Public Radio Market presents the best of the products featured on your favorite public radio programs.
Benjamin Booker by Benjamin Booker
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All Things Considered: For Benjamin Booker, A Missed Shot Became A Music Career
The Current: Album Review: Benjamin Booker, ‘Benjamin Booker’
The Current: Benjamin Booker performs in The Current studio
KCRW: Benjamin Booker
NPR First Listen: Benjamin Booker, ‘Benjamin Booker’
World Cafe: Benjamin Booker On World Cafe
NPR All Songs TV: Benjamin Booker, ‘Have You Seen My Son?’
Benjamin Booker is a young New Orleans based singer-songwriter. He is influenced by The Gun Club, Blind Willie Johnson, and T. Rex. Benjamin Booker’s debut self-titled album was produced by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray For The Riff Raff)
Only Run by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
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Morning Becomes Eclectic: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
NPR First Listen: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, ‘Only Run’
”As Always,” the first song on Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s fourth album, is an enormous sounding rush of ambient noise, thunderclap snare shots, iridescent guitar beauty and singer Alec Ounsworth guardedly assuring, ”Sooner or later I will change/And we will be all right.” The mix of rich ambition and shaky optimism defines a band that’s traded clattery low-fi post-punk for music that’s high drama and hooky hearty….”Only Run” is an album that rarely seems overblown, even when the songs are big enough to fill a cathedral.
The Golden Echo by Kimbra
NPR First Listen: Kimbra, ‘The Golden Echo’
Kimbra’s 2nd album The Golden Echo is ambitious, sophisticated, and complex, just like its creator. The Golden Echo was produced by Rich Costey who has been on her dream list of collaborators since she was 15. The lyrics find her grappling with a range of subject matter, from feeling nostalgic about young love on “90s Music,” to being caught up in a place of narrowness on “Mad House,” to wanting to run away and make a new life on “Carolina,” to the vulnerability that follows succumbing to temptation on “Be Everlovin Ya.” Kimbra wrote several of the songs with Daniel Johns from Silverchair, another idol of hers.
Sparks by Imogen Heap
NPR First Listen: Imogen Heap, ‘Sparks’
Weekend Edition: Painting Her Songs In The Air, Imogen Heap Keeps Innovating
Grammy and Ivor Novello award winning recording artist Imogen Heap will release her highly anticipated 4th solo album “Sparks” on August 19th, 2014 through RCA Records.
Sparks has been on a well traveled journey, one which Heap began at 6am 14 March 2011, with a live stream from her home studio in a small village on the outskirts of London, gathering ‘sound seeds’ from fans and weaving them together to form the first song (Lifeline). Fast forward, 4 continents later, a dozen related projects and 14 tracks, the album cover artwork was then completed by those who pre-ordered the limited edition, super deluxe box set by sending in their footprints! The stunning piece of artwork and packaging, designed and developed over the past three years by Imogen and her creative team with CSV (the company behind Radiohead’s special packaging) it is the very first time that Imogen has released such a super deluxe package.
Says Heap, “The album began with someone sending in the sound of striking a match for what became Lifeline in March 2011. I then dived into the most immense, intense creative 2 and a half years of my life that took me all over the planet, collaborating on so many projects with so many people and often totally spontaneously. The album is then in some ways for me grounded with fans’ footprints bringing the finishing touch for the album art, as so many of them came along for the ride.”
While working on “Sparks,” Heap turned songs into projects and projects into songs, to bring her out of her studio and ‘let life in’ rather than postponing things until her album was done. This fresh approach found Imogen collaborating with everyone from her fans to unsuspecting passers-by, gardeners to filmmakers, scientists to newspaper journalists and brings us her most diverse and daring body of work to date. From the River Thames (You Know Where To Find Me) to 5000 feet up in the Himalayas (Climb to Sakteng, Cycle Song), from her local community garden (Neglected Space) to 6 weeks in the Chinese metropolis of Hangzhou (Xizi She Knows), Heap was soaking it up, writing, developing, recording and producing. Sounds of a dishwasher door to a Bhutanese dranyen, the voice of a crumbling wall to 700 fans’ becoming a spoken word chorus. Some of Heap’s projects include her brilliant Mi.Mu Gloves, developed over this album period with an incredible team of scientists, engineers and artists (Me The Machine) and dabbled in generative and reactive music with music app developers RJDJ (Run-Time) connected to a jogging app. From the deeply personal love songs Propeller Seeds and Entanglement to the crowd sourced response to the Sendai earthquake (Lifeline), her trademark honesty runs through the album.
Beefheart Vs. Zappa: When Don Met Frank
All Things Considered: Frank Zappa: A ‘Lumpy’ Legacy
Weekend Edition: Director’s Cuts: Frank Zappa’s Music Legacy
When it comes to musical eccentricity, no one has ever come close to the often strange and sometimes downright weird sonic achievements of the loosely connected Frank Vincent Zappa and Don Van Vliet. The fact that this pair of unconventional musicians and human beings ever managed to get anyone outside of their own enterprise zones to release their music in the first place is an achievement of staggering dimensions - particularly considering the conservative approach of most record companies both then and now. But it remains one that has enriched the lives of anyone who has taken the time to listen. This 2 x DVD set explores the relationship, the music and the lives of the good Captain and Uncle Frank, and in so doing it provides an unparalleled document on this oddest of couples and the anomalous art which they both produced during their fascinating lives.
No Mythologies to Follow by MØ
Dinner Party Download: Scandipop and Santigold with Danish Star MØ
Karen Marie Ørsted – or, simply, MØ, as she is known – is a Danish electronic-pop princess who has been labeled no less than “The New Grimes” by the indie music press.
The 24-year-old’s blend of soul, dance, R&B, punk, and electronic influences – all filtered through Scandanavian melancholy – have already caught the eye many, including that of super-producer Diplo, who invited her to guest on a recent track. MØ leads off her girls-night-dance-party soundtrack with a song from that former collaborator, before moving along to songs from peppy to nostalgically gritty.
The Past Is A Grotesque Animal: A Film About of Montreal
World Cafe: Of Montreal On World Cafe
KCRW Presents: Of Montreal
The Current: Of Montreal perform live in The Current studios
Tiny Desk Concert: Of Montreal
NPR’s Front Row: Of Montreal In Concert
All Songs Considered: The Crazy, Beautiful World Of Artist David Barnes
THE PAST IS A GROTESQUE ANIMAL is a personal, accessible look at an artist Kevin Barnes, frontman of the endlessly versatile indie pop band of Montreal whose pursuit to make transcendent music at all costs drives him to value art over human relationships. As he struggles with all of those around him, family and bandmates alike, he s forced to reconsider the future of the band, begging the question is this really worth it?
That’s The Way It Is (Deluxe Edition 8CD/2DVD) by Elvis Presley
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NPR: Elvis Presley At 75: Songs We Love
Monumental Definitive Edition of Elvis: That’s The Way It Is (Deluxe Edition), the King s 1970 Album & Concert Documentary, Presented Together for the First Time Ever in a Deluxe Box Set (8CD/2DVD)
This 8 CD / 2 DVD deluxe edition of Elvis: That’s The Way It Is features the six complete shows recorded and partially filmed by MGM. All the concerts have been either mixed or remixed and digitally remastered to provide the ultimate audio experience. The original RCA album is expanded with the four single sides from the period, and a selection of “fly-on-the-wall” outtakes from the June Nashville sessions that produced the majority of tracks for the album. Completing the audio section, a separate disc of insightful rehearsal highlights showcases both the hard work and the playful atmosphere that governed Elvis’ relationship with his musicians. It also includes a 80-page, 4 color book that features rare photos, memorabilia, recording data and insightful liner notes.
Finally, two DVDs featuring the original theatrical version (1970) and subsequent re-edited extended version (2000) completes the ultimate overview of this truly memorable event in the career of Elvis Presley.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol.1
Fresh Air: Sailing Through Space With ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’? Hilarious
Morning Edition: 'Guardians' Director: This Movie Needed Me!
The Current: Cube Critic: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’
WQXR: The Liberator, Guardians of the Galaxy, and More
Airtalk: Filmweek: Guardians of The Galaxy, Calvary, Get On Up and more
NPR’s Monkey See: Pop Culture Happy Hour: ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ And So Bad It’s Good
NPR’s Monkey See: 'Guardians Of The Galaxy': Let's Hear It For F.U.N.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY AWESOME MIX VOL. 1 is the collection of songs featured in the film. Music plays a major role in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY as the 1970s songs featured in the film are part of the storyline in a unique way. Explaining how the songs come to play in the story, director James Gunn says, ‘One of the main story points in the movie is that Quill has this compilation tape (Awesome Mix #1) that he got from his mother before she died that she made for him. It was of songs that she loved, all songs from the 1970s, and that’s the only thing he has left of his mother and that’s the only thing he has left of his home on Earth. He uses that as a connection to his past and to the sadness that he feels of having left all that and lost all that.’
Aranjuez by Milos
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Weekend Edition: A Guitar Hero Draws His Own Sketches Of Spain
The classical guitar we know today is a relatively recent development: the instrument took its modern form only at the end of the 19th century, after a centuries-long evolution, the penultimate manifestation of which was the smaller, six-string guitar popular in the 19th-century salon and much favored by aristocratic ladies. With the new instrument came a new repertoire, one that established the guitar as a serious recital instrument. This album Milos Karadaglics first concerto recording traces the modern guitars emergence in the strong light of Spain, the country where, more than any other, the guitar holds sway. Indeed, it is Spains national instrument.
The program is bookended by perhaps the two most popular works ever written for guitar and orchestra: Joaquín Rodrigos Concierto de Aranjuez (1939) and his Fantasía para un gentilhombre (1954). But the story of the guitar in the 20th century starts earlier than either of those much-loved works. The first major milestone is Manuel de Fallas Homenaje, a guitar solo composed in 1920 to the memory of the French composer Claude Debussy, whom Falla revered and who had died two years earlier. This was the first work for guitar by a major composer, and as such the first signal of the instruments renaissance. Debussy had offered Falla much encouragement during his seven years in Paris, where he had gone to study in one of the most creative atmospheres of the early 20th century. A great master of musical atmosphere, Falla wrote: I am interested in the relations between colors and sounds, and often melodic ideas and harmonic combinations have been suggested by a painting or an old stained-glass window. The simple gravity of the Homenaje belies its richness: many years later Benjamin Britten, after a performance by Julian Bream, expressed amazement at how much music was in so short a space.
Like many other composers at that time notably Bartok and Kodaly in Hungary, Vaughan Williams and Grainger in Britain, Canteloube in France Falla was given to incorporating folk music as part of the essentially classical language in which he wrote. His 1919 ballet El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-cornered Hat) abounds with glorious melodies and exudes a genuine sense of Spanishness, not least because it draws on traditional Andalusian melodies. From it comes the Danza del molinero (Millers dance), which takes the form of a farruca, a Flamenco form traditionally danced only by men. Not surprisingly, it makes the transition from orchestra to solo guitar with ease.
For Now I Am Winter by Ólafur Arnalds
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World Cafe: Olafur Arnalds On World Cafe
The major label debut of Icelandic composer Olafur Arnaldss features 12 original breathtaking surreal tracks.
On this album, composer Nico Muhly provided orchestral arrangements, and for the first time Arnalds introduces vocals to his soundworld. Icelandic singer Arnor Dan can be heard on four tracks.
Fresh off lauded performances at Iceland Airwaves, including an intimate KEXP live broadcast performance, Arnalds continues to steadily build a reputation as one of the worlds most bright and able young composers. On his past outings and last studio album …And They Have Escaped the Weight of Darkness, the basis was almost always piano and strings with electronic embellishments. Now the dynamic has shifted, with Arnalds thinking in terms decidedly more poppy than before. I think its by far the best thing Ive done. Im really happy that I made this decision to try something different.
The concept of evolution and seasonal change is one which has been ever-present in his music. Here it continues both musically and conceptually - a personal evolution as a composer and, for the first time, as a songwriter.
Purveying a neo-classical style with an array of influences which range from electronica to minimalism, Arnalds is an artist who draws from a variety of sources whilst maintaining his own unique sound. Since the release of his 2007 debut, Eulogy for Evolution, the26-year-old, has put his name to a variety of projects. Since 2009 he has scored films and TV shows including Another Happy Day, ITVs upcoming drama Broadchurch and the Vanessa Hudgens-starring feature film Gimme Shelter, as well as having tracks featured on the soundtracks to Hollywood hits The Hunger Games and Looper. Hes also released two EPs each composed in a week; Found Songs in 2009 and Living Room Songs in 2011.
ZOFORBIT: A Space Odyssey by ZOFO
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New Classical Tracks: Not Your Typical Piano Duet
In this third album from GRAMMY® nominated ensemble ZOFO, the critically acclaimed piano duo takes the listener on a metaphorical exploration of the galaxy with mesmerizing, outer space-themed duet works by four noted composers of the 20th and 21st centuries - Gustav Holst, George Crumb, David Lang and Urmas Sisask preformed on one piano - four hands.
Since joining forces as a professional duo in 2009, Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi - ZOFO - have electrified audiences from Carnegie Hall to Osaka, Japan with their dazzling artistry and outside-the-box thematic programming for piano-four-hands. This prize winning Steinway Artist ensemble - one of only a handful of duos worldwide devoted exclusively to piano duets - is blazing a bold new path for piano-four-hands groups by focusing on 20th and 21st century repertoire and by commissioning new works from noted composers each year.
ZOFO’s debut album MIND MELD (DSL-92151), released by Sono Luminus in April, 2012, received a 2013 GRAMMY® Award nomination in the category of Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance. MOSH PIT (DSL-92167), ZOFO’s second release, put the duo’s considerable keyboard skills to the test in exciting, high energy, evocative dance-themed duets from an all American group of noted 20th century composers.
ZOFORBIT, ZOFO’s third album with Sono Luminus, takes the listener on an intragalactic voyage through the Milky Way, with musical visits to the planets of our solar system, to bright stars of the galaxy, and back again. Estonian composer Urmas Sisask sets the mood with the other-worldly sounds of his composition The Milky Way, featuring innovative inside and outside the piano techniques that evoke a sense of the cosmos. The journey continues with a tour of Gustav Holst’s The Planets, and visits to the stars Alpha Centauri and Beta Cygni as musically envisioned by George Crumb in his one-piano-four-hands masterpiece Celestial Mechanics (Makrokosmos IV). The space exploration concludes with David Lang’s Gravity, which metaphorically coaxes the listener back to earth in slow-moving patterns of descending notes.
All the Things You Are by Leon Fleisher
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New Classical Tracks: A Record of Reminiscences
Leon Fleisher–“the pianistic find of the century,” said Pierre Monteux–was born in San Francisco in 1928 and accepted into the studio of master pianist Artur Schnabel at age nine. Seven years later Fleisher made his New York Philharmonic debut, and in 1952, won the Queen Elisabeth competition, leading to a series of legendary recordings made with conductor George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra. In 2014, Leon Fleisher, approaching his 86th birthday, completed the present recording, consisting largely of works for left hand, including one of the pianist’s specialities—Bach’s Chaconne, arranged for left hand by Brahms. The album also features works composed for Leon Fleisher by George Perle, Leon Kirchner, and Dina Koston as well as gorgeous renditions of favorites by George Gershwin and Jerome Kern. All the Things You Are is Leon Fleisher’s first solo album in nearly a decade, and is a testament to the enduring musicianship of a great artist.
The Silver Album by Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lambert Orkis
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New Classical Tracks: Expect the Unexpected
With this special 2-CD collection including world-premiere recordings of Previn and Penderecki and new recordings of Ravel and Massenet Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lambert Orkis mark 25 years of a level of artistic partnership that is rare, even in the highest echelons of concert performance
The celebrated violinist says: Meeting Lambert was a stroke of luck for me. It quickly became clear how perfectly we breathe and phrase together. With Lambert I can do anything.
It was in December 1988 that Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lambert Orkis gave their first joint recitals in America and immediately sensed that they shared a mutually sympathetic way of thinking about music which neither felt would ever change. For Anne-Sophie Mutter such an affinity is either there or it isn t. It s hard to put it into words (…) Ever since the two of them have explored the musical worlds of many different composers in a wonderful artistic partnership.
For Lambert Orkis, the question of how such a partnership between artists can survive for so long without even the faintest murmur of disagreement is very simple: We like one another, we like each other s playing and we like each other s company. This makes things a lot simpler, because we work very hard.
Of course, we talk to each other, but we say very little about interpretation. We talk about politics and religion or about her dogs and my cats and we never argue.
And about Anne-Sophie Mutter he says: Her playing is incredibly beautiful and well-informed, her taste absolutely sound, even in contemporary music. Anne-Sophie combines a very real delight in music with a spirit of adventure and an enormous passion for the matter in hand.
Variations: Haydn, Beethoven, Schumann by Emanuel Ax
Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!: Not My Job: Pianist Emanuel Ax Takes A Quiz On Axe Body Spray
Legendary pianist Emanuel Ax releases his new solo recital album Variations, featuring the artist’s premiere recordings of pieces from Haydn, Beethoven and Schumann. Throughout 2013, Ax will be performing repertoire from Variations in Los Angeles, St. Louis, Atlanta, Detroit, Washington, DC and Pittsburgh. Additionally, as an Artist in Residence with the New York Philharmonic, Ax will appear frequently throughout 2013 at Lincoln Center. From a string of early career successes in the 1970s, Emanuel Ax has emerged as one of the most versatile, brilliant, and universally respected pianists on the international concert scene. As a soloist, Ax has demonstrated a particular affinity for the Romantics, nonetheless, his repertoire is among the most diverse of any pianist today. He is also a particular champion of contemporary music, and has played and commissioned works from such composers as Joseph Schwantner, John Adams, and Christopher Rouse. Ax is considered by players and audiences alike to be a chamber musician par excellence and his frequent partners include Isaac Stern, Jaime Laredo and Richard Stolzman. His regular collaborations with cellist Yo-Yo Ma have earned Ax three of his seven Grammy® Awards.