Music

World Cafe
4:10 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Sharon Van Etten On World Cafe

Sharon Van Etten.
Courtesy of the artist

Brooklyn singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten made her debut in 2008 with a bare-bones album called Because I Was in Love. She followed it with 2010's Epic and 2012's Tramp, which was produced by The National's Aaron Dessner. As she's pushed herself to improve on each album, Van Etten's remarkable emotional honesty has remained constant.

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Music News
3:49 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Nobody Panic! It's Only A Pop Song About Sex

Like the song says, his wife's gone to the country and, well, you fill in the blanks.
Courtesy of Jody Rosen

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 9:36 am

Before 1909, American pop songs could be romantic and even coy about sex. But none were so explicit about adultery as "I Love My Wife — But Oh! You Kid!" about a married man named Jonesy and the young lass who catches his eye.

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The Thistle & Shamrock
3:21 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

The Thistle & Shamrock: The Carrying Stream

Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer's collaborative album is titled Child Ballads.
Jay Sansone Courtesy of the artist

It took centuries for a ballad like "Barbara Allen" to work its way through the British Isles and across the Atlantic. Now the music flows freely back and forth as musicians from both sides of the ocean explore and fuse flavors from Celtic, Appalachian and Old Time music. This week they include Dolly Parton, John Doyle, Jean Ritchie and Anaïs Mitchell.

All Songs Considered
11:39 am
Fri June 6, 2014

The Good Listener: What Makes A Hit Song Overplayed?

You can't spell "Pharrell's song is overplayed" without "Happy."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 1:54 pm

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside Bob Boilen's 64-ounce tub of Kirkland-brand gong polish is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on what separates a mere hit from an invasive irritant.

Chris Kiraly writes via Facebook: "When (if ever) does a song earn the distinction of being 'overplayed'?"

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
9:47 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Amina Figarova On Piano Jazz

Amina Figarova.
Zak Shelby Szyszko Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 10:46 am

  • Listen: Amina Figarova On Piano Jazz

Amina Figarova grew up in the former Soviet state of Azerbaijan. Her early musical experiences included plenty of American jazz — both of her parents were music fans — but her mother particularly enjoyed the music of Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald.

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Music News
9:33 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Stopped By 'No One,' A Nun Wins Italy's 'The Voice'

After winning Italy's version of The Voice, Sister Cristina Scuccia thanks God on stage in Milan alongside her coach, Italian rapper J-Ax.
Marco Bertorello Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 9:49 am

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Live in Concert
8:13 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Watch Spoon Premiere 'Rent I Pay'

Spoon, performing "Rent I Pay," live from Le Poisson Rouge in New York City.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 7:31 am

See the band premiere "Rent I Pay," the lead-off cut to Spoon's first new album in four years, They Want My Soul. The group performed the song live at New York City's Le Poisson Rouge on Jun. 9.

All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, For June 6

Most of the time, I just pick songs with moments that get me air drumming, regardless of the genre or drummer — or the programmer behind the beats. But for this week's puzzler, I've selected works by undeniable legends in the business, from classic rock pioneers to jazz virtuosos. Good luck, heroes!

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

First Listen
5:03 am
Fri June 6, 2014

First Listen: Willie Nelson, 'Band Of Brothers'

Willie Nelson's new album, Band of Brothers, comes out June 17.
David McClister Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 10:33 am

When Willie Nelson was a young hustler selling songs to Patsy Cline's people, he probably never thought he'd become the crowd-anointed sage of country music. But that's what happened as the Redheaded Stranger went gray, turned smoking weed into a brand and a virtue, and produced a discography that added up to its own American Songbook.

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Music
5:03 am
Fri June 6, 2014

First Listen: Popcaan, 'Where We Come From'

Popcaan's new album, Where We Come From, comes out June 10.
Joe Will Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 10:17 am

Popcaan is something of an unlikely hero in the world of dancehall. He grew up in the Jamaican projects without becoming a hard-edged "rude boy." And he's neither crooner nor spitfire MC — instead, he stands happily between those extremes. The deejay's debut album, Where We Come From, is equal parts dancefloor anthems and "conscious" tunes about Jamaican life, unified by breezy, fresh production from Brooklyn's Dre Skull.

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