Music

The Record
10:34 am
Tue April 14, 2015

José González On Finding Light In A Comforting Darkness

"There's always a light at the end of the tunnel" José González says of the songs on his album, Vestiges & Claws, released earlier this year.
Malin Johansson Courtesy of the artist

On his most recent album, Vestiges & Claws, José González treads a familiar musical path, offering listeners the same subdued-but-powerful austerity of his unobtrusive tenor paired with minimal instrumentation that's come to define his remarkable sound since his full-length debut with 2003's Veneer. While those compositional tendencies have thankfully remained undisturbed, Vestiges & Claws is a divergence in theme for González.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Soul Singer Percy Sledge Dies

Singer Percy Sledge died Tuesday.
Taylor Hill Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 5:06 pm

Singer Percy Sledge, perhaps best known for his hit "When A Man Loves A Woman," has died, Artists International Management Inc., his talent agency, said.

Sledge died of natural causes a little after midnight at a hospice in East Baton Rouge, La., according to a coroner. The coroner said Sledge was 74, though the Encyclopedia of Music as well as his talent agency says Sledge was 73.

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Deceptive Cadence
6:36 am
Tue April 14, 2015

The Hypnotic Groove Of Xenakis

Percussionist Kuniko's new album is devoted to music by Iannis Xenakis.
Linn Records

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 11:41 am

Percussionists back in Beethoven's day could be forgiven for feeling a little bored, waiting for the infrequent roll of the kettledrum or the occasional cymbal crash. But as orchestras grew bigger, percussionists got busier — even more so after World War I, when a new generation of composers began writing specifically for percussion.

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Code Switch
2:14 am
Tue April 14, 2015

How Asian-Americans Found A Home In The World Of K-Pop

Asian music hitmaker Jae Chong, at work in a studio in Seoul. His work is all over Asian charts, but his passport is American.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 6:33 am

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Microphone Check
6:03 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Heems: 'If Someone's Got To Do It, It Should Be Me'

Heems at SiriusXM New York City Studios in March.
Robin Marchant Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 7:07 am

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First Listen
9:03 pm
Sun April 12, 2015

Review: Squarepusher, 'Damogen Furies'

Squarepusher's new album, Damogen Furies, comes out April 21.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 9:30 am

Of all the fitful, fractious breakbeat expressionists who got their start in the U.K. in the late 1990s — see also: Aphex Twin, Autechre, μ-ziq — Squarepusher has proven the most wild and untamed. Unpredictability has always been integral to a genre that merges rave-minded electronic sounds with the strictures of so-called IDM (intelligent dance music), but Squarepusher is alone in his capacity to swerve between club bangers and, say, jazz-fusion suites or even an album made with nothing more than dexterous jams on solo electric bass.

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First Listen
9:03 pm
Sun April 12, 2015

Review: Built To Spill, 'Untethered Moon'

Built To Spill's new album, Untethered Moon, comes out April 21.
Stephen Gere Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 9:29 am

It's suspiciously easy to overlook the existential side of Boise, Idaho's Built To Spill, a seasoned but frequently rotating ensemble centered on avuncular frontman Doug Martsch.

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First Listen
9:03 pm
Sun April 12, 2015

Review: The Alchemist & Oh No, 'Welcome To Los Santos'

The Alchemist & Oh No's new album, Welcome To Los Santos, comes out April 21.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 9:30 am

Welcome To Los Santos is a collection of new songs created by hip-hop producers The Alchemist and Oh No and inspired by the 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto V — Los Santos being the fictional setting of the gangster-fantasy adventure.

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First Listen
9:03 pm
Sun April 12, 2015

Review: San Fermin, 'Jackrabbit'

San Fermin's new album, Jackrabbit, comes out April 21.
Denny Renshaw Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 9:26 am

San Fermin's 2013 debut brims over with ideas: The brainchild of one guy, classically trained Brooklyn composer and multi-instrumentalist Ellis Ludwig-Leone, it's a nearly hourlong feast of gorgeous chamber-pop storytelling.

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First Listen
9:03 pm
Sun April 12, 2015

Review: Alabama Shakes, 'Sound & Color'

The Alabama Shakes' new album, Sound & Color, comes out April 21.
Brantley Gutierrez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 9:27 am

In the six years I've lived in the region, I've developed a mantra: Southern freaks are the best freaks. For me, the word "freak" can be both positive and downright spiritual. It describes serious individualists who are tolerant of others whose own paths may diverge from their own; people whose ways of thinking connect to form an antidote to the deep conventionality that often surrounds them.

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