Music

When All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen heard Car Seat Headrest's new album Teens of Denial, he immediately dubbed it "what is likely to be my No. 1 album of 2016." Twenty-three-year-old bandleader Will Toledo has brought his project from DIY Bandcamp releases onto the big stage. The group performed live at Black Cat in Washington, D.C., on Monday, May 23.

Hey, Hey, It's 50 Years Of The Monkees!

May 23, 2016

The surviving members of The Monkees are about to celebrate their 50th anniversary. To mark the occasion, they're releasing a new album, titled Good Times! Here, NPR's Stephen Thompson tells Ari Shapiro about "Me & Magdalena," a new song written for the album by Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie.

When you grow up on the prairies of Saskatchewan, you learn how to do a lot of things on your own. At least, that's how life went for Andy Shauf. So when it came time to record his new album, The Party, he decided to play almost all the instruments himself.

If Explosions In The Sky's records are watershed moments for its fans, then the band's live shows are a Biblical flood. The group recently released its sixth studio album, The Wilderness. On Thursday, Explosions In The Sky brought its epic, searching sound to a sold-out show at Washington, D.C.'s famed 9:30 Club.

Starting at 12 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 19, watch roots-rock singer-songwriter Kevin Morby and veteran English rock band The Zombies perform at World Cafe Live as part of Philadelphia's 2016 Non-COMMvention.

Derived from punk and hardcore, gang vocals are ostensibly group shout-alongs, wherein the studded choir responds to or joins the frontman with rapturous, violent barks. Even though gang vocals can extend to ska and metal, they rarely appear in pop music — or rather, when a pop song claims this sacred style, it's sterilized. On its second album, The Dream Is Over, the Toronto band PUP moves beyond its punk beginnings and turns into an anthemic and unhinged pop band. Oh, and there are gang vocals in nearly every track.

Big Thief is a band bound by great songs. Its first album opens with singer Adrianne Lenker on acoustic guitar, recorded on what sounds like an old cassette machine. By the second song, you hear the blossoming of an artist into a band, a community, a force.

The scene was electric at the B.B. King Blues Club in Times Square as Bunny Wailer, 69 years old, took the stage before a capacity crowd.

Born Neville Livingston, Bunny is the last living original member of the legendary reggae group The Wailers, which he founded along with Peter Tosh and Bob Marley in the early 1960s.

Tortoise On World Cafe

May 18, 2016

It's been more than 20 years since the post-rock instrumental band Tortoise released its first album. Now, the beloved Chicago group has a new album called The Catastrophist, which grew out of a commission the band received from the city of Chicago itself to write and perform material that saluted the city's rich history of improvisational music. The purposefully loose structures Tortoise developed for that project took on a somewhat more defined shape as The Catastrophist.

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