Music

The Record
2:38 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

These New Puritans: 'You Have To Be Meticulous'

These New Puritans, from left: Elisa Rodrigues, Thomas Hein, Jack Barnett, George Barnett.
Courtesy of the artist

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The Record
3:05 am
Thu May 1, 2014

'Illmatic': The Making Of A Classic

Nas in 1994, the year Illmatic was released.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of Sony Legacy

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 7:53 am

This summer Nas is traveling the world performing his debut album, Illmatic, in full. The crowds coming out to see him — in Texas, Germany and California — are turning up because the 20-year-old record is an acknowledged classic.

In the early '90s hip-hop was just beginning its takeover of popular music. It was landing on the charts, but more often than not, the songs there were novelties (see: MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice).

For the people who took hip-hop seriously, and especially the fans in rap's hometown of New York City, this was a problem.

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The Record
2:59 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Minya Oh: 'I Was Never Gonna Not Want To Listen To This'

Minya Oh, who reviewed Illmatic in The Source in 1994 under the pen name Shortie and is now a radio personality on New York's Hot 97 who goes by Miss Info. Here she poses for a portrait backstage at a vitaminwater Fader uncapped event in 2012.
Roger Kisby Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 9:12 am

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CD of the Month
3:47 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

G. Love, "Sugar"

The CD of the Month for May comes to you from G. Love. It's titled "Sugar"

JOIN THE CLUB TODAY AND RECEIVE A BRAND NEW CD EVERY MONTH FOR A YEAR!

From innocentwords.com:

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The Fresh Air Interview
2:27 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

At 90, 'Fiddler' Lyricist Tells His Story

Sheldon Harnick (right) with the late Jerry Bock, his long-time musical collaborator. Together they worked on musicals like Fiddler on the Roof and Fiorello!
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 10:13 am

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A Blog Supreme
1:54 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

How Japan Came To Love Jazz

U.S. servicemen and their Japanese partners dance to jazz tunes in the newly opened Tokyo nightclub Oasis of the Ginza, circa 1945.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 2:04 pm

If you've witnessed a headlining performance from pianists Toshiko Akiyoshi or Hiromi, visited a "jazu kissa" cafe where records are spun and coffee poured, or read nearly any work by author Haruki Murakami, then you probably have a sense that Japan has taken well to jazz music.

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The Record
11:45 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Hear Four Musicians Talk About What Moves Them

NPR Music's Ann Powers (right) interviews musicians (from left) Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff, Sharon Jones and Meshell Ndegeocello at the EMP Pop Conference in Seattle.
Brady Harvey

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 12:42 pm

  • Sharon Jones, Mike McCready, Meshell Ndegocello And Alynda Lee Segarra On Stage

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Studio 89
12:04 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Studio 89: Chicago Farmer on May 5th

The son of a small town farming community, Cody Diekhoff logged plenty of highway and stage time under the name Chicago Farmer before settling in the city in 2003. Profoundly inspired by fellow mid-westerner John Prine, he’s a working-class folk musician to his core. His small town roots, tilled with city streets mentality, are turning heads North and South of I-80.

Seating is no longer available for Monday’s Studio 89, but you can tune in Monday night at 7pm to listen live. 

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Live in Concert
3:34 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Future Islands, Live In Concert

Samuel Herring of Future Islands performs live at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.
Zac Visco for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 2:58 pm

Ever since a video of Future Islands' thrilling performance on The Late Show With David Letterman went viral in March, the band has become one of the year's most exciting live acts, largely for the memorable and inimitable dance moves of frontman Samuel Herring. Herring's unaffected fashion style, sensible haircut and no-nonsense manners have led some to call him a "normcore" singer — an exceedingly normal artist.

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Music Interviews
3:10 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Johnnyswim: A Husband And Wife On A 'Constant Adventure'

"The longer you're out on the road, it gets nicer to have [Abner Ramirez] there. Because he's the closest thing to home I have," Johnnyswim's Amanda Sudano says. "Home is where he is."
Jeremy Cowart Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 6:54 pm

Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez met in Nashville, started writing songs together and fell in love — maybe in that order. It may sound like a wedding announcement in the newspaper, but it's how Johnnyswim got started.

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