NPR Music

Music Interviews
5:09 am
Sun April 14, 2013

Yeah Yeah Yeahs On Love Songs, New York And Transforming On Stage

Yeah Yeah Yeahs' new album is titled Mosquito.
Dan Martensen Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 11:04 am

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Music Interviews
6:27 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Thao Nguyen's Musical Life Is Far From 'Common'

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down's new album is titled We The Common.
Nick Walker Courtesy of the artist

Thao Nguyen, of the folk-rock group Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, has been on a musical journey since she started performing in her teens in Northern Virginia. Delicate yet fierce in her vocal delivery, she writes often about her social concerns — and it was a trip to a California women's prison that inspired much of her latest album, We the Common.

Ngyuen and her band are on the road for the first time in several years; she spoke with NPR's Jacki Lyden from a tour stop in Kansas City.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:03 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Extreme Drama: The Life And Music Of Richard Wagner

Rudolph Cronau's drawing of Wagner's opera house, Bayreuth, flanked by his birthplace (left) and place of death.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 10:11 am

Richard Wagner was, and still is today, arguably the most controversial figure in classical music. A self-appointed deity and hyperdriven genius, Wagner is often considered the ultimate megalomaniac. He dreamed up and achieved a single-minded plan to change the course of classical music history.

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The Record
5:20 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

The Music Of The Venezuelan Presidential Campaigns

Alvaro Perez volunteers as a DJ at a socialist party stand in Caracas, Venezuela, playing songs in support of candidate Nicolas Maduro.
Jasmine Garsd NPR

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 10:07 pm

On Sunday, voters in Venezuela will head to the polls, and in Caracas, the noise level is as high as voters' emotions. There is a background noise that accompanies everyday life in Latin America, a constant soundtrack: music blaring from food stands and cars, loud automobiles that are so run-down they defy the laws of physics, street vendors yelling product names. I've spoken to many immigrants to the U.S. who, like me, first arrived to live in the suburbs and found the absence of bochinche, or ruckus, maddening.

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A Blog Supreme
9:03 am
Fri April 12, 2013

South By South Africa: 5 Jazz Acts From The Rainbow Nation

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 1:08 am

Brilliant art often hides in plain sight. Such is the case in South Africa, where, for centuries, the country turned its back on black and "coloured" musicians.

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Music
3:31 am
Fri April 12, 2013

The Thatcher Era's Effect On British Music

Morrissey, an outspoken critic of Margaret Thatcher, is one of many U.K. musicians who responded to the late British leader's reforms in song.
Album cover

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 10:55 am

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Music Reviews
1:33 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Earl Hines: Big Bands And Beyond On A New Box Set

Earl "Fatha" Hines' band featured the likes of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.
Express Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:28 pm

By 1928, Earl Hines was jazz's most revolutionary pianist, for two good reasons. His right hand played lines in bright, clear octaves that could cut through a band. His left hand had a mind of its own. Hines could play fast stride and boogie bass patterns, but then his southpaw would go rogue — it'd seem to step out of the picture altogether, only to slide back just in time.

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Planet Money
5:15 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Whose MP3s Are They, Anyway?

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:50 pm

If you have a CD or book you don't want anymore, you can sell it. The law says that's perfectly legal. But what about an MP3 or an e-book? Can you legally resell your digital goods?

This was the question before a judge in the case of Capitol Records v. ReDigi Inc.

Launched in 2011, ReDigi is basically a digital version of a used-record store. You can sell the company your old MP3s, and you can buy "used" MP3s that other people have sold.

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Music Reviews
7:11 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Freshlyground: Polished African Pop On The Global Dance Floor

Take Me to the Dance is the latest album from Freshlyground.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 7:19 pm

Freshlyground has been one of the most talked about bands out of post-apartheid South Africa. One reason is the voice of lead singer Zolani Mahola. Mahola is a powerhouse; she and six other black and white musicians from around southern Africa make up the group. They came together in 2002 to forge a new sound, repackaging folk roots and classic African pop with a slick veneer of international pop production.

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The Record
2:46 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Talking 21st Century Songwriting With Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile.
Shawn Brackbill Courtesy of Matador Records

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:22 pm

The first time I met Kurt Vile we played a show together in Philadelphia to less than 200 people. That was sometime in the fall of 2010. When I saw him just over a year later he was headlining the 1,500 capacity Webster Hall in New York City, and Smoke Ring For My Halo, his album released in early 2011, had turned me and almost everyone I knew from simply curious to full devotees.

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