NPR Music & Concerts

Music features, reviews and "first listens" from NPR.  Find more music at WUNC's  Back Porch Music.

This weekend, NPR Music is headed back to one of our favorite summer events: the Newport Folk Festival.

As part of NPR Music's Turning the Tables, we are looking closely at some of the albums on our list of the 150 Greatest Albums Made by Women. Today's feature is Pirates, the second album by Rickie Lee Jones. She will perform the album in full at Lincoln Center Out of Doors on Wednesday, July 26.


The pirates first announced themselves to Rickie Lee Jones in New Orleans, in the fall of 1979, with a delivery of mysterious gifts.

"Despacito," the worldwide hit from Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee which just last week was touted as the most-streamed song to date, has now become the subject of a surprise appropriation by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

Chester Bennington, one of the lead singers for the band Linkin Park and a former singer for Stone Temple Pilots, has died. His death was confirmed to NPR Thursday afternoon by the Los Angeles County Coroner's office, which said that his body was discovered at a house in the 2800 block of Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles and that investigators are currently on the scene. The death is "being looked at as a possible suicide at this time," according to Brian Elias of the coroner's office. Bennington was 41 years old.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Best Of The Best

Jul 19, 2017

From The Chieftains' vintage collection The Very Best Of The Claddagh Years to Dusk Till Dawn, which telescopes the long and successful career of Capercaillie, we explore some of Celtic-roots music's finest "best of" compilations.

The world has had the better part of a week now, and through a bloated holiday weekend, to digest Jay-Z's latest album, 4:44. With 10 songs spread over 36 minutes, the album wields brevity without sacrificing breadth. Its sound, crafted wholly by producer No I.D., is surprisingly cloudy and narcotic, while Shawn Carter's lyrics are reflective and bent steadfastly toward honesty.

Gary DeCarlo, the voice behind the late-'60s hit "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," died Wednesday in Branford, Conn. He was 75 years old, and had been battling metastatic cancer.

DeCarlo was the co-writer and singer of that now-indelible tune, which spent 16 weeks on the Hot 100 singles chart in 1969.

Let's Eat Grandma: Defying Commas And Expectations

Jun 26, 2017

A week after opening to a tepid critical response and accusations of historical inaccuracies from actress Jada Pinkett Smith — as well as a misinterpreted Internet joke that had many searching in vain for the appearance of an iPhone in the film — the Tupac Shakur biopic All

This post was updated on Sunday, June 25 at 3:50 PM.

Prodigy And The America That Raised Him

Jun 23, 2017

"I wanna go home not sing this song
but I'm forced to perform speech napalm"

—PRODIGY, "Genesis"

Earlier this month, the New York Philharmonic's outgoing music director Alan Gilbert said goodbye to his orchestra in a series of concerts. Today, he is saying hello to a brand new job in Hamburg, Germany.

A Band Apart

Jun 19, 2017

"[Bob] Seger's absence from digital services, combined with the gradual disappearance of even physical copies of half his catalog, suggest a rare level of indifference to his legacy," Tim Quirk wrote for NPR Music in late March in his feature, "Where Have All The Bob Seger Albums Gone?"

The Thistle & Shamrock: New For Summer

Jun 14, 2017

Tune into the great new sounds that are kicking off this year's music-festival season on both sides of the Atlantic. In this show, you'll hear new music from Beoga, Galen Fraser, Moya Brennan and more.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Last month, PWR BTTM's Ben Hopkins was accused of sexual assault. Following widespread reporting of those allegations, the two-piece band, whose other member is Liv Bruce, was dropped from its record labels, Father/Daughter and Polyvinyl. Today, the group is publicly detailing its efforts to gain control of its music.

Judging by the headlines Friday morning, Taylor Swift's music has finally returned to streaming services. But that's not exactly the case.

Explore the songs of 17th-century "weaver poet" Robert Tannahill, who wrote verses in the style of Robert Burns. Tannahill's work is still widely sung and has been immortalized internationally in folk songs he influenced, including "Wild Mountain Thyme" and "Waltzing Matilda."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the site of the Woodstock music festival in 1969, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, according to an announcement on its website. The news was first reported by the Associated Press.

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