Life would have no dimension if everyone occupied the center of the frame. We need those folks on the side and in the background; the ones who hold up the proceedings while adding clever and often profound asides. For more than 50 years, Donnie Fritts has moved freely in those spaces, creating a rich body of work in collaboration with some of popular music's most beloved stars — as well as a smaller but equally rich stream of his own recordings.

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Groove can be an ugly word in metal. But just because some bands haven't evolved beyond Pantera's (awesome) Cowboys From Hell, that doesn't mean the groove can't find nastier pastures. Twitching Tongues has been particularly adept at the moody mosh, where angst broods with Alice In Chains-inspired melodies, a sludgy Crowbar crunch and Colin Young's husky baritone.

The members of Nashville's slacker rock group Bully could not be more emotionally detached and dismissive than they are in a new video for the song "Too Tough." Fronted by singer Alicia Bognanno, the band members plod their way through the song in a nondescript suburban living room, completely distracted and disinterested in their own performance. Drummer Stewart Copeland intermittently grows bored and stops playing all together.

Good luck getting these tunes out of your head.

Beirut, Live In Concert

Sep 29, 2015

How does a band return from a recording hiatus that could have permanently displaced it from the audience's eye? If you are Zach Condon and Beirut, you just go about your business and pick up where you left off three years earlier. The group's First Listen Live show at Brooklyn's intimate Bell House on a rainy September night, a concert debuting many of the songs from the brand new No No No, its first album since 2011, showed that Beirut works through its obstacles.

In a town known for "keeping it weird," the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Ore., doesn't immediately stand out. But it's got plenty of character below the surface.

The interior of this 100-year-old brick building is striking — high ceilings are accented by two gorgeous antique chandeliers, and massive arched windows line the walls. But ask concertgoers what they think the most interesting feature is and one always stands out: "I hate to say it, but the flooring," Katy Stellern says, laughing.

Earthsongs is heard on 90.3fm KNBA Thursday mornings at 10:00 am and it repeats Saturday morning at 11:00 am.  This week...

   The youngest recipient to be awarded Flutist of the Year by the Native American Music Awards, Cody Blackbird speaks with us this week on when he first became interested in playing the Native American flute. We’ll discuss collaborations with other artists, his latest released album Euphoria that features electronic keys and drumbeats blended with his flute playing style, and what his experience has been like since he’s been in the industry.

World Cafe Next: Edward David Anderson

Sep 28, 2015

The music of Edward David Anderson feels well-worn. But the man who's been making it since 1997 — both on his own and with the bands Backyard Tire Fire and Brother Jed — really found his home when he arrived in L.A. (Lower Alabama, that is.)

Ian McLagan On World Cafe

Sep 28, 2015

It's bittersweet to replay this session with Ian McLagan from 2005. The British keyboardist, who died in December 2014, was known as Mac to all of his friends — and if you met him, he was your friend. McLagan was a force for fun, and his gigs in his adopted hometown of Austin, Texas, were always rowdy.