Music

'Colors' Continues Beck's Postmodern Pastiche

10 hours ago

The last time most of us saw Beck, he was onstage at the Grammy awards accepting the Album of the Year honor for his 2014 work Morning Phase and almost being interrupted by Kanye West.

Shortly before midnight Thursday, Atlanta trap provocateurs Future and Young Thug, coated the world with the surprise release of their collaborative mixtape, Super Slimey.

When you celebrate a 25th anniversary, you're supposed to mark the occasion with silver. When you celebrate a 30th anniversary, pearls are called for (or so they say).

If you're celebrating both a 25th and a 30th anniversary at the same time apparently you can mark the occasion with a tour! That's what my guest Suzanne Vega is doing; this year marks both the 30th anniversary of her album Solitude Standing and the 25th of 99.9F.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

The Thistle And Shamrock: New Fall Sounds

16 hours ago

New music is always in season, but autumn brings with it a special skew in our tastes. So for this episode of The Thistle and Shamrock, host Fiona Ritchie has collected another hour's worth to offer you, including The Breath, Robin Bullock, Ruth Keggin, and James Ritchie.

How 'The Con' Almost Broke Tegan And Sara

17 hours ago

When The Con was released on July 24, 2007, it was a different time for Tegan and Sara. The Canadian duo was five albums in and still on the fringes of the alternative indie rock world. They were cast as outsiders, ridiculed in the press for their gender and/or sexuality, not to mention their haircuts. The stress of it drove a rift between the two of them.

William Eggleston's Secret World Of 'Musik'

18 hours ago

In the art world, William Eggleston is a revered photographer. In the music world, he's virtually unknown. But now the 78-year-old Memphis native, celebrated for legitimizing color photography in the 1970s, has just released his very first album, simply titled Musik.

The Perceptionists: Tiny Desk Concert

22 hours ago

Mr. Lif and Akrobatik are two emcees whose names rock bells among true hip-hop heads. The duo of Boston natives first teamed up as The Perceptionists in the early aughts to release Black Dialogue on El-P's Def Jux label in 2005. Their side project went into indefinite hiatus soon afterward, but now Lif and Akrobatik are reunited on their new LP, Resolution.

World Cafe Nashville: Devon Gilfillian

22 hours ago

Growing up outside Philadelphia, Devon Gilfillian learned about the working musician's life from his father, a singer and percussionist in a beloved local party band. He found his own path as a singer-songwriter and moved to Nashville just a few years ago, in hopes of finding a community appreciative of his blend of social consciousness, rootsy melodies and soulful grooves. Like so many before him, Gilfillian found those peers while waiting tables in a popular local venue, where he also absorbed the musical lessons of the stars who stopped by on tour.

Teased early Thursday with three caption-less Instagram posts, "Gorgeous" arrived just before midnight, finding Swift in more traditional pop territory than the previous releases from her upcoming sixth studio album Reputation, due Nov. 10.

Advisory: The above video and below language almost certainly contains content that some may find offensive.

Dan Tyminski might have one of the most recognizable voices in acoustic music. He grew up in southern Vermont, fixated on traditional bluegrass and old country. While his friends were buying Def Leppard and AC/DC records, he was playing banjo.

First Listen: GVSU New Music Ensemble, 'RETURN'

Oct 19, 2017

It might not appear like an obvious hotbed of contemporary music, but amid the rolling cornfields of western Michigan, at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Bill Ryan has been masterfully cultivating the GVSU New Music Ensemble. And with RETURN, the group's fourth album, Ryan is reaping what he has sewn since founding the ensemble in 2006: All 15 works were composed by his former students. (Full disclosure: Some 35 years ago, I was a young literature student at GVSU.)

Alright. Open your arms and get ready to receive. Our guest today is Broken Social Scene.

The Canadian supergroup formed in 1999 out of a friendship between musicians Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning. The band's sound is big, so is its lineup, which can well to 15 people strong. You know the names: Feist, Emily Haines and James Shaw of Metric, Amy Millan and Evan Cranley of Stars. They all contributed to the new album. Feist even came up with the album title, Hug Of Thunder.

Augustin Mawangu Mingiedi, leader of the Congolese group Konono No. 1, died on Monday, Oct. 16 after a months-long illness related to complications from diabetes, a representative for the band confirmed. He was 56 years old.

Italian composer Daniele Luppi's first noteworthy work in America has been heard millions of times over. The Los Angeles-based Luppi arranged Gnarls Barkley's ubiquitous "Crazy" in 2005. But it's fair to say Luppi's name first popped up on radars with his ambitious 2011 project with Danger Mouse, Rome, which painstakingly blended the widescreen orchestral landscapes of Ennio Morricone's evocative Spaghetti Western scores, with funky exploitation flick grooves — and the vocal talents of Jack White and Norah Jones.

The best film scores walk a delicate line: They help propel the story, guide an audience's emotions and are also often a distinct character, with a role and voice as important as any actor's — but they also have to do all that without getting in the way, or drawing too much attention.

What kind of man is Gregory Porter? As it happens, he's already told us himself. "I'm a real good man," he sang in "Real Good Hands," one of a handful of sturdily built original songs from his 2012 album, Be Good. He was extending a suitor's reassurance there, addressing a future father-in-law. But we were invited to listen in and draw our own conclusions.

Ever since his days as a teenage prodigy in James Brown's band and as the co-architect of Parliament-Funkadelic with George Clinton, bassist Bootsy Collins has thrived in collective environments. His playing has always relied on the interplay between stylistic sorcery — he's rightly heralded as one of the most innovative bass players ever — and the give-and-take of true synergy. So it only makes sense that World Wide Funk, his first new album in six years, makes optimal work of an array of guest artists ...

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(SOUNDBITE OF THE TRAGICALLY HIP SONG, "WHEAT KINGS")

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The heart of "Capable" from The Wild Reeds is spelled out in these lyrics by Sharon Silva: "You're capable of so much more/Than these people give you credit for/And you just need to show it."

Red Death Tears Down 'Parasite's Paradise'

Oct 18, 2017

Red Death is a thrash band raised on hardcore — its metallic riffs not only smash a crusty d-beat but also shout a punk ethos.

Hear Sleater-Kinney's New Song, 'Here We Come'

Oct 18, 2017

In April, a long list of musicians, comedians and visual artists were announced for 7-inches For Planned Parenthood, featuring new and rare tracks from the likes of St. Vincent, Feist, Björk, Bon Iver and Helado Negro. The box set is a response to "lawmakers with extreme views [who] are working hard to shut down Planned Parenthood," according to the creators of the project.

Updated at 11:10 a.m. ET

Gord Downie, singer of The Tragically Hip, died of complications from brain cancer Tuesday night at the age of 53. His death was announced in a statement from his family.

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