First Listen
7:03 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

First Listen: Spider Bags, 'Frozen Letter'

Spider Bags' new album, Frozen Letter, comes out Aug. 5.
Jeremy M. Lange Courtesy of the artist

Upon the dissolution of his old, great New Jersey punk band, the DC Snipers, Dan McGee's two former band members went the way of Horatio Alger, with Eric Holmgren running the Daggerman label in the boom-bust heyday of late '00s garage punk, and Mike Sniper helming the wildly popular Captured Tracks imprint. McGee stayed the course with music, moving down to North Carolina and toughing it out with his follow-up group, Spider Bags. Following multiple lineup and label switcheroos, McGee has stripped the group down to a trio and made another fine rock 'n' roll record in Frozen Letter.

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First Listen
7:03 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

First Listen: Adult Jazz, 'Gist Is'

Adult Jazz's new album, Gist Is, comes out Aug. 4.
James Pearson Howes Courtesy of the artist

To music obsessives of a certain age, the current generation of listeners sometimes appears as lightweight grazers at the Internet smorgasbord who seem unwilling (possibly unable) to focus attention at depth on a single piece of music. The summary dismissal: The kids today, they can't handle all of what somebody like a Frank Zappa (or a band like King Crimson) throws at them.

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First Listen
7:03 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

First Listen: Panopticon, 'Roads To The North'

Panopticon's new album, Roads To The North, comes out Aug. 5.
Courtesy of the artist

There are a couple moments in "Where Mountains Pierce the Sky" — after nine minutes of acoustic guitar, fiddle and Native American flute, what could conceivably be called a black metal riff with a pop-punk bounce and flurry of twin lead guitars — that clue you into Roads to the North's M.O. (As if the first nine minutes weren't enough.) First, the key-change climax, which may not seem like much, but this tectonic shift is the sound of a mountain piercing the damn sky. Then there's the chugga-chugga breakdown, the enemy of all that is grim.

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Middle East
1:14 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

On The Eve Of Ramadan's End, Fighting Resumes In Gaza

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Middle East
1:14 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

What Makes This Fight In Gaza Different From The Others?

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 2:52 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Iraq
1:14 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

Violence Spikes Anew In Iraq, As Islamic State Looks To Expand

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 3:23 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Music Interviews
1:14 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

Life Beyond The Dance Floor

Fin Greenall, the singer-songwriter behind the band Fink, began his music career as a DJ.
Tommy N Lance Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 3:15 pm

Fin Greenall is a singer, songwriter and guitarist. His band, Fink, has been releasing albums since 2006 and dropped its latest, Hard Believer, this month. He's also a songwriter for hire, who has lent his talents to tracks by John Legend and Amy Winehouse. But before any of this, he was a success in a very different world: dance music.

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Law
11:08 am
Sun July 27, 2014

With Judges Overriding Death Penalty Cases, Alabama Is An Outlier

Courtney Lockhart is appealing a death penalty sentence that a judge gave him in 2011, which overrode the jury's recommendation of life in prison.
Dave Martin AP

When Courtney Lockhart was tried for murder in Alabama, the jury unanimously recommended a life sentence, but the judge overrode that recommendation and sentenced Lockhart to death instead. Now the convicted murderer is asking the state Supreme Court to examine Alabama's unique process of judicial override.

Alabama is an outlier. It's the only state in which judges routinely override jury decisions not to impose the death penalty.

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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Sun July 27, 2014

Vincenzo Nibali First Italian In 15 Years To Win Tour De France

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, passes the Arc de Triomphe during the twenty-first and last stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 85.4 miles with start in Evry and finish in Paris, France.
Christophe Ena AP

Vincenzo Nibali has officially won this year's Tour de France, becoming the first Italian cyclist to do so since 1998 with a ride past fans lining Paris' Champs-Elysees.

As we reported on Saturday, Nibali, riding for Astana Pro Team, had worn the yellow jersey through most of the three-week competition that had been marked by bad weather and the relatively quick elimination of some of the favorites.

On an overcast Sunday in the French capital, Nibali rode past the Arc de Triomphe on his way to the winner's podium.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Sun July 27, 2014

U.S.: Satellite Images Show Russian Rockets Hitting Ukraine

Image released by the U.S. State Department showing what it says is evidence of Russia firing artillery into eastern Ukraine.
U.S. State Department

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 12:48 pm

Update at 4:05 p.m. ET.

The U.S. State Department has released satellite images it says back up the assertion by Washington and Kiev that Russian forces are firing artillery into eastern Ukraine in support of separatists.

In a four-page document titled Evidence of Russian Shelling into Ukraine, released Sunday, blast marks from rocket launches in Russia and craters in Ukraine can be seen, the State Department says.

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