Music

Music Interviews
8:02 am
Sun May 25, 2014

'I Wanna Make Art': Sturgill Simpson's Twisting Path To Nashville

Sturgill Simpson's new album is Metamodern Sounds in Country Music.
Reto Sterchi Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 8:50 am

There's an old joke that if you play a country song in reverse, your dog runs home, your wife comes back to you, and your pickup truck starts running again — the point being, modern country music is usually filled with distinctly blue-collar, down-to-earth woes.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:58 pm
Sat May 24, 2014

A Few Words With Ennio Morricone

Ennio Morricone became a fixture of global culture with his film music — but as a young composer, he was a radical.
Courtesy of Armonia AC

Originally published on Sun May 25, 2014 2:10 pm

Today at the Cannes Film Festival, attendees marked the 50th anniversary of the spaghetti western at a special screening of A Fistful of Dollars, the Sergio Leone classic that kick-started the genre. Leone's vision of the American West remains singular — and it's impossible to imagine without the iconic music of Ennio Morricone.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
8:03 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Yasmine Hamdan: Tiny Desk Concert

Deceptive Cadence
5:33 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Marin Alsop's Guide To Mendelssohn's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'

Titania awakes clinging rapturously to Bottom, still wearing the donkey's head, in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Mendelssohn wrote music for a production of the play in 1843.
Henry Fuseli Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 2:09 pm

Growing up as a violinist, Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto ranked among my top 10 Holy Grail pieces. As I got older, I moved on to his Octet and Piano Trio in D minor, which became two of my favorite chamber works. There's almost nothing comparable to playing Mendelssohn's Octet with seven great string players. It's absolutely thrilling, energetic, virtuosic, youthful, fun and challenging. And to think that Mendelssohn wrote it when he was just 16.

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The Record
1:17 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

D'Angelo: 'I'm Trying To Go Deep'

D'Angelo with Nelson George (left) onstage at the Brooklyn Museum Wednesday night.
Drew Gurian Red Bull Content Pool
  • Listen: D'Angelo In Conversation With Nelson George

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Music Interviews
12:38 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Donovan To Be Inducted Into Songwriters Hall Of Fame

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 1:27 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WEAR YOUR LOVE LIKE HEAVEN")

DONOVAN: (Singing) Color and sky brush and blue. Scarlet fleece changes you. Crimson ball sinks from view. Wear your love like heaven. Wear your love like heaven. Wear your love like heaven. Wear...

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Music
3:28 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 9:18 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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Music
5:18 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Heir To A Jazz Legacy, A Trumpeter Finds His Own Way

Theo Croker's new album, AfroPhysicist, comes out May 20.
Thomas Brodin Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 10:20 am

Jazz composer and trumpeter Theo Croker opens his new album, AfroPhysicist, with an ode to his grandfather: New Orleans jazz great Doc Cheatham. The thing is, Croker didn't grow up in New Orleans or any other jazz hub. He's from Jacksonville, Fla., and he was just a child when his grandfather died in 1997. It wasn't until his grandfather's memorial services — attended by jazz legends — that he decided to join the legacy.

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All Songs Considered
4:03 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Jack White's 'Lazaretto': The All Songs Interview

Mary Ellen Matthews Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 12:29 pm

  • Listen To Jack White On All Songs

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:09 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Ages And Ages: Tiny Desk Concert

Ages and Ages performs at a Tiny Desk Concert on April 3, 2014.
Meg Vogel Meg Vogel/NPR

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 9:56 am

Everyone knows there are five immutable truths in life. No. 1 is "Nothing's ever easy." No. 2 is "Nobody does the right thing." No. 3 is, well, you get the idea.

The Portland, Ore., band Ages and Ages will likely make you rethink these immutable truths — particularly the whole idea about doing the right thing in life. Pay close attention to the second song the group performs in this uplifting Tiny Desk Concert, and you'll see what I mean.

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