NPR Music

The Record
11:45 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Hear Four Musicians Talk About What Moves Them

NPR Music's Ann Powers (right) interviews musicians (from left) Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff, Sharon Jones and Meshell Ndegeocello at the EMP Pop Conference in Seattle.
Brady Harvey

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 12:42 pm

  • Sharon Jones, Mike McCready, Meshell Ndegocello And Alynda Lee Segarra On Stage

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:18 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Johnnyswim: Tiny Desk Concert

Johnnyswim performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in April 2014.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 11:00 am

Once you're able to see this three-song set by the band Johnnyswim, NPR Music will have published exactly 350 Tiny Desk Concerts — so we've developed a pretty good sense of when a set will stick in our memories for a while. We intuited, for example, that Adele was about to become a dominant force shortly after she breezed into our offices.

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The Record
9:36 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Innovative Chicago Producer DJ Rashad Dies At 34

DJ Rashad passed away on Saturday in Chicago at the age of 34.
Courtesy of Ashes 57

Rashad Hanif Harden, the Chicago DJ and producer known as DJ Rashad who helped establish a new style of dance music over a 15-year career, died on Saturday. He was 34.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
8:42 am
Sat April 26, 2014

Quilt: Tiny Desk Concert

Quilt performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in February 2014.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 11:00 am

It's right there in the band's name, but the music of Quilt is truly a tapestry. Its songs are made of small bits of verses and choruses that, heard individually, may not seem to fit. But in the hands and voices of this band, they stitch together beautifully. Interweaving harmonies and guitar lines from Anna Fox Rochinski and Shane Butler set the tone for these tunes — soft and benevolent, dreamy and quivering, with poetry that's thoughtful and playful. The opening song at this Tiny Desk Concert, "Arctic Shark," questions and enchants.

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A Blog Supreme
9:03 am
Fri April 25, 2014

The Art Of Cool: 5 Bands At The Borders Of Jazz

The vocal trio KING features production from Paris Strother, a jazz-trained pianist.
Alyssa Tumino Courtesy of the artist

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Deceptive Cadence
9:47 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Angst And Excellence In Forgotten Soviet Symphonies

Vadim Salmanov's four symphonies are reissued in live performances conducted by Yevgeny Mravinsky.
Melodiya

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 2:14 pm

Soviet composer Vadim Salmanov is little more than a footnote outside Russia, but his four energetic, skillfully orchestrated symphonies are making a small comeback. Russia's venerable Melodiya label has reissued them in a handsomely packaged double-disc set of live recordings made between 1957 and 1977.

Conducted with burning intensity by Yevgeny Mravinsky, Salmanov's rarely heard music soars off these albums with a sound that is thoroughly Russian yet charged with a certain Soviet-era anxiety.

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The Record
4:42 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

For Shakespeare's 450th Birthday, Here's An Unusual Tempest

An image from The Smith Center's production of Shakespeare's The Tempest in Las Vegas.
Geri Kodey The Smith Center

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 12:12 pm

Shakespeare is 450 today! And after all these years, The Tempest is still so magical it can make Teller talk.

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The Thistle & Shamrock
1:49 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

The Thistle & Shamrock: ...And Three

CRAN.
Courtesy of the artist

This hour features classic combinations of musical trios who weave melodies and rhythms together into an intoxicating and perfectly balanced blend.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tiny Desk Concerts
3:48 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Federico Aubele: Tiny Desk Concert

Federico Aubele performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in February 2014.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Argentine singer-songwriter Federico Aubele uses his dark, husky voice to produce a specific effect in the three songs he performs at this Tiny Desk Concert: Together, they jell into one impressionistic midtempo ballad.

A voice like Aubele's could be restrictive: His lower register seems to always reflect something dark and lonely. Think of your favorite bottom-scraping vocalist and the lyrics he or she interprets.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
9:22 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Usman Riaz: Tiny Desk Concert

NPR

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 7:54 pm

This is simply astonishing. Watch twenty seconds and you'll be sucked into the world of Usman Riaz, an immensely talented 23-year-old Pakistani musician who will change your perception of how a guitar can sound and be played. What's more remarkable is that this Berklee College of Music whiz kid learned much of his dazzling guitar technique by watching YouTube videos at 16. He also learned what he calls "parlor tricks," like body percussion and harmonica. But the classically trained pianist also used the Internet to learn how to write and conduct orchestra pieces and make films.

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