Public Radio Market presents the best of the products featured on your favorite public radio programs.
Far from Finished by Bill Cosby
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As Heard on Public Radio:
KQED Forum: Bill Cosby on 50 Years of Comedy
Morning Edition: Bill Cosby - Still Himself after All These Years
Bill Cosby is Far From Finished. In his first comedy special in thirty years, he leaves the audience asking once again, “How did he get inside our house?” Whether he’s talking about friendship, first love, marriage or raising children, the result is people laughing so hard their faces hurt, their sides are splitting and they can’t breathe. This extended concert event is a must see for your whole family.
Bill Cosby Collection - Rediscover the comic genius of Bill Cosby who earned the 12th Mark Twain Prize for American Humor (Garrison Keillor is another recipient) with this collection that explores childhood and much more: Why Is There Air? recorded live, It’s True, It’s True and his first release, Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow. After listening, you will wonder why Bill Cosby has won only 9 Grammy Awards.
The Voyager by Jenny Lewis
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NPR First Listen: Jenny Lewis, ‘The Voyager’
All Things Considered: Rainbow In The Dark: Jenny Lewis On Staring Down Sadness
Morning Edition: Jenny Lewis Stands Out with ‘Voyager’
Celebrated California singer songwriter Jenny Lewis presents The Voyager. This is the former Rilo Kiley frontwoman s third solo album and first in six years, following 2006’s Rabbit Fur Coat (with The Watson Twins) and 2008’s Acid Tongue.
The Voyager is Lewis’s most deeply personal album to date, documenting her struggle to cope following the death of her estranged father in 2010 and the subsequent break-up of Rilo Kiley. The Voyager’s rootsy, golden glow comes courtesy of Lewis and the artists she chose to produce various tracks, including Ryan Adams (who, alongside Mike Viola, produced all but three of the tracks), Beck, and Lewis’ longtime collaborator Johnathan Rice. The Voyager finds the always relatable songwriter at her sharp-witted best, singing about her recent experiences with honesty and incisiveness.
Are We There by Sharon Van Etten
Morning Becomes Eclectic: Sharon Van Etten
The Current: Sharon Van Etten performs live in The Current studio
KCRW: Sharon Van Etten, ‘Nothing Will Change’ (Live)
World Cafe: Sharon Van Etten On World Cafe
WFUV: Sharon Van Etten, ‘Taking Chances’ (Live)
NPR’s All Songs TV: Sharon Van Etten, ‘Every Time The Sun Comes Up’
All Songs Considered: New Mix: Damon Albarn, Sharon Van Etten, Beach House, More
Sharon Van Etten writes from free-flowing emotional honesty and vulnerability, creating a bond with the listener that few contemporary musicians can match. Are We There is a self-produced album of exceptional intimacy, sublime generosity, and immense breadth.
Hypnotic Eye by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
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Q with Jiam Ghomeshi: Tom Petty in Studio for the Full Hour
NPR First Listen: Hypnotic Eye by Tom Petty
Hypnotic Eye is the 13th studio album from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and the first album from the band in four years. “I knew I wanted to do a rock & roll record, ” Petty told Rolling Stone in April. “We hadn’t made a straight hard-rockin’ record, from beginning to end, in a long time.”
Yes by Jason Mraz
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Q with Jian Ghomeshi: 'Say Yes' to Jason Mraz
The singer songwriter talks about his new album and performs in the Q studio.
Acoustic Classics by Richard Thompson
Acoustic Classics, a collection of newly recorded timeless Richard Thompson songs, features 14 tracks culled from his 40-plus-year music career. For the first time ever, acoustic versions of songs like “I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight” and “Dimming of the Day” mingle with cornerstone classics like “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” and “Beeswing” as well as other acoustically rendered gems.
"I really wanted to have something that would reflect the acoustic shows," Richard explains, "But we didn’t have anything like that. Just some old, slightly scratchy recordings of solo sets that I wasn’t really happy with." His last proper solo acoustic release was the live Small Town Romance, and that was more than 30 years ago! In the meantime, the acoustic shows have evolved as a full parallel to his band tours.
Thompson was named by Rolling Stone Magazine’s as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of all time and considered one of the UK’s most outstanding songwriters and musicians. The recipient of a BBC Lifetime Achievement Award, Mojo’s Les Paul Award and curator of the prestigious Meltdown Festival at the Southbank in 2010, Thompson was most recently honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting by the Americana Music Association.
nikki nack by tUnE-yArDs
The Current: tUnE-yArDs perform live in The Current studio
NPR: tUnE-yArDs In Concert
The Current: Album Review: tUnE-yArDs, ‘Nikki Nack’
Fresh Air: Tuneyards: Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing
NPR: First Listen: tUnE-yArDs, ‘Nikki Nack’
NPR’s All Songs TV: tUnE-yArDs, ‘Water Fountain’
Folk Alley: tUnE-yArDs, Live In Concert: Newport Folk Festival 2012
World Cafe: tUnE-yArDs On World Cafe
NPR Front Row: Tuneyards in Concert
The Current Review by Mac Wilson
My kids were the ones who gave me a new perspective on Tune-Yards from the first release of the new single, “Water Fountain.” When we heard it on The Current one evening, my two-year-old daughter was particularly delighted to hear a song about a water fountain. But as we listened, she started to pay close attention to the recurring lyrical motifs: no water in the water fountain, no wood in the Woodstock, no side in the sidewalk. After hearing the song once or twice, my daughter was coining her own variations on the theme, such as “no trees in the treehouse,” etc.
Not only did Merrill Garbus create a hook so interesting that even a two-year-old can appreciate it, but she also essentially coined a new snowclone; in this case, “No X in the XY.” At its base level, her music sounds simple, but even a cursory listen immediately reveals new patterns, en route to a world that’s distinctly her own.
Tune-Yards’ new album Nikki Nack consistently blurs the line between silliness and seriousness: these are gravely serious nursery rhymes. The album title is derived from the chorus of “This Old Man,” a bunch of seemingly nonsense syllables that I’ve sung a hundred times without even really thinking about. The front cover depicts what appears to be a Fruit Roll-Up (a wonderful indulgence even as an adult) and the lyrics are rife with subtle invocation of childhood songs and mantras. You’ll hear echoes of “The Bear Went Over the Mountain” in “Time of Dark,” counting chants in “Hey Life,” and assorted references to Pop-Tarts and sippy cups. The brief “Rocking Chair,” near the album’s end, sounds like a bizarre lullaby, with the fitting refrain, “Rock me to sleep.” Even the interlude “Why Do We Dine on the Tots?” sounds like eavesdropping on a pair of kids making up a story as they go along.
Behind the wackiness, the subject matter isn’t quite as G-rated. Garbus addresses weighty issues ranging from domestic abuse, 21st-century masculinity, the verbiage of consent, and racist sports nicknames. As with Tune-Yards’ previous record, Whokill, there’s a pervasive, underlying gravitas to the topics of Garbus’ songs; it’s clearly discernible, but never overwhelming. Whenever the proceedings feel like they *might* start to seem ponderous, a song will shift its focus in another creative direction. There’s a lot to dissect here, but it’s also possible to enjoy the record without the need to dive into Thinkpiece Trench.
On “Left Behind,” Garbus invokes another musician known for his sense of playfulness, as she repeatedly hollers, “Let’s go crazy!” In reading between the lines of Nikki Nack, it’s clear to see that there’s a surfeit of evidence that our entire world is indeed progressing on a path to insanity. But one needn’t focus on that to still enjoy this album for its twists and turns, and that sense of adventure that many of us may not have felt since we were kids ourselves.
In the Lonely Hour by Sam Smith
First Listen: Sam Smith ‘In the Lonely Hour”
All Things Considered: Sam Smith: A Young Man’s Lonliness
Here & Now: New Music from Sam Smith
World Cafe: Sam Smith in Studio
British singer-songwriter Sam Smith isn’t shy. With a steady, well-trained swell of a voice and a knack for whipping in and out of his falsetto in a hairsbreadth, he doesn’t feel the need to hide — not by stifling his vocal abilities and not by ducking beneath distracting, colorful production. But on his full-length debut, In the Lonely Hour, he proves that he can play that game when he feels like it.
Pushin’ Against a Stone by Valerie June
World Cafe: Valerie June
The Current: Valerie June in Studio
All Things Considered: Valerie June on Learning to Love Perfectly imperfect Voices
Fresh Air: Valerie June Wants to be on your Mind
Fresh, young voices are exactly what the music world needs to find to prosper. And in Valerie June, the bluegrass world has found yet another strong artist to continue the stretch of winners from this genre… the alt indie folk scene is vibrant and this young lady is a perfect addition. Let’s hope airplay, record sales and more albums follow as I would love to hear what she has to say!
Ultraviolence by Lana Del Rey
Weekend Edition: Lana Del Rey: ‘I Don’t Have Other People In Mind’
NPR’s The Record: Darkness Comes Alive: The Paradox Of Lana Del Rey
All Things Considered: Album Review: ‘Ultraviolence’
The Current: Album Review: Lana Del Rey, ‘Ultraviolence’
Fresh Air: Lana Del Rey’s ‘Ultraviolence’ Has a Firm Grasp on Pop History
The Current: Lana Del Rey performs in The Current studio
The Current: Theft of the Dial: Lana Del Rey
World Cafe: Lana Del Rey On World Cafe
Brand new album from platinum, Grammy nominated recording artist Lana Del Rey! The album features the hit songs West Coast and Shades of Cool.
Lazaretto by Jack White
NPR Music: Jack White, Live In Concert
All Things Considered: From Jack White, A Fierce New Record Raised in Captivity
The Current: Album Review: Jack White, ‘Lazaretto’
All Songs Considered: Jack White’s ‘Lazaretto’: The All Songs Interview
All Songs Considered: 'Ultra LP' Version Of Jack White's New Album Has Some Crazy Surprises
The Current: Jack White unveils “High Ball Stepper”, sets release date for ‘Lazaretto’
Jack White presents his new album Lazaretto, on Third Man Records/Columbia. Lazaretto inhabits an exciting place in White’s expansive discography as the follow-up to 2012’s Gold-certified international #1 Blunderbuss, and will be preceded by first single and title track “Lazaretto,” to be released later this month.
Platinum by Miranda Lambert
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NPR: NPR Music’s 25 Favorite Albums Of 2014 (So Far)
Fresh Air: Miranda Lambert’s ‘Platinum’ Has Backyard Swagger
NPR: ‘Pricilla’ An Ode to ‘Being Queen of a King’
Best-selling and award-winning country music artist Miranda Lambert has a new album called “Platinum.” Rock critic Ken Tucker says the new album continues Lambert’s mission to create songs about women who are complex, fun-loving and assertive.
Now 50: Now That’s What I Call Music!
Weekend Edition: Now That’s What We Call a Hit CD!
Now That’s What I Call Music!, a compilation of best-selling top 40 music, released its 50th U.S. album this week.
NPR Driveway Moments for Moms
Morning Edition: 'Mom' Remembers her Olympic Past
All Things Considered: A Partially Empty Nest, with Mixed Feelings
This collection of radio moments is all about mothers, including the hilarious real-life messages Amy Borkowsky’s mother leaves on her answering machine, and Minnesotan Kevin Kling’s yearly conflict between Mother’s Day and the fishing opener. Hosted by Peter Sagal from Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! 2 hours on 2 CDs.
XSCAPE by Michael Jackson
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Xscape is the second posthumous compilation album of previously unreleased tracks by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It will be released on May 9, 2014 by Epic Records and MJJ Music. It is the second album of new material that the estate has released in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment, since Jackson’s death in late June 2009. L.A. Reid, chairman of Epic Records, curated and executively produced the album, enlisting Timbaland to lead a team of record producers to re-tool and contemporize the eight recordings selected to complete the album. Producers who worked on the album include StarGate, Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon, John McClain, and Rodney Jerkins. Jerkins produced the title song and also is the only original song producer to work on the final productions. American band The Time’s former guitarist Jesse Johnson will make a guest appearance on the album, along with fellow American artists Mary J Blige, Questlove, and D’Angelo.