NPR Music

Tiny Desk Concerts
2:40 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Lydia Loveless: Tiny Desk Concert

Alex Schelldorf NPR

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 11:46 am

For 23-year-old singer-guitarist Lydia Loveless, gritty, countrified blues-rock is a palette broad enough to include literary drama — complete with fatalistic references to the doomed French poets Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud — and a plainspoken plea for oral sex.

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Microphone Check
2:02 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Pete Rock: 'Real Could Be Another Word For Original'

Pete Rock.
Courtesy of the artist

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Tiny Desk Concerts
10:29 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Tracy Silverman: Tiny Desk Concert

Olivia Merrion NPR

Tracy Silverman has been called the greatest living exponent of the electric violin. But we're not talking just any electric violin.

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The Thistle & Shamrock
4:13 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

The Thistle & Shamrock: Early Summer Sounds

Alasdair Fraser is featured on this week's show.
Courtesy of the artist

On this week's episode of The Thistle & Shamrock, host Fiona Ritchie hand-picks the best new sounds from rising artists, along with the latest from old favorites. We'll hear from The Friel Sisters, Loreena McKennitt, Alasdair Fraser and others.

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

The Thistle & Shamrock
5:54 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

The Thistle & Shamrock: Celtic Show Bands

The music of Skolvan appears on this week's show.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 11:59 am

Hear big-band-style brass sections and other instrumental combinations as they create cutting-edge grooves and a big, bold sound.

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

A Blog Supreme
8:03 am
Wed June 25, 2014

The Future Of Intense Art: A Free-Jazz Event Looks Forward

Charles Gayle was honored with a lifetime achievement award at this year's Vision Festival. On the event's opening night, Gayle performed as his alter ego, Streets the Clown.
John Rogers for NPR

"We had to do things ourselves until something else kicked in," bassist William Parker said at a panel earlier this month. He was explaining how he came to co-found the Vision Festival. "And nothing's ever really kicked in."

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Deceptive Cadence
1:03 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

What's Worth $45 Million — Or More? One Viola

David Aaron Carpenter plays the 'Macdonald' Stradivarius viola at Sotheby's auction house for NPR in April.
Manya Zuba/NPR

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 5:23 pm

Update Wednesday, June 25, 2014: A representative from Sotheby's tells NPR that the instrument did not sell "at this time."

Wednesday, Sotheby's auction house plans to announce the sale of a rare viola made by Antonio Stradivari. The minimum bid is $45 million. If it sells, it will be the most expensive instrument of any kind in history.

Here's an old musician joke: How do you keep your violin from getting stolen? Put it in a viola case.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
3:38 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Conor Oberst: Tiny Desk Concert

Conor Oberst performs a Tiny Desk Concert.
Olivia Merrion NPR

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 9:23 am

Conor Oberst's new album has fast become my favorite of the Bright Eyes singer's solo projects, so having him come to NPR and perform a few of these songs at the Tiny Desk was especially exciting. The new music on Upside Down Mountain contains the sort of personal songwriting that got me loving him in the first place.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
9:03 am
Sat June 21, 2014

Mali Music: Tiny Desk Concert

NPR

On a particularly muggy day this past week, Mali Music arrived at NPR's D.C. headquarters armed with only his enthusiasm (and a teensy entourage). Though the humid haze and some midday I-need-a-coffee-stat office funk hung all around him, he soldiered his way through.

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Microphone Check
2:34 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Ab-Soul: 'It's A Lot'

Ab-Soul.
Courtesy of Top Dawg Entertainment

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 2:35 pm

Ab-Soul, the most philosophical member of the by now vaunted Top Dawg Entertainment, met Microphone Check hosts Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Frannie Kelley in Los Angeles two weeks before the release of his latest album, called These Days ... After only one listen to the album, the three of them had a conversation about Ab's high expectations of his audience and what he's trying to make for them.

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