NPR Music

The Record
5:34 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Business As Usual At The Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival

John Digweed, shown here performing in August at Electric Zoo, was one of the biggest names at the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival last weekend.
Daniel Zuchnik Getty Images

Friday night at 1:45 a.m., at least a hundred people were on the main door line for Output, a dance club in Brooklyn that opened near the beginning of the year. They wouldn't be getting in for a while: the spot had reached capacity a half-hour before, shortly after the night's headliner, John Digweed, had begun his DJ set, and they were only letting in folks who'd bought tickets specifically for the show. "No wristbands," said the doorman. The wristbands were all-events passes for the sixth annual Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival (BEMF) — the nominal reason for Digweed's appearance.

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The Record
2:36 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

'12 Years A Slave' Is This Year's Best Film About Music

Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave.
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 3:02 pm

12 Years a Slave is the most compelling film about music to be released this year, maybe this century. It's so many other things, too, as others have noted: a corrective to the weird cocktail of piety and cartoonishness that Hollywood usually supplies when depicting slavery; a gorgeous art film and an actor's hellish paradise; a cultural highlight of the Obama administration.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:11 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Remembering 'Holy Minimalist' Composer John Tavener

John Tavener's ethereal music was influenced by the Russian Orthodox traditions.
Simone Canetty-Clarke Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 7:47 pm

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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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Music
2:23 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Remembering Cheb I Sabbah, DJ Who Built A New Musical World

Composer, musician and DJ Cheb I Sabbah, who died Thursday at age 66.
Shay Peretz Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 10:43 am

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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 Mon December 23, 2013 3:49 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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The Record
11:48 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Eminem: The Great Confounder

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Eminem, in a still from his video for "Don't Front," a bonus track on The Marshall Mathers LP 2.
Courtesy of the artist

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The Thistle & Shamrock
11:47 am
Wed November 6, 2013

The Thistle And Shamrock: Brian McNeill At Swannanoa

Brian McNeill.
Courtesy of the artist

Join Fiona Ritchie at the Swannanoa Gathering in the mountains of North Carolina for a conversational, musical encounter with multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and singer Brian McNeill. The musician chats about his globetrotting years with Battlefield Band, his song and novel writing, and his projects uncovering Scottish connections in North America and Europe. His travels always inspire new music, and McNeill shares songs and tunes with the audience.

All Songs Considered
12:45 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

America, The Primitive: 5 New Guitar Records That Would Make John Fahey Proud

Bill Orcutt has reinvigorated and befuddled our ideas about the guitar.
Hans van der Linden via Flickr

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 2:39 pm

The American Primitive guitar record is the soundtrack to the open road. It breathes in dust and exhales smoke. Blues, country, rock, psych, drone, folk, ragtime, bluegrass — it encompasses all of them and none at all. But ultimately, it's evocative of a landscape that doesn't know its boundaries. That's why, in particular, 2013 has felt like a 6- and 12-string renaissance that both celebrates and extends this music, especially since the passing of the beloved Jack Rose four years ago.

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The Record
10:03 am
Tue November 5, 2013

A Rational Conversation: Molly Lambert On Music Biopics

The real TLC (from left to right, Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins, Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes and Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas) in the early-'90s.
Tim Roney Getty Images

"A Rational Conversation" is a column by writer Eric Ducker in which he gets on iChat or Gchat or the phone or whatever with a special guest to examine a music-related subject that's entered the pop culture consciousness. It previously appeared at The Daily Swarm.

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