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Even in the best of times, many look to live music as a crucial resource — a place to turn for comfort, community and relief from anxiety — and can scarcely imagine their lives without it. For the past few months, the coronavirus pandemic has closed down venues around the country, and it's hard to picture when gathering in nightclubs or amphitheaters will be deemed safe again.

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Don Bryant

Where: Memphis, Tenn.

Recommendation: Picking up an instrument and playing your favorite songs

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Kimmel and Colbert, Bee and Fallon et al., pay attention: Elmo did not come to play.

Bright Eyes has shared "One and Done," the third single released in anticipation of the band's forthcoming new album, set for release sometime this year.

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Rhiannon Giddens

Where: Limerick, Ireland

Recommendation: Making homemade pasta

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

Jimmy Cobb, The Pulse Of 'Kind Of Blue,' Dies At 91

May 25, 2020

Jimmy Cobb, whose subtle and steady drumming formed the pulse of some of jazz's most beloved recordings, died at his home in Manhattan on Sunday. He was 91.

The cause was lung cancer, says his wife, Eleana Tee Cobb.

Cobb was the last surviving member of what's often called Miles Davis' First Great Sextet. He held that title for almost three decades, serving as a conduit for many generations of jazz fans into the band that recorded the music's most iconic and enduring album, Kind of Blue.

Here is the story of how Moby got his second neck tattoo: In early September of 2019, on the eve of his 54th birthday, the electronic music producer born Richard Melville Hall was having lunch at the vegan restaurant in Los Angeles that he owns, Little Pine. When a pal asked Moby how he intended to celebrate, another responded with a quick quip before he could answer: "Get a tattoo."

Damien Jurado will admit he has a bit of an addictive personality. In the past two months while stuck at home in Washington state, he's channeled that energy into songwriting. Jurado says he's already written three distinctly different albums in isolation, and that's on top of What's New, Tomboy, the record he already had in the can and that just came out on May 1.

"I don't know what moderation is," he explains.

Rachel Portman has been scoring films since the 1980s, and in 1997 became the first woman ever to win an Oscar for best original score for her work on Douglas McGrath's Emma. Since then, Portman has scored dozens more films and TV shows, but is now stepping away from the screen with ask the river, her first album of music not written for a movie, TV show or stage production.

"There were hardly any female film composers," Portman says of winning an Oscar at that time.

Turning the Tables is NPR's ongoing multi-platform series dedicated to recentering the popular music canon on voices that have been marginalized, underappreciated, or hidden in plain sight. In 2020, we will publish an occasional series looking closely at the careers of significant women in music, treasured albums or significant scenes. Find all Turning the Tables content here.

In a world starved of roars of applause, hollers from excitable concertgoers and the warm, worn acoustics of venerated music venues, Margo Price has shared a relic of times gone by with her new live album, Perfectly Imperfect at The Ryman.

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Kathy Valentine

Where: Austin, Texas

Recommendation: Making space

If there was ever a time when the world as a whole could use the rush of pure joy that accompanies a new Carly Rae Jepsen album, it's now. Thankfully, the reigning Canadian queen of pop delivered, releasing Dedicated Side B, a counterpart to 2019's Dedicated, this morning via Spotify and Apple Music.

Do you remember the way you reacted when you first witnessed Kendall Roy's rap tribute to his father, Logan Roy, on the second season of HBO's Succession? Were you like younger brother Roman, in denial of what you were seeing, or more of a Shiv, laughing along? Or a Cousin Greg, tentatively taking it all in?

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Bebel Gilberto
Where: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Recommendation: Beach time at home


Most people who know me know how important the beach has always been to my life and happiness.

When Jason Molina died in 2013, the 39-year-old singer-songwriter left behind a mountain of works: wrenching solo albums, released under his own name and as Songs: Ohia, as well as louder electric recordings with his band Magnolia Electric Co. In 2007, Molina had amassed such a backlog of unreleased songs that he by

If I knew what the future held, then it wouldn't be the future. But still, somehow, right now, with the world aswirl and upside-down and as I'm learning what it's like to live during a pandemic, I find that I'm compelled more than ever to look back in time. What better place to dig into nostalgia than the Tiny Desk archives? I loved all five of these solo performances, as each one makes me feel like I was right there in the room with them.

Moses Sumney spent years searching for the sound on his new, double album grae. It began in 2013, when he first tried to break into the Los Angeles music scene — and got interest from record labels almost immediately.

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Phoebe Bridgers

Where: Los Angeles, Calif.

Recommendation: Sending the text or making the call that you've been putting off

Before they became world-famous mop-top icons, the Beatles looked like a bunch of greasers. And photographer Astrid Kirchherr is often credited as the first to capture the band's fashion evolution as well as influencing their new direction.

Cue the Hamilton quotes: Soon the room where it happens will be your living room! Shout it to the rooftops that the Broadway sensation Hamilton will be available for home viewing this summer! Look around, look around to see how lucky we are to be alive in a world where Hamilton is coming to Disney+ on July 3, more than 15 months ahead of schedule!

We're roughly two months into a collective crisis that's kept us sheltered in place, cut off from friends and fearful for the future of our health, our families and our economic well-being. Our emotions frequently form a thick slurry of anxiety, worry, boredom, rage and desperate desire for threads of normalcy; for moments of mundanity; for the calming comfort of the familiar.

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Gregory Porter

Where: Bakersfield, Calif.

Recommendation: Getting creative and learning something new

Little Richard died on Saturday, May 9, 2020 in Tullahoma, Tenn. at the age of 87. This essay was originally published as part of the book Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music, written by NPR Music's critic and correspondent Ann Powers and published by Dey Street Books in 2017.

Betty Wright, a luminary R&B singer known for her hits "Clean Up Woman" and "Tonight is the Night," has died at the age of 66.

Steve Greenberg, president of S-Curve Records, confirmed the singer's death on Sunday, saying it came after a battle with cancer. Greenberg, who collaborated on several recordings with Wright, called her "one of the most significant women in the history of R&B music, period."

Andre Harrell, hip-hop and R&B mogul and founder of the visionary label Uptown Records, has died. He was 59 years old.

The Revolt network, where Harrell worked as vice chairman, confirmed Harrell's passing in a statement. "Everyone in the REVOLT family is devastated by the loss of our friend, mentor and Vice-Chairman," the statement read. "Andre's impact on Hip Hop and the culture and on us has been immeasurable and profound. May he Rest In Peace."

It has become a cliché to compare Kraftwerk to the Beatles — but if anything, the group's impact has been wider and more enduring. During its two decades of prime creativity, Kraftwerk intersected with and influenced a staggering array of genres and phases: progressive rock, glam, krautrock, disco, post-punk, synthpop, industrial, hip-hop, techno, trance. Artists in their debt are likewise bizarrely diverse, ranging from Human League to Spacemen 3, New Order to Stereolab, Prince to Daft Punk, Afrika Bambaataa to Big Black.

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Teddy Thompson

Where: Brooklyn, N.Y.

Recommendation: Learn something new and share it


I have been quarantining alone at home in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.

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