Music

All Songs Considered
7:07 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Viking's Choice: Wooden Wand Is Playing At 'Debbie Harry's House'

Wooden Wand & The World War IV.
Leah Toth Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 9:26 am

"What has Wooden Wand been up to lately?" It was a simple question that turned into an epic email thread with a friend a year ago; the kind where you find yourself a sudden apologist for a sprawling, decade-long discography. There was the noise jam-band phase, the bedroom acoustic recordings mistaken for "freak folk," the major-label "flop" that had more to do with the crumbling remains of the label than the artist...

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World Cafe
12:34 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Jamie N Commons On World Cafe

Jamie N Commons.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 8:01 am

It's a story we've heard before: The British singer enamored of American music makes it his own. In the case of our guest today, Jamie N Commons, he didn't have to do it from afar.

Commons was born in Bristol, England, but moved to Chicago when he was 7. That's where he soaked up all the blues and R&B he could; he'll tell us today about an Allman Brothers concert at an early age that made a major impression. He returned to the U.K. at 19 and now, at 24, has just released his second EP, Rumble and Sway.

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First Listen
5:14 am
Wed September 25, 2013

First Listen: HAIM, 'Days Are Gone'

HAIM's new album, Days Are Gone, comes out Sept. 30.
Bella Howard Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 7:38 am

Geoff Barrow of the revered English band Portishead recently maligned the fast-rising Los Angeles sister act HAIM with a snippy tweet: Hiam [sic] sound like Shania Twain ... When did that become a good thing? To which this critic replies: Who said it isn't?

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All Songs Considered
11:30 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Fall Music Preview

Clockwise from upper left: Anna Calvi, M.I.A., Poliça, members of Los Campesinos!, Deltron 3030 and Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 12:01 pm

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Music Reviews
8:34 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Lucy Schwartz Is In Love With Her Own Voice, And That's OK

Lucy Schwartz.
Tierney Gearon Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 11:16 am

The first thing you notice about Lucy Schwartz's Timekeeper is the singer's voice — both her physical voice, which is at once ringing and adroit, and her writer's voice, which is precise yet elusive. When Schwartz sings "Ghost in My House," the production renders her tone in an echoing manner that signifies spookiness. It also suggests a metaphor — memory as a ghost, the haunting of someone who's no longer in her life. In general, Lucy Schwartz is in love with the sound of her own voice, and for once that phrase is not meant as a criticism; I think she has good reason to be.

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