NPR Music

One Song Considered: Julia Jacklin's 'Body'

Oct 3, 2018

Aaron Lee Tasjan has a way with words and on his latest album, Karma For Cheap, he walks a fine line between timelessness and a record very much of this moment. For instance, one of his new songs is called "The Truth Is So Hard To Believe." It's easy to think about post-truths and fake news with a title like that as a chorus, but to Tasjan, the song is about something a little more personal.

Distance begets clarity; that's as true for punks as it is for the general populace.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

Buffy Sainte-Marie, native Canadian singer-songwriter, social activist and member of the Cree First Nation, is now in her 70s and has co-authored the first and only authorized biography that tells her story — a story of a woman whose career has stretched from the coffeehouses of Toronto and Greenwich Village in the early 1960s to concert halls around the world. Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography is co-authored with Andrea Warner.

The story of how Tanya Blount and Michael Trotter met, wooed, married and became The War and Treaty says so much about our present moment. She began her music career as a teenage R&B ingenue, navigating the ups and downs of the music industry with resilience and sharp wits. He discovered his musical gifts as a soldier in Iraq and became a kind of spiritual advocate for fallen soldiers, composing songs about them for their memorial services.

A few songs into her sun-drenched Saturday Newport Folk set, Phoebe Bridgers paused and proclaimed, "I am a puddle of sweat." It was a one-liner that primed those huddled at the Harbor Stage for the 2018 Slingshot artist's catalog: details delivered with specificity and a subtle sense of humor.

Robin Hilton is out this week, so we kick off this installment of New Music Friday by blaring some Cher, whose new album of ABBA covers is a must for anyone who flipped out when the singer made her entrance in this summer's Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again.

Tuesday, Oct. 2, marks the one-year anniversary of Tom Petty's death. Members of the prolific musician's family and longtime band have spent much of the past year listening to his early and unreleased recordings. Wanting to mark the occasion, Dana Petty, wife of the late musician, and Benmont Tench, Petty's longtime keyboardist, started combing through the rock star's vault.

If you're a more detail-oriented person than I am when it comes to getting places, maybe a happy accident of music discovery like this has never happened to you. But about a decade ago, when I thought I was going to see a friend's regular drums, bass guitar indie band, I walked into the venue and saw in front of me a woman lying on the floor playing a light-up sousaphone that was pointing up at the sky, a guy on violin and a lead singer who was in the throes of klezmer-pop-party mania. Let's just say this was not my friend's indie band, and I was very thrilled to have made the mistake.

Join Fiona Ritchie for a chance to explore more highlights from the past decade of radio shows. This week, we feature music and interviews with Solas, William Jackson and Archie Fisher.

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The Wood Brothers On Mountain Stage

Sep 25, 2018

With brothers Chris Wood on bass and Oliver Wood on lead vocals and guitar, along with Jano Rix (who expertly plays percussion and keyboards and sings, simultaneously), The Wood Brothers is one of the most exciting bands to experience live. You'll hear rich harmonies, unwavering grooves and some intense, searing guitar work throughout this set, recorded during their third Mountain Stage appearance in June 2018.

It's 1988. A gallon of gas is about 90 cents. Movie tickets average $3.50 a flick. And while you were at the movies, chances are you caught Rain Man, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Big or Beetlejuice. On television, Miami Vice was still going strong, as St. Elsewhere was ending. In August, Yo! MTV Raps debuted.

Fay Milton and Ayse Hassan from Savages have a new band, except it's not a band, it's playground for all of their punk friends to rage.

It's another busy release week, with intimate home recordings from Prince, ragged rock from Metric, the angelic harmonies of Mountain Man and Richard Swift's final recordings among our shortlist for the must-hear albums out on Sep. 21. All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with NPR Music's Ann Powers, Lars Gotrich, Rodney Carmichael and Stephe Thompson, along with Nate Chinen from WBGO about the music you need to hear now.

Featured Albums:

  1. Metric: Art of Doubt
    Featured Song: "Die Happy"

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Bandcamp playlist at the bottom of the page.

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