Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 2:49 pm
The formation of Trampled by Turtles can be traced back to the untimely theft of frontman Dave Simonett's musical equipment in 2003. Left with only an acoustic guitar, Simonett formed a new band with a new style that fit his remaining instrument. The result is a folk-rock group that's known for its unbridled passion and raucous energy.
The Lost Brothers' Oisin Leech and Mark McCausland aren't actually brothers, but the pair draws sonic influence from family bands such as The Kinks and The Everly Brothers. Though originally from Ireland and based in London, the group recorded its debut, Trails of the Lonely, in Portland, Ore.
Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 11:19 am
Lana Del Rey got her start at 18, when she was still known as Lizzy Grant and moved from Lake Placid to New York City to write songs and perform in clubs. In 2008, under her given name, she produced and released the EP Kill Kill independently. In 2010, her first album — the doubly eponymous Lana Del Ray [sic] a.k.a. Lizzy Grant — came out and was quickly pulled from circulation, though it'll be reissued this summer.
Today on Latin Roots from World Cafe, NPR's Jasmine Garsd discusses the history of Reggaeton. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Garsd spent her teenage years hooked on Argentine rock. Garsd moved to the U.S. after high school and quickly encountered an eclectic mix of American music; now, she co-hosts NPR's Alt.Latino with Felix Contreras.
The Magnetic Fields' music provides one of several outlets for frontman Stephin Merritt's inspired songwriting. The band began recording a string of eclectic albums in 1993, and finally found mainstream recognition with 1999's three-disc 69 Love Songs.
The music of multi-instrumentalist Yann Tiersen breaks the constraints of form, yet each track is built around poignant, emotional melodies. Tiersen quickly abandoned the academy training of his early childhood, smashing his violin and adopting the electric guitar instead. He began recording in the summer of 1993, and first found commercial success in his native France with 1998's Le Phare, recorded in two months on the island of Ouessant.
Self-described as "hot, raucous, retro swing for two," Two Man Gentlemen Band lives up to its claim. But, as the name suggests, there's a subtle ridiculousness to the group's sound. Andy Bean and Fuller Condon have made a career of recording old-school, '60s-style folk on vintage equipment, only to pack their songs with parodies, anachronisms and absurdities.
Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 5:11 pm
Becoming a rock star has major implications — just ask John Mayer. The singer-songwriter's personal history and relationships are all public knowledge, thanks to the enormous media attention that the 34-year-old attracts. The attention in turn attracts trouble, but Mayer, who has just released his fifth solo studio album, tries to take it all in stride.
Known for exploring the complexity of human hurt in ways that are both personal and universal, Janiva Magness is a widely praised blues and soul singer. Magness writes from a serious place, and fittingly, her music isn't to be taken lightly: She often weaves a difficult personal history into her songs, but, as her new album's title suggests, Magness pushes through tough times on Stronger for It.