NPR Music

Deceptive Cadence
9:02 am
Sat August 10, 2013

The American Symphonic Legacy: Not Just For White Guys

George Walker is considered the elder statesman of today's African-American composers.
Gregory Walker Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 12:23 pm

This summer, NPR Classical has been looking for the great American symphony — or at least some idea of what it might sound like.

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The Record
8:58 am
Sat August 10, 2013

'Something Being Born': On Making A Classic Album With A Boombox

More than 10 years ago, John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats made a career-defining record with the crudest possible tools.
D.L. Anderson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 7:43 am

John Darnielle was a little lonely when he wrote the songs on All Hail West Texas, the 2002 album that became a highlight of his music career. His band, The Mountain Goats, is a trio now, but back then it was a one-man show. Darnielle would come home from the long, dragging hours of his healthcare job, alone in his house while his wife was away at hockey camp. He'd sit down on his couch with his guitar, cobble together some words and music, and hit record on his Panasonic boombox.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
5:42 am
Sat August 10, 2013

Jim Guthrie: Tiny Desk Concert

Musician Jim Guthrie performs a Tiny Desk Concert at the NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Friday, May 31, 2013.
NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:17 pm

We've had bands from all over the world visit the Tiny Desk. Most recently, we published a set by Keaton Henson, who was in from London. Back in May, we had singer M.R. Shajarian from Iran.

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Music Interviews
4:51 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Valerie June On Learning To Love 'Perfectly Imperfect' Voices

On her new album, Pushin' Against a Stone, Valerie June sings with a voice that's as powerful as it is unusual.
Matt Wignall Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 4:14 pm

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The Record
11:03 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Inside Listening: The Mountain Goats' Bassist On His Own Band's Albums

Peter Hughes (left) and John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.
D.L. Anderson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 2:44 pm

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All Songs Considered
2:17 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

The Good Listener: How Do You Break Into Music Journalism?

The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 9:12 am

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the heavily taped packages that can't be opened without the aid of a utility knife and a blowtorch is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives. This week: an array of tips for anyone hoping to launch and sustain a career in music journalism.

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Summer Books 2013
8:23 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Of Ingenuity And Insane Clown Posse: 5 Books On Music For What's Left Of Summer

cover for Dinner With Lenny
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 7:58 am

It's already August 8, which means you've got maybe three or four weeks left to complain about preseason football, inadequately shield yourself from the scorching heat of the sun, and communicate with your kids about something other than why they haven't done their homework. So why not get cracking on a book?

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Music
2:03 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Reunited After 50 Years, An Algerian Buena Vista Social Club Makes Its U.S. Debut

Oud player Rachid Berkani, 76, is one of the musicians of El Gusto.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 4:31 am

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Heavy Rotation
6:09 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Heavy Rotation: 10 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Houndmouth.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 1:07 pm

  • WEXT's Ernesto Lechner On "Lluvia Con Sol" By Orquesta El Macabeo

You know the drill by now. Each month, NPR Music polls public-radio personalities and asks them to share their favorite new song with the world. You get to download the track. Here's this month's panel:

  • Ernesto Lechner, co-host of WEXT's syndicated show The Latin Alternative
  • David Dye, host of WXPN's syndicated show World Cafe in Philadelphia
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Deceptive Cadence
11:40 am
Mon August 5, 2013

A Pulitzer Winner Asks: Why Write Symphonies?

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts is still inspired by the age-old symphonic form.
Andrew Shapter

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 5:32 pm

In 2007, I was interviewed by a journalist over lunch a day before the premiere of my Violin Concerto. One of his first questions was, "So why do you write in these old forms, the symphony, the concerto ... ?" I told him that these were simply titles which imply nothing about the form, which was another thing entirely. But it led me to ask myself: What is a symphony these days? If it no longer comprises a four-movement structure with an energetic first movement, a slow movement, a scherzo, and some kind of quick rondo, then what exactly characterizes it?

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