Music

Ty Segall's new head-spinning video for the song "Break A Guitar" opens with a very brief cameo by Fred Armisen, before bursting into an ever-growing swirl of Kaleidoscopic images.

As the primary booker of the Tiny Desk Concerts, I have this self-imposed rule: No artist can come back for a second visit unless there's something wholly different about what they're doing. The first time alt-J played the Tiny Desk, in 2012, they came as a four-piece; electric guitar, bass, keyboards and drums. They were a pretty new band, their album had been out a few months and they were playing in clubs for a couple hundred people, not much more.

Southern California's The Wild Reeds is made up of three singers, each one also a songwriter, who have been combining their voices since they met in college. Each of the women — Kinsey Lee, Sharon Silva and Mackenzie Howe — has a distinctive style, but together they find a way to blend them to create amazing harmonies.

Andy Shauf's latest album, The Party, landed on last year's short list for Canada's prestigious Polaris Music Prize. It's filled with songs that chronicle the awkward moments and juicy encounters that can happen at a house party in a small town: the half-wit spilling his guts after a bottle of wine, the friend making late-night confessions to his crush while her boyfriend stands oblivious and stoned in the corner, what it feels like to be the first person to show up at the party.

Sad Clowns & Hillbillies was recorded in Nashville ... but not that Nashville. John Mellencamp's latest outing was forged at his own Belmont Mall studio in Nashville, Indiana, the spot outside of Bloomington that's been his musical headquarters for decades. He did, however, team up with Music City royalty on the record: Carlene Carter, daughter of country legends Carl Smith and June Carter, and stepdaughter of Johnny Cash.

Mona Haydar is a Syrian-American artist from Flint, Mich. She wears a hijab with pride. She's been a performance poet for 13 years, writing about love, trauma, loss and joy.

Carrie Brownstein has made a name for herself as creator and star of Portlandia and as one-third of the beloved riot grrl band Sleater-Kinney, whose seminal album Dig Me Out recently turned 20. But before all that, Brownstein was just another music fan — and as she tells NPR, her local record store, Rubato Records, was the site of an awakening.

David Amram On Piano Jazz

Apr 22, 2017

Ralph Towner first came to the attention of a wide audience nearly 50 years ago as a member of the Paul Winter Consort, for whom he composed the group's most famous tune, "Icarus." The piece was so beloved, the Apollo 15 astronauts took the record to the moon — and named a crater after it.

Recovering alcoholics tend to avoid the bar. But when the bar is your office, that's not so easy. New Orleans bluesman Anders Osborne figured out how to get back to work despite the temptations, and now he's trying to help others.

Drugs and alcohol nearly destroyed Osborne's career, and his family. The guitarist and singer-songwriter was showing up for tour dates unable to perform. At his worst, he was spending nights on a park bench.

Tacocat Talks Being A 'Tiny-Font' Band At Coachella

Apr 22, 2017

On April 14, the first day of the annual Coachella music festival in Indio, Calif., the Seattle band Tacocat was taking in their surroundings. "We'd had a few drinks and a little bit of marijuana," Tacocat lead singer Emily Nokes says over the phone from Los Angeles, where the band is hanging out between Coachella's two weekends. "And drummer Lelah Maupin, she's like, 'I really want to write a song that's called "The Poorest Girl at Coachella." ' It's kind of unlike anything I've ever seen. ... Just really, really high-scale fashion and people and food.

Ray Davies On World Cafe

Apr 21, 2017

In this session, we welcome the legendary frontman of The Kinks, Ray Davies, who is backed by The Jayhawks on his new solo album, Americana. One of the themes Davies writes about in this new batch of songs is his relationship with the United States. He says that when The Kinks first came to the U.S.

Record Store Day, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is a consumer ploy in the guise of a cultural event. Or, depending on your vantage, maybe it's the other way around. Whatever the case, record stores across the country and around the world are happily (or gamely) bracing for impact: Record Store Day 2017 falls this Saturday, April 22, with a wave of exclusive releases, in-store appearances and other retail enticements.

Kendrick Lamar has spoken. In his first interview since the debut of his (soon-to-be) chart-topping cultural phenomenon-of-an-album, DAMN., the rapper sat down for the now-requisite interview with Zane Lowe of Apple's Beats 1 Radio.

If, like so much of the general listening public, you have found yourself grappling with the themes and depth of his mystical masterpiece since its release one week ago today, you should find solace in the fact that this is exactly as Lamar intended.

Goldie has released a remix of "Inner City Life," his landmark drum and bass song from 1995's Timeless, by none other than Burial.

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