Music

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.

For Johanna Warren, spirituality and humanity are inextricable from each other: "it's all energy," as she writes in an email to NPR. The Portland singer-songwriter has been around a while — her voice, clear as water, has shadowed the records of Iron & Wine, Natalie Merchant and Julie Byrne.

Dan Wilson On Mountain Stage

Nov 8, 2017

Dan Wilson made his first appearance on Mountain Stage in March 1992 as a member of Minneapolis-based Trip Shakespeare. Wilson would go on to find major label success and commercial airplay with Semisonic before becoming one of the most in-demand co-writers, producers and arrangers for pop and rock musicians.

Sonic Boomerang: Is that, like, Sonic the Hedgehog's new weapon? A new shake from that burger drive-in? Psychedelic punk-rock whipped into the abyss and returned with aerodynamic force?

Shocking Omissions: Cesária Évora's 'Cesária'

Nov 8, 2017

This essay is one in a series celebrating deserving artists or albums not included on NPR Music's list of 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women.

For years, Kal Marks was the loudest band in Boston. Though it's hard to fathom, as bands like Pile hammered away on post-hardcore songs and Guerilla Toss shrieked through electronics-driven art-rock, Kal Marks charged through songs of exhaust and hopelessness from behind a wall of amps, a fervor that other artists couldn't match. The trio prioritized volume over all else — it's been their shtick, if it's fair to call it that — and frontman Carl Shane has no problem saying such.

One year ago today, American voters went to the polls, electing Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. Trump's election was many things to many people; a shock, a line in the sand, an emboldening jolt. For everyone, it appears in retrospect, Trump's empowerment was a turning point.

For a time, Marlon Williams and Aldous Harding, two of New Zealand's most talented singers and songwriters were a couple. Now the two have reunited in song for Marlon Williams' brand new 2018 album, Make Way For Love. This duet, "Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore," is the first time they've been officially co-credited on a tune.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Rachel Martin.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "STOP ME IF YOU THINK YOU'VE HEARD THIS ONE BEFORE")

THE SMITHS: (Singing) Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before. Stop me, oh, stop me.

In a career spanning nearly three decades, Ani DiFranco's music has evolved in countless ways, reflecting everything from a major relocation (from New York to New Orleans) to her acquisition of a funky, shimmery backing band. But she's also kept her core values intact, from her outspoken commitment to progressive social causes to her strenuously maintained independence from the machinery of the music industry.

Pendejo is one of my favorite words. In the Spanish-speaking world, it's usually used in the context of pointing out someone's challenges to grasp the obvious or is used to just express supreme knucklehead tendencies. The somewhat vulgar word been largely claimed by Mexicans, some of whom can make high art out of applying it to any number of circumstances.

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