Author Anton Treuer On Native American Tunes

Anton Treuer is the author of the book Everything You Wanted To Know About Indians But Were Afraid To Ask. During this Native American Heritage Month, he recommends some tunes for Tell Me More's 'In Your Ear' series.

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CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Now for our occasional series we call In Your Ear. That's where our guest tells us what songs they're jamming out to. And it's Native American Heritage Month so we spoke to Anton Treuer. He wrote the book "Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians But Were Afraid to Ask." And here's his crash course on Native American music.

ANTON TREUER: Hello, this is Anton Treuer and I'm listening to "Buffalo Moon" by Brule.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BUFFALO MOON")

TREUER: I really love this group. They have a great combination of traditional Native music and dance repertoire, as well as lots of modern influences.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BUFFALO MOON")

TREUER: It's a great hybrid that speaks to exactly what it means living in two worlds as a Native person.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FLAG RETIRE")

TREUER: And I really also enjoy listening to the group Little Otter. They, among other things, when they're not singing at powwows, also come to the Ceremonial Big Drums in Mille Lacs and other communities, and are some of the greatest singers we have around.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FLAG RETIRE")

TREUER: They have maintained a real strength of singing and ability to work together and have maintained traditional musical forms in a way that this kind of above and beyond what a lot of other powwow groups do.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CRAZY LUV LIFE")

TREUER: And I'm also listening to Pipestone Singers.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CRAZY LUV LIFE")

TREUER: I really love to go to powwows and Native American cultural events. And Pipestone is one of the groups that really has dominated that music genre, I guess among the top 40 of powwow music today. And I know all of the singers really well. They are, you know, some of the most talented in all of Indian Country.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CRAZY LUV LIFE")

HEADLEE: That was author and Native American history and language professor Anton Treuer telling us what's in his ear. To hear our previous conversations, go to our website at NPR.org, then click on the programs tab and hit TELL ME MORE. And that's our program for today. You've been listening to TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We'll talk more tomorrow.

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