Music

Peter Lovera / Treefort Music Fest

Get your headphones ready, Treeforters.

The first bunch of bands set to play Boise's sixth-annual Treefort Music Fest is here, and features a mix of well-established and emerging bands.

Joan Marcus / Beautiful - The Carole King Musical

Idahoans have an affinity for singer/songwriter Carole King. She owned a ranch in Stanley for more than 30 years and spent much of her time in the Gem State. But she’s not originally from Idaho, as audiences found out in a musical that’s been burning up stages from Broadway to London. The touring company of “Beautiful,” the Carole King story, is in Boise this week.

RAQUEL ZALDIVAR / NPR

Six months before Tegan and Sara Quin played two sold-out shows at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club, we booked their Tiny Desk appearance. Their mini-set would take place on Nov. 7, 2016 — the eve of one of the most contentious presidential elections in U.S. history.

A Queen Among Kings

Nov 21, 2016

The first time I ever saw Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings perform was circa 2002 at the Elbo Room, a tiny venue in San Francisco's Mission District. If you've ever been there, you know the Elbo Room doesn't need many bodies to pack the floor, and with the Dap-Kings crowding the diminutive stage, the full intensity of their act filled the space from practically the first note. I was already familiar with the group through its early records, but hadn't fully appreciated how much power Jones could pack into her stout, 5-foot frame as she sang, sweated, stamped, strutted, slayed.

Just under two years ago, the Montreal singer-songwriter Leif Vollebekk released North Americana, a warmly produced collection of soulfully tinged indie-folk songs all cut to tape.

Now comes a devastatingly beautiful new song, "Elegy," from Vollebekk's forthcoming album, Twin Solitude. With its downtempo, contemplative mix of simple piano chords, flourishes of acoustic bass and a metronomic drumbeat, the song grabs you by the heart and pulls you into its hypnotic whorl of melancholia.

As Bon Iver's Justin Vernon prepped the release for his latest mind-bender, 22, A Million, he knew he didn't want to talk too much about the album or grant a lot of interviews. So he held a single press conference in Eau Claire, Wisc., on Sept. 2, just a few weeks after performing the entire album live at Vernon's own Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival.

Blind Pilot and the Tiny Desk series both launched in the same year, 2008, so it's hard to comprehend how the two hadn't converged until now: The band's shimmery folk-pop sound, with its vibraphone and overarching vibrancy, is perfectly suited to the space behind Bob Boilen's desk.

Few in the roots scene had heard of Yola Carter before she made her first appearance at Nashville's Americana Fest in September, which might've suggested that she was some sort of musical rookie. In fact, the 33-year-old black, British singer-songwriter is a seasoned studio and stage pro.

As partners in marriage and in the rootsy duo Shovels & Rope, Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent used to think there was no way their worlds could get any more intertwined. Then they had a kid.

They came, they measured, and they returned to perform a show like no other. It was the great NPR Tiny Desk Takeover by Blue Man Group.

If you've not seen this performance ensemble and their production in New York, Las Vegas, Orlando, Boston, Chicago or Berlin, then you've missed a night of magical fun. These Blue Men may never say a word, but the performances make for poignant looks at who we are as humans. They also make unusual music on instruments of their own design.

"I use the same voice I always have," Hamilton Leithauser sings in the chorus of "Sick As A Dog," and he's got a point: The former Walkmen frontman is instantly identifiable, whether he's singing with his old band, working as a solo artist or, in this case, recording with Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij under the name Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam.

Soundcloud

Brooklyn-based Impose Magazine has an eye on Daniel Kerr.

The Boise musician's new 13-track album is playing exclusively on the website. "Don't Die" includes a couple of previously released singles, as well as a handful of fresh songs. Kerr told Impose the album was an exploration of "feelings of depravity and sensuality without having to talk to people about it."

92 Keys / Instagram

It may be difficult to find a more quintessentially #Idaho backdrop for a music video than Shoshone Falls.  

screengrab / Refinery29

This year's Treefort Music Fest may seem like a distant memory already, but luckily you can relive some of the magic with a new video from New York-based fashion and culture website Refinery29. The online zine interviewed Spanish rockers Hinds during their visit to Boise this March.

Sarah Conwell / facebook.com/thefuturesoon

You may know Jonathan Coulton for his humorous, often nerd-culture themed songs. Or maybe you know him as the co-host of NPR’s Ask Me Another. But Coulton is also the inspiration for a new musical that premiered Friday night in Boise.

Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

Lucy Dacus is an up-and-coming musician from Virginia. NPR Music's Bob Boilen called her his favorite new artist of 2016, tipping his hat to her lyrics and songwriting.

Chris Goldberg / Flickr Creative Commons

In the note posted on social media Monday, Trevor Powers told fans “youth lagoon is complete.” The Boise musician, who attained wide national acclaim for his debut album entitled "The Year Of Hibernation" and subsequent two albums, says his upcoming tour is his last one as Youth Lagoon. The band starts their European tour later this week.

NPR Music

Hey, Idaho musicians: ever dreamed of playing your tunes behind the venerable Tiny Desk at NPR? Well dreamers, your audition has arrived.

All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen announced the second-annual Tiny Desk Concert Contest in a goofy video in December, asking unsigned bands from all over the country to send in a submission.

Bands have until Feb. 2, 2016 to submit their video.

Travis Powers
Chris Goldberg / Flickr Creative Commons

Amid the bookshelves and paper stacks in the office of All Songs Considered Host Bob Boilen, Boise’s Youth Lagoon delivers an intimate “Tiny Desk Concert” that highlights the project’s new direction.

Since dropping his third album in September, Trevor Powers has gone on to impress with his strong melodic instinct and sense of direction within the songs of Savage Hills Ballroom.

Boise State University Special Collections and Archives

It was 65 years ago, deep in the Idaho wilderness, when one woman took poetry, turned it into music, and recorded it. Her collection of songs and poems lives on to this day, thanks in part to one dogged researcher and a librarian, both of whom wanted to share this special music with the world.

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