Music

A mysterious photograph appeared across various social media platforms Monday morning, depicting three dashing women — two in cowboy hats, one holding a pair of spectacles — lounging at a wooden table teeming with the evidence of a long night out. NEW BAND ALERT: BERMUDA TRIANGLE, the caption read. Anyone attuned to the Americana scene recognized the one in the middle: Brittany A. Howard, the main rule-breaker in Americana music's most exciting band of this century, the Alabama Shakes.

Since its premiere in 1918, Gustav Holst's symphonic cycle The Planets has effectively defined the informal genre of "music about space." But more recently, four prominent artists from different musical realms collaborated on a cosmic exploration of their own. It culminated in Planetarium, which was released earlier this month.

What role does music play in our national dialogue about immigration? Six young musicians, rooted in six different countries, gathered at Ellis Island, and in Manhattan, to explore that question in a new composition inspired by Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land."

Why Does The Electric Guitar Need A Hero?

Jul 2, 2017

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Adele is again suffering the effects of damage to her vocal cords, she announced in a Facebook post Friday night. As a result, she canceled the final two shows of her world tour. The performances were to take place at London's Wembley Stadium on Saturday and Sunday evenings, and would have capped off a four-date run there.

The man who was the main organizer of the failed Fyre Festival in the Bahamas earlier this year has been arrested by authorities and charged with wire fraud for allegedly bilking investors in his company, Fyre Media, which promoted the event.

Billy McFarland was arrested by federal agents at his Manhattan home on Friday.

The New York Times writes:

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

"The Rose" won an Academy Award nomination for Bette Midler in 1979. She played a rock star who struggled with success, drink, drugs and self-destructiveness. Today, the film's mostly remembered for a song she sang during the ending credits.

Update: This limited-run stream is over, but you can still clink glasses to the roséwave playlist.

We didn't create roséwave: We merely drank from its stream, the one that already spills pink drink on dance floors and beach blankets to the tune of favorite pop songs being shouted en masse. We didn't invent a genre; we just gave it a name.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Let's end this hour with the latest in music news. A lot has happened in just the last 24 hours with two major album releases by legacy artists. For more on this, we're joined by NPR's senior editor Jacob Ganz. Hey, Jacob.

JACOB GANZ, BYLINE: Hi, Ari.

Gary DeCarlo, the voice behind the late-'60s hit "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," died Wednesday in Branford, Conn. He was 75 years old, and had been battling metastatic cancer.

DeCarlo was the co-writer and singer of that now-indelible tune, which spent 16 weeks on the Hot 100 singles chart in 1969.

Sounds like Independence Day has come early for Public Enemy. After recently leaking plans to release a new album, Nothing Is Quick In The Desert, on July 4, the iconic rap group has uploaded the entire LP to its Bandcamp page.

Sony Music is preparing to make its own vinyl records again in Japan, in another sign that albums are back from the brink of being obsolete. The company says it's installing record-cutting equipment and enlisting the help of older engineers who know how to reproduce the best sound.

Guitarist Dave Rosser, best known as a later-stage guitarist for both The Afghan Whigs and The Twilight Singers, died yesterday in New Orleans from cancer complications at 50 years old, his manager confirmed to NPR.

Rosser was also a busy sideman and studio presence in recent years, contributing to Tim Heidecker's semi-comedic 2016 album In Glendale, recent work from Mark Lanegan, including "Ode to Sad Disco," and The Internet's 2015 album Ego Death, including the song "Go With It."

Tim Westergren, the co-founder of Pandora who returned to the company's chief executive seat last year after the exit of Brian McAndrews, is leaving the company he started over 17 years ago, it was announced this morning. He will resign his position as chief executive and exit the company's board of directors.

The BET Awards, like black America, is never a monolithic affair.

"I'm terrified as usual. Absolutely terrified," Radiohead leader Thom Yorke told the BBC ahead of the band's headlining performance at Glastonbury on Friday night.

Yorke's nervousness translated into a typically transcendent concert with a recording that actually does it justice, too. (Live recordings always tend to be a little light on the low end, but let us abandon nitpicks).

Head here and start at 28:25 to hear the beginning of the band's set.

A week after opening to a tepid critical response and accusations of historical inaccuracies from actress Jada Pinkett Smith — as well as a misinterpreted Internet joke that had many searching in vain for the appearance of an iPhone in the film — the Tupac Shakur biopic All

This post was updated on Sunday, June 25 at 3:50 PM.

When you're a group that's performed together for more than seven decades, it might be a daunting task to keep crafting music that feels fresh. No doubt that hill is even harder to climb when you're working within a tradition like gospel, with its well-loved, and well-worn, harmonic and lyrical conventions. Yet the singers who make up Blind Boys of Alabama have always risen to the challenge with utter grace — and the group's forthcoming album, Almost Home, places a capstone on that history.

It's now officially summer, which means it's time to kick back, pour out a glass of rosé and listen to the ever-timeless Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream, by composer Felix Mendelssohn. The German composer wrote the Overture (Op. 21) when he was only 17, but by then he was a seasoned composer with numerous operas and string symphonies under his belt.

Earlier this month, the New York Philharmonic's outgoing music director Alan Gilbert said goodbye to his orchestra in a series of concerts. Today, he is saying hello to a brand new job in Hamburg, Germany.

Margaret Moser, Queen Of Austin, Is Dancing In The Light

Jun 22, 2017

June 18 was the beginning of a weeklong Open House at Tex Pop, the South Texas Museum of Popular Culture — a storefront wedged between a head shop and convenience store in an aging strip center at the corner of Margaret and Mulberry in San Antonio. Inside, in the largest of three rooms, museum founder and director Margaret Moser is seeing her first visitor of the day, Kathy Valentine. In an adjacent room, Moser's mother Phyllis Stegall and a niece greet arrivals as they wait their turns.

Mozart And 'The Peanut Vendor' In Havana

Jun 22, 2017

Last month, American pianist Simone Dinnerstein was in Cuba preparing for her current North American tour with an orchestra of young musicians from Havana. She fondly recalls one very hot rehearsal.

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