Front Row
8:03 am
Wed August 27, 2014

First Listen Live: Alt-J, 'This Is All Yours'

Alt-J will perform its new album, This Is All Yours, live on Sept. 2.
Gabriel Green Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 10:11 am

Nothing was ordinary about this alt-J show — not that anything is ever ordinary from the artful British band.

But on Tuesday night at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City, alt-J would play its first concert in eight months: its first without departed friend and bassist/guitarist Gwil Sainsbury, its first with touring member Cameron Knight, and its first playing songs from the upcoming album This Is All Yours.

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Field Recordings
6:03 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Ledisi Steals The Show

Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 12:46 pm

There's too much happening in New Orleans' French Quarter — especially on a holiday weekend, and especially when hundreds of thousands of people are in town for the annual Essence Music Festival. There are living statues and five-piece bands and drinks a foot-and-a-half tall and people from all over the world ambling in the middle of the street.

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1:55 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Maps, 'You Will Find A Way'

Maps, 'You Will Find A Way'
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 11:59 am

What separates us from machines? Is it our capacity for love? Our seemingly bottomless well of cruelty? A new video for the Maps song "You Will Find A Way" poses these questions as a cardboard robot, built by a lonely girl, comes to life and goes out in search of companionship.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
11:49 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Nickel Creek: Tiny Desk Concert

Tiny Desk Concert with Nickel Creek on August 13, 2014.
Sarah Tilotta NPR

Nickel Creek was made to sing and play around a single microphone, so a Tiny Desk Concert seemed inevitable. All it took was a reunion tour — celebrating 25 years of Nickel Creek — to make it happen.

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Music Reviews
11:45 am
Tue August 26, 2014

At 71, Elvin Bishop Is Still Vigorous, And Can Do Wrong Right

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All Songs Considered
11:23 am
Tue August 26, 2014

New Mix: Weezer, Lucinda Williams, Sufjan Stevens, More

Clockwise from upper left: Weezer, Sufjan Stevens, Lia Ices, Lucinda Williams, Shabazz Palaces
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 11:44 am

On this week's All Songs Considered, Robin Hilton returns from vacation with "Back To The Shack," the fantastically hard-rocking first single from Weezer's upcoming Everything Will Be Alright In The End.

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All Songs Considered
10:21 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Come See The New Pornographers Play 'Brill Bruisers' In The Brill Building

The New Pornographers will play songs from Brill Bruisers inside New York's famed Brill Building on Thursday, Sept. 4.
Chris Buck Courtesy of the artist

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Deceptive Cadence
6:37 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Enigmatic Endings: A Farewell To Summer Quiz

Music can be like a fleeting summer. You get to the end wondering, "How did we get here already?"

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 1:40 pm

Well, it's happened again. Vacations are over. Kids are returning to school. "And where," you're wondering, "did my summer go?"

You can get the same feeling in music sometimes. No matter how long a piece is, its end might sneak up on you. Try this mysterious little quiz filled with fantastical finales and enigmatic endings. Score high and take an extra week off from work. Score low and get back to the grind.

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Music Interviews
12:03 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Shovels & Rope: In Marriage And Music, A 'Psychic' Bond

Shovels & Rope.
Molly Hayes Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 10:41 am

For more conversations with music-makers, check out NPR's Music Interviews.

Homepage photo: Molly Hayes

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Monkey See
12:41 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

At The VMAs, Beyonce And Nicki Minaj Play With Personas

Beyonce performs on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Sunday night, women gave the most memorable performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, and Stephen Thompson and I got together to chat about the provocations of Nicki Minaj, the royal Beyonce and more.

You can check out the video of all the performances for yourself, from the triple threat of Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj to the 16-minute Beyonce-stravaganza that closed the show.

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