NPR Music

Music
11:33 am
Tue June 11, 2013

NPR Music's 50 Favorite Songs Of 2013 (So Far)

Daft Punk in the video for "Get Lucky," one of NPR Music's favorite songs of the year so far.

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 11:56 am

We made you a doozy of a mix — 50 of NPR Music's favorite songs from the first half of 2013, including hip-hop anthems, dudes with beards, avant-garde lullabies, dance-music stompers, tear-jerking ballads, funk odysseys and synth-pop singalongs.

Read more
Music News
3:16 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Spotlighting Background Singers In 'Twenty Feet From Stardom'

Darlene Love, one of the background singers featured in Twenty Feet From Stardom, didn't receive credit for singing hits in the 1950s and '60s and says her career was derailed by legendary producer Phil Spector.
Radius/TWC

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 10:22 am

Twenty Feet from Stardom, filmmaker Morgan Neville's new documentary, is a reminder that most of pop music's catchiest hooks, riffs and refrains were sung by voices harmonizing in the background. Neville says he wanted to put backup singers — black, female and honed in church — front and center.

"I was really more interested in people who were voices for hire," he says, "who were able to walk into sessions never knowing what they had to do and could bring it."

Read more
Tiny Desk Concerts
2:28 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

The National: Tiny Desk Concert

Hayley Bartels for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 10:43 am

The first thing you might notice about this video is the change in surroundings: NPR recently moved to a new building, and though we worked to make the Tiny Desk as visually similar as possible to the old space — a process we recently documented with the help of OK Go — the ceilings are higher, the square footage more generous and the surfaces lavishly unsullied.

Read more
Music Reviews
1:06 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Arctic Records: Drafting A Blueprint For The Philly Sound

Barbara Mason had had one minor hit on Arctic by the time "Yes I'm Ready" came out in March 1965, and hit the Top 10 on both the R&B and pop charts.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 2:24 pm

Arctic Records opened for business late in 1964. The label was the brainchild of Jimmy Bishop, the program director of WDAS — at the time Philadelphia's No. 1 black radio station. If that sounds like a conflict of interest, you don't know much about the music business in Philadelphia back then. Besides, it didn't help Arctic's first single, "Happiest Girl in the World" by the Tiffanys, three local teenagers who sang backup in various studios.

Read more
Deceptive Cadence
12:26 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

David Finckel On The Emerson Quartet's Changing Of The Guard

David Finckel is a longtime member of the Emerson String Quartet. Journeys: Tchaikovsky, Schoenberg is his last recording with the group.
Christian Steiner Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 12:09 pm

The Emerson String Quartet is one of the most acclaimed chamber groups in the world of classical music. Since their founding in 1976, the group has won nine Grammys for its recordings. Now, it has a new album out called Journeys: Tchaikovsky, Schoenberg — and it's the last recording with cellist David Finckel, one of the quartet's longtime members.

Read more
Alt.Latino: Show
9:59 am
Sun June 9, 2013

Can't Stop The Beat: Three New Caribbean Artists Making Waves

Alt.Latino's hosts are convinced that Cuban singer Danay Suarez is a legend in the making.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 12:58 pm

Read more
Music Interviews
5:26 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Aoife O'Donovan: Digging Up Musical 'Fossils'

Aoife O'Donovan's first solo album is called Fossils.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 10:12 am

Alison Krauss recorded "Lay My Burden Down" a couple of years ago for her No. 1 country album Paper Airplane, but the song was written by Aoife O'Donovan. The singer, best known as the voice of the alt-bluegrass band Crooked Still, is releasing her first solo album this week.

Read more
NPR Music Essentials
8:48 am
Thu June 6, 2013

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

Madlib, the voice and producer behind Quasimoto.
Mathew Scott Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 10:57 am

This month on Heavy Rotation — the series in which public-radio hosts and DJs share their favorite new songs — we have music from all over the map. Hip-hop, punk, EDM, folk, pop: It's all here. Meet this month's panel of pickers:

  • David Dye, host of NPR's World Cafe
  • Rita Houston, program director of WFUV in New York City
  • David Brown, host of Texas Music Matters for KUTX in Austin
  • Jessi Whitten, music director at Colorado Public Radio's OpenAir indie station
Read more
A Blog Supreme
8:01 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Ben Tucker: Remembering A Bassist And Citywide Icon

Ben Tucker.
Savannah College of Art and Design Courtesy of Savannah Music Festival

Read more
The Record
5:11 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Country Music's Year Of The Woman

Miranda Lambert performing in April at the Academy of Country Music Awards, where she won best song, best record and best female vocalist for the fourth year in a row. The Lambert Effect has opened doors for many of the new hopefuls blending hard country sounds with feminist-aware attitudes.
Kevin Winter/ACMA2013 Getty Images for ACM

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 6:41 am

Read more

Pages