NPR Music

The Record
2:22 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Street Queens Bury Competition In Brass Band Blowout

The Pinettes Brass Band parading into the judges area on Saturday.
Courtesy of Matt Sakakeeny

As the pallbearers carried the casket through the streets of New Orleans, a brass band led the procession with the slow dirge "Just a Closer Walk With Thee." But this was no jazz funeral, this was a brass band blowout, and painted on the coffin were the names of competing bands: New Breed, New Generation and To Be Continued.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:05 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

San Fermin: Tiny Desk Concert

San Fermin performs at a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 19, 2013.
Abbey Oldham NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 3:55 pm

San Fermin's music bursts with ambition, talent and extreme joy. Its self-titled debut is charged with great storytelling and amazing vocals by both Allen Tate and Lucius singers Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe. Then there are the arrangements: little gems that turn these songs into cinematic vignettes using trumpet, sax, keyboard, violin, guitar and drums.

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The Record
3:47 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

Lou Reed, Beloved Contrarian, Dies

Lou Reed onstage in London in 1975 playing a transparent, Plexiglass guitar. Reed died Sunday. He was 71.
Denis O'Regan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 5:59 pm

One of rock's most beloved and contrarian figures has died. Lou Reed epitomized New York City's artistic underbelly in the 1970s, with his songs about hookers and junkies. He was 71.

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The Record
3:36 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

What Lou Reed Taught Me

Lou Reed onstage in Amsterdam in 1975.
Gijsbert Hanekroot Redferns

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 10:57 am

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Tiny Desk Concerts
5:12 am
Sat October 26, 2013

Typhoon: Tiny Desk Concert

Typhoon performs a Tiny Desk Concert in October 2013.
Meredith Rizzo Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 3:57 pm

The appropriately named Typhoon is a sprawling band with an epic sound. The group from Portland, Ore. crafts rock anthems like emotional tidal waves, propelled by the stories of frontman Kyle Morton. His deeply personal tales are often full of grief and loss. But just as often they celebrate and praise life's simple wonders. Morton himself is a very grateful (and lucky) man who writes songs as if he were living on borrowed time.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Soothing The Savage Beat: When Electronic Artists Conjure Classical

Electronic artists such as Mason Bates (pictured above), Aphex Twin and Tiësto have blended classical music into their dance beats.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 10:19 am

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The Record
2:33 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Arcade Fire In The Throes Of Transformation

Arcade Fire on Saturday night in Bushwick. Win Butler on the left, Richard Reed Parry on the right.
Courtesy of Sachyn Mital

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 11:52 am

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Deceptive Cadence
11:23 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Get To Know Ned Rorem, Now That He's 90

Composer Ned Rorem in 1953 in Paris, where he lived for nearly a decade and wrote his infamous Paris Diary.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 11:52 am

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The Thistle & Shamrock
11:18 am
Wed October 23, 2013

The Thistle And Shamrock: The Road of Tears

Battlefield Band.
John Slavin Courtesy of the artist

From broadsheet ballads to music hall choruses, songs have documented true-life emigrant experiences through time. This week, Battlefield Band, Mick Moloney, Mary Black and others continue in that tradition.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Record
1:03 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Do We Really Need Bob Dylan And Van Morrison Box Sets?

Van Morrison, Bob Dylan and The Band's Robbie Robertson (from left to right) onstage in 1976. The performance was filmed for Martin Scorsese's The Last Waltz.
United Artists Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 6:09 pm

How much does any musician's outtakes, sanctioned for release years after the fact, enlarge our understanding of their canonical work? Depends on the artist; depends on the work. Sometimes they serve a shadow function — unissued songs that, had they come out the first time around, would have fundamentally rewritten the artist's story. Sometimes they simply present alternate routes to the same basic end-point. And sometimes they should have stayed in the damn vault.

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