NPR Music

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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A Blog Supreme
4:55 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Remembering Donald Byrd, Jazz Trumpeter Who Spanned Generations

Donald Byrd onstage, in an image circulated by his record label at the time, Blue Note Records.
Echoes/Redferns Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 11:23 am

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:03 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

The xx: Tiny Desk Concert

The xx performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 29, 2013.
Gabriella Demczuk NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:42 pm

It's easy to think of The xx as a fashionable band: Its members have a sleek all-in-black look, its typography and cover art is coolly and distinctively styled, and the group itself has been showered with validation, including Britain's 2010 Mercury Prize. But beneath all that tightly controlled image-making lays music that's raw and vulnerable; shy, worried tentativeness is wired into a sound that shimmers powerfully, but remains as fragile and delicate as a soap bubble.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:23 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Classical Grammys 2013: Same Old Winners, Bold New Music

Members of eighth blackbird performing at the pre-telecast Grammy Awards Sunday.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Ah, the joys of Monday morning quarterbacking, classical style.

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Music
3:35 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Hollywood's 'Hooray': Hardly A Happy Hymn

Doris Day's somber 1958 version of "Hooray for Hollywood," which was included on an album of the same name, better reflects the song's creatively complicated lyrics.
Sony Picture Archives

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 11:41 am

When the Oscars are handed out later this month, the ceremony will most likely be punctuated by music that has pretty much come to stand for movies and Movieland. Ironically, the composer grew up in Detroit, and the lyricist came from Savannah, Ga. — yet together they wrote the quintessential Tinseltown anthem.

"Hooray for Hollywood" was written for the Warner Brothers film Hollywood Hotel. It was a corny little "let's-go-to-Hollywood-and become-stars" movie from 1937, with some cute dialogue.

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