Music

All Songs Considered
1:56 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

The Taylor Swift/Aphex Twin Mashup You Didn't Know You Wanted Is Here

Aphex Swift.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 3:00 pm

You have to wonder what synapse fired in comedian David Rees' brain when he heard Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble" and thought, "You know what this needs?

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All Songs Considered
12:33 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Bob Boilen's Top 10 Discoveries From The 2014 CMJ Music Marathon

Bob Boilen NPR Music

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 9:50 am

Every fall, hundreds of bands migrate to New York City for the annual CMJ Music Marathon. Many of these groups are playing their first shows in NYC and for a lot of the audience — music journalists, college dj's and fans alike — it's their first taste of these young upstarts. My previous CMJ discoveries include such favorites as Courtney Barnett, Public Service Broadcasting, Foxygen, The Blow, Zola Jesus, Caveman ... the list is long.

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Ronnie Milsap Joins Country Music's Hall Of Fame

Singer and songwriter Ronnie Milsap is a new inductee into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in Nashville, Tenn.
Rick Diamond Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 8:39 pm

A new class of musicians was inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame Sunday night, with blind singer and pianist Ronnie Milsap leading the group. Milsap's career ranged from playing both early R&B and on the Elvis hit "Kentucky Rain" in the 1960s to the heights of solo success in the '70s and '80s. One of his biggest hits was 1980's "Smoky Mountain Rain."

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Music
7:04 pm
Sun October 26, 2014

Did Led Zeppelin Plagiarize 'Stairway'? A Pa. Judge Will Decide

This week, a judge in Pennsylvania moved forward with a lawsuit against the members of Led Zeppelin and their music publishers. The band is accused of plagiarism.
Dario Cantatore AP

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 10:29 am

Everyone who knows rock 'n' roll knows the opening riff to Led Zeppelin's 1971 hit "Stairway to Heaven." Play it side-by-side with the 1968 song "Taurus" by the band Spirit, and they sound almost the same.

The songs were released more than four decades ago, but just this week, a judge in Pennsylvania allowed a lawsuit about the issue to move forward.

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Music Interviews
5:13 pm
Sun October 26, 2014

Maya Beiser Shreds The Cello

Maya Beiser's new rock covers album is called Uncovered.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun October 26, 2014 6:31 pm

Through the decades, classical cellists have studied the masters: Pablo Casals, Mstislav Rostropovich, Jacqueline du Pre. AC/DC doesn't quite make that list — but cellist Maya Beiser loves playing their music.

Beiser gives some of her favorite rock and blues numbers — like AC/DC's "Back in Black" and Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" — a modern cello workover on her new album, Uncovered.

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All Tech Considered
2:45 pm
Sun October 26, 2014

Pandora Hopes To Lure Musicians Backstage With Analytics

Pandora founder Tim Westergren is a former touring musician himself, but some say the music streaming service he leads is hurting musicians more than helping.
Larry Busacca Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 1:33 pm

Coming up on the end of a year marred by bitter quarrels over royalties for online music, Pandora is now making a play for artists' goodwill.

On Wednesday, Pandora announced the launch of AMP (Artist Marketing Platform), a free service that pulls back the curtain on the widely popular streaming service and gives musicians access to data on who is listening to their music, when and where.

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Sat October 25, 2014

Jack Bruce, Bassist And Singer For Cream, Dies At 71

Jack Bruce, left, seen here with fellow Cream members Ginger Baker (center) and Eric Clapton in 1967, has died. The bassist sang such hits as "Sunshine of Your Love."
George Stroud Getty Images

Scottish musician Jack Bruce, who co-founded the rock band Cream and created seminal music in the 1960s, has died, his family has confirmed. Bruce played bass in the trio that included Eric Clapton on guitar and Ginger Baker on drums. He sang such hits as "Sunshine of Your Love," "White Room" and "I Feel Free."

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Tiny Desk Concerts
8:03 am
Sat October 25, 2014

Danish String Quartet: Tiny Desk Concert

NPR Starff

An abundance of facial hair is not restricted to the sensitive male indie-rocker set. Three of the four players in the Danish String Quartet could easily pass for hipster Brooklyn beard farmers. "We are simply your friendly neighborhood string quartet with above average amounts of beard," the group's website says.

Yet what's really important about the ensemble is how they play — and judging from this performance behind Bob Boilen's desk, these Nordic lads possess warmth, wit, a beautiful tone and technical prowess second to none.

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Movie Reviews
7:03 am
Fri October 24, 2014

James Brown On Film: An Admiring And Unflinching Look At 'Mr. Dynamite'

James Brown performs onstage at the TAMI Show on December 29, 1964 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in California.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 25, 2014 12:36 pm

Eight years after his death, James Brown is suddenly everywhere.

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Music News
4:31 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Who Sang It First? Mockingbirds And Musicians Cover Each Other In New Orleans

A short phrase New Orleans musicians use to communicate is identical to a common mockingbird call.
Sven Halling Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 7:47 pm

In certain New Orleans music scenes, there is a special sound — a signal — that lets players know it's time to pick up their instruments and strike up the band.

"It's a bugle call, or a band call, to assemble," trumpeter Leroy Jones says.

"It's like: C'mon, rally," musician Matt Bell adds. "Come to the bandstand and be ready to do it. Let's go."

The four-note phrase, however, doesn't belong to musicians alone. Another common New Orleans species, the mockingbird, also produces the call.

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