Stephen Thompson http://wnku.org en Merchandise Sprawls Out In The Sunlight http://wnku.org/post/merchandise-sprawls-out-sunlight Merchandise got its start on the Tampa punk and hardcore scene, then got weirder as artier influences like krautrock took hold. As its sound became harder to pin down, the band inspired an 18-month bidding war between record labels: This year, Merchandise finally signed with 4AD, and adventurous new material has begun to trickle out.<p>A new album arrives later this year, but Merchandise was already previewing it at SXSW last month. Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:03:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 34650 at http://wnku.org Merchandise Sprawls Out In The Sunlight One Wytch, Unplugged In A Sunny Backyard http://wnku.org/post/one-wytch-unplugged-sunny-backyard The Wytches' furious, hair-flinging psych-rock isn't the stuff of back-porch acoustic sessions: Both live and on the English band's singles, the energy is so intense, it can barely be contained. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 16:17:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 33899 at http://wnku.org One Wytch, Unplugged In A Sunny Backyard SXSW 2014: Perfect Pussy, Live In Concert http://wnku.org/post/sxsw-2014-perfect-pussy-live-concert Before her band had played a single note, frontwoman Meredith Graves surveyed a thousands-strong crowd packing Stubb's BBQ at NPR Music's 2014 SXSW showcase.<p>"We're Perfect Pussy," she said. "We're terrified."<p>Listening to <em>Say Yes to Love</em>, the band's eight-song, 23-minute speedball of self-assured confrontation, fear is the last thing that springs to mind. Thu, 20 Mar 2014 17:45:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 33626 at http://wnku.org SXSW 2014: Perfect Pussy, Live In Concert SXSW 2014: Eagulls, Live In Concert http://wnku.org/post/sxsw-2014-eagulls-live-concert The Leeds-based post-punk band Eagulls hit the stage at Stubb's BBQ in Austin, Texas, ready to deploy some serrated weaponry. Tue, 18 Mar 2014 16:38:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 33537 at http://wnku.org SXSW 2014: Eagulls, Live In Concert Suzanne Vega: Tiny Desk Concert http://wnku.org/post/suzanne-vega-tiny-desk-concert In pop-music circles, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15131195/suzanne-vega">Suzanne Vega</a> is known almost entirely for two songs from the late 1980s: the child-abuse ballad "Luka" and a song that launched literally dozens of dance remixes, "Tom's Diner." But Vega has been making vital, inventive music the entire time — much of it folk-based, though her sound has taken many smart detours along the way — and is about to put out her first album of original material in seven years, <em>Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles</em>. Mon, 10 Feb 2014 19:03:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 32276 at http://wnku.org Suzanne Vega: Tiny Desk Concert 2013: The Year In Tiny Desk Concerts http://wnku.org/post/2013-year-tiny-desk-concerts For weeks now, we've been compiling lists of 2013's best music — <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/bestmusic2013/2013/12/10/249243871/npr-musics-50-favorite-albums-of-2013">favorite albums</a>, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/bestmusic2013/2013/12/11/249734685/npr-musics-100-favorite-songs-of-2013">favorite songs</a>, individual staff members' personal Top 10 lists and so on. Fri, 27 Dec 2013 15:20:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 30766 at http://wnku.org 2013: The Year In Tiny Desk Concerts Dessa: Tiny Desk Concert http://wnku.org/post/dessa-tiny-desk-concert Part of the Twin Cities hip-hop collective Doomtree, rapper, singer, poet and songwriter <a href="http://www.npr.org/search/index.php?searchinput=dessa">Dessa</a> divides her time between singing and rapping, often landing on a spoken-word splitting of the difference. Mon, 09 Dec 2013 18:19:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 30177 at http://wnku.org Dessa: Tiny Desk Concert Sarah Jarosz: Tiny Desk Concert http://wnku.org/post/sarah-jarosz-tiny-desk-concert Bluegrass' most beloved pros often play well into their 80s and 90s, so it would surprise no one if our children's children's children turn up at a <a href="http://www.npr.org/search/index.php?searchinput=sarah+jarosz">Sarah Jarosz</a> concert 70 years from now. Sat, 07 Dec 2013 13:03:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 30111 at http://wnku.org Sarah Jarosz: Tiny Desk Concert The Dismemberment Plan: Tiny Desk Concert http://wnku.org/post/dismemberment-plan-tiny-desk-concert When NPR Music started inviting musicians to perform at Bob Boilen's desk back in 2008, we never could have expected that we'd one day host <a href="http://www.npr.org/search/index.php?searchinput=the+dismemberment+plan">The Dismemberment Plan</a>. For one, the D.C.-area group had long since disbanded; for another, its fleshed-out and periodically funky sound wouldn't seem to lend itself to vastly stripped-down arrangements. Mon, 02 Dec 2013 19:06:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 29937 at http://wnku.org The Dismemberment Plan: Tiny Desk Concert John Legend: Tiny Desk Concert http://wnku.org/post/john-legend-tiny-desk-concert At 34, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15838633/john-legend">John Legend</a> has sold millions of records, won nine Grammys, collaborated with many of the biggest stars in music (<a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/16318474/jay-z">Jay-Z</a>, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/14889532/kanye-west">Kanye West</a>, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15194299/alicia-keys">Alicia Keys</a>, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15121130/the-roots">The Roots</a>, et al), and achieved the kind of statesmanlike musical-ambassador status usually afforded to artists twice his age. Sat, 16 Nov 2013 13:03:00 +0000 Stephen Thompson 29419 at http://wnku.org John Legend: Tiny Desk Concert