Music

James Brown once said, "I've only got seventh grade education, but I have a doctorate in funk, and I like to put that to good use."

Todd Snider On Mountain Stage

Jan 9, 2018

When Todd Snider makes this appearance on Mountain Stage, his 14th since 1995, the East Nashville-based songwriter has just released his latest album Eastside Bulldog.

"I haven't played anything off my new album," Snider quips towards the end of the set. "It's terrible. I should be ashamed but I'm not."

All this year, NPR Music and its partner stations will be following a group of outstanding new and emerging artists from local music scenes across the country for a series we're calling Slingshot. On this week's All Songs Considered, we talk to some of our partner stations about the artists they chose for this year's list. Some are hometown favorites, and others are rising stars from abroad.

Since publishing our original Turning the Tables list six months ago, we've grown the canon it established — one always meant to be open and adjustable — by publishing 39 essays on albums by women who either came before the time period the original list encompassed, or didn't make the original cut.

In the fall of 2017, NPR Music and VuHaus' public radio network kicked off Slingshot, a collaboration among taste-making music radio stations to showcase and elevate outstanding new artists. The inaugural class included Big Thief, Jamila Woods and Lo Moon.

The last time bandleader Kim Deal, her sister Kelley Deal, bassist Josephine Wiggs and drummer Jim Macpherson got together to make a record, they recorded The Breeders' 1993 classic Last Splash, a wiry and infectious burst of sly invention and shambling joy. On March 2, at long last, that lineup returns with All Nerve, the first full-length Breeders album with any lineup since 2008.

In the visceral music video for "Your Dog," the first single from Soccer Mommy's forthcoming album Clean, we find Sophie Allison glassy-eyed and numb in the moments after a violent outburst. Directed by Weird Life, the film functions as a bleakly humorous horror flick illustrating the sudden, heartbreaking ending of a relationship which had long since soured.

Will Toledo and his project Car Seat Headrest are stepping into some old shoes, having remade and reimagined the 2011 album (and "Bandcamp masterpiece") Twin Fantasy.

"Slowly," the latest single from Son Lux's upcoming album Brighter Wounds, takes an unnerving look at life in the age of alternative facts and fake news. Set against spare beats and icy electronics, frontman Ryan Lott imagines a world where lies both undo society — while simultaneously allowing people to believe everything is okay.

The sitting president did not receive a word from hip-hop's reigning prophet last night.

Shirley Collins just doesn't sing old songs — she inhabits the experience within and transmutes them. She hears songs holistically, and out rings a voice that never overtakes, but rather lives with the melody. Collins innovated the folk music tradition, heard most strikingly in the 1964 album, Folk Roots, New Routes, and gave shape to bands like Pentangle and Fairport Convention.

Meet The 2017 Slingshot Artists

Jan 9, 2018

NPR Music and program directors from VuHaus' public radio music station network selected Big Thief, Jamila Woods and Lo Moon as the inaugural class of Slingshot, a collective effort among taste-making stations to elevate the profiles of exceptional emerging artists.

NPR member stations are uniquely tapped into local music scenes around the country. DJs share up-and-coming bands with listeners by playing their music on the radio, interviewing them on-air and writing articles and blog posts.

But most of that content rarely travels outside of the station's city, and a listener in Philadelphia might not know what new music a Chicago-based DJ has just discovered.

Until now.

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