April 30, 2008 The music of Asbury plays like a soundtrack to a haunted circus. It jangles and rattles with dirge-like rhythms and scratchy, distant voices. The instrumentation — glockenspiel, synths, piano — is drenched in reverb, with the wispy voice of frontman David Franklin tiptoeing delicately through the haze. Asbury's debut CD, Under the Asbury is a calming, if fantastical world, with rich character studies, sometimes haunting narratives and a touch of humor.
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April 30, 2008 I'm not a big fan of American Idol, but boredom drove me to turn it on last night, just in time to see contestant Brooke White slaughtering Neil Diamond's "I'm a Believer."
April 29, 2008 Listening to the music of New York pop quartet Melomane can be a life affirming experience. The band's cheery tunes on their latest CD, Glacier sound like an easy-breezy stroll through the park on a cloudless day. But to the group's credit, they don't suffer from blind idealism — there are shadows in the songs where darker thoughts lurk — which turns what might otherwise be saccharine pop songs into more thoughtful meditations on love and loss.
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April 14, 2008 I recently came to work with two large tote bags filled with compact discs and dumped them out on a table in the middle of the office. To me, they were garbage. But for the vultures that are my fellow NPR Music producers, it was like finding a mou...
April 12, 2008 Opening with "Hi-Speed Soul" from its 2002 album Let Go, Nada Surf performed for a sold-out crowd in a live concert webcast for NPR.org. A wistful pop song that ponders the meaning of reality, "Hi-Speed Soul" set the tone for an evening of inspired, thoughtful rock as the New York trio shared old favorites and showcased work from its latest album, Lucky.
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April 4, 2008 I've spent a lot of time giggling at my desk this week. The Wire, a weekly music magazine in Portsmouth, NH, recently gave me a digital folder filled with nearly 800 songs, all from this year's RPM Chall
March 28, 2008 These are shows I actually paid money to see:
March 18, 2008 When I first fell madly in love with Giant Drag's 2005 album Hearts and Unicorns, I never could have imagined I'd one day play a role in producing the band's much-anticipated follow-up. But today, I took a critical first step by forking over
March 14, 2008 Knowing my innumerable idiosyncrasies (I'm not much of a schmoozer and don't like having my face touched... I'm also terrified of gnomes), Stephen Thompson tried and decidedly failed to get publicists to shower kisses on me yesterday. But the day ...
March 14, 2008 When we first sat down to pick the bands we dreamed of having in the NPR Music showcases this year, each of us brought our own personal favorites to the table. Mine was The Shout Out Louds.
March 13, 2008 I can't tell you what a treat it was to get to hear Lightspeed Champion play a few songs for me and Bob Boilen at SXSW 2008. Here's the long-promised video of the performance:
March 13, 2008 If I could only have one band to listen to for the rest of my life, at this moment in time that band would be Shearwater.
March 11, 2008 It was a spectacularly beautiful day today for recording a few songs from Lightspeed Champion. Full audio and video is on its way. For now, here's Bob with Dev Hynes (left) and Mike Siddell, who's been playing violin with Dev.
March 11, 2008 Bob and I arrived in Austin, TX today for NPR Music's complete South by Southwest coverage. We've got a lot planned. For now, here's what you can count on:
February 22, 2008 NPR is lucky to get great interns. One of them this winter is Ariel Kitch, who's working for All Things Considered.
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