Music

"Will Oldham covering Prince" once sounded like a weird and wonderful dream, but it's been a reality since shortly after the Louisville singer-songwriter recorded this version of the Sign O' The Times cornerstone for a radio session in the summer of 1994. A couple of indie-rock friends and I had pre-Internet pen pals in the U.K. who'd occasionally send us mixtapes of local singles and weirdo sonic minutiae, as well as recordings from John Peel's legendary BBC show.

Review: Eleanor Friedberger, 'New View'

Jan 13, 2016

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.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released.


Barreling on after a non-stop flurry of activity over the past eight years, Ty Segall is dropping his 10th solo album in the dead of winter, its cover depicting a Xeroxed baby head as it peers out of the fold amid a field of toner-black gradients. Staring into that disquieting image is adequate preparation for Emotional Mugger, which feels as fractured and delirious as anything he's recorded.

It's no surprise that the latest song from Violent Femmes, "Memory," feels like a classic. Frontman Gordon Gano actually wrote it a long time ago. "We even recorded it as a demo many years ago," he tells NPR Music via email. "And then it was forgotten about until digging into [our] archives, which led us to record it anew and release it."

To be a fan in 2016 is to be super-served: If you love a musician today, you're likely to find a complete catalog on streaming services, have the option of falling down YouTube rabbit holes full of bootleg recordings and rare performances, and locate radio and video sessions all over the Internet — a glut of music, available all at once. Project that onto a 10- or 20-year career, and even obsessives can get their fill eventually.

Earthsongs Week of January 11, 2016

Jan 12, 2016
Earthsongs.net

This week on Earthsongs: Born in northern Manitoba of Finnish and Ojibway background, Marc Meriläinen of Nadjiwan is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Nadjiwan’s first release, ‘Brother’. The band’s old-school 90’s rock sound, with native rhythms and some Finnish instrumentation, has been featured in both film and theater productions over the years. On the show this week, we get a preview of the new Nadjiwan album, the band’s 5th release.

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