NPR Music

The Record
4:56 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Reg Presley, The Voice Of 'Wild Thing,' Dies

Reg Presley in Hamburg, circa 1965.
Petra Niemeier — K & K Redferns

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 6:36 pm

Reg Presley, the founder and lead singer of The Troggs, the rock group best known for the performing the original version of the song "Wild Thing," has died. Presley was 71. He died of lung cancer yesterday at his home in England.

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Music Reviews
4:25 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Reissued And Relevant, Marcos Valle's '70s Bossa Nova Returns

Marcos Valle in Los Angeles in 1968.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 6:36 pm

Marcos Valle wasn't identified with Brazil's influential Tropicalia movement during the 1960s and 1970s. But, like his peers Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, he made ambitious and subversive pop music during those years, mixing American soul and rock with samba, bossa nova and other Brazilian styles.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:41 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Lean But Seen: The Joy Of Smaller Opera

Composer Mohammed Fairouz, whose hour-long chamber opera Sumeida's Song recently appeared on recording and on stage.
Samantha West courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 9:50 am

When a new festival for opera and musical theater called "Prototype" opened in New York last month, it wasn't inaugurated with a huge new piece. Instead, the festival was kicked off with the first staging of Mohammed Fairouz' opera Sumeida's Song — a work for four singers and a handful of musicians that lasts just 60 minutes long, presented at Here, a theater in Manhattan's Tribeca that seats just 100 people.

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Music News
4:27 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Remembering Karen Carpenter, 30 Years Later

Karen Carpenter, of The Carpenters, performs in London in 1974.
Tim Graham Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:38 pm

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The Record
3:50 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Listening To My Bloody Valentine Three Ways

My Bloody Valentine's Bilinda Butcher during the band's set at Coachella in 2009.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 4:29 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
3:43 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Does Classical Music Have A Transgender Problem?

Pianist Sara Davis Buechner.
courtesy of the artist

Yesterday, pianist Sara Davis Buechner published on the New York Times website a brave and moving account of her experiences as a transgendered person. "As David Buechner, born in the northwest suburbs of Baltimore in 1959," she writes, "I became an internationally known concert pianist. But from the time I was a child, I understood that I was meant to be Sara."

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:03 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Cantus: Tiny Desk Concert

Cantus performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 3, 2012.
Ryan Smith for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:43 pm

Is there some kind of weird vocal vortex in Minnesota? The state turns out so many excellent choral groups — at the school, church and professional levels — that it can arguably be dubbed the choral center of the U.S.

The members of the male vocal ensemble called Cantus, who huddled around Bob Boilen's desk to sing for us, hail from that vortex — specifically Minneapolis-St. Paul.

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Music Reviews
11:59 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Yo La Tengo: Decades In And Far From Fading

Yo La Tengo's new album is titled Fade.
Carlie Armstron Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 1:19 pm

Yo La Tengo wouldn't seem to be very rock 'n' roll, given that it's a very stable and long-lasting operation. Since 1991, the lineup has consisted of a married couple — drummer Georgia Hubley and guitarist Ira Kaplan, along with bassist James McNew — and all three play additional instruments as needed. Yo La Tengo has been with the same label, Matador, since 1993. But if the band lacks rock dramatics, I would argue that it knows as much about the modes and manners of rock 'n' roll as anyone who has ever played the music.

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The Record
10:55 am
Mon February 4, 2013

The Roots Of Beyonce's Super Bowl Spectacular

Beyonce performs during the Super Bowl halftime show Sunday night.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 12:38 pm

One of the Twitter hashtags devised by rabid Beyonce fans before last night's Super Bowl halftime show was religious in nature: #praisebeysus. Praise Beysus! This bit of hyperventilating resonated in interesting ways. Strutting into the very center of America's biggest television spectacle, the 31-year-old superstar intended to secure her place in the musical pantheon next to recent Super Bowl-approved legends Madonna, The Who, Bruce Springsteen and Prince.

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The Record
8:28 am
Sun February 3, 2013

A Small-Time Wordsmith Hits It Big In Nashville

Once a poet and an English teacher, Jim McCormick has become a powerhouse Nashville songwriter.
Scott Saltzman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 6:21 pm

In March, country music star Jason Aldean is playing Madison Square Garden. Tickets sold out in 10 minutes. Fans want to hear his latest No. 1 song, "Take a Little Ride."

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