NPR Music

The Record
1:28 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

A Brief History Of The Grammy Sales Bump

Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons, winner of Album of the Year at the 2013 Grammy Awards. To date, the band's winning album, Babel, has sold 1,737,000 copies, according to Nielsen Soundscan.
Jason Merritt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 5:21 pm

As televised prize-givers, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences are slouches. The dozen prizes given out in a typical Grammy Awards telecast is the lowest of any major awards-show telecast, from the Oscars to the Emmys. NARAS gives out the bulk of its little gramophones in an untelevised ceremony.

But as sales-juicers? The Grammys are unparalleled.

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A Blog Supreme
4:02 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Survey The Portland Jazz Scene With Five Great Tunes

Pianist Darrell Grant is one of the anchors of the Portland jazz community.
Hiroshi Iwaya Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 12:19 pm

No matter what a certain television series tells you, Portland, Ore., isn't all that weird. Sure, we make great coffee, ride bicycles, eat organic food — and, yes, there are a lot of hippies and hipsters here. But Portland is much more than that.

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Music Reviews
12:39 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Richard Thompson's New Album Examines 'Electric' Love

Richard Thompson's new album is titled Electric.
Pamela Littky Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 1:23 pm

Delicate phrasing, with both voice and guitar, has always made Richard Thompson a musician worth hearing — and sometimes even liking on a personal level. For a man who can make such pretty music, it's to his credit that he prefers to show his thorny, stubborn, cranky, even mean side in many of the songs in his solo career.

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Thistle and Shamrock
6:03 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Thistle And Shamrock: Sheila Kay Adams - 7th Generation Ballad Singer From North Carolina

Sheila Kay Adams
Courtesy of the artist

For seven generations her family has passed down English, Scottish and Irish ballads that crossed the Atlantic with their ancestors in the 1700s. Join Fiona and an intimate audience at the Swannanoa Gathering's Traditional Song Week to enjoy Appalachian ballads and stories of a unique singer, author, tradition bearer and cultural treasure: Sheila Kay Adams.

The Record
5:22 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Saving The Sounds Of America

A 16-inch lacquer disc, a format used in the 1930s, from the collection of the Library of Congress. Most of the lacquer, the part of the disc where the sound was etched, has been lost to decay.
Abby Brack Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 9:44 pm

We've been able to record sound for over 125 years, but many of the recordings that have been made in that time are in terrible shape. Many more, even recordings made in the past 10 years, are in danger because rapid technological changes have rendered their software obsolete. So Wednesday, the Library of Congress unveiled a plan to help preserve this country's audio archives.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:54 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Measures Of Affection: Five Musical Love Letters

Composer Peter Lieberson wrote his Neruda Songs for his wife, mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.
Johansen Krause Peter Lieberson

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 12:21 pm

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Music Reviews
4:50 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Jim James: On A Spiritual Quest In The Digital Age

Jim James' solo debut is titled Regions of Light and Sound of God.
Neil Krug Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 9:44 pm

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Music Reviews
12:27 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Rudresh Mahanthappa: Bicultural Jazz, Ever Shifting

Rudresh Mahanthappa.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 4:47 pm

Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa's quartet can sound like it's cross-pollinating Indian classical music and vintage Captain Beefheart. That befits a bicultural saxophonist who grew up in Boulder, where his Hindu family had a Christmas tree. For a long time, Mahanthappa resisted combining jazz and Indian music — it was almost too obvious a trajectory. But then he got serious about it.

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Heavy Rotation
9:56 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Heavy Rotation: 5 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Brooklyn songwriter Katie Mullins has a fan in WNYC's John Schaefer.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 8:36 pm

Every so often, we ask a panel of public radio's music experts to share their favorite new songs.

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The Record
8:17 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy Adjusts His Crown

Bonnie "Prince" Billy performing onstage at Lincoln Center's Allen Room February 7.
Kevin Yatarola Lincoln Center

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 9:31 am

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