Music

First Listen
8:01 pm
Wed August 5, 2015

First Listen: CFCF, 'The Colours Of Life'

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The Record
4:33 pm
Wed August 5, 2015

Stakes Is High: Drake Ghostwriting Accusations Matter More Than You Think

Drake performs at Finsbury Park in London, England in June. Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill recently accused Drake of using ghostwriters, spurring the two to release diss tracks aimed at each other.
John Phillips Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 7:04 pm

The first weekend of August saw the coronation of a new King of Hip-Hop. Like all transitions of power, it had been years in the making and orchestrated by powers both seen and unseen.

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Music Reviews
10:26 am
Wed August 5, 2015

Trombonist Ku-umba Frank Lacy Brings 'Earnest Intensity' To 'Mingus Sings'

Originally published on Tue August 11, 2015 5:34 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:03 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

'Cold Mountain' Takes Civil War Odyssey To The Opera Stage

Isabel Leonard and Nathan Gunn star as Ada and Inman in the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain at the Santa Fe Opera.
Ken Howard Courtesy of the Santa Fe Opera

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 5:52 am

It's a story that could have been taken from a breaking news report: A soldier, gravely wounded in a brutal battle, flees the fighting to try and make his way home. Only this story is set during the Civil War.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Metropolitan Opera To Drop Use Of Blackface-Style Makeup In 'Otello'

Tenor Placido Domingo performs the title role in a 1994 performance of Verdi's Otello at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Johan Elbers The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:08 pm

The Metropolitan Opera is poised to make a big change.

When the fall production of Verdi's Otello opens next month, its lead character will not be wearing the traditional blackface-style makeup.

The Met tells NPR by email that its upcoming production of Otello will be the first without dark makeup since the company first produced the opera in 1891.

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The Record
1:45 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Dr. Dre's 'Compton': Who Are The Album's New Artists?

Dr. Dre releases his first album in 16 years, Compton, on August 7.
Chelsea Lauren Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 4:18 pm

"They want to know if he's still got it..."

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Music Reviews
12:06 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Daniel Romano's Eccentric 'Countrypolitan' Sound Blends Sincerity And Irony

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:03 am
Tue August 4, 2015

A Mahler Symphony Squeezed In A Squeezebox

William Schimmel distills Mahler's lengthy Ninth Symphony down to under seven minutes.
Illustration by Joan Chiverton

When Gustav Mahler said a symphony "must be like the world. It must embrace everything," I suppose he meant embracing accordions, too.

Gustav Mahler's sprawling Ninth Symphony is a 90-minute journey brimming with the joys of life, haunted by death and with a lot happening along the way. Accordionist William Schimmel has squeezed this immense musical canvas down to just 6 1/2 minutes. That takes some guts.

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Music Interviews
2:01 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

Guitar Phenom's New Album Pays Tribute To Jimi Hendrix

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 7:52 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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First Listen
7:35 am
Mon August 3, 2015

Review: Pavement, 'The Secret History, Vol. 1'

Pavement's new release, The Secret History, Vol. 1, comes out August 11.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu August 13, 2015 7:02 am

Pavement's minor MTV hit, "Cut Your Hair," came out in 1994, and the song's offbeat, ramshackle charm introduced the cult indie band to a broader audience. It also marked the end of an era. Pavement had been releasing records for five years at that point, most of them shaggier and noisier than the weirdly winning "Hair." Yet despite the absurdity and abrasiveness at its heart, the band had been swept into the alt-rock mania of the mid-'90s. The Secret History, Vol.

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