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.

Russ Solomon, the founder of the enormously influential and widely beloved Tower Records chain, has died at age 92.

His son, Michael Solomon, told the Sacramento Bee on Monday that his father died of an apparent heart attack on Sunday evening while watching the Oscar awards ceremony and enjoying a glass of whiskey.

Raw I’ma give it to ya, with no trivia

Raw like cocaine straight from Bolivia

My hip-hop will rock and shock the nation

Like the Emancipation Proclamation

Weak MC’s approach with slang that’s dead

You might as well run into the wall and bang your head

I’m pushin’ force, my force you’re doubtin’

I’m makin’ devils cower to the Caucasus Mountains

—U-God, “Da Mystery Of Chessboxin'”

How's this for a #MondayMotivation: On Sunday night, songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez took home the trophy for best original song for "Remember Me," from the film Coco.

In the movies, songs often signify absence, or distance, a gap difficult to fill through plotting or dialogue. Entering the space between desire and communion, bondage and freedom, or grief and comfort, songs reinforce the reassuring magic of cinema.

The first thing people notice about Marlon Williams is his voice. It's powerful and deep. There are the obvious comparisons to people like Roy Orbison, but it's clear Williams has more to offer than just a sound. His self-titled debut album made people realize, 'Hey, this guy can clearly write some songs.'

Baked into the sweltering acid-funk of Peggy Gou's "Six O Six" is a voice softly chanting,​ "Il-i-sam-sa, il-i-sam-sa." It's Gou counting to the beat in her native Korean​​ and seductively drawing you in. That song, released in 2016 on a 12-inch for the Phonica White label, was her first experiment with recording her own vocals​. It effectively laid the groundwork for her new EP, Once, ​out this month on Ninja Tune.

Hawthonn's mystic drones seem to come from an ancient astral plane. Formed in 2014, the experimental duo from Leeds explores the metaphysical — dreams and ghosts — through music that seems to both wander through and embody the foggy English countryside.

Look, it's gonna be a tough week. Maybe you stayed up late watching the Oscars and you're already underslept; maybe there's a lot going on at work right now; and certainly, if nothing else, whatever transpires in the news will accumulate so quickly, you won't believe that only four days have passed by the time we get to Friday.

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"As we go into the well of the black pool of genius," Common intones during the opening bars of August Greene. It's a fitting incantation for a time in which black culture increasingly defines America's pop consciousness, even as black people are defiled by the sociopolitical will of a restless nation.

Grandmothers never truly die. Especially not when they bear as much influence on your life as Big K.R.I.T.'s grandmother has on his. The Mississippi spitter has kept her spirit alive through his music since his breakout mixtape, K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, which he released in 2010, the same year she died.

So it only makes sense that he would bring her with him for his Tiny Desk concert.

Trap over Saturday Night Live as Migos appear as last night's musical guest.

Seun Kuti was just 14 when he became the lead singer of Egypt 80 — the Nigerian band that had carried the infectious groove of Afrobeat worldwide under the direction of Seun's father, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The musician says keeping the band together after Fela's death in 1997 was a way of sustaining his message — which often included railing against government corruption and social injustice.

Arguably the most successful musical theater composer ever, Andrew Lloyd Webber looks back on his early days in the business in the new memoir, Unmasked.

On Friday, the Boston Symphony Orchestra announced that an independent investigation into a sexual assault claim made against conductor Charles Dutoit by one of its former interns has found the woman's claim credible.

The accusation that triggered the BSO investigation came from a woman named Fiona Allan, who at the time of the alleged assault in 1997 was working as an intern at the orchestra's summer home at Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass., when Dutoit was appearing with the symphony as a guest conductor.

Lucy Dacus' playful 2016 debut, No Burden, positioned the Richmond, Va. artist as one of indie rock's most promising faces. For her second go around, Dacus wanted to go deeper.

On Friday morning the Boston Globe published details of allegations of sexual abuse by 74-year-old conductor and pianist James Levine, as well as chronicling "cult-like" behavior that the leading musician allegedly cultivated amongst his devotees while he was teaching at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) in Ohio between 1965 and 1972.

"Feels great to have the cat out of the bag. Transparency breeds trust," Spotify CEO Daniel Ek tweeted Wednesday, just after the Securities and Exchange Commission published his company's 256-page financial opus.

Carol Sloane On Piano Jazz

Mar 2, 2018

Carol Sloane is a sublime singer of great songs. She is natural and unaffected with a voice that embraces the melody and the listener with equal parts maturity and conviction. Combining spirit with character and elegance with style, Sloane has enchanted audiences all over the world. Her command of The Great American Songbook is unmatched.

Change happens notoriously slowly in Nashville, Tenn., a town known to prize convention and tradition. But Thursday, it occurred at lightning speed: In less than 24 hours, former presidential candidate, conservative radio host and former Arkansas Gov.

Riddles, the third album by Ed Schrader's Music Beat, is a fascinating piece of work that is both ugly and beautiful, often at the same time. The beauty of this music is in the trance-inducing pulse that drives it; a chaos of pulsing, incessant rhythms.The sound is reminiscent of two bands that captured my musical world around 1978 — the aggressively minimalist electronics-and-poetry duo Suicide and the dark, futuristic sounds of Pere Ubu's Dub Housing.

Pokey LaFarge On Mountain Stage

Mar 2, 2018

Growing up in Illinois and now living in St. Louis, Pokey LaFarge allows his Midwest roots to dig deep into the lyrics and sound of his music. Offering an auditory time warp back to the glory days of swing jazz while simultaneously revamping and re-imagining the genre into a modern style of his own, LaFarge says "nobody looks or sounds like me."