NPR Music

Microphone Check
3:00 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Joell Ortiz: 'I Refuse To Compromise Me'

Joell Ortiz at a DJ Booth cypher in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, in September.
Polina Yamshchikov for NPR

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 6:09 pm

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Author Interviews
1:43 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

As A Lyricist And Novelist, The Mountain Goats' Lead Man Writes About Pain

John Darnielle's first novel, Black Sabbath's Master of Reality, was about a teenage boy in a psychiatric institution who is obsessed with heavy metal.
Lalitree Darnielle Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 3:35 pm

When The Mountain Goats' founder John Darnielle was a teenager, he went through a self-destructive phase.

"Your intelligence doesn't override your desire to destroy yourself," Darnielle tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I really, really did not want to be in my own skin. I really wanted to get high and stay high."

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Music Articles
3:38 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Nick Cave: 'The Creative Process Is An Altered State In Itself'

"I've had to change," Nick Cave says. "Change is important and change is the energy that runs through all of our records."
Courtesy of Drafthouse Films

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 10:58 am

When you've been in the music business as long as Nick Cave, inevitably someone will want to make a documentary about you. From grainy footage of his early '80s band The Birthday Party to a mid-'90s pop duet with Kylie Minogue that made him an unlikely MTV star, he's a tempting subject.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
3:34 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Luluc: Tiny Desk Concert

Tiny Desk Concert with Luluc on August 7, 2014.
Sarah Tilotta NPR

I've spent more time listening to Luluc's second album, Passerby, than any other album this year. It's a calming, seemingly effortless affair: a marriage of graceful singing and storytelling, with guitars and textures that help create an unforgettable aura.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:26 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Listen To The Atlanta Symphony While It's Locked Out — Again

Robert Spano conducts members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, who are now locked out for the second time in two years after failed contract negotiations.
J.D. Scott Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Alas, it is déjà vu all over again for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. At midnight Saturday, the ASO musicians and management failed to meet the deadline to agree on a new contract after eight months of negotiations. That means the players, while still employees of the orchestra, are effectively locked out of the Woodruff Arts Center (the orchestra's home) and will not receive paychecks until a new agreement can be ratified.

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The Thistle & Shamrock
4:19 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

The Thistle & Shamrock: Combos

Capercaillie.
Courtesy of the artist

We revel in the joyous sounds of multi-instrumental line-ups this week, shamelessly embracing anarchy in determining "what-goes-with-what."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Deceptive Cadence
4:04 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Philip Glass And Steve Reich At BAM: Together Again Yet Still Apart

Four Organs by Steve Reich was performed Tuesday at the Brooklyn Academy of Music as part of the 50th anniversary of the Nonesuch label (from left: Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, David Cossin, Timo Andres and Steve Reich).
Stephanie Berger

Throughout this month, the Brooklyn Academy of Music's signature Next Wave Festival is celebrating a record label with which it shares history and purpose: Nonesuch, marking its 50th anniversary this year.

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The Record
9:45 am
Tue September 9, 2014

All Together Now: The Beatles Are (Back) In Mono

The Beatles with George Martin in January 1967 at Abbey Road Studios in London.
Apple Corps Lt Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 5:48 pm

By now, three-fourths of the way through The Beatles' sort-of-official 50th-anniversary year, Fab Four fatigue is understandable.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
3:21 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Justin Townes Earle: Tiny Desk Concert

Justin Townes Earle performs a Tiny Desk Concert.
Colin Marshall NPR

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 4:09 pm

We threw a curve ball at Justin Townes Earle. Despite his five albums full of well-loved songs, we asked him to play new material for this Tiny Desk Concert; songs we hadn't yet heard. Earle's new album Single Mothers comes out this week, and here he performs two tracks from that record: "White Gardenias," his nod to Billie Holiday, and "Burning Pictures."

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Tiny Desk Concerts
8:03 am
Sat September 6, 2014

Jessica Lea Mayfield: Tiny Desk Concert

Jessica Lea Mayfield performs a Tiny Desk Concert.
NPR

Originally published on Sat September 6, 2014 5:04 pm

These days, Jessica Lea Mayfield is all contrasts, starting with the way she sets her wistful voice against her shimmering guitar. It's got a harder edge to it than the rootsier music of her past. Then there's that cotton-candy hair and all the glitter; her guitar glitters, her eyes glitter, her shoes glitter. It's easier to talk about what isn't glittered — and mostly that'd be her lyrics. In the final song from both her album Make My Head Sing...

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