May 31, 2010 Retreating to the mountains of Oregon with producer Richard Swift, The Mynabirds' Laura Burhenn recorded a bold and powerful debut, What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood. It conjures images of a night spent dancing to classic soul records.
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Blitzen Trapper's latest album, Destroyer of the Void, is another ambitious and stylistically diverse curveball.
May 30, 2010 While it employs a similar palette to its sleepy, frequently bearded folk-rock brethren, the Oregon group undertakes some wild and dramatic shifts from album to album, genre to genre and riff to riff.
Band of Horses recorded Infinite Arms in various locations across the U.S., from northern Minnesota to the Mojave Desert and Hollywood.
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May 28, 2010 The alt-country band's new record mixes the sound of the Minnesota wilderness and the hills of the Carolinas with soaring strings. It's not surprising given the group wrote and recorded the album in many locations: in northern Minnesota, the Carolinas, Muscle Shoals in Alabama, the Mojave Desert and Hollywood.
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A fire dancer performs for crowds on the beach outside Cafe Mambo in San Antonio, on the island of Ibiza in Spain.
May 28, 2010 Every summer, fans flock from far and wide to the island of Ibiza to hear the newest dance-music releases. Known as "the Gomorrah of the Med," Ibiza hosts some of the rowdiest nightclubs in the world. Hear five of the blockbuster anthems that'll be heard pumping through the ridiculously over-watted sound systems that dot the island.
May 28, 2010 The Philadelphia band formed in 2008 and then spent two years building up buzz for its fun, free-spirited, '70s-style rock 'n' roll. Hear Free Energy perform live from WXPN in Philadelphia.
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Green Day formed in 1987 with frontman Billie Joe Armstrong (right), bassist Mike Dirnt (left) and drummer Tre Cool (center).
May 27, 2010 The frontman for the pop-punk band Green Day details the group's early days in Berkeley and describes what it's been like to see American Idiot, a new Broadway musical based on one of his albums.
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In "Don't Fall in Love With a Lonely Girl," Freedy Johnston has a breezy way with a lurid state of affairs.
May 27, 2010 Johnston isn't a flashy lyricist, but at his best, he has a subtle flair for wordplay. "Don't Fall in Love With a Lonely Girl" may seem, at first blush, like an innocuous enough title for a song, but don't be fooled: What unfolds is a wry and twisting narrative of love gone wrong, as infectious as it is infected with malice.
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Arcade Fire announced two new tracks on its website with this virtual postcard.
May 27, 2010 Hear the U.S. premiere of two new songs by Arcade Fire, from the band's upcoming album The Suburbs. All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen talks to Arcade Fire's Win and Will Butler about the record, and offers a special preview of the songs "Month of May" and "The Suburbs."
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Lee DeWyze, Ryan Seacrest and Crystal Bowersox will all be around for tonight's finale of American Idol.
May 26, 2010 Yes, Crystal Bowersox was better than Lee DeWyze on Tuesday night. She still won't win.
May 25, 2010 It used to be that the opening track to a record was what got you to go back and put on the album, at least to hear side one. But do opening tracks matter in a world where shuffle is probably more pervasive than linear listening?
Dave Rawlings Machine performs at KEXP.
May 25, 2010 Rawlings arrived at KEXP with a big cowboy hat perched on his head, a guitar in his hand and a song in his heart. With his longtime collaborator Gillian Welch and a band in tow, Rawlings performed songs from his solo debut, A Friend of a Friend.
You may know Katrina and the Waves, but you definitely know the band's timeless hit song.
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May 24, 2010 Every spring, as the sun starts to shine, DJs reach for Katrina and the Waves' "Walking on Sunshine." And since its release 25 years ago this week, just about everyone associated with the song has lived quite well off its success. As Katrina Leskanich explains, recording a timeless hit is a bit like winning the lottery.
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Paul Thorn performed on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
May 24, 2010 Thorn writes about his southern upbringing on his autobiographical ninth album, Pimps and Preachers. He sings about lessons learned from his mentors, including his Pentecostal minister father and his uncle, who pursued more licentious means of employment.
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Ratatat's new album LP4 follows up on themes from the Brooklyn electronic rock duo's previous album.
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May 23, 2010 LP4 follows up on themes from the Brooklyn electronic rock duo's previous album, but it's not just more of the same. Evan Mast and Mike Stroud have meticulously reworked these songs in the two years since they were recorded; along the way, they've incorporated a full string section and a slew of other instruments. Hear LP4 in its entirety until its release on June 8.
A long way from the scream of his youth, Roky Erickson now favors a weathered voice, which collaborator Will Sheff calls a "priceless antique."
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May 21, 2010 Instead of finding fame with the 13th Floor Elevators in the 1960s, Roky Erickson is mostly known as a cautionary tale: a man who took too many psychedelic drugs, then struggled with mental illness. Now he's back, with the indie-rock band Okkervil River in tow.
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