Popular Music

Nik Carman (right) records "Wagon Wheel" at Studio Anatomy, accompanied by his brother, Andrew, on guitar.

Interlochen Public Radio is your source for the arts from northern Michigan. Whether you're looking for new music from northern Michigan artists or NPR's First Listen, you'll find the stories here.

NPR's music critic Ann powers takes us on a historical journey in her new book, illustrating America's fascination with sex and rhythms and how these two passions often combine to create unforgettable moments.

If you've ever undertaken a creative endeavor, you may have found that inspiration doesn't always come when you're creating; sometimes, it strikes when you put your work down and walk away.

That's what indie-folk singer Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes discovered during his six-year hiatus from making music. The band's newest album, Crack-Up, came out this summer.

President Trump will skip the annual Kennedy Center Honors this year to allow the "artists to celebrate without any political distraction," the White House said Saturday.

Three of the five artists set to be honored had either expressed a specific intent to boycott the traditional White House reception before the event or were said to be considering it.

Power Of Peace is a new release from the great Carlos Santana in collaboration with the iconic soul band The Isley Brothers. The album also features Cindy Blackman Santana, Carlos' wife and his band's drummer.

Lenore Raphael On Piano Jazz

Aug 18, 2017

Award-winning pianist and vocalist Lenore Raphael has emerged as one of the most promising musicians in modern mainstream jazz. Influenced by such jazz greats as Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum and Thelonious Monk, Raphael has developed her own swinging style.

On Monday, we'll turn the All Songs Considered 24/7 stream into a giant mixtape to score the solar eclipse and we want your help. With the form below, tell us what song you'd listen to while watching the sun disappear behind the moon and day turn to night.

This Monday, the sun will be completely eclipsed by the moon. For those who choose to watch, a "partial solar eclipse will be visible everywhere in the contiguous United States," NPR's Rebecca Hersher reports, "but to see the total solar eclipse, you'll need to be in a sash of land that cuts from Oregon to South Carolina."

From 1978 to 2006, Cat Stevens was absent from the secular music world, a long-but-temporary retirement motivated by his conversion to Islam. In the decade since his return, he's sounded musically reinvigorated in songs that only magnify the philosophical reflection that's marked his music since the beginning.

In this session of World Cafe, we welcome musician Simon Raymonde. Since 1997, Raymonde has led Bella Union, the record label he co-founded. Before that time, he was the bassist in the much-revered Cocteau Twins, which he joined in 1983. Now, he's about to release Ojala, an album of music he wrote with drummer Richie Thomas under the band name Lost Horizons.

Who exactly was Whitney Houston?

Was she the radiantly beautiful pop princess who earned the love of mainstream America with enduring hits like I Will Always Love You?

Was she the down-to-Earth onetime gospel singer from the 'hood in Newark who couldn't believe when the crowd at the 1989 Soul Train Awards booed her as a sellout to black music?

Spotify and other streaming services have begun removing white supremacist content from their platforms, as websites and musicians alike scramble to distance themselves from the white nationalist movement.

In a statement on Wednesday, Spotify blamed the labels and distributors that supply music to its database but said "material that favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us. Spotify takes immediate action to remove any such material as soon as it has been brought to our attention."

Natalia Lafourcade has been one of Latin America's leading indie-pop artists for many years. Her latest album, Musas, is a tribute to some of her musical inspirations, featuring famed acoustic guitar masters Los Macorinos. A standout of this session is one of her original compositions, "Tú Sí Sabes Quererme."

SET LIST

  • "Tú Sí Sabes Quererme"

Photo: Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW.

In this session, we bring you a live session with Overcoats. The duo's music rests on two voices so perfectly in sync you'd swear they were coming from the same person — or, at least, from people who are related. Or, at least, people who've known each other their whole lives.

Its name alone suggests an explosive whizzbang of cotton candy pop — Pinkshinyultrablast makes shoegaze that yanks tufts of sound every which way in some kind of cinematically sped-up slow-mo. It's irrepressibly cool music — last year's Grandfeathered was a personal favorite, a sonic treasure hunt on every listen.

Those of us who fell in love with her debut album, Sprained Ankle, have been hungering for more of Julien Baker's sparse, confessional songs — brutally honest and cripplingly insecure, self-deprecating but laced with just enough hope to keep you hanging on — since the album's 2015 release (only briefly sated by the release of "Funeral Pyre," a one-off single, in January).

Jason Heller is a Hugo Award-winning editor and author of the forthcoming book Strange Stars (Melville House). Twitter: @jason_m_heller

This may seem like an odd thing to say of a band fronted by one of the more successful songwriters in Nashville, but there's actually something that contributes even more to the distinctive identity of Cadillac Three albums than the songs themselves, and that's feel.

For artists who make breakup records, a big part of the appeal is having their uninterrupted, unqualified say. It can be a cathartic experience to call out former partners for heartlessness and narcissism, to stake your claims to the high ground and come out looking good. There's a seductiveness to that sort of indignation. Just ask Justin Bieber. But the elements of emotional truth in such approaches are often enmeshed with unreliable narration.

Where will you live after the apocalypse? That question becomes more relevant once you realize the apocalypse is now, and ongoing, with society unmaking itself in convulsions and recovering in spurts. And the place where it's leaving Americans is what Erika M. Andersen calls the Outer Ring. It's that circular band of highways and avenues surrounding a city, where vape shops share strip-mall space with Halal butchers and Triple XXX Pleasure Zones, and immigrants stand at the bus stop next to Trump voters while their children get stoned together in the Kwik Mart parking lot.

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