Music

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynaUqiWAMoI Cuban singer Omara Portuondo came to international attention in the 1950s, when that country was less isolated than it has been since the Revolution. Her voice reached ears around the world again in the '90s, when she was featured as the only female singer on the hit Buena Vista Social Club album. Today, Portuondo is 85 — and she's still performing. Sitting in the restaurant of the classy Capri Hotel in Havana, Portuondo remembers a Cuban composer,...

The cast recording of Lazarus , the musical David Bowie wrote with playwright Enda Walsh , is out this week, and with it arrives three previously unreleased Bowie songs recorded during his Blackstar sessions. "Killing A Little Time" is the third track to leak from the album, and it's an ominous, polyrhythmic rock scorcher that would have fit well on the icon's final album. It's one of the last songs he recorded before his death from liver cancer in January. "I stagger through this criminal...

Buy An Album; Get Some Cremated Remains

Oct 19, 2016

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Chuck Berry turns 90 Tuesday. I know he's a very important person in music history, but he's never been a guy I listened to much. I mean, I've heard hits like "Maybellene" from 1955, but I wanted to learn more. So I called Tony Trov. He's an artist out of Philadelphia, but more important, he plays in a Chuck Berry cover band called It's Marvin, Your Cousin Marvin Berry, a reference to a memorable scene in Back to the Future . Trov couldn't comprehend how I wasn't a fan. "I dunno, are you a...

The new album from the experimental rock band Negativland comes with a plastic bag containing 2 grams of Don Joyce's cremated remains. Joyce, a member of the group, died of heart failure in 2015. According to an official announcement on Boing Boing , the band's forthcoming album, The Chopping Channel , will ship with little bags of Joyce's ashes for as long as "supplies last." "Thank you for reading about all of our deaths over the past year and a half!" the band says in an official statement...

After much criticism around last year's round of '70s rockers and no women, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its nominees for the class of 2017 this morning, which include first-time nominees Tupac Shakur , Pearl Jam , Bad Brains , Joan Baez and Depeche Mode . Shakur, who died 20 years ago and has been the focus of many legacy pieces in recent months, was nominated in his first year of eligibility and would be the sixth hip-hop artist to be admitted to the hall. Like Shakur, Pearl Jam...

Today, Chuck Berry turns 90. And today, the man who helped define rock 'n' roll celebrates by announcing his first album in 38 years. The album is simply called CHUCK, and it features a hometown backing band that includes his children Charles Berry Jr. on guitar and Ingrid Berry on harmonica, along with his bassist for nearly 40 years, Jimmy Marsala. The album was recorded in Berry's hometown of St. Louis and will be out in 2017. Chuck Berry's sound owes much to T-Bone Walker 's electric...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Last week, the Swedish Academy named Bob Dylan winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. This week, they're still knock-knock-knocking on Dylan's door. The mercurial songwriter hasn't responded to the Academy's invitation to a December ceremony in his honor. And though he hasn't publicly acknowledged the award, he did close out his concert the day of the announcement with a Frank...

The following is an excerpt from a forthcoming book on the 1972 soul album Donny Hathaway Live. Best known for songs like "This Christmas" and classic duets with Roberta Flack, Hathaway was a strikingly virtuosic artist committed to exploring "music in its totality." In the decade between his 1970 breakout hit "The Ghetto" and his death at age 33 — an alleged suicide linked to paranoid schizophrenia — he recorded some of the most beautiful, heartfelt and funky music of the late twentieth...

In a season of relentless shouting, the best antidote might be singing. Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato 's new album with conductor Maxim Emelyanychev and the ensemble Il Pomo d'Oro, In War & Peace: Harmony Through Music , uses Baroque arias to explore the pain and possibilities of these troubled times. A companion website invites anyone and everyone to answer the simple but loaded question, "In the midst of chaos, how do you find peace?" "I open my eyes and listen carefully," writes Adam , a...

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