World Cafe's Sense of Place series takes the show to Iceland, where Ă“lafur PĂˇll Gunnarsson â€” known by most as Ă“li Palli â€” was voted the most important Icelandic radio personality of the 20th century. He can be heard on the Icelandic public radio station RĂˇs 2, on which he hosts the music programs Poppaland and Rokkland.
Here, he joins World Cafe to play new Icelandic pop from newcomer GrĂsalappalĂsa, as well as longtime favorite GusGus. He also tackles the question of why so many Icelandic artists sing in English.
Truth be told, Holly Williams brought me and many of my hardened colleagues to tears. The singer-songwriter has a magnificent way with words and phrasing, not to mention a country-music lineage that fills her with pride and guides her poignancy and subject matter.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. As we head toward production of our final program on August 1, we've been bringing you encores of some of our favorite conversations. Today, we're hearing again from Grammy-winning recording artist Sheryl Crow. She's been a rock star for more than a decade. Her breakthrough came in 1993 with her debut album, "Tuesday Night Music Club," and the monster hit "All I Want To Do." Well, seven albums and nine Grammys later, she's got a new concert video out featuring the late Johnny Cash.
Finally today it's time for the feature we call In Your Ear. Throughout our years on the air we've been asking some of our guests to share the music that inspires them. And in our final weeks on the air we thought it would be nice to hear about the songs members of our staff are listening to. Editor Tanya Ballard Brown advises us on All Things Digital but we wanted to hear what's on her playlist.
TONYA BALLARD BROWN, BYLINE: I'm Tonya Ballard Brown an editor with npr.org, and this is what's playing in my ear.
Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 12:54 pm
The Apache Relay's "Katie Queen of Tennessee" is easily one of the catchiest tunes I've heard this year. And in the song's new video, a troupe of 40 young dancers raise the fun to heights I hadn't imagined with a blissfully, perfectly choreographed routine.
The Brooklyn band The Antlers frequently finds inspiration in dark places: On 2009's Hospice, singer-guitarist Peter Silberman reflects on terminal illness and emotional abuse, while this year's Familiars turns the Buddhist notion of bardo, a state of being between incarnations, into the impetus for a dialog about multiple selves.
Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 11:01 am
When Kwok-Ming Cheng went to a Whole Foods in New York City to pick up some pre-ordered sandwiches over the Fourth of July weekend, he wasn't expecting to get tapped with a new nickname.
"Are you Ching Chong?"
That's the question Cheng said he heard from a customer service representative at the grocery store.
It's a slur I and many other Asian-American folks have heard at some point in our lives. But every time I hear it, I can't help but wonder, "How is this thing still around? And where did it even come from?"
Music is at its most potent when it expands, dissolves, changes and challenges borders. Separations of genre, geography, politics â€” none are a force more powerful than people getting together to make music in a room. That borderlessness is sewn into the fabric of the self-titled debut album by Alvvays, a Toronto band whose beach-pop seems to come straight from the California shore.