Music

For Laura Burhenn, 2016 was a tough year and she wasn't alone. We lost David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Prince (and so many more beloved artists).

Chris Forsyth On World Cafe

Nov 9, 2017

After many albums over the last two decades with many and varied lineups — the band Peeseye, solo, in duo, amongst many other configurations — Chris Forsyth has settled down some, playing and releasing with The Solar Motel Band for a few albums now. That includes his latest, from this year, Dreaming In The Non-Dream.

For this session, recorded during a WXPN Free At Noon Concert at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, Pa., Forsyth brought his three-piece band, with Matt Stein on bass and Ryan Jewell on drums. Hear the interview and performance in the player above.

Pere Ubu On Mountain Stage

Nov 9, 2017

Formed in 1975, trend-setting "Avant Garage" rockers Pere Ubu emerged from Cleveland, Ohio, with an eccentric sound that has sustained four decades of orchestral blue-collar rock, infused with synths, layers of guitar, and the distinct vocal style of David Thomas.

Heard here is Pere Ubu's appearance on Mountain Stage with Larry Groce, recorded and broadcast live from Charleston, W.Va., on Oct. 6, 1991.

In a career spanning three decades, Beck has remained one of music's most intriguing shapeshifters. From the warped folk of his earliest recordings to the chopped-up samples, hip-hop beats and lush orchestral arrangements of albums that followed, Beck has never lingered in one sonic world for long.

Those close to Adrianne Lenker know her by many names. The lead singer of Big Thief is Anne or Anna sometimes to her parents; Anna or Annie to her grandmother. She's Dran to her sister and brother, and Lunx to her college bandmates. She's Charlie sometimes to Mat Davidson of Twain, who opened at the first Big Thief show, and 'Aderrianne' to Max Oleartchik, the bassist in her own band. "She's probably many things to many people," an old teacher of hers from Berklee College of Music says. She calls her Adriannie.

Terry Riley's In C might be considered one of the seminal pieces of minimalism, but at its heart it's an open invitation. The score resides on a single sheet of paper with 53 phrases to be repeated by an indefinite number of musicians.

This year's Country Music Association Awards were meant to provide healing for an industry shaken by the mass shooting at a country festival in Las Vegas last month. Last night's show (Nov. 8) paid tribute to the fans who became victims, but it also reinforced how few artists want to talk about the gun debate reignited by the tragedy.

The Thistle And Shamrock: Seasons Of Mist

Nov 9, 2017

From the Celtic colors of Cape Breton Island to the amber of Highland Perthshire and the stunning autumnal displays of the Appalachian Ridges, we feature music from Maddie Prior, Dougie MacLean and The Critton Hollow String Band.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's a common trajectory for musicians to start out sounding tentative and insecure, only to bloom into battle-tested, fully formed talents. That's surely been Sharon Van Etten's story, as she's transitioned from a quavering solo artist into a muscular rock 'n' roll frontwoman — the kind you'd see stalking festival stages or popping up at the Bang Bang Bar on the last season of Twin Peaks.

An all-star band of musicians joined cult favorite singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston for a live performance of his songs. Ben Lee, Mike Watt, Maria Taylor, Joey Waronker and Guy Blakeslee acted as his backing band, while members of the Silver Lake Chorus provided backing vocals on this session standout: "Try To Love."

SET LIST

  • "Try To Love"

Photo: Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW.

Welcome back to the Caribbean, Alexander Hamilton: This morning, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer and lyricist of the Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning smash Hamilton: An American Musical, announced that he is taking the show to the University of Puerto Rico's campus in San Juan for a limited three-week run in January 2019.

This past spring Grandaddy released its first album since taking a 10-year hiatus. It's called Last Place, and features everything that has made Grandaddy great since they formed and released their first cassette tape in 1992 — the meeting of fuzzed-out indie rock and the lo-fi psychedelia of video games.

On the last weekend of October, La Tribu de Abrante boarded a plane from Puerto Rico to Philadelphia to play a special live set, blending traditional bomba and plena with salsa, Latin jazz and lots of percussion. They played for hundreds of music fans — or, as frontman Hiram Abrante would prefer to call them: family. That's how Abrante thinks of his audience, and that point of view is at the core of La Tribu's music and the emotional connection they're able to inspire — especially at a time when things are so challenging in their home of Puerto Rico.

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