Music

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the helpful $40-a-pop reminders not to speed on North Capitol Street is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives. This week: a discussion of cellphone recordings at concerts.

Alaska Native Drum Making

Jul 31, 2013

Alaska Athabascan Indian moose skin Drum making and Birch Bark Baby Carrier construction.

Alaskan Native Dance and Music

Jul 31, 2013

Live demonstration at the Native Heritage Center in Anchorage {Aug 24, 2010)

"They look like the kids from Stand By Me or an old Norman Rockwell painting canted a few degrees," director Eddie O'Keefe says of the teenaged Chicago garage-rock group The Orwells. "I wanted to capture that aspect of the band in a video." The Orwells' new song, "Who Needs You," is the title track from an upcoming EP, out Sept. 10.

On this edition of All Songs Considered, host Bob Boilen returns from a long, arduous weekend of work, looking tan and rested. That's because he just got back from the Newport Folk Festival, where he spent three glorious days surrounded by love, rainbows and amazing music. But leave it to co-host Robin Hilton to harsh Bob's mellow, when he shows Bob the most horrifying publicity photo either has ever seen for a band.

Author Michael Walker says that by the end of the 1960s, you could fairly say there were two generations of baby boomers: those who had experienced that decade's peace-and-love era of music firsthand, and those who learned about it from their older brothers and sisters.

Nearly 30 years and 13 albums into a career marked by tireless creativity and remarkable consistency, Yo La Tengo's Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan and James McNew are much-loved and highly influential pioneers. That word seems as accurate a label as any, especially given that they laughed off the notion of being "godfathers" during our interview.

The rock club Maxwell's is a tiny space that's hosted some of the biggest names in music for more than 30 years. R.E.M., Nirvana and many more bands have squeezed onto Maxwell's stage in Hoboken, N.J. Native son Bruce Springsteen recorded the music video for "Glory Days" there.

After a long flurry of activity culminating in the release of The Decemberists' 2011 album The King Is Dead, frontman Colin Meloy announced his long-running, best-selling band would take a lengthy hiatus.

Andrew Bird's records have grown quieter and more intimate in recent years, but he remains a remarkably dynamic live performer: Last year's Break It Yourself wouldn't seem to be the stuff of blockbuster live shows, and yet when he took it to the stage, he injected its characteristically smart, brooding songs with surprising intensity. Of course, it helps that, 12 albums into an unpredictable career, Bird has become a cult superstar whose fans clearly fuel him onstage.

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