Music

Just as Coachella Music and Arts Festival sets the bar for every other American music festival of the summer, Beyoncé recurringly sets the bar for every other performer.

A year after postponing her headlining set in 2017 due to pregnancy, Beyoncé treated her return to the stage like a family reunion, homecoming pep rally and a Beyhive-unifying rebel yell before heading into battle.

To start off her two-hour show, Queen Bey evoked the spirit of another member of black royalty, Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, appearing in a custom Balmain gold-crusted cape and headdress.

Warning: This episode contains obscenities and descriptions of sex and violence.

A lot of communities today are taking a hard stand against sexual harassment and assault. Using social media shaming, ostracism, professional excommunication, whatever punishment is painful enough to shift the moral code by brute force. Through one incident in the Richmond Virginia hardcore punk scene, Hanna Rosin, co-host of NPR's Invisibilia, chronicles a social media callout and asks what pain can accomplish.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe's electric gospel sound was crucial in paving the way for rock and roll, and the late singer and guitarist is finally getting her day at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. She joins this a class of inductees that includes big-name rock bands like Bon Jovi, Dire Straits and The Cars.

Last year, from spring to summer, two organizations — the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) — made their case to the Copyright Royalty Board that Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon and Pandora weren't paying songwriters enough when people streamed their compositions, a process that NMPA head David Israelite likened to "war." Those compositions, which are legally discrete from the recordings of those songs, are covered by "mechanical" licenses, a term that's roughly 100 years old and originally referred to the punch-card c

Yvonne Staples, a member of the renowned soul, gospel and R&B group The Staple Singers, died Tuesday in Chicago at the age of 80, representatives for her sister and band mate Mavis Staples confirmed to NPR Music. No cause was given, and the Staples family has yet to issue a statement.

Stephanie Richards' trumpet sounds like deep space wrapped around your head, a flood in the endless void.

The following text was originally published alongside the live web stream of the 2018 NEA Jazz Masters, which took place on April 16. A recording of the event can now be viewed by clicking on the video above.

Turnstile's music swirled just as much as it pounded, turning some of the stranger, studio-driven moments of its recent album Time & Space into a live-action stage match. As the band explored every inch of the worn hardwood at All Souls Unitarian Church in Northwest Washington, D.C., stirring up heart rates and exalting the moment, one body would jump from the stage and be immediately replaced by another, all in constant motion.

When Johnny Cash died almost 15 years ago, he left behind a treasure trove of unpublished poems and handwritten letters. The new album Johnny Cash: Forever Words, out now, immortalizes those words in music.

This week's installment of Front Street Blues seizes on the latest wave of 21st century blues artists, weaving them between time-honored tracks from familiar voices of the genre. FSB host & producer Lan Nichols blends the classic work of Homesick James, Chick Willis, John Weston, and Chico Banks with the modern artistry of Teresa James & The Rhythm Tramps, Delmark Record's Breezy Rodio, vocalist Carolyn Gaines, guitarist J.J.

Cecil Taylor, whose stunning and bravely unorthodox piano language made him one of the most important postwar American avant-gardists in any artistic medium, leaves more than a legacy of musical provocation after his death yesterday evening.

Sacha Jenkins was just a nine-year-old kid coming of age in Queens, New York when Blondie's "Rapture" broke big in 1981. An early harbinger of hip-hop's crossover appeal, it became the first song featuring rap vocals to reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Today, rap regularly owns the top 10 and Jenkins, an O.G. even among the original generation of hip-hop journalists, has been documenting the culture from the inside out since its golden era.

For a lot of people, when they hear "fetch" and "Is butter a carb?" one thing comes to mind: Mean Girls. The 2004 movie was so influential that screenwriter Tina Fey and producer Lorne Michaels figured, why not a musical? Fourteen years later, it's opening on Broadway.

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton chats with NPR Music's Lars Gotrich, Tom Huizenga, Marissa Lorusso, Sidney Madden and Ann Powers about some of the best new albums dropping on Apr. 6, from the scorching punk of Norway's Dark Times to the mesmerizing cello drones of Clarice Jensen, rap phenom Cardi B, dance pop singer Kylie Minogue's country turn and much more.

Featured Albums

  • Dark Times: Tell Me What I Need
  • Christina Vantzou: No. 4
  • Cardi B: Invasion of Privacy

The British singer-songwriter and 2018 Slingshot artist was a critical and fan favorite last month at SXSW, and she seems to be riding that success all the way to one of late night television's biggest stages, The Tonight Show.

Memphis Blues

Apr 4, 2018

Reflecting on today's anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s murder, its 50th, pulls our minds toward images and sounds that surrounded that day in 1968: to the balcony of the Lorraine Motel; to Dr. King's speech in Memphis the day before his assassination. This anniversary has weighed on my mind more than usual, maybe because I've just recently arrived in Washington, D.C., where some of the worst rioting happened in his shooting's aftermath.

Four years ago, Eels founder Mark Oliver Everett decided to take a break. After 25 years of making music, he says, "I got to the point where if you do any one thing too much in your life, it catches up to you and makes it clear that you need to do something else."

Following its successful public listing yesterday, the music streaming service Spotify is now worth around $25 billion, making it the largest music company in the world — but when Spotify first débuted, back in 2008, it was reasonable to think it would fail.

Fleetwood Mac's classic work has gotten a chart push from a piece of Internet virality centered around a clip of the Alcorn State University dance line, the Golden Girls.

The world's most popular music streaming service, Spotify, went public today. Shares were expected to start trading around $130 each, but ranges for the opening price went as high as $169, and at the time of this writing its stocks were trading at $155, making the company worth about $27.4 billion. (You could safely expect these figures to fluctuate widely over the coming hours, days, weeks and months.)

Vespers, the traditional late afternoon prayer service, gets an enigmatic twist in a new video by director James Darrah, premiered here, with music from Missy Mazzoli, performed by the spirited violinist Olivia De Prato. The track is from her new album, Streya.

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