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Updated at 11:10 a.m. ET

Gord Downie, singer of The Tragically Hip, died of complications from brain cancer Tuesday night at the age of 53. His death was announced in a statement from his family.

Hillsborough's Yep Roc Records is celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend with a series of concerts in Hillsborough and Carrboro. Label co-founder Glenn Dicker sat down with Morning Edition host Eric Hodge to talk about the history of the label and to give us a run down of this weekend's events.

Courtesy of Tift Merritt & Bernhardt Design / bdesignny

Seventeen months after the birth of her daughter, singer-songwriter Tift Merritt is gearing up for an international tour through Europe later this month with her baby by her side. 

Sufjan Stevens is sharing a rare outtake he recorded while making his 2015 album Carrie & Lowell. The song, "Wallowa Lake Monster," is one of several previously unreleased tracks included in an upcoming collection of remixes, demos and alternate versions of songs from that period.

Thelonious Monk, the incomparably influential jazz composer and pianist, would have turned 100 today, and across the country a healthy range of commemorative tributes is already underway. But the flagship event that bears his name has quietly been put on hold: the next Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, which at one point had been scheduled for this week at the Kennedy Center in Washington, will not happen in 2017.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its nominees for the class of 2018 this morning, presenting a group of first-time nominees that might make up the institution's most sonically diverse list in years.

Few people have taken Irish song to a more universal audience than Cathy Jordan. She has fronted the popular band Dervish for over two globetrotting decades and is also an accomplished solo performer and songwriter. Join host Fiona Ritchie as she chats to Jordan about her life in music and hear her perform some well-loved songs to an intimate audience at the Swannanoa Gathering's Traditional Song Week.

For such an unassuming rock star, Tom Petty sure got to live a lot of lives.

Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn of Sylvan Esso
Courtesy of Shervin Lainez

After a year on the road, Durham-based duo Sylvan Esso has gathered pals for a concert and campout near home this weekend. They'll join tUnE-yArDs, Wye Oak, Helado Negro and Well$ at Shakori Hills Saturday.

Happy Fall, everybody! Here's a quick look at some of songs that are  in the mix at WUNC Music right now.

Charles Bradley, the "Screaming Eagle of Soul," whose late-blossoming career was built on fiery performances that evoked his idol, James Brown, died in Brooklyn on Saturday, Sept. 23, according to a statement by his publicist. In 2016, Bradley was diagnosed with stomach cancer, which spread to his liver. He was 68 yeas old.

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery stream, WUNC Music.

On this episode, Eric Hodge chats with Tift Merritt about her song "Stitch Of The World" from the album of the same name.

Before discussing her creative process, Merritt says that "Stitch Of The World" is a song about freeing yourself from burdens.

Listen to the episode here:

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd sits down with Seth and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers to talk about a new film about the making of the band’s Grammy-nominated album, “True Sadness.”

That film, “May It Last,” comes out today and is in theaters for one night only.

A picture of Michael Rank at a keyboard.
Missy Malouff

Michael Rank is a singer-songwriter based in Chatham County.  His last few records sounded very rootsy, with fiddle and other acoustic instrumentation. Drum machines and electric wah-wah guitar reign in the gritty soul record, Another Love. Rank's new music is being compared to D'Angelo, Prince and Curtis Mayfield.

Going The Distance

Sep 7, 2017

I first stumbled onto a music festival-sponsored 5K race by accident. On a humid June morning in 2013 at Manchester, Tenn.'s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, I went out for a run, rounded a corner and came upon a group of festival goers safety-pinning paper race numbers to their clothes, very possibly hungover or sleep-deprived , but nonetheless motivated enough to rouse themselves from sleep and run 3.1 miles at 9 am, several hours before the day's first performances were scheduled to start. Glad to have found company, I slipped into the herd just before someone shouted, "Go!"

Tori Amos is the kind of artist you might describe as a seeker. Since she started recording in the 1990s, Amos has used her songs to ask big questions about the world she observes. Time has made her powers of observation more acute, and on her new album, Native Invader, Amos takes stock of the present moment.

Don't look for Walter Becker on those endless (ridiculous) listicles ranking the "Guitar Gods of the 1970s." He's rarely mentioned in the same breath as major dudes like Eric Clapton, or Jimmy Page, or Duane Allman, or Carlos Santana, or Billy Gibbons, or Frank Zappa.

If the producer and DJ Matthew Dear soundtracked our comedown earlier this summer with the goth-pop jewel "Modafinil Blues," he now returns to make sense of the season's revelry.

The Be Loud! event poster,
Be Loud! Sophie Foundation

The Be Loud! Sophie Foundation is holding its annual celebration at the Cat's Cradle this weekend in Carrboro.

There are far fewer fingertips smudged and squeaky with newsprint ink today than there were even an armful of years ago. Now, there are soon to be tens of thousands a week less, as The Village Voice ends an epoch, removing newsstands that for 62 years contained the lean and mien of an unparalleled city.

Tift Merritt's latest album cover
Alexandra Valenti

Tift Merritt is throwing a party Saturday night at the North Carolina Museum of Art. M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger, Eric Slick of Dr. Dog, and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig from Mountain Man will be there. So will someone who calls himself the Suitcase Junket.

Many a singer has sung of mustering the strength to overcome hardship; it's the stuff of blustery power ballads, irrepressible empowerment anthems and aggressively aggrieved rock sing-alongs. But it's a simpler thing to narrate that act through lyrics than it is to embody that experience through a vivid performance.

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