lands In Hot Water

A costumed Macklemore performed at the opening night of an exhibition at Seattle's EMP Museum. His costume choice has become A Thing.
Suzi Pratt FilmMagic

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 11:57 pm

Post Updated 1:45 a.m. ET Tuesday:

Macklemore posted an apology on his website late Monday. He said he picked out items that he could use to disguise himself so he could move freely around an event. "I wasn't attempting to mimic any culture, nor resemble one. A 'Jewish stereotype' never crossed my mind," his post reads.

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Music News
3:29 am
Sun May 18, 2014

How Do You Wring Sound From Sculpture? It Takes A 'Quiet Pride'

Rufus Reid has played with just about everybody in the mainstream jazz world. His latest project, Quiet Pride, is based on works by the late sculptor and civil rights activist Elizabeth Catlett.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 18, 2014 9:24 am

Bassist and composer Rufus Reid has been playing jazz for half a century. He's worked with just about everyone, from saxophonists Dexter Gordon and Stan Getz to singer Nancy Wilson and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:36 am
Sat May 17, 2014

'The Cunning Little Vixen' Pokes Her Head Into An Animated Forest

In a scene from the Cleveland Orchestra's The Cunning Little Vixen, two actors (Julie Boulianne as Dog and Martina Jankova as Vixen) appear from behind a computer-animated backdrop.
Roger Mastroianni Cleveland Orchestra

Originally published on Sat May 17, 2014 9:29 am

Long before summer blockbuster films dazzled us with CGI-enhanced superheroes and villains, audiences got their dose of spectacle at the local opera house, where lavishly costumed singers have walked through monumental sets for centuries.

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Planet Money
1:15 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Is A Stradivarius Just A Violin?

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

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 6:00 pm

The Stradivarius violin gets its name from master craftsman Antonio Stradivari. When he died in 1737, his secrets died with him: No one has ever been able to duplicate the sound of the violins or violas he made.

His instruments have taken on a mythical quality. Today they fetch millions of dollars at auctions; Sotheby's will soon auction off a viola that it expects to sell for $45 million.

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The Record
11:18 am
Wed May 14, 2014

A Rational Conversation: How Deep Is The Disco Revival?

Giorgio Moroder performs at HARD Day Of The Dead in Los Angeles in November 2013.
Gabriel Olsen Getty Images

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All Songs Considered
9:02 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Hear A Song From 'Fuego,' The First New Phish Album In 5 Years

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 10:55 am

It's been almost five years since Phish had a new album of songs. Today, we're happy to announce that Fuego, the band's twelfth studio album, will be out on June 24. That's the album cover above. The album's ten songs were premiered live by the band on Halloween 2013 in Atlantic City, N.J.

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The Record
9:39 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Why Tori Amos Connects

Tori Amos on stage in Glasgow, three days before the release of her 14th studio album, Unrepentant Geraldines.
Ross Gilmore Redferns via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 3:40 pm

When I spent time on tour with Tori Amos a decade ago, collaborating with her on a book, I'd see her invoke the four elements many nights before her band would take the stage.

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All Songs Considered
9:03 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Bob Dylan Covers A Classic Tune

Courtesy of the artist

A new Bob Dylan recording popped up on his site just now. You have to go there to hear it — it's a version of the classic 1945 song, "Full Moon and Empty Arms." The tune is written by Buddy Kaye — known for writing hits for Sinatra, Ella and Elvis — and Ted Mossman, and based on Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:00 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Anonymous 4: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (But They're Doing It)

The vocal ensemble Anonymous 4 will disband after the 2015-16 concert season.
Dario Acosta

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 10:01 am

In 1986, four women gathered in a casual setting to sing through a bit of medieval chant. Little did they know they were launching Anonymous 4, an a cappella ensemble that has spanned nearly 30 years, 20 albums, countless concerts and more than a millenium of music.

Today the group announced that the 2015-16 season will be its last together. But this isn't the first time Anonymous 4 has thought about calling it quits. The group bid a similar farewell in 2004.

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Photography
2:02 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

The Forgotten Pictures Of A Music Photography Pioneer

Jim Cummins' photo of Jimi Hendrix performing at Madison Square Garden in 1969 was used by Life magazine the following year for the guitarist's obituary.
Jim Cummins Courtesy of Image Fortress

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 6:20 pm

For more than three decades, Chris Murray ran the Govinda Gallery in Washington, D.C. He still curates shows and also edits books about rock 'n' roll photography.

"To find an archive that's been lost, if you will, or overlooked, it's always a wonderful and extraordinary thing," he says.

In New York City, a trove of forgotten photographs depicting music icons such as Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin is being displayed for the first time. The original negatives had been boxed up for decades in photojournalist Jim Cummins' basement.

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The Record
2:03 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Todd Terje: Supreme Leisure On The Dancefloor

Todd Terje in Oslo.
Sigurd Fandango Courtesy of Pitch Perfect PR

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 7:25 am

Disco may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Scandinavia — although to fans of dance music, Norway is as well known for its disco producers as it is for its Viking lore. This month, one of the most famous Norwegian disco producers, Todd Terje, released his first full length album. And now he's covered in vomit.

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The Record
1:56 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Well Into Spring, 'Frozen' Soundtrack Keeps The Charts Cool

Singer Idina Menzel (center) and Frozen songwriters Bobby Lopez (left) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez pose with gold records in February. Since then, the movie's soundtrack has sold over 1.5 million more copies.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images for Disney

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 1:26 pm

Disney's animated film Frozen has been racking up impressive statistics since it was released last November. Its box office earnings total $1 billion, worldwide, the movie won two Academy Awards, and on the first day the home video came out, it sold 3.2 million copies. But one stat has taken both Disney and industry analysts by surprise: The soundtrack has become a phenomenon, topping the Billboard 200 chart 13 times.

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Planet Money
1:53 am
Fri May 9, 2014

When Lyrics Get Posted Online, Who Gets Paid?

Rap Genius

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 1:26 pm

Any time a song is popular, you'll find people debating it. And at some point during that debate, someone is going to Google the lyrics.

There are roughly 5 million searches for lyrics per day on Google, according to LyricFind. Those searches often lead to websites that post lyrics to lots of songs — and, in many cases, sites that post ads alongside those lyrics.

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The Record
12:42 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Is It Worth It To Work It?

The album cover for Lily Allen's Sheezus goes after multiple targets, including Kanye West (in the album's title) and Queen Elizabeth II (the corgis).
Courtesy of the artist

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Around the Nation
3:24 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

'The Heart Of Man Is Like A Mine': A Mendelssohn Mystery

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 7:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Twenty-nine bars of music are making classical fans giddy today. Those bars make up a song called "The Heart of Man is Like a Mine."

AMY WILLIAMSON: (Singing in foreign language)

SIEGEL: It was written by composer Felix Mendelssohn.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Mendelssohn wrote the song in 1842, when he was 33 years old. It was a commission for an acquaintance.

ANASTASIA TSIOULCAS, BYLINE: He'd had no intention of publishing this or making it go public in any way.

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All Songs Considered
2:41 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

'Ultra LP' Version Of Jack White's New Album Has Some Crazy Surprises

Cover art for Jack White's new album Lazaretto.
Courtesy of the artist

Jack White has announced plans to release a version of his upcoming Lazaretto album on vinyl, with a whole bunch of special features that'll make you rethink the possibilities of the enduring format.

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All Songs Considered
1:20 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

The Grateful Dead's Ultimate 'Dark Star' To Be Reissued

John Oswald's Grayfolded, an epic version of the Grateful Dead's song "Dark Star," is getting a reissue on three LPs.
Courtesy of the artist

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Deceptive Cadence
8:59 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Midspring Surprise: Lost Mendelssohn Song Found

An engraving of composer Felix Mendelssohn, c. 1840.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 7:04 pm

Twenty-nine gentle measures by Felix Mendelssohn are creating quite a stir — after being lost for more than a century.

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Code Switch
6:23 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Jessica Cleaves: A Silky, Soulful — And Funky — Voice Goes Silent

Jessica Cleaves made a name for herself as a lead singer with the group Friends of Distinction. She later played with Earth, Wind & Fire as well as George Clinton
YouTube screengrab

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Music News
3:04 am
Sun May 4, 2014

Hear Hans Zimmer's Bid For The Next Great Screen Composer

Hans Zimmer.
Zoe Zimmer Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 11:06 am

Crimson Tide, The Lion King, Inception, Gladiator — that's just a handful of the many movies that feature award-winning scores by Hans Zimmer. Lately, Zimmer has lent his ear to soundtracks written by a new generation of aspiring film composers.

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The Record
12:15 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

These New Puritans: 'You Have To Be Meticulous'

These New Puritans, from left: Elisa Rodrigues, Thomas Hein, Jack Barnett, George Barnett.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 12:38 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
1:34 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Coming Soon To Colorado: Wolfgang And Weed

The Colorado Symphony's Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside Denver last summer. If you squint, you can see a cloud of something that's probably not pot smoke.
Matt Korona Courtesy of the Colorado Symphony

Colorado Symphony patrons — if they aren't already — are about to have the option of being Rocky Mountain high.

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The Record
9:42 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Hear Four Musicians Talk About What Moves Them

NPR Music's Ann Powers (right) interviews musicians (from left) Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff, Sharon Jones and Meshell Ndegeocello at the EMP Pop Conference in Seattle.
Brady Harvey

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 10:42 am

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Music
12:03 am
Tue April 29, 2014

The Public School Where The Duke Lives On

Trumpeter Geraldo Marshall and trombonist Johannes Utas, students at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, rehearse for their school's 40th anniversary celebration.
Lauren Migaki NPR

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 10:52 am

Duke Ellington didn't consider himself a jazz musician.

He said he was a musician who played jazz. And what a musician: pianist, bandleader, composer of more than 1,000 songs including standards like "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," "Satin Doll" and "Sophisticated Lady."

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The Record
7:36 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Innovative Chicago Producer DJ Rashad Dies At 34

DJ Rashad passed away on Saturday in Chicago at the age of 34.
Courtesy of Ashes 57

Rashad Hanif Harden, the Chicago DJ and producer known as DJ Rashad who helped establish a new style of dance music over a 15-year career, died on Saturday. He was 34.

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