Music

Watch Ages And Ages, Live From A Portland Church

Sep 6, 2016

Known for handclaps, group harmonies and earnest, uplifting lyrics, the Portland, Ore., band Ages And Ages changes approaches slightly on its new album, Something To Ruin. The music is just as catchy, but the subject matter has taken a dark turn for the topical, delving into booming real-estate markets, consumerism and the impending Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake.

When we settled into the studio for this week's All Songs Considered, a clear theme quickly emerged: We had a whole lot of music by artists we already adore! This includes a rare acoustic demo by R.E.M., a glorious new electro-pop cut from Sylvan Esso, a heartbreaking tribute song from Sharon Van Etten and more.

A recent tweet from Philadelphia's Mannequin Pussy says "i appreciate heartbreak only because of how transformative it can be." That may as well be the thesis of the band's forthcoming album, Romantic, though you wouldn't necessarily know it from the record's sound: brawny punk with a fuzzy pop streak.

World Cafe Next: LVL UP

Sep 5, 2016

The New York band LVL UP, whose four members met at SUNY Purchase, makes propulsive, experimental indie rock that sounds a little like Dinosaur Jr. with more pop melodies. The band is getting ready to release its third album, Return To Love, which comes out Sept. 23 on Sub Pop Records. LVL UP's two guitarists, Mike Caridi and Dave Benton, lead the way as the songs get louder and denser and turn unexpected corners. Hear two tracks at the audio link above.

Lots of people have jobs where they make their boss look good. But for over two decades, Karrie Keyes has been making sure her bosses sound good. Keyes is a sound engineer, and her bosses just happen to be Pearl Jam.

"Half our fans, they know who I am because they see me come out on stage," Keyes says. "The 'microphone girl,' because I'm checking the mics."

Okkervil River On World Cafe

Sep 2, 2016

The new Okkervil River album Away features a number of songs written very quickly by Will Sheff during sessions in the Catskills last year. He was in a period of transition: Several members of Okkervil River left the band during this time, and he also lost his beloved grandfather.

earthsongs.net

  Award-winning actor Glen Gould is also known as the country-rock recording artist, Donna’s Boy. Born in Nova Scotia and based out of Toronto, he has appeared in TV, film, and theater productions since leaving home to pursue acting at age 19. In 2015, his debut EP On the Road released. With tracks you can dance to, the album expresses political issues and tells stories of what it was like growing up in his Mi’kmaq community, incorporating horns, harmonica, fiddle, and dobro.

Jack White has shared another cut from his upcoming collection of acoustic recordings. The track is a version of The Raconteurs' "Carolina Drama," from the band's 2008 album Consolers Of The Lonely.

The original version of "Carolina Drama" is an electrified blues slow-burner. Here, the song sounds more like an old-time murder ballad, with banjo, fiddle and lap slide guitar.

In tragedy, some of us turn to God, some of us spurn God, and a few of us find solace in nothingness. But it's possible to take all three paths simultaneously when caught in a maelstrom of desperation. Nick Cave has always existed in this realm, it's what makes his work so powerful, that in-between existence that seeps into our own.

From breakups to moves to midlife crises, major change has done wonders for the creative process.

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