NPR Music & Concerts

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

In 2014, when the band Hundred Waters programmed the first installment of its FORM festival in the eco-friendly desert village known as Arcosanti, it was an entirely DIY affair.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Bridges

May 10, 2017

Music commemorates the landmarks that span our landscapes — and is its own bridge across time and place. Cross all forms of bridges this week with music from Altan, Kim Robertson, Eileen Ivers and more.

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

On Monday, the Internet radio pioneer Pandora, one of the oldest music tech companies still humming, announced its first-quarter financial results. Like most of its brethren, the company both makes and loses a lot of money — it reported $132 million in net losses this quarter alone, but also announced a new $150 million round of financing and a shakeup of its board. Oh, and that financing requires the company explore all feasible avenues to sell itself off before receiving the cash.

Conductor Gustavo Dudamel — one of the most famous Venezuelans in the world today and one of the world's most prominent classical musicians — issued an open letter today to the president and government in his native country.

Long reticent to address politics directly, he has published his comments in a letter titled "Levanto Mi Voz / I Raise My Voice," in both Spanish and English. (The full text is below, in both languages.)

One week ago around this time, thousands of people seeking a luxurious island reprieve were preparing for a trip to Exuma Island in the Bahamas to attend the Fyre Festival.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Singer-Songwriters

May 3, 2017

The talented songwriters featured in this week's show take us on a tour around the landscapes that inspire their music. Hear music by Battlefield Band, Bert Jansch, Áine Furey and more.

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

As a composer, I entered a profession in which I knew I could actively alter our fractious present using the incomparable tools of art. After all, the intellectually curious and essentially progressive landscapes of our concert halls and opera houses seem like the perfect arenas in which to harness momentum for change and, through the aspirational craft of music, feel the resurrection of hope in the midst of despair and apathy.

Gorillaz Are Human After All

Apr 27, 2017

The Thistle & Shamrock: Spring Sounds

Apr 26, 2017

The new spring shoots of music from Celtic roots are ready for broadcast. Hear new songs from Eamon Friel, Molly's Revenge, Runa and more.

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

Record Store Day, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is a consumer ploy in the guise of a cultural event. Or, depending on your vantage, maybe it's the other way around. Whatever the case, record stores across the country and around the world are happily (or gamely) bracing for impact: Record Store Day 2017 falls this Saturday, April 22, with a wave of exclusive releases, in-store appearances and other retail enticements.

Prince Without Permission

Apr 21, 2017

It is important — and always devastating — to remember that Prince died alone. He had probably also been in great pain that evening. But there was, as far as we know, nobody around to help him.

A 23-year-old, Russian-born violinist named Artem Kolesov is capturing international attention after posting a YouTube video in which he comes out as gay.

Allan Holdsworth, Revered Fusion Guitarist, Dies At 70

Apr 17, 2017

Allan Holdsworth, a spellbinding guitarist who influenced generations of jazz and rock musicians with his innovative sound, has died unexpectedly at age 70.

The period of anticipation preceding the release of Kendrick Lamar's fourth album, DAMN., was intense, brief but methodically built.

The D.C. brewery Right Proper was like a cultural mullet during a recent visit: a posh baby shower in the front (complete with chocolate petit fours), a bunch of metal heads making beer in the back. Right Proper's head brewer, Nathan Zeender, was dumping a heaping spoonful of hop extract into a tank.

A massive fire at a Fruitvale district live work space has reportedly left an unconfirmed number of people dead died at an East Oakland work space, authorities said.

The fire apparently broke out about 11:30 p.m. in the 1300 block of 31st Avenue.

No other information was immediately available.

Check back for updates.

"Our theory was simple," wrote Daniel Ek, co-founder and CEO of Spotify, in 2014, "offer a terrific free tier, supported by advertising, as a starting point to attract fans and get them in the door."

So what happens after everybody's crossed the threshold?

Sometimes, highly anticipated live concerts knock other priorities right off the calendar — in the case of Britney Spears and Israel, even an election.

According to a report in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz published today, Britney Spears' July 3 concert in Tel Aviv's HaYarkon Park is delaying the Labor Party's leadership vote by a day. The election was originally scheduled to take place on the same day at the Convention Center for Labor, which is adjacent to the park.

Hear music from and inspired by the National Theatre of Scotland show that has won acclaim over the past five years, including during its recent run in the U.S. The non-traditional production, which plays in bars, pubs and civic spaces, celebrates Scottish traditional poetry, storytelling and music woven through a supernatural tale.

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