Public Radio Market presents the best of the products featured on your favorite public radio programs.
Bad Self Portrait by Lake Street Dive
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As Heard on Public Radio:
Mountain Stage: Lake Street Dive
A Prairie Home Companion: Lake Street Dive
Fresh Air: 'Portraits' of Heartache
World Cafe: Lake Street Dive
OPB: Sessions with Lake Street Dive
WXPN: Bad Self Portraits
Lake Street Dive, now based in Brooklyn, formed when Rachael Price (vocals), Mike Olson (trumpet, guitar), Mike Calabrese(drums), and Bridget Kearney (bass) were students at Boston’s New England Conservatory. The band name is a nod to Lake Street in Minneapolis, Olson’s hometown. Describing their music as “a vivid, largely acoustic, groove-driven strain of indie pop,” the group has recorded six albums, including their most recent Bad Self Portraits.
St. Vincent by St. Vincent
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NPR: NPR Music’s 25 Favorite Albums Of 2014 (So Far)
All Songs Considered: The Year In Music (So Far), 2014
On Point: Digital Princess St. Vincent on Her Self-Titled Debut
All Songs Considered: Ambien Dreams And Naked Desert Walks: St. Vincent On Her New Album
All Things Considered: St. Vincent’s Eerie Musical Alchemy
First Listen: St. Vincent, ‘St. Vincent’
Morning Becomes Eclectic: St. Vincent
On Point: Digital Princess St. Vincent On Her Self Titled Fourth Album
The word “eccentric” pops up often in descriptions of Annie Clark and the music she performs as St. Vincent. It’s a word attached to trailblazers of many kinds. Often though not always, there’s a degree of respect wrapped up in the idea of eccentricity — and intrigue, certainly — but there’s also a gentle admonishment, a “we both know you’re breaking the rules” eyebrow-raising inherent in that descriptor. A more apt word for St. Vincent, written into every inch of her self-titled fourth album, is fearless.
Clark credits David Byrne, her collaborator on 2012’s Love This Giant, with teaching her fearlessness. While it’s true that she started work on this record 36 hours after returning home from a tour with Byrne, and while that project (particularly its irrepressible horn section) is writ large upon this one, Clark doesn’t give herself enough credit. She’s been making unapologetically individual music since her 2007 debut Marry Me, and she continues to rewrite the boundaries of contemporary indie rock with each of her projects. That, too, is where eccentricity as a concept fails to capture Clark’s quiddity. It’s not strangeness that dominates her music, but a sense of exploration, experimentation and artistic discovery, executed with impeccable production instincts. Every defiant growl, jaded vocal fry and distorted guitar lick on St. Vincent flirts with the avant garde, yet uses an accessible, if inventive, musical vocabulary to do so.
Favorite Song: “What I love about this record is how she advances the sound of a guitar without it sounding like where guitars often go when they try to be non-guitars: in the land of synthesizers. There’s something that goes between the grunge of a guitar and the incredible harmonics that synthesizers are capable of, so it’s really rich and different than the normal guitar sound. I love her for that.” —Bob Boilen
Out Among the Stars by Johnny Cash
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Q with Jian Ghomeshi: New Music from Johnny Cash
Nashville Public Radio: Masterpiece or Pretty Good Songs?
The Current: Johnny Cash’s lost album, ‘Out Among the Stars’, releases today
Discovered in 2012, Out Among The Stars is truly a lost, previously unreleased Johnny Cash album. These aren’t alternate takes or different versions of songs that you’ve heard. These are brand new songs to the Cash canon.Completed in 2013 by Johnny’s only son John Carter Cash, Out Among The Stars is a pivotal Johnny Cash album lost in time, and now ready to become a classic.
English Oceans by Drive-By Truckers
The Current: Drive By Truckers in Studio
The Current: Video - Drive By Truckers
Mountain Stage: Drive-By Truckers On Mountain Stage
English Oceans, the band’s 12th release, is an elegantly balanced and deeply engaged new effort that finds the group refreshed and firing on all cylinders. ‘It can go from this chainsaw rock ‘n’ roll to this very delicate, pretty-sounding stuff,’ says Mike Cooley.
English Oceans was recorded over 13 sessions at Chase Park Transduction Studios in Athens, GA with their longtime producer, David Barbe. Cooley fans will be happy that he brought six new songs to the sessions and this record marks the first time that Cooley sings a song penned by Patterson Hood on ‘Til He s Dead or Rises.’
In typical DBT fashion the songs depict an array of characters. ‘Pauline Hawkins,’ is based on a new novel by Willy Vlautin. DBT’s ever-keen political edge can be seen in two songs on the record. Cooley s ‘Made Up English Oceans’ and Hood’s ‘The Part of Him.’ ‘It’s about political assholery — there’s someone new playing that role every few months,’ says Hood. ‘Grand Canyon,’ the final song on the album, is an emotionally overwhelming tribute to Craig Lieske, a longtime member of DBT’s touring family. Lieske died suddenly in January and the album is dedicated to him.
The album was recorded with a compact, retooled lineup. Jay Gonzalez, who joined the band in 2008 as keyboardist, has added guitar to his duties, while bassist Matt Patton was drafted from the Tuscaloosa group The Dexateens. ‘It’s a very tasteful group, and when it needs to be it can be a very big, powerful, over-the-top band, too, and it can go from one to the other seamlessly,’ says Hood.
The Punk Singer
NPR: Silent For Years, A Riot Grrrl Steps Back To The Mic
Day to Day: Kathleen Hanna: A Riot Grrrl’s New Act
All Things Considered: Bikini Kill Rises Again, No Less Relevant
NPR’s The Record: Revolution Girl Style, 20 Years Later
Fresh Air: Kathleen Hanna and Johanna Fateman of the Band, Le Tigre
Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill and dance-punk trio Le Tigre, rose to national attention as the reluctant but never shy voice of the riot grrrl movement. In so doing she became both one of the most famously outspoken feminist icons and a cultural lightning rod. While her critics wished she would just shut up, her fans hoped she never would. So when in 2005 Hanna stopped shouting, many wondered why. Through 20 years of archival footage and intimate interviews with Hanna and those who were part of the scene, including music legends Joan Jett and Adam Horowitz, THE PUNK SINGER takes viewers on a fascinating tour of contemporary music and offers a never-before-seen view into the life of this fearless leader.
Supermodel by Foster the People
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Morning Edition: For Foster the People Frontman, Fame and Isolation
The Current: ‘Supermodel” Review by Mac Wilson
Supermodel is the highly anticipated new album from Foster The People featuring first single “Coming of Age.” Produced by Paul Epworth, the globally influenced album is the follow-up to the group’s critically acclaimed 2011 debut Torches. Recorded in various locations around the world, Supermodel began as frontman Mark Foster and producer Paul Epworth set up a writing studio in a riad in Essaouira, Morocco at the end of 2012. “We didn’t have any rules. We just created as much as we could in seven days,” Foster recalls, “And in the spirit of wanderlust and discovery we ended up stumbling on the musical identity of what this record was going to feel like.”From Morocco the album continued to migrate with Foster and the band. Work continued at Woodshed Studios in Malibu, Henson Studios and Bronson Island in Los Angeles and was finished at Epworth’s Wolf Tone Studios in London.
Heart Murmurs by Jeremy Messersmith
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The Current: Heart Murmurs Session with Jeremy Messersmith
The Current: Friday Five feat ‘Ghost’ by Jeremy Messersmith
The Current: Review - Heart Murmurs
World Cafe: Jeremy Messersmith
Here & Now: Song of the Week - Tourniquet by Jeremy Messersmith
Soundcheck: Infectious and Aching Pop Standards
First Listen: Heart Murmurs
2014 release, the fifth album from the Minneapolis-based Indie singer/songwriter. Heart Murmurs is the follow-up to his 2012 album paper Moon. Features the single ‘Tourniquet’.
Teeth Dreams by The Hold Steady
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The Current: Hear the Hold Steady’s new single ‘I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You’
The Current: The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn talks about his days as a college music journalist
The Current: Craig Finn Performs in the UBS Forum
The Current: Craig Finn of the Hold Steady talks with host Mary Lucia
The Current: Theft of the Dial: Craig Finn
The Current: Craig Finn says he’s disappointed in the music played at Target Field
The Current: The Hold Steady performs in The Current studio
The Current: The Hold Steady hold court
The Current: Hold Steady perform in studio
The Current: Hold Steady performs in studio
The Current: Slideshow: The Hold Steady at Rock the Garden 2012
The Current: Album Review: Craig Finn - Clear Heart Full Eyes
The Current: Album Review: The Hold Steady - Heaven is Whenever
Teeth Dreams is the sixth album from one of America’s most acclaimed rock bands.
This is their first release in four years. Their last, Heaven is Whenever, came out in May 2010.
The songs on Teeth Dreams came together over the past three years. Many of them went through significant changes along the way. Four years is the most time between any two The Hold Steady releases.
Guitarist Steve Selvidge joined The Hold Steady for the Heaven is Whenever tour. Teeth Dreams is the first THS release where Selvidge participated in the writing and recording. A number of the songs were written at sessions in Memphis, where Steve lives.
The album was produced and mixed by Nick Raskulinecz. Nick has produced records by Foo Fighters, Rush, Alice in Chains, Deftones, Ghost and more.
Teeth Dreams was recorded and mixed at Rock Falcon Studios in Franklin,TN. It is the first record that THS has made outside of the NYC area.
This five-piece line up (two guitars, bass, drums, vocals) of the band showcases a bigger and tougher sound. The guitars are especially present on this release.
This is the first release on the band’s own Positive Jams imprint, which is in partnership with Washington Square/Razor & Tie.
The title Teeth Dreams refers to a common nighttime dream. Dreams about teeth are usually triggered by anxiety. Anxiety is a theme that shows up in a number of songs on the album.
The band recently launched an official fan club called The Unified Scene, and released a five song covers EP to the members of the club.
The Hold Steady played their first show in 2003. They are entering their second decade as a band. The Hold Steady has been cited as influential by numerous rock acts such as Japandroids, Titus Andronicus, Frank Turner and many others.
THS has toured heavily, and has played at least one show in all 50 states. They achieved this in summer 2013 when they played a show in Wyoming, the last state on their list.
G I R L by Pharrell Williams
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TED Radio Hour: Is There A Secret To Happiness?
Fresh Air: Pharrell Williams Just Exhilaratingly Happy
Morning Edition: Pharrell Williams On Juxtaposition And Seeing Sounds
All Things Considered: Pharrell Williams Blurs Lines With Daylong Music Video
Dinner Party Download: Pharrell
NPR’s The Record: A Rational Conversation: Ambition Returns To The Music Video
NPR’s Monkey See: Pharrell Williams And The Power Hat
Music Review: Hats Off To Pharrell’s New Album
Redefining cool for a new generation, Pharrell Williams is a creative force, using music, fashion, and design to express his distinctive style. From his beginnings as a teenage prodigy and multi-instrumentalist in Virginia Beach back in the early ’90s, through enough hits to earn him Billboard’s Producer of the Decade in 2010, to his current status as multi-media superstar, Williams has never stopped creating. Starting his producing career as one half of The Neptunes with Chad Hugo, Williams has helped create such classics as Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” Nelly’s “Hot in Herre,” Jay-Z’s “I Just Wanna Love U (Give it 2 Me),” Britney Spears’s “I’m A Slave 4 U,” and Justin Timberlake’s “Like I Love You.”
With over 100 million copies of his productions sold, his music sounds like something no one else has thought of just yet. He’s also created a new way of looking at established stars like SnoopDogg, Madonna, and even the Rolling Stones. Over four albums, Williams and Hugo along with Shae Haley created an unpredictable hybrid as part of the alt-rock/hip-hop group N.E.R.D. His prolific body of work also ranges from designing a sculpture with Tokyo-born artist Takashi Murakami to accessories and jewelry for luxury goods brands Louis Vuittonand Moncler. Now, with his latest venture i am OTHER a multi-media creative collective that serves as an umbrella for all his endeavors, including Billionaire Boys Club & ICECREAM apparel, textile company Bionic Yarn and dedicated YouTube channel Williams’ vision continues to push pop culture forward.
G I R L is Pharrell’s highly anticipated new album, and features the hit single, “Happy”, an international phenomenon and radio smash. “Happy” was first featured on Despicable Me 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). It is nominated for an OSCAR this year for Best Original Song, and Pharrell will perform “Happy” on the OSCARs on March 2nd, on ABC.
"Happy" has sold more than 2.3 million tracks worldwide, and has topped the chart in more than 175 countries. Currently in the US, the song generates over 120 million weekly audience impressions across 6 radio formats - Top 40, Rhythm, Hot AC, Urban, Urban AC, and AAA. "Happy" has also just been certified Platinum.
In addItion to the excitement of Pharrell’s new album, he just took home four Grammy Awards, including including Producer of the Year, Album of the Year for Daft Punk s Random Access Memories, and Record of the Year as well as Best Pop Duo/Performance for Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”.
30th Anniversary Concert Celebration by Bob Dylan
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The Current: From Another World: Bob Dylan tribute album features a global village of musicians
The Current: The best-selling Minnesota albums of all time
The Current: The best-selling Minnesota singles of all time
The Current: 9 random facts about Minnesota artists and their album sales
On October 16, 1992, New York City’s hottest concert ticket was the live gathering of musical giants, legend and archetypes who’d come to Madison Square Garden to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s first Columbia Records album and play a selection of Dylan songs from culturally iconic (John Mellencamp’s no-nonsense “Like A Rolling Stone”) to bootleg obscure (Lou Reed’s acerbic take on “Foot of Pride”) that had moved and inspired them over the decades.
The four hour show, performed for a sold-out audience of more than 18,000 fans and live-cast around the world, brought together an unprecedented roster of artists and icons including Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, Lou Reed, The Clancy Brothers, Ritchie Havens, Johnny Winter, Roger McGuinn, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Ron Wood, Chrissie Hynde, The O’Jays, Eddie Vedder, Sinéad O’Connor, Tracy Chapman, George Harrison (then making his first US concert appearance in 18 years) and more. Providing musical backing throughout the show was an ensemble dream team featuring three members of Booker T. & The M.G.’s, G.E. Smith on guitar with Jim Keltner and Anton Fig on drums.
Dubbed “Bobfest” on stage by a jubilant Neil Young, the 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration reached a transcendent crescendo with an unforgettable performance and all-star jam featuring the evening’s honoree.
Viewed anew from a 20-year perspective, Bob Dylan - The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration - Deluxe Edition is a remarkable testament to the enduring legacy and ongoing musical influence of Bob Dylan. That valedictory gathering from more than 20 years ago proved to be a mid-career retrospective of a recording artist and performer who continues to inform and transform the cultural landscape.
Morning Phase by Beck
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NPR: NPR Music’s 25 Favorite Albums Of 2014 (So Far)
Morning Edition: Beck’s Long Balancing Act
All Things Considered: Beck Discusses “Morning Phase”
First Listen: Morning Phase by Beck
The Take Two: New Music Tuesday with Beck & Silversun Pickups
The Current: Album Review - Morning Phase by Beck
Morning Phase is true to its title: the beginning of yet another amazing chapter in Beck’s peerless career and catalogue. Featuring musicians who have backed him on many of his most acclaimed albums, as well as the current live shows widely hailed as the best of his career (Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Joey Waronker, Smokey Hormel, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., and Jason Falkner), Morning Phase harkens back to the stunning harmonies, song craft and staggering emotional impact of Beck’s most classic ballads, all the while surging forward with undeniable optimism.
Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles by Suzanne Vega
World Cafe: Suzanne Vega
Tiny Desk Concert: Suzanne Vega
Widely regarded as one of the most brilliant songwriters of her generation, Suzanne Vega emerged as a leading figure of the folk-music revival of the early 1980s when, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, she sang what has been labeled contemporary folk or neo-folk songs of her own creation in Greenwich Village clubs. Since the release of her self-titled, critically acclaimed 1985 debut album, she has given sold-out concerts in many of the world’s best-known halls. In performances devoid of outward drama that nevertheless convey deep emotion, Vega sings in a distinctive, clear vibrato-less voice that has been described as “a cool, dry sandpaper-brushed near-whisper” and as “plaintive but disarmingly powerful.”
The Speed of Things by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
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KCRW Presents: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
Detroit indie-pop duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. present their sophomore album, The Speed Of Things, via Warner Bros. Records. The follow-up to 2011 s It’s A Corporate World was self-produced and largely inspired by today’s current internet-obsessed world. The new LP features 13 songs, including two we’re already familiar with -“If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t On The Dancefloor)” and “Hiding”- thanks to the band’s Patterns EP released in early 2013.
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NPR: Movie Review - ‘Muscle’ Packs a Whole Lotta Soul
Located alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama has helped create some of the most important and resonant songs of all time. Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, Rick Hall brought black and white together to create music for the generations. He is responsible for creating the “Muscle Shoals sound” and The Swampers, the house band at FAME Studios that eventually left to start its own successful studio known as Muscle Shoals Sound. Gregg Allman and others bear witness to Muscle Shoals’ magnetism, mystery and why it remains influential today.
Foreverly by Billie Jo Armstrong and Norah Jones
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Morning Edition: ‘Foreverly’ Yours
The Current: Album Review - Foreverly
Review by David Safar, host of The Current
Sound Opinion: Foreverly Review
WXPN: Billie Jo + Norah - Foreverly
The unlikely pairing of Green Day’s front man Billie Joe Armstrong and singer songwriter Norah Jones resulted in a tribute to the timeless voices of the duo who shaped the sound of country and rock ‘n’ roll. Inspired by the Everly Brothers’ 1958 album, Songs Our Daddy Taught Us, Billie Joe and Norah recreate the album’s original 12 songs.
On Foreverly, the duo captured the signature melodies, harmonies and rhythms from the early work of the Everly Brothers. Compare the Everly Brothers’ “Long Time Gone” with Billie Joe and Norah’s version of the song. They capture that perfect blend of the early sounds of country mixed with rockabilly. The timing and nuances of the duet performance mimic the essence of the Everly Brothers’ chemistry.