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The Musical Universe

 

Music From The Mind's Eye

Feb 18, 2021

On the cover of Pauline Anna Strom's 1982 debut, a Dali-esque eye hatches from a skyborn egg, framed by a rainbow wrapped around the cosmos. The image, painted by Richard "Karma" Moffett, sits against a plateau of perfect white; ornate calligraphic text is superimposed at the top and bottom, powder blue like the atmosphere.

Taylor Swift's latest music is a rerecorded version of her hit: "Love Story." A new version of the 2008 album it came from is out in April. It's part of a plan for her to take control of early work.

NPR Music's Tiny Desk series will celebrate Black History Month by featuring four weeks of Tiny Desk (home) concerts and playlists by Black artists spanning different genres and generations each week. The lineup includes both emerging and established artists who will be performing a Tiny Desk concert for the first time. This celebration highlights the beautiful cornucopia of Black music and our special way of presenting it. We hope you enjoy.

NPR Music's Tiny Desk series will celebrate Black History Month by featuring four weeks of Tiny Desk (home) concerts and playlists by Black artists spanning different genres and generations each week. The lineup includes both emerging and established artists who will be performing a Tiny Desk concert for the first time. This celebration highlights the beautiful cornucopia of Black music and our special way of presenting it. We hope you enjoy.

Drummer, scientist, educator and improviser Milford Graves died in his Queens, N.Y. home around 3 p.m. on Fri., Feb. 12. He was 79. Lois, his wife of sixty-one years, confirmed to NPR that the cause was congestive heart failure, related to a 2018 diagnosis of amyloid cardiomyopathy. Mr.

Rick Ross: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Feb 16, 2021

NPR Music's Tiny Desk series will celebrate Black History Month by featuring four weeks of Tiny Desk (home) concerts and playlists by Black artists spanning different genres and generations each week. The lineup includes both emerging and established artists who will be performing a Tiny Desk concert for the first time. This celebration highlights the beautiful cornucopia of Black music and our special way of presenting it. We hope you enjoy.

Carnival Was Cancelled, But The Soca Hits Kept Coming

Feb 16, 2021

Public Service Announcement: Check on your Trininadian friends. Check on all of your Caribbean friends. They're not OK. Because for perhaps the first time in Caribbean history, that time of year has rolled around and the unthinkable has become real: Trinidad Carnival. Is. Cancelled.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There's a new voice, a very new one, on the folk music scene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Louie Phipps, a singer, ukulele and guitar player from Northampton, Mass., who's just about to release his first album.

Johnny Pacheco, one of the founders of the iconic Latin music label Fania Records, died Monday at age 85.

Pacheco had been hospitalized in New Jersey for undisclosed reasons, according to Alex Masucci, the brother of Fania co-founder Jerry Masucci. No cause of death was provided.

Copyright 2021 WHYY. To see more, visit WHYY.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Tom Sweitzer knows firsthand how social isolation and loneliness are real side effects of living through a pandemic — just as mental health professionals have warned.

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Our greatest ally in life can also be a royal pain in our butt. One moment your partner may be a bundle of joy; the next they are driving you up a wall.

Singer, songwriter, guitarist and accordionist Flory Jagoda worked hard to preserve the music and language she inherited from her Sephardic Jewish ancestors in her adopted American home. Named a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2002, she died on Jan. 29 at age 97 in Alexandria, Va. at a long-term memory care facility, according to an obituary placed by her family.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FRIDAY")

REBECCA BLACK: (Singing) It's Friday, Friday...

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Rachel Martin. If you were anywhere near the Internet 10 years ago, you may have feelings about this song.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

For the second year in a row, the pandemic is disrupting Lunar New Year celebrations in the countries of Vietnam, South Korea, China and the U.S. So the ringing in of the Year of the Ox will be a largely virtual affair.

SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHICK COREA AND RETURN TO FOREVER'S "SPAIN")

SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

It's hard to pick five out of the rich cannon of Tiny Desk concerts, but since you've asked...

  • Daniel Caesar's falsetto is a gem, one that sparkles particularly well in tandem with female vocalists. So it's not surprising that the high point of an excellent 2018 performance is a duet with H.E.R. on the slow jam "Best Part."
  • Michael Kiwanuka has a soul man's voice and a folk singer's vision. These two sides of the British performer are quite apparent on his poignant 2020 pandemic year appearance.

It has been 13 years since singer Britney Spears, now 39, was placed under a legal conservatorship that removed her control over her own finances, career and well-being. In a hearing Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Judge Brenda Penny continued that arrangement — but overruled her father's objections to a third party, Bessemer Trust, having been established as co-conservator of her estate.

This story was updated at 9:28 p.m. ET on Thursday, Feb. 11.

The keyboardist, composer and bandleader Chick Corea — one of the most revered figures in contemporary jazz, but an artist whose work spanned fusion to classical — died on Feb. 9 at age 79.

"The stars fill the sky / So in love with you am I," wrote Cole Porter in "So In Love," one of countless adored songs within the Great American Songbook, and performed with stirring reverence by vocalist Brianna Thomas in this week's concert.

It's Valentine's Day week here at Alt.Latino HQ. Hopefully you've known that dizzying feeling of falling in love; if you've ever been so fortunate, you know that conveying those complex emotions can be quite difficult. And to set those indescribable feelings to music? It's a tough task that's not for the faint of heart!

Taylor Swift has kept famously busy in pandemic times: On the heels of 2019's Lover and a 2020 Netflix documentary, she's released two albums in the past seven months alone, all while fighting a public battle for control of her past recordings. Now, she's got another announcement: She's releasing a rerecorded and expanded version of her 2008 album Fearless in April, titled Fearless (Taylor's Version).

Hayley Williams Sings Herself Back To Life

Feb 11, 2021

"Myth is the threshold of history." Saidiya Hartman stakes this claim in Lose Your Mother, a tale of myth, fiction and the root causes of subjugation. Hartman, like the countless women before her, bridges the gap between fictional worlds of lived trauma and restoration. Hayley Williams, in her second solo album, counts herself among the women who blur the lines of myth and reality. On Flowers for Vases / descansos, she makes a way, but never a destination to reclaim selfhood.

Thistle & Shamrock: Mountains

Feb 11, 2021

From high ridges and peaks, to rolling hills and valleys, mountain landscapes have always found their way into songs and instrumentals. This week we're going to head to the hills with JigJam, Jamie MacLean, Al Petteway and Amy White.

NPR Music's Tiny Desk series will celebrate Black History Month by featuring four weeks of Tiny Desk (home) concerts and playlists by Black artists spanning different genres and generations each week. The lineup includes both emerging and established artists who will be performing a Tiny Desk concert for the first time. This celebration highlights the beautiful cornucopia of Black music and our special way of presenting it. We hope you enjoy.

A horn made from a conch shell over 17,000 years ago has blasted out musical notes for the first time in millennia.

Archaeologists originally found the seashell in 1931, in a French cave that contains prehistoric wall paintings. They speculated that the cave's past occupants had used the shell as a ceremonial cup for shared drinks, and that a hole in its tip was just accidental damage.

As the 2020 pandemic shutdown entered its third month last May, a nervous and exhausted world witnessed George Floyd's death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. The act was brazen, committed while several other officers idly stood by, and fully captured on video. Like so many of the men of color killed by police who came before him, Floyd was unarmed.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced the nominees for its newest class of inductees on Wednesday morning: 16 artists and groups ranging from the reigning monarch of the billionaire boys club, Jay-Z, to the pioneering women of new wave group The Go-Go's, to the queen of rock and roll herself, Tina Turner.

The 2021 nominees also include Kate Bush, Devo, Foo Fighters, Mary J. Blige, Iron Maiden, Chaka Khan, Fela Kuti, LL Cool J, New York Dolls, Rage Against the Machine, Todd Rundgren and Dionne Warwick.

When Kayhan Kalhor first left Iran, at age 17, he walked — more than 2,500 miles, to Italy. He carried only two items with him: a small backpack and his main musical instrument, the kamancheh.

If you spun the dial of your AM/FM radio on any given day in the early 1980s, chances are you heard a Pointer Sisters' record. The group was in heavy rotation in a variety of formats whose playlists included Duran Duran, Bruce Springsteen and the Human League or Patti LaBelle and Earth, Wind and Fire. The electro-pop sound of the Pointer Sisters' "Jump (For My Love)," "Automatic" or "Neutron Dance" dominated the charts during the first half of the decade.

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