Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 8:07 am
Johann Sebastian Bach wrote his St. Matthew Passion for a single purpose — to present the Passion story in music at Good Friday vesper services.
Bach's Passion continues to move audiences nearly three centuries after it was first heard in St. Thomas's Church in Leipzig, Germany. Standing as one of the pillars of Western sacred music, it is at once monumental and intimate, deeply sorrowful and powerful.
Merchandise got its start on the Tampa punk and hardcore scene, then got weirder as artier influences like krautrock took hold. As its sound became harder to pin down, the band inspired an 18-month bidding war between record labels: This year, Merchandise finally signed with 4AD, and adventurous new material has begun to trickle out.
For their self-titled sophomore effort, the L.A. band Warpaint spent a few weeks writing and recording in a decked out house with a geodesic dome in the high desert of Joshua Tree. With driving bass lines, beautifully harmonized vocals and confident but yearning lyrics, the quartet has crafted songs that demand your full attention.
Lucy Wainwright Roche appears on the 30th-anniversary episode of Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va.
The daughter of folk-music royalty (Loudon Wainwright III and Suzzy Roche) didn't jump right in to the family business. Wainwright Roche studied creative writing before earning a graduate degree in education; while she was teaching elementary school in New York City, she finally "got the hankering to give music a go." She did some backup singing for her brother, Rufus, and the hook was set.
Wild Cub is the brainchild of musician Keegan Dewitt, who had a good job in hospitality development in Brooklyn, but instead followed his heart and music to Nashville. There, he met Jeremy Bullock and the two formed Wild Cub in 2012 with the addition of drummer Dabney Morris, bassist Harry West and keyboardist Eric Wilson.
The band's sparkling debut — Youth, recorded in Bullock's house — came out in early 2013, and was reissued on a prominent label this year.
Four years after his death, the former singer of the Box Tops and Big Star is enjoying a level of popular acclaim that eluded him in life. A new biography of Alex Chilton, A Man Called Destruction, follows on the heels of a successful documentary about Big Star released last year.
Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 11:57 am
Ke$ha says that to start the day she'll brush her teeth with a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey. Nicki Minaj likes to "have a drink, have a clink" of Bud Light. And the party-rockin' hip-hop duo LMFAO like Ciroc, and they love Patron. "Shots, shots, shots, shots everybody!"
All that name-checking of alcohol brands encourages teens to drink, researchers say. Adolescents who liked songs like these were three times as likely to drink, and were twice as likely to binge than their peers who didn't like those songs.
Baggy pants make different music than skinny jeans. Cowboy hats sound different than fedoras. T-shirt-and-jeans bands make a different noise than suit-and-tie bands. You can often look at a band's clothing and have a pretty good idea what it'll sound like.
Finally today, let's end the program on a high note. Today marks 75 years since Marian Anderson, the African-American contralto, took to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to sing.
Anderson was supposed to sing at the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall, but she was barred from performing there because she was black. Let's listen to a bit of Marian Anderson's performance from April 9, 1939.