Listen

Music

Post related to music.

Samuel George, a 36-year-old filmmaker who's originally from Philadelphia, has an unlikely connection to go-go music.

He says it all started back in 2013 with Gregory "Sugar Bear" Elliot, the lead man of Experience Unlimited, famous for the immortal hit "Da Butt." George, who'd only been in the District for a few years, discovered that the go-go legend played every Wednesday night at The Meeting Place, a small basement bar near Farragut Square.

In his decades-long career, Peter Guralnick has written about some of the biggest icons in American music. He wrote what may be the definitive books on Elvis Presley, as well as biographies of singer Sam Cooke and Sun Records founder Sam Phillips.

His latest work, Looking to Get Lost: Adventures in Music and Writing, is a collection of essays, based on his interviews with many legends of early rock and roll, blues and country. At the center of it is Guralnick himself — because, in some ways, the book is about his own journey in music journalism.

The Recording Academy announced its 2021 Grammy nominations on Tuesday, with Beyonce, rising pop star Dua Lipa and stoner superstar Post Malone leading a diffuse field.

Beyonce features on two songs in the record of the year category, which essentially rewards the year's best single: the remix of Megan Thee Stallion's "Savage" and her own "Black Parade." The latter was also nominated for song of the year, which is awarded to the winner's songwriters.

Foley

Canadian singer-songwriter Sam Roberts has remained busy during the pandemic. His group, Sam Roberts Band, released new music last month.

One of the people most responsible for the unique sound of Michael Jackson's Thriller album has died. Bruce Swedien was 86 years old when he died Monday. His daughter, Roberta Swedien, announced his death on Facebook, saying that her father "passed away peacefully." No cause of death was given.

Michael Kiwanuka: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Nov 19, 2020

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.

Sade Saves

Nov 11, 2020

I've tried to say how it was, in those boombox times. When I am near 21, and poor, and pregnant. There is no clue as to what next Tuesday will bring, let alone the rest of this one, when the Challenger explodes every minute on the mute TV.

The Morning Edition Song Project, in which musicians compose an original song about the COVID-19 era, returns this week with multi-genre singer-songwriter Thao Nguyen, leader of the band Thao & the Get Down Stay Down. Early this September, the San Francisco-based musician stepped onto her porch to find polluted air and falling ash — the fallout of the wildfires raging on the West Coast.

Adrianne Lenker's latest music takes you straight to where it was recorded: a cabin in the Berkshires. Lenker was supposed to be on tour with her band Big Thief this year, but once the pandemic upended those plans, she holed up in the mountains of Western Massachusetts and recorded not one, but two new albums.

YouTube

A touching video showing a former ballet dancer afflicted with memory loss gracefully dancing as she hears the music from Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake has

The pioneering Cuban percussionist Cándido Camero has died at age 99.

Camero's grandson, Julian, told NPR member station WBGO that the Cuban conguero died peacefully at his home in New York on Saturday morning.

Rahill Jamalifard

Rahill Jamalifard and her band Habibi were scheduled to perform in Columbus as part of the Melted Music Festival in March. COVID-19 led to the festival's cancellation and eventually all of the band's scheduled performances. 

At any hour of any day, somewhere on the radio dial, chances are you can find the voice of Stevie Nicks. This fall, decades after her 1970s breakthrough with Fleetwood Mac, she even became a chart sensation again, after a skateboarding TikTok star gave one of the band's classic songs a boost.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Baron Wolman, the photographer whose music images captured the immediacy of rock culture and told a story in each shot, died Monday at the age of 83 following a battle with ALS. Born in Columbus in 1937, Wolman became interested in photography while serving in the Army as a counter-intelligence officer in Berlin. 

This year's interminable election season has helped spawn an outsize assortment of frequently vital protest music. Late Tuesday, as part of Stephen Colbert's election-night special for Showtime, Arcade Fire premiered the first big post-election protest song of 2020.

Baron Wolman, the photographer whose images of Jimi Hendrix, Grace Slick and others captured the immediacy of rock culture and translated it to silent paper, died Monday following a battle with ALS. The news was confirmed to NPR by his longtime assistant, Dianne Duenzl. He was 83.

When I started working at NPR last year, I asked Alt.Latino host Felix Contreras if we could grab a quick coffee to talk about his show, of which I was a long-time listener. That coffee turned into an hour-long conversation on the office patio — not about Alt.Latino or anything work-related, but about what we discovered was a shared affinity for the music of the Grateful Dead.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HEY CLOCKFACE / HOW CAN YOU FACE ME?")

ELVIS COSTELLO: (Vocalizing).

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Country music singer Jerry Jeff Walker, the man behind "Mr. Bojangles," died Friday after a battle with throat cancer. He was 78.

"He was at home until an hour before his passing," his wife of 46 years, Susan Walker, told the Austin American-Statesman. "He went very peacefully, which we were extremely grateful for."

Bruce Springsteen, who writes so often of people who lost something — a job, a family, hope — was recently inspired by a loss of his own.

It wasn't your typical crowd in the Rose Theater one afternoon last fall, for a sold-out concert by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. For one thing, every grown-up in the audience seemed to be accompanied by an excited child or two.

For the first few months of the COVID19 pandemic, Spenser Murray was afraid to leave his house.

"I was literally scared to leave the house, like even just ordering groceries was like freaking me out," Murray says. "And I turned 30 during the pandemic and that was the point where I was still kind of really freaked out about going outside."

A hard-bop stalwart. An avant-garde original. A ceiling-shattering bandleader. A bebop-obsessive broadcaster. These are some brief descriptors for the incoming class of NEA Jazz Masters, announced this morning by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Spencer Davis, the multi-instrumentalist and leader of the band that bore his name, has died at the age of 81. The Spencer Davis Group recorded such hits as "Gimme Some Lovin' " and "I'm a Man." Davis wasn't the lead singer on either song though, giving that job to a teenage Steve Winwood.

Davis died Monday while being treated for pneumonia, according to his tour manager and friend, Bob Birk, who worked with the musician for decades.

In a statement to NPR, Birk called him a "highly ethical, very talented, good-hearted, extremely intelligent, generous man."

Willie Phoenix and Jabar Cole

Willie Phoenix came to Columbus in the mid-1970's and hasn't stopped recording and performing. The 68-year-old released new music this year, and the city recently honored him with a street dedication ceremony. 

In the 1920s, a renaissance happened in Harlem. Black artists migrated north, rejecting centuries of a tragic status quo. They inspired each other to make art that expressed an audacious new vision of Black beauty, Black hope, Black truth and Black pride. A century later, Black artists are coming together again, somehow, though not physically this time.

Welcome to Amplify With Lara Downes, where you can eavesdrop on my intimate conversations with visionary Black musicians who share what they're making in this time of transformation — of reckoning, reimagining and maybe rebirth.

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.

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, NPR Music presents four very special Tiny Desk (home) concerts recorded especially for this week.

Willie Phoenix

The City of Columbus honors long-time musician Willie Phoenix today with a street dedication.

The Morning Edition Song Project, in which musicians compose an original song about the COVID-19 era, returns this week with country singer-songwriter Lori McKenna. A Nashville writer for hire and solo artist in her own right, McKenna has been spending the year doing songwriting sessions over Zoom from the basement of her family's Boston home.

"When I first started writing as a teenager, people said, 'You got to write what you know,' and I figured well this is what I know," McKenna says. "I know how to be in a family."

Pages