NPR Music

Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Valkyries Ride All Night To Save Opera Company

Gods, monsters and Rhinemaidens populate Richard Wagner's 16-hour epic Ring cycle.
Marco Secchi Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 5:33 pm

(Happy April Fools 2014. See you next year.)

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Tiny Desk Concerts
3:42 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

The Haden Triplets: Tiny Desk Concert

The Haden Triplets perform a Tiny Desk Concert in February 2014.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Petra, Rachel and Tanya Haden are three sisters in love with the art of singing. Born in 1971 to a famous musical father (Charlie Haden is a world-class upright jazz bassist), they've separately taken on vastly different music projects. You may have heard Petra with The Decemberists or tackling the music of The Who a cappella. Tanya plays in Let's Go Sailing, while Rachel sometimes turns up with The Rentals and other projects.

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A Blog Supreme
11:34 am
Fri March 28, 2014

'A Love Supreme' Comes Alive In Unearthed Photos

John Coltrane during the recording of A Love Supreme in December 1964.
Chuck Stewart Courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

Whenever photographer Chuck Stewart was hired by a record company to document a recording session, he would shoot during the rehearsal takes, playback and downtime. The company would take what it needed, the remainder likely never to be developed, much less published. After decades in the photography business, and thousands of album covers to his name, he's amassed a lot of negatives.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:01 am
Thu March 27, 2014

The Kronos Quartet: Still Daring After All These Years

The Kronos Quartet (from left): David Harrington, John Sherba, Sunny Yang and Hank Dutt.
Jay Blakesberg Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 12:18 pm

Kronos Quartet is celebrating 40 years of playing music together — and to mark the occasion, they're playing a celebration concert at Carnegie Hall in New York tomorrow night. Since their founding, the San Francisco-based string quartet has become one of the most visible ensembles in classical music. The players have done it by championing new and underheard music, and by coming up with a business model that was unheard of for a chamber group four decades ago.

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The Thistle & Shamrock
1:58 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

The Thistle & Shamrock: New Spring Sounds

The Allan Kelly Gang.
Courtesy of the artist

The flow of music is never-ending. A mountain of new recordings doesn't translate into a volume of great music, though, so rely on Thistle and Shamrock host Fiona Ritchie to hand-pick the best new sounds from rising artists and perennial favorites.

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

The Record
9:03 am
Tue March 25, 2014

A Rational Conversation: Lil Jon's History Of Turning Up

Lil' Jon performing in Hollywood in March.
Chelsea Lauren WireImage

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:44 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Joseph Calleja: Tiny Desk Concert

Joseph Calleja performed a Tiny Desk Concert November 26.
Abbey Oldham Abbey Oldham/NPR

Malta, the island nation 50 miles south of Sicily, may be small, but it's home to one of the biggest stars in opera, tenor Joseph Calleja. And like his country's name, which may originate in the Greek word for honey, Calleja's voice is a potent mix of Italianate passion and sweetness. Just listen to how he pulls the volume back to a slender golden ray of tone several times in Tosti's gorgeous "Ideale," and especially the word "disciogliea" in the Puccini aria that closes this performance.

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The Record
1:54 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Dave Brockie, GWAR's Oderus Urungus, Dies At 50

Oderus Urungus and GWAR perform at the Download Festival in Castle Donington, England, in 2011.
Shirlaine Forrest WireImage

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 3:27 pm

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The Record
5:52 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Scott Asheton, Drummer For The Stooges, Dies At 64

The Stooges (L-R Dave Alexander, Iggy Pop in front, Scott Asheton in back and Ron Asheton) in the studio in 1970, during the making of their second album, Fun House.
Ed Caraeff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 10:43 am

Drummer Scott Asheton, a founding member of the pioneering punk band The Stooges died on Saturday at the age of 64 following an unspecified illness.

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Code Switch
3:23 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

What Do Jay Z And Shakespeare Have In Common? Swagger

Jay-Z performs during his Magna Carter world tour this past January.
Owen Sweeney AP

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 4:30 pm

"No one on the corner has swagga like us," sang rapper M.I.A. in her global hit "Paper Planes." The song was later sampled by T.I. and Jay Z in their hit song "Swagga Like Us." A few years before that, it was Jay-Z who declared "I guess I got my swagger back" on his 2001 album The Blueprint.

The word swagger should be a familiar term to anyone who has listened to popular hip-hop songs in recent years; a recent search on Rap Genius turned up more than a thousand songs that used the word in the lyrics.

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