March 1, 2010
Contact:
Emerson Brown, NPR


   

NPR MUSIC OFFERS ADVANCE STREAMS
OF HIGHLY ANTICIPATED NEW ALBUMS
FROM INDIE-ROCK FAVORITES THROUGHOUT MARCH
AS PART OF "EXCLUSIVE FIRST LISTEN" SERIES

ENTIRE ALBUMS FROM GORILLAZ, BROKEN BELLS AND THE CHIEFTAINS
AVAILABLE TODAY AT NPR.ORG/MUSIC

THE WHITE STRIPES, SHE & HIM AND MORE
ARRIVE LATER THIS MONTH

March 1, 2010; Washington, D.C. – NPR Music tips off its own version of March Madness today, beginning a month of preview pandemonium with advance streams of albums from three dream teams for music fans: Plastic Beach by Gorillaz, Broken Bells' self-titled debut and The Chieftains' San Patricio. All three are available now through March 9 for free, on-demand listening at www.npr.org/music as part of the site's "Exclusive First Listen" series. NPR Music continues to bring its A-game all month long, offering advance listens to new albums from The White Stripes, She & Him, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and Jonsi in the coming weeks.

The animated band Gorillaz, well-known for its multimedia approach to music, continues its winning collaborative style on its new album, Plastic Beach. Brit-pop star Damon Albarn (Blur), responsible for the sound, and artist Jamie Hewlett, creator of Gorillaz's signature look, have worked for more than a decade developing the band's groundbreaking direction. This album continues to expand its creative palette, featuring guest artists Snoop Dogg, Lou Reed and Mos Def. The full album can be heard now at NPR Music: www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124114812

Producer and musician Danger Mouse (a.k.a. Brian Burton) has worked with Gorillaz in the past, is a member of the hit-making duo Gnarls Barkley and now joins forces with The Shins' vocalist and guitarist, James Mercer, for another powerful combination. Though fans of each other's musical aesthetics, Broken Bells finds Burton and Mercer consciously moving out of their comfort zones and experimenting with new songwriting styles. All 10 tracks from the band's self-titled album are available to hear now – only at NPR Music: www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124018401 Broken Bells will also perform as part of NPR Music’s opening night South by Southwest showcase on March 17. Visit www.npr.org/sxsw for more details about the show and NPR Music's full SXSW coverage.

After almost 50 years together and six Grammys, the members of the traditional Irish group The Chieftains mix things up on their new album by bringing in blues-rock guitarist Ry Cooder. Their collaboration, San Patricio, blends the musical heritage of Ireland and Mexico for a concept album about Irish-Americans who deserted the United States Army to join Mexican forces in the Mexican-American War. As if Cooder weren't enough, San Patricio also boasts contributions from Linda Ronstadt, Liam Neeson and Los Tigres del Norte. This eclectic mix of history and sound can be heard in its entirety now at NPR Music: www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124086957

Throughout March, NPR Music's "Exclusive First Listen" series continues with more full album previews of prominent releases: Experience the proven red-and-white attack of The White Stripes live on Under Great White Northern Lights, featuring performances from the band's 2007 Canadian Tour (Mar. 8-16); Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward re-team as She & Him for Volume Two (Mar. 15-23); Sharon Jones And the Dap-Kings bare their retro souls on I Learned the Hard Way (Mar. 29-Apr. 6); and Sigur Ros frontman Jonsi Birgillson goes it alone on his first solo album, Go (Mar. 29-Apr. 6).

Complete track listings and album information are available at NPR Music, where there are also extensive archives of concerts, interviews and reviews with artists of all genres. NPR Music's "Exclusive First Listen" series is one of the site's most popular features, and has offered pre-release streams of albums from artists such as The Knife, Beach House, Massive Attack, Local Natives and Midlake, among many others. In addition to the streams detailed in this release, the series also currently includes Frightened Rabbit's third album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, and Joanna Newsom's Have One on Me, and is frequently updated with new material.

The "Exclusive First Listen" series is one feature of NPR Music, a free, multimedia music discovery Web site at www.npr.org/music. NPR Music celebrates great music in every genre and is an industry leader in music discovery. The free, multimedia web site at www.npr.org/music offers 300 new features monthly and an extensive archive, in collaboration with NPR's newsmagazines, 12 public radio member stations and the passionate NPR community. NPR Music creates and distributes inventive music coverage across multiple platforms – from web, to radio, to podcast, to mobile, to social media, to live events – with first listens to new albums, live performances, concerts at the Tiny Desk, interviews, reviews and blogs.