NPR Music

A Blog Supreme
10:25 am
Thu January 9, 2014

The Drummer Who Invented Jazz's Basic Beat

It doesn't take an expert to identify this sound as a jazz rhythm:

Musicians call it "spang-a-lang," for obvious phonetic reasons, and it's so synonymous with jazz, it no longer occurs to us that someone had to invent it. But someone did: a drummer named Kenny Clarke, who would have turned 100 today.

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The Record
8:02 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Loving Morrissey The Way We Used To, Despite Lacerating 'Autobiography'

Morrissey performing in Seattle last March.
Mat Hayward FilmMagic

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 12:31 pm

"Loudly and wildly the music played, always pointing to the light, to the way out, or the way in, to individualism, and to the remarkable if unsettling notion that life could possibly be lived as you might wish it to be lived."

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The Record
1:02 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

An Interview With Eyehategod's Mike 'IX' Williams

Mike "IX" Williams onstage at The Acheron in Brooklyn in November.
Courtesy of Samantha Marble

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 10:41 am

Mike "IX" Williams has had a rough year. Williams (best known as the vocalist and wild-eyed wordsmith behind revered sludge metal gods Eyehategod) has had a rough life, one stained by addiction, poverty, incarceration, depression and Katrina's flood waters, but 2013 brought with it an unexpected, nearly crippling blow. In September Eyehategod's original drummer — and Williams' lifelong friend — Joey LaCaze died at the age of 42, leaving behind a wife, a daughter and friends. Suddenly, the future of this hitherto unshakable band hung in the balance.

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A Blog Supreme
1:02 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

5 Must-See Projects At Winter Jazzfest

Lionel Loueke (left) and Miguel Zenon (right) join Jeff Ballard in the drummer's rhythm-oriented trio.
Andrea Boccalini Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 11:08 am

This week's Winter Jazzfest seems to be a kind of turning point — for the festival, and maybe for jazz in New York City. What started 10 years ago as a one-night showcase under one roof has expanded to five days at 10 venues, featuring more than 90 groups in a vast array of styles.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
11:33 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Lily & Madeleine: Tiny Desk Concert

Lily & Madeleine, at a Tiny Desk concert in November 2013.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 12:11 pm

Sisters Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz aren't the youngest musicians ever to play the Tiny Desk, but they come pretty close. Their music — a restrained, homespun mix of folk and pop with undeniably sweet harmonies — certainly ranks among the loveliest we've heard.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
8:03 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Van-Anh Vanessa Vo: Tiny Desk Concert

Van-Anh Vanessa Vo performs a Tiny Desk Concert in October 2013.
Meredith Rizzo Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Van-Anh Vanessa Vo is a veteran when it comes to taking risks, and it pays off in her compelling music. As a young girl in Vietnam, she knew she wanted to be a traditional musician, even though it was a world dominated by men. It was risky, then, when she pestered a master teacher for three years to give her lessons. He finally gave in, taking her on as an apprentice.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:32 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Destroyed By Customs? Or Stolen? Whatever Happened, Flutes Are Gone

Flutist Boujemaa Razgui and his colleagues from the ensemble Al Andalus.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 2:28 pm

A case stirring intense outrage in the classical music community and starting to gain steam in the mainstream press is getting more mysterious by the day.

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All Songs Considered
1:06 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

The Knife On 'Shaking' Expectations

Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer from Swedish electronic music duo The Knife perform live on stage at Lowlands festival in Biddinghuizen, Netherlands in August.
Paul Bergen Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 1:43 pm

  • Hear The Knife On 'Shaking The Habitual'

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Best Music Of 2013
6:38 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Defining Detroit Techno: The Retrospectives And Reissues Of 2013

Juan Atkins, whose 1983 debut album was reissued this year.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 12:38 pm

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Best Music Of 2013
12:24 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

The Year In Charts: Legacy Hits In The Age Of Memes

Macklemore (left) and Ryan Lewis, whose "Thrift Shop" was the biggest song of 2013, according to Billboard's year-end chart.
John Keatley Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 4:19 pm

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