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.

Danish house and techno DJ and producer Rune Reilly Kölsch is better known simply as Kölsch. Respected for his deeply emotive style, Kölsch's records under Speicher, part of Cologne's long-lived Kompakt label, a deeply influential group on the electronic scene. Kölsch is a selector on the decks and in the studio, guaranteed to turn your nights upside down.

When Mikaela Straus, who records as King Princess, says "I've never been subtle. I don't think now is the time," she means it. Straus is a producer, multi-instrumentalist, writer and emerging gay icon with incredible confidence charisma and the musical chops to back it up.

The precision. The energy. The limitless swag.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

The singer Kate Smith's recording of "God Bless America" has been a cherished part of sports tradition in the U.S. for decades. But in the aftermath of a discovery that the singer also recorded at least two songs with racist content in the 1930s, two major American sports teams, baseball's New York Yankees and ice hockey's Philadelphia Flyers, have announced that they will stop playing Smith's rendition of the Irving Berlin patriotic classic. On Sunday, the Flyers also took down a statue of Smith that had stood in front of their stadium since 1987.

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Look, some of us aren't caught up with Game of Thrones.

The Tiny Desk Contest is closed for entries and the judges are hard at work searching for the 2019 winner. In the meantime, the Tiny Desk Contest team is bringing back our weekly just-for-fun fan favorite votes.

Jason Martin has been writing songs about the blessings and futility of time since he was rocking a pair of mutton chops and wearing guitar feedback like a velvet cloak.

With the release of In League With Dragons, The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle is fully 18 albums — not to mention numerous EPs, several side projects, a high-profile podcast series and a pair of novels — into a career spanning more than a quarter-century. With nothing left to prove, he's found more than ever to say, as recent recordings dive headlong into the specificity-rich worlds of underground wrestling (2015's Beat the Champ) and outcast subcultures (2017's Goths).

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If just one thing can be confirmed from these compelling Tiny Desk performances by the Calidore String Quartet, it should be that the centuries-old formula – two violins, a viola and a cello – is still very much alive and evolving. Indeed, an impromptu show of hands in the audience before the concert began revealed that almost everyone had seen a string quartet perform live.

Jade Bird Debuts Self-Titled Album

23 hours ago

SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

Finally today, some music.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SOMETHING AMERICAN")

JADE BIRD: (Singing) You don't call me now, and I don't think too much about you. But when she's not around, I can feel you're lonely. Oh, I can feel you're lonely somehow.

PFEIFFER: That's Jade Bird singing one of her breakthrough songs, "Something American." She's 21 but sings like a much older soul. And although her musical interests are diverse, she often gets described as a country and Americana musician. That's even though she's British.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Olivier Latry, one of the chief organists at Notre Dame Cathedral, was the last artist to record on the famous instrument before the catastrophic fire on April 15 that damaged the church and caused its spire to collapse. This pipe organ is the largest in France and dates back centuries. Though it was spared from the flames, it will still require extensive renovation.

Guster's latest album, Look Alive, is a trippy and textured twist on everything you might already love about the band. Lead singer Ryan Miller and drummer Brian Rosenworcel dropped by to talk about the making of the album, which included three producers, Leo Abrahams, John Congleton and Collin DuPuis, as well as a very fruitful visit to synthesizer and keyboard heaven, a.k.a. Canada's National Music Centre.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. When Pulitzer Prize winners were announced earlier this week, Aretha Franklin was honored with a special citation for what the jury called her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades. Franklin died last August at the age of 76.

Lil Dicky unveiled the absolutely star-studded, possibly not safe for work animated music video for his charity single "Earth" — featuring Leonardo DiCaprio as a human and Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Halsey, Bad Bunny, PSY, Zac Brown, Miley Cyrus, Sia, Snoop Dogg and countless other celebrities as animals pitching in to save Earth.

In her latest film, Elisabeth Moss felt that the only mistake she could make "was not going far enough."

Written and directed by Alex Ross Perry, Her Smell imagines the chaotic personal life of a musician addicted to drugs. Becky Something is the head of a fictitious all-female rock group from the '90s.

"Becky Something is enigmatic, funny and entertaining," Moss explains. But she's also toxic. "[She] will envelop you in her vortex, and then, when she's done with you, spit you out or destroy you."


Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We've been anxiously waiting for Lizzo to drop her debut full-length album ever since she dominated our South by Southwest showcase in 2017. Cuz I Love You is finally here and it's full of the kind of fearless swagger, unapologetic pride and boundless joy that's won over so many fans. We open this week's New Music Friday with just one of the standout cuts, "Juice."

Vocalist Angélique Kidjo is on another creative streak. As she has throughout her career, Kidjo has left little space between two musically rich releases that showcase her artistic bonafides. 2018's Remain In Light was a track by track re-imagining of the Talking Heads 1980 album of the same name.

Oh Pep! On Mountain Stage

Apr 18, 2019

Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs met about ten years ago attending a performing arts high school in Melbourne, Australia. After a string of EPs the pair, who perform as Oh Pep!, released its debut full-length album Stadium Cake in 2016.

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Twenty years into his career, it's safe to say Josh Ritter is a master songwriter and musician.

Kevin Abstract is in rapid-fire release mode. The Texas-born hip-hop artist is dropping a second trio of songs in a week's time on the road to a full length album.

The six-song Ghettobaby comes a week after ARIZONA baby, and includes all three tracks from that release. According to Abstract, there's a method behind this seemingly sporadic purge of new material. "ARIZONA baby is an album btw I'm just slowly releasing it over time," he explained to fans on social media.

This week on Alt.Latino, the latest Latin songs on our radar embraced the idea of reconnecting back to intimate, past experiences. Whether it be a homecoming after weeks of travel, a self-reflection in the wake of romance or a reminder of where one started. In this week's music roundup, hear Las Nubes reiterate its post-punk femininity in Miami's hardcore scene, Twanguero return to philosophical roots and VINILOVERSUS duet with Tessa Ia in what feels like hazy nostalgia.

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