Music

For some, summer means swimming pools and drinks with tiny umbrellas. For others, summer means tallboys and sweaty bodies engaged in what can only be called a crusty display of full-contact Bacchanalia. "Dispatch" is the meanest and bloodiest VHÖL track to date, from a metal band that normally liquefies thrash into T-1000 badassery.

It's been nearly five years since the charming Portland folk-pop band Blind Pilot released its second and most recent album, We Are The Tide, and that record's roiling title track has only recently begun popping up in beer commercials. Given that the band used to tour up and down the West Coast via bicycle, it should come as no surprise that Blind Pilot is accustomed to taking its time.

A Homecoming For Luna — And Its Devoted Following

May 31, 2016

I was 12 years old when my older brother came home from college with a couple of Luna CDs, and they became my first favorite band. Ever since, Luna's bittersweet tunes have become the soundtrack for all of our reunions. Recently, the band announced its own reunion — including performing shows again and releasing a box set of vinyl reissues. For most people, that won't mean too much; the '90s rock group has long been, as Rolling Stone magazine put it, "the best band you've never heard of." But for me, it felt like another homecoming.

While writing for Rolling Stone in the mid-'90s, Rich Cohen got an enviable assignment: basically, to embed himself with The Rolling Stones during their tour behind Voodoo Lounge. It was the start of a relationship that's given Cohen a unique vantage point to write his new Stones history, The Sun & The Moon & The Rolling Stones. Cohen's perspective is also shaped — favorably — by the fact that he didn't grow up with The Rolling Stones' music in the '60s and '70s.

Quilt On World Cafe

May 26, 2016

The Brooklyn-based band Quilt has really solidified its sound on its new album, Plaza. The band, which was often labeled "psychedelic" when it started in Boston, has written some more straightforward, hooky songs for Plaza.

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.

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