Music

Music

In 1933, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra gave the world premiere of Symphony No. 1 by a then little-known composer named Florence Price. The performance marked the first time a major orchestra played music by an African-American woman.

Price's First Symphony, along with her Fourth, has just been released on an album featuring the Fort Smith Symphony, conducted by John Jeter.

John Prine was not even on the bill at Newport, but he stepped out on stage to introduce Margo Price. The set just got better from there.

First Listen: Sneaks, 'Highway Hypnosis'

17 hours ago

For Sneaks, a repeated sentence can become a roadmap — a means of getting where she wants to go. Back in 2015, when she was establishing her solo project after playing bass in a string of D.C. punk bands, she described the role of her lyrics as being "like a mantra in a way. Everything is done for me." An aid to concentration, a mantra can offer transformation — clarity, release, growth — through repetition.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

On his latest album, Outer Peace, Chaz Bear, otherwise known as Toro y Moi, is navigating the spaces of adulthood, technology, genre and identity.

Having recently changed his last name from Bundick to Bear, the artist is finding ways to not only redefine himself, but also his music.

Two deaths in early January, of percussionist Alvin Fielder and multi-instrumentalist/poet/dramaturge Joseph Jarman, help remind us that artists' lives shouldn't be summarized by their documented works alone. Both men made signature contributions to the freedoms and complications that have enriched what we know as jazz, starting more than 50 years ago as founding members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM).

Forget being on the wrong side of history, the NFL is on the wrong side of the culture. In two weeks, Super Bowl LIII will kick off in Atlanta, the black mecca and current hip-hop capital, but the league has had to scramble to find black artists willing to perform at the halftime show.

According to a report by Billboard magazine on Friday afternoon, R. Kelly has been dropped by RCA Records. The move comes in the wake of a documentary series called Surviving R. Kelly that aired on Lifetime and cataloged more than 25 years of accusations of sexual and physical abuse made against Kelly by a number of women, including seven who were interviewed on camera.

In the five years since her last music release, Sharon Van Etten has had her hands full: She became a mom, she took her first acting role in the Netflix series The OA, she wrote her first movie score, and she went back to school for psychology.

The title of her new album, Remind Me Tomorrow, is a nod to how busy she's been.

"There's a lot more of life pulling me in different directions," Van Etten says.

Latin American singer-songwriter Juan Wauters exists somewhere at the cross-section of debonair and everyman, a phenomenon likely explained by his teenage migration from Uruguay to Queens in the early 2000s. After signing to Captured Tracks, Wauters quickly became a fixture of New York's DIY circuit, providing lead vocals and guitar for pop-punk project The Beets and releasing several solo albums, including 2014's Who Me? and 2015's N.A.P.: North American Poetry.

When you're surrounded by thousands of fans at a Mumford & Sons show, you're not likely to actually get to shake hands or share a sweaty hug with the members of the band. But you might leave feeling like you just did.

"There is no such thing as Chicano hippies! And playing Mexican music??"

That was my father's reaction when I described seeing five honest-to-goodness Chicano hippies with beards and ponytails playing mariachi music at a Chicano student leadership retreat at UC Davis in 1975. Los Lobos del Este de Los Angeles, the group called themselves.

In an interview with Billboard, Ariana Grande said she wanted to "put out music in the way that a rapper does" — meaning, releasing songs without any of the constraints that pop stars like her are beholden to.

The song "GIRL," which arrived at all digital music platforms yesterday afternoon, is the first new solo music from Maren Morris since she released her 2016 major label debut Hero and its four singles.

Fyre Festival just keeps delivering drama.

Normally, the bookers of the Super Bowl halftime performance don't have a lot of trouble finding talent for the big show. Superstars like Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Beyoncé have all performed. But for this year's upcoming game, nailing down a halftime act hasn't been so easy.

Welcome to a brand-new season of New Music Friday! After a few quiet weeks, the flood gates are opening and we've got a whole bunch of essential albums dropping on Jan. 18 to tell you about. This includes the smart, sparkling pop of singer Maggie Rogers, swooning love songs from James Blake, deep introspection from Pedro The Lion's first new album in 15 years, pure joy from Toro y Moi and much more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson for this quick sprint through the essential releases for Jan. 18, the first busy drop date for the new year.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Survivors of California's recent wildfires are bracing for the possibility that the utility Pacific Gas and Electric may go into bankruptcy protection by the end of this month. Investigators are looking into whether the company's equipment started the Camp Fire. For victims suing PG&E, a company bankruptcy could impact their compensation. From member station KQED in San Francisco, Lily Jamali has more.

LILY JAMALI, BYLINE: For the last several weeks, California's Butte County has been inundated with TV ads like these.

After years of living and changing in the public eye, it should come as no surprise that DAWN (f.k.a. D∆WN and Dawn Richard) is a survivor. The multi-hyphenated talent has been through the girl-group music machine and label politics to emerge with her artistic freedom intact. From New Orleans, she's a music-industry outlier who confidently occupies — and constantly redefines — her own lane. She's incomparable.

Each week, Alt.Latino brings together songs from Latin artists. Through Natti Natasha's ideals on female sexuality to Juanes and Labo Ebratt's stylized vallenato, this week's list lends itself as one not meant to be hidden.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Good morning. I'm David Greene with news you're going to hate me for because - welcome to the rest of your day.

(SOUNDBITE OF TOTO SONG, "AFRICA")

Russian authorities tolerated the music videos of zombie babushkas and gothic maidens, even as the ghoulish songs racked up millions of hits on YouTube. But when the Moscow-based electronic music duo IC3PEAK ventured into politics with their latest track, "Death No More," trouble began.

The globalization of pop music has been under way for a while now, with the sounds and sensibilities of K-pop, reggaeton and myriad other Latinx styles serving as major sources of fuel.

Slingshot: 20 Artists To Watch In 2019

Jan 17, 2019

A new year calls for new discoveries, and 2019 is no different. As part of NPR Slingshot, member stations have chosen a select group of artists who are making this a promising year in music.

Packed with discoveries, our 2019 Artists To Watch list is more than just an unpredictable mix of jazz montages, complex grunge solos and unifying anthems. It's a diverse celebration of artists who've been here all along, but are only now getting to be heard.


The Thistle & Shamrock: New Year Sounds

Jan 16, 2019

Get the New Year off to a good musical start as Fiona Ritchie features some brilliant new sounds from Birichin, Kevin Burke and John McCutcheon.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mike Farris is unflinchingly optimistic. You can read it on his Twitter, hear it in his music and feel it in conversation when you talk with him. He can even have a laugh about the name of the band he played in during his 20s while signed to Atlantic Records, The Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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"It feels like everyone's in a pressure cooker in this country," says Leyla McCalla in her biography, about the themes

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