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G I R L by Pharrell Williams
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
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”.
Heart Murmurs by Jeremy Messersmith
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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
014 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’.
Morning Phase by Beck
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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.
The River & The Thread by Rosanne Cash
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Fresh Air: Rosanne Cash: Seeking A ‘Thread’ Through Southern History
Song Travels: Roseanne Cash & John Leventhal
Morning Edition: Rosanne Cash’s Mythic Southern Road Trip
World Cafe: Rosanne Cash On World Cafe
The Takeaway: Rosanne Cash
Soundcheck: Roseanne Cash following the ‘River’
Morning Becomes Eclectic: Roseanne Cash
Dinner Party Download: Eavesdropping with Roseanne Cash
The Leanard Lopate Show: Roseanne Cash ‘The River & The Thread’
First Listen: The River & The Thread
Following the critical and sales triumph of 2009’s The List, Rosanne returns with The River & The Thread, which represents the culmination of an amazing career. The album, created with her longtime collaborator John Leventhal, richly evokes the Southern landscape and examines the indelible impressions it has made on our own collective culture and on Cash herself. An amazing feat of musical storytelling, The River & The Thread is sweeping in its breadth, capturing a unique, multi-generational cast of characters. While Cash and Leventhal found inspiration in the many musical styles associated with the South - swampy Delta Blues, Gospel, Appalachian Folk, Country and Rock, to name a few - this is a completely contemporary collection.
Only Me by Rhonda Vincent
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Exclusive Preview: Only Me
A Prairie Home Companion: It’s Never Too Late
Mountain Stage: Rhonda Vincent On Mountain Stage
A Prairie Home Companion: Rhonda Vincent Profile
Five-time Grammy nominee Rhonda Vincent, the New Queen of Bluegrass as deemed by the Wall Street Journal, is clearing the lane for this 2-Disc combination release that includes six-songs each of Bluegrass and Country. The project, appropriately titled Only Me, serves as a reminder why Rhonda Vincent & The Rage is the most awarded band in bluegrass music.
Sticking with her musical roots, Rhonda is joined by Daryle Singletary on We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds, while Willie Nelson adds vocals and a guitar solo to the title track.
Inventions & Sinfonias by Simone Dinnerstein
The Diane Rehm Show: Simone Dinnerstein
VPR: Simone Dinnerstein in Studio
Simone Dinnerstein began studying the piano later in life than most concert pianists. She dropped out of Julliard for a while. And she struggled for recognition. Then she scraped together the funds to record Bach’s Goldberg Variations - and her career took off. The album ranked number one on the U.S. Billboard Classical Music chart its first week out. Three subsequent solo albums also topped the charts. Now she’s taking classical music to public schools with a new endeavor she calls “Bachpacking.” Simone Dinnerstein speaks with Diane about her new album and why she’s passionate about sharing her love of Bach.
Bad Self Portrait by Lake Street Dive
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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.
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All Things Considered: 'Philomena' and the Power of a Quiet Film Score
Accompanying the films remarkable story of Philomenas extraordinary search for her long lost son, is composer Alexandre Desplats emotionally riveting score which evokes the compelling narrative of human love and loss that ultimately celebrates life, showing that there is laughter even in the darkest places. Desplats wide usage of instruments gives the film its emotional resonance with both enchantment and a beautifully touching heart.Alexandre Desplats score runs a wide spectrum of poignant and dramatic tones, perfectly complimenting the films touching story of a quest filled with laughter and joy that is often underpinned by sadness. The original motion score for Philomena marks the latest collaboration between Desplat and director Stephen Frears, with Desplat having previously created the score for Frears 2006 Academy-nominated film The Queen.
A Prairie Home Companion Anniversary Album: The First 5 Years
A Prairie Home Companion: The Finn Who Would Not Take A Sauna
Last week, we kicked off our 40 Anniversary Spotlight series by featuring the most recent release from the show, Lake Wobegon Family Reunion. When analyzing classic recordings to spotlight in honor of the upcoming 40th Anniversary of the radio show, I decided that our second featured CD should be the very first release.
I still have my brown LP of this recording! (Which I found several years after the first show in a used record store.) The LP has become a treasure that I revisit often.
This recording captures the essence of the early years of the show, which were more folky with a heavy bluegrass influence. The CD opens with “Hello Love,” the original theme song which was written by Hank Snow. Classic songs such as “Turn the Radio On” and “I’ll Keep On Loving You” are included with words from our early sponsors such as Jack’s Auto Body, Fearmonger’s, and of coarse, the ever tasty Powdermilk Biscuits.
Fan favorites, such as the hilarious spoof “The Cat Came Back,” and Garrison Keillor’s epic love poem “The Finn Who Would Not Take A Sauna” round out this collection. All in all, the collection features over 90 minutes of highlights from the first five seasons of A Prairie Home Companion. For our classic audio sample, I present “The Finn Who Would Not Take A Sauna” which was written by Garrison Keillor (also known as the poet laureate of Lake Wobegon, Margaret Haskins Durber).
Opry Legends: Gospel Favorites
PBS: There Will Be Peace in the Valley by Connie Smith
Opry Live: Softly & Tenderly by Ray Price
Classic hymns and old-time favorites performed by the legends of the Grand Ole Opry. These are the songs you’ve loved for years from some of your all-time favorite artists, now available as a complete set.
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.
The U.S. Albums by The Beatles
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NPR Artist Page: The Beatles
Fresh Air: At The BBC, The Beatles Shocked An Institution
Weekend Edition: The Beatles’ Defining Moment (Hint: It’s Not ‘Sgt. Pepper’)
All Things Considered: Days With John And Yoko: A Writer Remembers
World Cafe: World Cafe Looks Back: The Beatles
All Things Considered: Loving An Album To Death Makes A Music Fan For Life
Weekend Edition: From Elgar To Beatles: Abbey Road Blazed A Trail
Fresh Air: Behind The Scenes Of The Beatles’ ‘Magical Mystery Tour’
Fresh Air: Cynthia Lennon Reflects On Life With John
Fresh Air: Beatles’ Photographer Astrid Kirchherr Opens Up
All Songs Considered: Mono Or Stereo: Which Beatles Box Is Better?
On February 7, 1964, The Beatles arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, greeted by scores of screaming, swooning fans who rushed the gate to catch a glimpse of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr as they took their first steps on American soil. Two nights later, on Sunday, February 9, 73 million viewers in the U.S. and millions more in Canada tuned in to CBS to watch The Beatles make their American television debut on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show.’ In what remains one of the world’s top-viewed television events of all time, The Beatles performed five songs on the live broadcast and ‘Beatlemania,’ already in full, feverish bloom in The Beatles’ native U.K., was unleashed with blissful fervor across America and around the world. The British Invasion had begun.
The new 13 CD box set THE U.S. ALBUMS commemorates the 50th anniversary of these history-making events, spanning 1964’s MEET THE BEATLES! to 1970’s HEY JUDE. The Beatles’ U.S. albums differed from the band’s U.K. albums in a variety of ways, including different track lists, song mixes, album titles, and art. The box set includes the following titles:
1. MEET THE BEATLES!
2. THE BEATLES’ SECOND ALBUM
3. A HARD DAY’S NIGHT [MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK]
4. SOMETHING NEW
5. THE BEATLES’ STORY
6. BEATLES ’65
7. THE EARLY BEATLES
8. BEATLES VI
9. HELP! [MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK]
10. RUBBER SOUL
11. YESTERDAY AND TODAY
13. HEY JUDE
These albums were originally issued between 1964 and 1970 by Capitol Records, Apple Records, and United Artists in the United States. These new releases seek to replicate the unique listening experience heard by Americans at the time by preserving the sequences, timings, and artwork found on the albums. Capitol’s engineers in the 1960s took great care to produce what they believed to be the best possible sound for the playback equipment in use at that time. Due to the limitations of the record players of the day, engineers often compressed the sound by raising the volume of the softer passages and lowering the volume for the louder parts of the songs. They also reduced the bass frequencies since too much bass could cause the record to skip. In some cases, reverb was added to the tracks to make them sound more “American.”
The CDs are packaged in miniature vinyl sleeves that faithfully recreate the original U.S. LP releases down to the finest detail, including the inner sleeves. 11 original U.S. albums presented in both mono and stereo. Hey Jude and The Beatles’ Story are in stereo only. A Hard Day’s Night [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack], The Beatles’ Story, Yesterday And Today, Hey Jude and the U.S. version of Revolver are presented on CD for the first time. Yesterday And Today features the original album cover of The Beatles posing with raw meat and baby dolls. The package also comes with a collectible sticker of the subsequent Yesterday And Today cover art. Also included is a 64-page booklet which includes a new essay examining the U.S. albums and their historical significance, written by American author and television executive Bill Flanagan.
2014 Grammy Nominees
Tune in on Sunday to find out who will win but you can enjoy listening to a fine sample of artists from the top categories on this compilation cd where a portion of sales help support the Grammy Foundation and MusicCares.
Is There Anybody Out There? by A Great Big World
Watch: Say Something feat Christina Aguilera
"Say Something" is the breakout track from A Great Big World and has made quite an impact climbing the charts. The band, which features New York-based singer-songwriting duo Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino, has received critical acclaim from both the press and music community for the undeniably emotional song. They are also known for the viral hit "This Is the New Year," which solidified them as an indie pop presence with staggering YouTube views and numerous syncs on film and television. The duo crafted a six-song EP funded entirely on Kickstarter by fans which got them signed to Black Magnetic/Epic Records and are known for their positive, piano-driven pop songs and heartwarming lyrics. The group’s debut full-length album "Is There Anybody Out There?" will feature both the original and Christina Aguilera version of "Say Something."
That Girl by Jennifer Nettles
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NPR: Introducing Jennifer Nettles as a Solo Artist
Country singer Jennifer Nettles is a bit nervous about starting over. She’s spent years drawing fans and accolades as a part of Grammy Award-winning Sugarland, but now that duo is on hiatus while she sets off on her solo career.