Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 10:33 am
The electronic act Big Data made its opening salvo to the music world in 2013 with a single called "Dangerous." The lyrics, which exuded digital-age fears about privacy and surveillance, couldn't have been further in tone from the hard-grooving, extremely danceable music — and that, says founder Alan Wilkis, was precisely the point.
It was December 1990 — more than a year before the first Anonymous 4 album was released — when NPR invited four slightly shy women into our studio to sing 13th-century Christmas music. Back then, we already knew the manifold beauty of their sound, its purity and accuracy, was something unique.
Now, some 25 years and 21 albums later, the a cappella vocal quartet is calling it quits at the end of 2015. But not before one final visit to NPR.
Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:00 pm
In Cuba, there are songs you're just as likely to hear on a street corner today as you would have been in the 1950s. For decades, that Cuban traditional music went largely unheard and unnoticed by the rest of the world — and then came an album called Buena Vista Social Club.
Originally published on Sun March 22, 2015 9:19 am
The eyes of the pop music world are on Austin, Texas this week. Thousands of bands and fans have descended upon the city for the South by Southwest music festival. Austin is also home to its own music scene year-round — and one of its more unusual groups is tapping into a sound that has nothing to do with indie rock or hip-hop. They're called Riyaaz Qawwali.