Videos

Favorite Sessions
12:09 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

Folk Alley Presents: Mandolin Orange

Mandolin Orange performs live for Folk Alley.
Folk Alley

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 10:26 am

There is no shortage of folk and country songs about whiskey. But what makes this Mandolin Orange tune so enchanting is its effortlessness. The words seem to fall right into one another, like cheery drunks into so many bar stools. Mandolinist Andrew Marlin wrote this song during a road trip with his friend. They thought it might be fun to write a stereotypical country song and didn't expect for it to be so catchy.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
5:27 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Waxahatchee: Tiny Desk Concert

Waxahatchee performs a Tiny Desk Concert in September 2013.
Meredith Rizzo Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 2:28 pm

This might be as intimate as hearing Katie Crutchfield sing in her basement. That's where she and her sister would play guitar, write and sing songs 10 years ago, when she was 14. Katie and Allison Crutchfield had a band back in Birmingham together, The Ackleys; these days, Katie performs as Waxahatchee, while Allison's band is called Swearin'.

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Music Videos
8:03 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Britten Goes Back To Brooklyn With Nicholas Phan

Tenor Nicholas Phan and harpist Sivan Magen perform at a group house in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:21 pm

Composer Benjamin Britten, whose 100th birth anniversary falls on Nov. 22nd, is so deeply associated with his native England that he's on a new 50-pence coin issued by the Royal Mint.

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Favorite Sessions
11:10 am
Mon November 18, 2013

KEXP Presents: London Grammar

London Grammar performs live at KEXP in Seattle.
Dave Lichterman KEXP

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 1:49 pm

For all the terrific live sessions Cheryl Waters witnesses in the KEXP live room, she's not often knocked speechless after a first song. Clearly, London Grammar has learned from the best: Thanks to the moody atmospherics of guitarist Dan Rothman and keyboardist Dot Major, as well as the soulfully smoky voice of Hannah Reid, the young U.K. trio has already attracted comparisons to Daughter, The xx and Florence Welch.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
8:03 am
Sat November 16, 2013

John Legend: Tiny Desk Concert

John Legend performs at the Tiny Desk Concert on Wednesday, October 23, 2013.
Abbey Oldham Abbey Oldham/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 2:28 pm

At 34, John Legend has sold millions of records, won nine Grammys, collaborated with many of the biggest stars in music (Jay-Z, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, The Roots, et al), and achieved the kind of statesmanlike musical-ambassador status usually afforded to artists twice his age.

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Favorite Sessions
10:48 am
Fri November 15, 2013

KCRW Presents: Hiatus Kaiyote

Hiatus Kaiyote's Nai Palm performs live in KCRW's studios.
Larry Hirshowitz KCRW

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 2:00 pm

When your first full-length album draws fans like ?uestlove of The Roots and Gilles Peterson from the BBC, you've probably hit on something special. That's just what Melbourne, Australia's Hiatus Kaiyote did with Tawk Tomahawk, a record that blends jazz and soul with warm vocals and fuzzy effects.

It's hard to keep your eyes off singer Nai Palm: She's a true original, as you can see in this live performance of "Nakamarra" as part of Hiatus Kaiyote's Morning Becomes Eclectic debut.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
4:08 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Debashish Bhattacharya: Tiny Desk Concert

Debashish Bhattacharya performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in September 2013.
Chloe Coleman Chloe Coleman/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 2:29 pm

You've probably never seen or heard an instrument like this. The Hindustani slide guitar is the creation of Debashish Bhattacharya, whose creation pairs his first love — a Hawaiian lap steel guitar, a gift from his father when he was only 3 — and the sounds of India. You can see the similarities to a lap steel guitar, as Bhattacharya lays the guitar across his legs, sliding a metal bar to create the fluid, almost vocal melodies.

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Live in Concert
12:19 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Cut Copy, Live In Concert

Dan Whitford of Cut Copy looks out over a packed house at Le Poisson Rouge on Nov. 19.
Shaun Regan for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 1:23 pm

To launch the partnership between NPR music and KCRW's Metropolis, Cut Copy drew a packed house to downtown New York for a dynamic set of new material from Free Your Mind, along with a few older gems to the delight of an adoring crowd at Le Poisson Rouge. The Aussie dance rockers showed their experience in the live arena, keeping spirits high and working the crowd until late.

Set List

  • "Free Your Mind"
  • "Where I'm Going"
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Favorite Sessions
9:50 am
Tue November 12, 2013

KEXP Presents: No Age

No Age poses for a Polaroid outside KEXP in Seattle.
Amber Zbitnoff KEXP

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 1:58 pm

KEXP has a long history with No Age, dating back to a 2008 performance in our employee parking lot. Over the years, the band's music has grown even more experimental, as its recent album An Object demonstrates. Still, the two-man onslaught — guitarist Randy Randall and singer/drummer Dean Spunt — remains riveting.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
5:22 am
Sat November 9, 2013

Gary Burton: Tiny Desk Concert

American jazz vibraphonist Gary Burton plays a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 13, 2013.
Abbey Oldham NPR

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 5:03 pm

In 1963, the jazz pianist George Shearing, an enormously popular act in his day, made an album that was unusual for him. He asked his new, 20-year-old vibraphone player to write an album of contrapuntal, classical-music-inspired compositions, and recorded them with a woodwind quintet atop a jazz rhythm section. It's out of print now, but Out of the Woods received good reviews, and it remains an early career highlight for its young architect, Gary Burton.

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