Music

Music

After more than five months in prison, some Russian dissidents are getting their day in court. The three young women are accused of being members of Pussy Riot, a feminist punk band that staged a protest against then presidential-candidate Vladimir Putin in February.

Merrill Garbus, the mastermind behind tUnE-yArDs, often uses a minimal assortment of resources — a ukulele, some pedals, a bit of percussion here and there — to craft an explosive, unpredictable, worldly, beautiful and utterly inventive sound. On last year's widely beloved w h o k i l l, Garbus' music forms a cut-up collage of coos, howls and bold statements of purpose, but her live shows fan out into epic rave-ups, complete with a pair of saxophonists.

“Having fun with the songs of Allen Toussaint” is how Jon Cleary describes his new record, a celebration of great songs put through Cleary’s unique set of funky filters. Featuring Dr. John, Bonnie Raitt and The Absolute Monster Gentlemen, there are unexpected twists and turns on this journey through the Toussaint songbook that will keep surprising you till the last piano glissando fades away.  

Jon Cleary will perform at the Telluride Jazz Celebration. Tune-in to KSUT Friday at noon for a warm up when we feature his new CD Occapella. 

Telluride Jazz Celebration

Jul 30, 2012

August 3 - 5, 2012

Let there be no mistake, something extraordinary happens when you visit Telluride. More than a festival, the Telluride Jazz Festival is a lifestyle stepped in beauty, intimate in nature and alive with character. A place where music, food, people and culture are woven together in a seamless tapestry of laid back fun and pure enjoyment.
 

The L.A. band Dawes carries a serious torch for the greatest moments of rock's collision with folk and country: Buffalo Springfield, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Band.

Imagine being able to rock a piano so well that Aerosmith wants you as its touring keyboardist. That's what happened to Russ Irwin, and he's been sharing the stage with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry for 15 years.

"I'm staring at their backsides," he tells NPR's David Greene. "It's an interesting place to be."

For all the attention Alabama Shakes' music has attracted in 2012 — and its album Boys & Girls marked a huge breakthrough earlier this year — the live stage is where the soulful blues-rock band transcends mere "one to watch" status. Boys & Girls is the work of polished professionals at the top of their game, but in concert, Alabama Shakes' music reaches ecstatic, sprawling, rafter-shaking heights.

Do You Really Know What Live Is?

Jul 27, 2012

For a few minutes the other night, I thought I'd be going to see One Direction this Sunday. A dad I know sent me a text proposing that we bring our third-graders to Key Arena for the exceptionally mop-topped British boy band's Seattle show. He thought we could nab some tickets.

Bright Moments On World Cafe

Jul 26, 2012

Multi-instrumentalist Kelly Pratt has recorded and toured with bands like Coldplay, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem and Beirut since 2006, but he's stepped into his own spotlight since forming the sunny pop band

All this summer, All Things Considered is digging into listeners' parents' record collections to hear about one song introduced by a parent that has stayed with you — for better or for worse.

Sigur Rós could be forgiven for sounding better on record than in concert. The Icelandic band's songs either billow out deliberately or stomp majestically, and in every case entail the building of layers upon intricate sonic layers. Plus, singer Jónsi — he of the otherworldly voice, singing mostly in a ghostly language of his own devising — is no Mick Jagger when it comes to calling attention to himself.

The Grateful Dead's eponymous live album started it all for Nicholas Meriwether.

It was 1985. He was studying history at Princeton and got hooked by psychedelic jams like "Wharf Rat." After his first concert, he knew: "I will spend the rest of my life thinking and studying this."

Brendan Benson On World Cafe

Jul 25, 2012

Brendan Benson has spent the past decade and a half curating a distinct and exciting sound, but his ascent hasn't been a smooth one. His debut album, 1996's One Mississippi, is considered a power-pop classic, but it sold poorly at the time of its release.

If last week's poll is any indication, most of you don't care much for Madonna, Dave Matthews, or Whitney Houston, at least not for the records of theirs we suggested.

Welcome to the new modern. L.A. musician Nick Waterhouse and his band The Tarots are young revivalists who offer a contemporary spin on classic sounds. Waterhouse comes from a world of "record people" and grew up just down the road from The Distillery (an all-analog Costa Mesa recording studio which houses the old console from Muscle Shoals), so he was afforded the privilege of seeing how the music-making process used to work. Working in precise detail, he crafts and refines a sharp modern-vintage sound throughout his first album, Time's All Gone.

The blues may come in myriad shapes and sizes, but on the eve of 2012's South By Southwest music festival, it took the form of two sisters from Los Angeles: Jennifer and Jessica Clavin, who make up the core of Bleached. A rough-and-tumble garage-rock band, Bleached is one of many young punk-infused acts playing three-minute, three-chord bashers with sneering, unraveled immediacy. When played on stage, the band's music takes on a messy-but-fun live-wire buoyancy.

Archie Powell And The Exports On World Cafe

Jul 24, 2012

Archie Powell has been surrounded by music since he was little: His father was a violinist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Powell himself picked up the guitar at 11, so songwriting became a natural next step for the music prodigy. He joined up with his band The Exports — brothers Ryan, Adam and RJ Export play keyboards, bass and drums, respectively — soon after college. By 2010, the Chicago-based power-pop band was ready with its first full-length studio album, Skip Work.

I'm usually a fan of "between" albums — the ones that break away from an artist's established sound, either tentatively or extravagantly, exploring the extremes of inspiration. These records are often misunderstood upon immediate release, but offer clues to an artist's discography over time.

Passion Pit's Not-So-Silver Lining

Jul 24, 2012

Passion Pit emerged from Boston's music scene just four years ago when musician Michael Angelakos recorded a collection of songs for his girlfriend as a Valentine's Day gift.

His brand of upbeat electronic pop soon found a much larger audience. These days, Passion Pit is known nationwide for its elaborate production and Angelakos' distinctive falsetto. The band will release its second album, Gossamer, July 24.

Next: Field Report

Jul 23, 2012

Under the guidance of veteran singer-songwriter Chris Porterfield, Field Report's folksy, Springsteen-esque tunes are rife with mellow acoustic guitars and electrified keyboards.

In the 1960s, the late Lumbee Indian singer, composer and activist Willie Lowery led a band called Plant and See — as in, plant the seed in the ground and see what comes up.

The band recorded only one album, Plant and See, which went out of print shortly after it was released in 1969, but psychedelic rock fans have always held it in high esteem.

Grace Potter On World Cafe

Jul 20, 2012

Grace Potter has been captivating audiences with her musical prowess for nearly a decade. Her talents are split between her impressive multi-instrumentalism, her impassioned singing and her energetic stage presence. Potter's band, The Nocturnals, forned after bandmate Matt Burr heard her play folk songs at a student-run venue. Coming out of Vermont with the 2005 debut Nothing But the Water, the band released the album independently before signing with Hollywood Records for a re-release.

My favorite new discovery of the year is actually an album that came out last fall by a band called The Dø (pronounced "dough"). After months of living beneath a massive pile of other CDs, it finally surfaced a couple of weeks ago and blew me away. It's called Both Ways Open Jaws and it's an epic listen: beautiful but gritty, unpredictable, unsettling and full of mystery.

Last month, we started a new feature called "Heavy Rotation" where we asked public radio DJs from around the country to tell us about the best new music on their playlist. The response was overwhelming, so we've decided to make it a monthly sampler.

Anders Osborne On World Cafe

Jul 18, 2012

Originally from Sweden, Anders Osborne left his home in Uddevalla at 16 to hitchhike through Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Eventually finding his way to the U.S., the singer-songwriter and guitarist settled in New Orleans in 1984. The Crescent City clearly came to inspire Osborne's music, which ranges from muddy backwater blues to upbeat country-rock, and fills in many of the gaps in between.

Deer Tick Among The Honey Buckets

Jul 18, 2012

We were late getting set up. As Deer Tick's John McCauley stood on the picturesque hillside of the Columbia River Gorge, about to strum the first chord of a song, another band started to blast us from the main stage nearby. We had to leave. It was a relief, really, because the natural majesty of the surroundings didn't seem at home with Deer Tick's music — especially not the Replacements-esque party attitude of the band's new album, Divine Providence.

Elton John has been writing music since the 1960s, and between then and now, he has had enough life experience to reach some remarkable conclusions.

"I certainly, if I'm being honest with you, don't think you write as good a song on cocaine as you do when you're normal," he tells Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep.

The deeper we get into our search for the albums everyone can love, the more intriguing our findings become. For example, last week's poll, shows us that a solid majority of you don't care for the Guns N' Roses album Appetite For Destruction, even though it was a huge record when it first dropped in 1987.

Damien Jurado On World Cafe

Jul 17, 2012

Folk-pop singer-songwriter Damien Jurado has come a long way since he first started self-releasing lo-fi folk recordings on cassette. Jurado has been making music since the early '90s, and he recently released his 10th studio album, Maraqopa — his second produced by best friend and Secretly Canadian labelmate Richard Swift.

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