NPR Music

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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The Record
10:38 am
Mon March 17, 2014

How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You: The BeyHive

Kevin Mazur WireImage for Parkwood Entertainment

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 1:46 pm

Now that she is back on the road, now that the Internet is again awash in pictures of her sweating on stage in Glasgow, running through sold-out crowds in London in costume, it seems as good a time as any to talk about what for many young women was the most important big live show of the past two years — Beyoncé's "The Mrs.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
8:03 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Diane Cluck: Tiny Desk Concert

Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 4:26 pm

When a performer has an exceptional night, we sometimes say he or she "left it all on stage" — the "it" being effort, energy, passion, sweat. To close a concert with a raw throat and a rumpled appearance signifies full disclosure, proof that the person on stage has held absolutely nothing back. Diane Cluck's performances, at their best, take a near-opposite approach: unfolding melodies of winding complexity without the barest hint of strain or struggle.

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All Songs Considered
11:41 am
Sun March 16, 2014

NPR Music At SXSW 2014: Saturday

Kishi Bashi performs at The Dirty Dog in Austin, Texas during the 2014 South by Southwest Music festival.
Bob Boilen NPR
  • Listen to All Songs Considered at SXSW - Saturday

Saturday at SXSW, things go over the edge. Language fails. The mind shimmies free from its moorings. Maybe it's the fatigue. Maybe it's the crowds. You could argue that the constant waves of sound that rattle eardrums over five days in Austin jars something loose inside a person's brain.

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The Record
11:48 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Lady Gaga At SXSW: 'Don't Sell Out. Sell In.'

Lady Gaga donned luxurious plastic bags for her SXSW Keynote on Friday.
Michael Buckner Getty

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 12:20 pm

On Friday, March 14, Lady Gaga gave the keynote at SXSW 2014, a long interview conducted by John Norris that covered her career in pop, from her roots in the rock clubs of downtown New York to her decision to partner with a corporate sponsor for the concert she performed at Stubb's the night before. (You can see the complete video of the interview on this page.)

NPR Music's Ann Powers was in Austin for the keynote, and she filed this report.

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All Songs Considered
10:59 am
Sat March 15, 2014

NPR Music At SXSW 2014: Friday

With a Bjork-like voice and a heart-breaking vibe out of The Sundays, Kristal and Jonny Boy's set at Cedar Street Courtyard was enthralling performance art.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 1:50 pm

  • Listen to All Songs Considered at SXSW - Friday

Friday was a return to full throttle music consumption for NPR Music's team at SXSW, with few obligations other than seeing as many bands as possible. We saw old favorites and new obsessions, tried to squeeze through the crowds on Austin's streets, watched Lady Gaga navigate questions about her career — and reasons behind the corporate sponsorship of her SXSW show — in this year's keynote address and dragged a bunch of bands into the back yard of a local boutique to perform short sets (keep your eye out for these).

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All Songs Considered
10:13 am
Fri March 14, 2014

NPR Music At SXSW 2014: Thursday

Skrillex skipped the main room at Empire and went straight to the DJ booth, with fans watching from building tops.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 11:12 am

  • Listen to All Songs Considered At SXSW - Thursday

NPR Music's team in Austin woke up on Thursday, like many around the country did, looking for news about the accident that killed two people and injured 23 more at SXSW on Wednesday night. "It was hard to sort of walk out the door today and know that today was going to be another day at SXSW," Bob Boilen said at the end of what he called a long, very emotional day.

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All Songs Considered
9:26 am
Thu March 13, 2014

NPR Music At SXSW 2014: Wednesday

Damon Albarn performs at NPR Music's SXSW showcase at Stubb's BBQ in Austin, Texas.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 9:33 am

  • Listen to All Songs Considered at SXSW - Wednesday

For most of Wednesday, our team in Austin, Texas, had their eyes on the stage at Stubb's BBQ, where we presented our SXSW showcase featuring sets by Damon Albarn, St. Vincent, Kelis, Eagulls and Perfect Pussy. But near the end of the night, we started hearing news of a terrible accident involving dozens of people outside another venue.

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All Songs Considered
12:44 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Hear Neil Young Explain His Pono Music Player At SXSW

Neil Young speaks about Pono, his new high-quality digital audio system, at SXSW.
Bob Boilen NPR

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 8:46 am

Neil Young wants to start a revolution against the MP3, against the CD, poorly made vinyl and poor audio quality in general. He wants people to hear the music the way it was made.

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