Music

By 2012, Emily Wells had been practicing her songwriting and multi-instrumental talents for over a decade, mostly in DIY mode. But the album she released that year, Mama, was a step up, deftly taking advantage of her intimacy with country and roots song forms, while also showcasing her prodigious experimental streak. It was a jewel — songs by turns knowing and playful, down-home and street-wise, razor sharp and intimate.

Musician Brooke Waggoner was on a 6 a.m. coffee run when she got a worrisome text from a friend, whose husband was apparently dealing with a life-threatening heart problem. The news gave her a shiver — and an idea.

Grindcore is about the economy of extreme music; about cramming as much metallic insanity into one minute as possible. It's been six years since the last album by Magrudergrind, a Brooklyn-via-D.C. trio that knows how to make the guitar-drums-vocals format sound something like fireworks exploding in an aluminum trash can.

"I could drop dead in the middle of this conversation," says Graham Nash. "But on the other hand so could you, no matter how old you are," he adds with mordant evenhandedness. Don't worry, the folk-rock elder statesman who's been one-third of Crosby, Stills & Nash since 1968 is just fine. "I have no intentions of leaving," he assures, "my health is pretty damn good. But you know what I mean."

Watch: Dr. Dog, Live At World Cafe

Jan 20, 2016

The Philadelphia indie-rock sextet Dr. Dog returns to its formative years with the release of Psychedelic Swamp, a "new old" album that comes out Feb. 5. The collection is a re-recording of the band's long-out-of-print debut, which was produced at home on an 8-track in the late '90s and early '00s and self-released on cassette. Those hard-to-find early recordings capture Dr.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

It's our first show with new music in 2016! After nearly two months of best-of's, holiday and Sweet 16 specials, we get back to doing what we do best and love most: playing great new music.

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