Hip hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa at a press conference in 2006. His Zulu Nation group, formed in the 1970s to combat street violence, soon began incorporating Nation of Islam teachings in its rhetoric.
Hisham Aidi's new book is a sort of musical tour around the world. It's called Rebel Music: Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture. From hip-hop in Brazilian favelas, to Pakistani punk rock, to Gnawa-reggae in North Africa, it's a look at young urban Muslims and the music they make and listen to.
Speaking with NPR's Rachel Martin, Aidi recalls meeting a French band called 3ème Oeil — "Third Eye" — at a music festival in the Bronx, the birthplace of hip-hop.
Let's say you're driving down the Pacific Coast Highway in California — top down, of course. What's the soundtrack you want to hear? The music of Tycho often seems engineered to fill that very role.
The group is the brainchild of producer Scott Hansen, who describes his three-piece band as an audio-visual project. On the new album Awake, the San Francisco-based artist has taken his passion for design and merged it with his interest in ambient music; click the audio link to hear his conversation with NPR's Rachel Martin.
Discovering Zara McFarlane's voice is like discovering something exquisite and lush and gorgeous.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
ZARA MCFARLANE: (Singing) There you are, though I cannot see your face. I feel you, your presence just entered this place...
LYDEN: Zara McFarlane's latest album is called "If You Knew Her." And she's at our London bureau to talk to us about her music and so that we can get to know here. Zara McFarlane, thank you so much for joining us.
Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 10:40 am
Kevin Gates drove up in a matte black truck and sat down in the backyard of East Austin shop and coffee shop Friends & Neighbors the same week his song "Get On My Level" rang out all over the SXSW music festival. It was just days before his most-anticipated project (yet), By Any Means, was to be released and only a week after fellow Baton Rouge rapper (and early collaborator) Lil Boosie left prison.
Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 5:55 pm
Kelis hadn't taken the stage in America since 2010. But from her opening notes — in which she took on the standard "Feeling Good," as popularized by Nina Simone — the singer never shied away from the most lavish possible spectacle on stage at NPR Music's SXSW showcase, held at Stubb's BBQ. Backed by a 12-piece band, complete with horn section and backup singers, Kelis reintroduced herself to the world as a transformed artist whose sound looks forward and backward without losing its focus on the present.
Longtime Austin resident Jody Denberg, who is at least somewhat responsible for Austin's musical tastes as the program director of KGSR radio for 19 years, is our guest for this Sense of Place episode. KGSR was and is a commercial station playing music, much like public station KUTX, where Denberg works today. Although he was born in New York, he is with us to talk about the musical history of his adopted home. He engagingly brings a fan's perspective.