Music

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.

ODESZA On World Cafe

Jan 12, 2016

After meeting at Western Washington University in 2012, ODESZA (the duo of DJs Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight) has seen rapid success in the past few years. Twenty-one of the duo's songs have hit No. 1 on Hype Machine, and ODESZA has performed at huge American music festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, Firefly and Lollapalooza, where Mills and Knight have been joined by a live guitarist and horn section.

What's your favorite memory of listening to a David Bowie song? We want to hear your story: In an audio recording, set the scene and tell us why that particular song matters to you in a minute or less. To get the ball rolling, here are two examples from our own staff: NPR editor Dana Farrington remembers her father singing Bowie's "Letter to Hermione" as a lullaby.

Son Little is the embodiment of the truism that most overnight successes take years. Around Philadelphia, the singer/guitarist who goes by his given name Aaron Livingston has been a known entity at least since (his words) "mumbling/freestyling/singing the hook" on The Roots' "Guns Are Drawn," a dubwise track from the group's 2004 album The Tipping Point.

David Bowie: The World Cafe Sessions

Jan 12, 2016

Sometime after his first World Cafe session in 1997, recorded live at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia, David Bowie came by to chat with David Dye for back-to-back years. Both appearances happened while Bowie was on tour with new records, 2002's Heathen and 2003's Reality.

Now, in the wake of David Bowie's death Sunday, here are both of the sessions, dusted off and fresh out of the archives.

Before you've heard a note of this new Woods track, the long-running bedroom/lo-fi folk-pop concern gives away a name, an image and an association to the people in the back seats, the true heads in the room: Sun City Girls. That long-running underground outfit's glorious rip on world music, psychedelia and general prankster-isms lives on in the hazy late evenings that permeate "Sun City Creeps," the first single from Woods' upcoming album, City Sun Eater In The River Of Light.

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