Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 10:40 am
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.
Seating is no longer available for tonight's Studio 89. Check back tomorrow at noon for your opportunity to register for next week's Studio 89, or if you're a contributing member, look for an e-mail soon. Remember, WNKU Members receive first priority for seating!
Roland Swenson is a co-founder and the managing director of the South By Southwest Music Festival. The idea for the festival came in 1986, when organizers of the NYC New Music Seminar contacted Swenson, then a staffer at the alt-weekly paper The Austin Chronicle, about organizing an extension to their festival in Austin. After that fell through, Swenson and others went ahead planning an event themselves and the first SXSW Festival was held 1987. He says they only expected 150 people.
There was a haze over Jake Bugg when he arrived at the Tiny Desk. He was expressionless and quiet. That all changed when he strummed fast and fierce on his acoustic guitar and began a flow of words reminiscent of Greenwich Village in the '60s, not modern Clifton in England's East Midlands, where he grew up.
Christylez Bacon attended the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, a prestigious high school in Washington, D.C. that also counts Dave Chappelle and Meshell Ndegeocello among its alumni. When it came time to write a final paper for his U.S. Government class, he wanted to craft something more reflective of his upbringing in the city's Southeast quadrant — an area hit hard by crime and drugs in the 1980s.
Ruben Studdard became a national superstar when he won "American Idol."
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: After 24 million votes, the winner of American Idol 2003 is Ruben Studdard.
(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)
MARTIN: Ten seasons of "Idol" have gone by since that win. But Ruben Studdard remains one of the show's biggest-selling stars. His new album is his sixth studio release. It's a collection of classic love songs with a few originals mixed in for good measure. It is called "Unconditional Love."