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.

The northwestern African country of Mali is one of the world's musical cradles. Its rich traditions helped give birth to American blues and jazz, traditions brought by enslaved Africans to these shores. But today, Mali is in turmoil.

Sade Saves

Nov 11, 2020

I've tried to say how it was, in those boombox times. When I am near 21, and poor, and pregnant. There is no clue as to what next Tuesday will bring, let alone the rest of this one, when the Challenger explodes every minute on the mute TV.

The Morning Edition Song Project, in which musicians compose an original song about the COVID-19 era, returns this week with multi-genre singer-songwriter Thao Nguyen, leader of the band Thao & the Get Down Stay Down. Early this September, the San Francisco-based musician stepped onto her porch to find polluted air and falling ash — the fallout of the wildfires raging on the West Coast.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

Adrianne Lenker's latest music takes you straight to where it was recorded: a cabin in the Berkshires. Lenker was supposed to be on tour with her band Big Thief this year, but once the pandemic upended those plans, she holed up in the mountains of Western Massachusetts and recorded not one, but two new albums.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

YouTube

A touching video showing a former ballet dancer afflicted with memory loss gracefully dancing as she hears the music from Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake has

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

World Cafe's Latin Roots series began in 2012, celebrating the sounds of traditional and new alternative Latin music through radio, online features and live events.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

There's nothing quite like an intricately designed Mariah Carey lyric. You know it when you hear it, because it involves a kind of vivid wordplay so utterly specific that you can't help but find yourself conjuring images in your own head of blissful romantic entanglements, earnest yearning or the doldrums of deep, intense heartache.

In the dreamy deep cut "Underneath the Stars," for example, she describes a rendezvous with a lover:

One summer night, we ran away for awhile

Laughing, we hurried beneath the sky

The world, by way of Texas, lost two of its most iconoclastic, deservedly mythologized artists this past month – Jerry Jeff Walker, songwriter-flâneur-buckaroo; and Billy Joe Shaver, ornery and God-fearing ghost poet of America's scorched earth.

Jerry Jeff, 78, succumbed to complications from throat cancer on October 23; Billy Joe, 81, suffered a stroke and relocated to Heaven five days later.

The pioneering Cuban percussionist Cándido Camero has died at age 99.

Camero's grandson, Julian, told NPR member station WBGO that the Cuban conguero died peacefully at his home in New York on Saturday morning.

Updated Sat. Nov. 7, 6:40 p.m.

King Von, a Chicago rapper who found success in his city before relocating to Atlanta, was shot and killed early Friday morning. A fight in the parking lot of the Monaco Hookah Lounge on Trinity Avenue in the city sparked a shootout between two groups, according to police. He was 26.

When Kylie Minogue was a kid growing up in Australia, her parents played a lot of disco at home. As she and her siblings danced around the house to artists like ABBA and the Bee Gees, she says, she imagined herself as one of them: "I definitely wanted to be Olivia Newton-John, or Agnetha from ABBA, or Donna Summer."

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross. Our guest today, jazz singer Cecile McLorin Salvant, is one of this year's recipients of a MacArthur Fellowship. She was cited for, quote, "using manifold powers of interpretation to infuse jazz standards and original compositions with a vibrant, global, Black, feminist sensibility," unquote. Her repertoire ranges from jazz standards to forgotten old songs and includes show tunes and originals.

Nashville's Namir Blade seemed to emerge out of nowhere with the fully formed vision of Aphelion's Traveling Circus, a concept album with an elaborate sci-fi narrative, witty, theatrical skits and prismatic musicality released on the respected indie hip-hop label Mello Music Group in late September.

The Netflix series The Queen's Gambit follows a chess prodigy named Beth, played Anya Taylor-Joy, from her childhood in an orphanage through her spectacular career in chess. She learns in a basement from a custodian and grows into a champion.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Rachel Martin. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony is tonight. Here is our 30-second version. Depeche Mode.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH")

DEPECHE MODE: (Singing) I just can't get enough.

Tiana Major9: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Nov 6, 2020

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

On the last edition of Play It Forward, All Things Considered's chain of musical gratitude, Brooklyn-based musician and producer Nick Hakim spoke about Philly-bred multi-instrumentalist Laraaji. In particular, he explained his love for Laraaji's healing sounds and ambient compositions.

The Thistle & Shamrock: All Hallows' Eve

Nov 5, 2020

You're invited to embark on a musical journey through myth and mystery. Along the way, you'll uncover the legends that live on in the ballads and infuse the melodies with their raw emotion. Artists include Cathie Ryan, Garefowl, and Sarah McQuaid.

A.B. Eastwood traveled to the star-studded Miami studio scene to learn the fundamentals of production. He returned with a vision for elevating his hometown.

How Tim Gent and Bryant Taylorr, a rapper and singer respectively, began cultivating their talents and strategizing how to open the door to the insular world of professional songwriting.

Entrepreneurial Mychael Carney helped his poet-rapper sibling, The BlackSon conceive of music as a business. Their BlackCity collective has grown into a model of community-minded and empowered economic self-sufficiency.

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