NPR Music

The Record
12:03 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Heartbreak Takes John Vanderslice To 'Dagger Beach'

Dagger Beach, John Vanderslice's new album, is out this week.
Courtesy of the artist

"In the deep dark woods / Alone with my fears / Under the jackpine / the sky was galvanized," avant-indie rock veteran John Vanderslice sings on "Raw Wood," off his new record, Dagger Beach. Vanderslice's dissection of his fears renders his latest outing mesmeric.

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Music News
10:13 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Reflections On A Dozen Years With Abbey Lincoln

Marc Cary's new album is titled For the Love of Abbey.
Rebecca Meek Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 12:01 pm

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Music Interviews
1:55 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Flamenco Sensation Buika Embraces Her 'Animal' Voice

Buika blends flamenco with African rhythms, jazz, blues and soul.
Javi Rojo

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:20 pm

Spanish flamenco singer Concha Buika says the key to her music is singing with a "beautiful idea" and "really big desire." Born on the Spanish island of Majorca to parents who fled their home in Equatorial Guinea, Buika performs music that transcends boundaries of language and race.

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The Summer of '63
5:10 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Bob Dylan's Tribute To Medgar Evers Took On The Big Picture

Bob Dylan performs at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963. His set included "Only a Pawn in Their Game," which he would also play at the 1963 March on Washington.
Eyeneer

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 6:20 pm

On this day 50 years ago — June 12, 1963 — Bob Dylan's career was just taking off when he heard the news that civil rights activist Medgar Evers had been assassinated. Dylan responded with a song that he eventually performed at the March on Washington and the Newport Folk Festival.

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Music Interviews
4:21 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

The National: 'We've Earned Our Stripes'

The National's new album is titled Trouble Will Find Me.
Deirdre O'Callaghan Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 4:16 pm

When a band called The National made its debut more than a decade ago, it was considered an underdog in a busy independent music scene. The lead singer's melancholy baritone and the lush instrumentation didn't always fit the irony-laden swagger of the aughts. The National has endured, and these days it has a hard-won following. It headlines big concert halls and late-night talk shows.

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Music Reviews
1:35 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Fame Studios And The Road To Nashville Songwriting Glory

Fame Studio

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 9:57 am

Wallace Daniel Pennington grew up singing. His father played guitar and his mother played piano, and by the age of 9, the young man had a guitar of his own. The family attended church on Sunday and Wednesday each week, and to this day, Dan Penn says he remembers the entire Methodist congregation belting out hymns.

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The Record
12:38 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Boards Of Canada Tap A Devout Following To Push New Album

Boards of Canada's new album is titled Tomorrow's Harvest.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 5:53 am

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Music
11:35 am
Tue June 11, 2013

NPR Music's 25 Favorite Albums Of The Year (So Far)

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 12:23 pm

Give or take a few weeks, 2013's midpoint is upon us. After almost six months of new music, it's that time of year when we pause to catch our breath, get our bearings and share our love for the albums that defined the first half of 2013.

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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.

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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."

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