Music

Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds was in a hotel lobby somewhere in Asia when he first saw a modern version of a player piano. This particular one was tapping out The Beatles' "Yesterday."

New music is always in season on Thistle! This week it's all about the albums that have been gathering in our North Carolina and Scottish mailboxes just waiting for an hour of your time. Included in this week's show are Dylan Foley, 14-year-old Iona Ritchie, The Bevvy Sisters, and Dougie MacLean.

Jazz has always been a music of continuum, its secrets passed down across generations. Benny Green is a shining embodiment of this process: A pianist originally inspired (and eventually endorsed) by mid-century modernists like Oscar Peterson; An apprentice to two of the music's greatest mentors, Betty Carter and Art Blakey; A conservationist of the bebop idiom, and a joyful guardian of its lexicon.

Made in America, an annual music festival founded by Jay-Z and produced by Live Nation, may be forced to leave its home on the streets of Philadelphia as of 2019.

The office of mayor Jim Kenney told reporters on Tuesday that the festival's signature location in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art was causing problems for the city. Jay-Z and other festival organizers have fired back, saying that the event's site is being moved without discussion, and that the mayor's office made its plans public without first informing the festival.

"F*** you, f************ you," goes the pitched-up sample of Jamie Foxx that opens "I Might Need Security," one of four new songs Chance The Rapper debuted overnight, just a day after he quashed rumblings of a surprise album release. The songs — "Work Out," "Wala Cam," "65th & Ingleside" and "I Might Need Security" — mostly stick to Chance's playbook of sunflowery productions and earnest lyrics squeezed through his adenoidal chirp.

It's as if the pianos were haunted. Somewhere about midway through this Tiny Desk, as Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds performed on his electronic keyboard, two upright pianos were playing lilting melodies behind him, absent any performer at the keys. And yet these "ghosts," along with Ólafur's band of strings and percussion, put together some of the most beautiful music I've heard at the Tiny Desk, made all the more mysterious through its presentation.

2018 Slingshot band Mt. Joy has had a fruitful year. From festival appearances to nationally televised studio sessions, the band has seen a burgeoning growth in support and notoriety. In the midst of all this success, the band members still recall their humble yesteryears and marvel at their steady rise to indie-rock stardom.

Jeff Rosenstock has always made music for the slow days after the end-times, and "All This Useless Energy" is a kick-the-can punk ballad for crawling out of aimlessness toward a purpose.

OK, look. I don't want to waste your time. It's hot, it's muggy and the news is an ever-widening gyre of flaming airborne chili-festival Porta Potties. So how about we forgo a review that seeks to advance any cool, objective argument on the relative cinematic worth of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, the sequel to the 2008 film adaption of the longest-running jukebox musical in Broadway history? How about, in the interest of efficiency, I just answer the questions I know you to have about the film — because I had them, too — in order of importance?

For solo musicians playing fingerpicked acoustic guitar, technical skill and physical dexterity are kind of important. So important, in fact, that it could be tempting to concentrate on technique, letting musical creativity – i.e. actually writing unique, compelling songs – take care of itself. That might work for some, but it's never been Daniel Bachman's way. He's always been more interested in following ideas, making his chops serve his songs' journeys, not the other way around.

When Madisen Ward And The Mama Bear first came on the scene a few years back, it was only natural that people would fixate on the familial facet of the folk duo's identity — a mother, Ruth Ward, and her son Madisen making music together — particularly with a back story as charming as theirs.

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Earlier this week, Guns N' Roses' video for "November Rain" hit a curious milestone: Released in 1992, it's the oldest video ever to be streamed a billion times on YouTube.

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