Austin, Texas-based singer-songwriter David Dondero.
courtesy of the artist
July 25, 2010 Dondero is a brilliant storyteller and poet. His searching melodies and distinctive voice are both heartbreakingly beautiful and whimsically uplifting. But after releasing eight albums in the past decade, Dondero remains largely unknown. The Austin, Texas-based singer takes a funny swipe at his own obscurity on his latest album, Number Zero With a Bullet, available here in its entirety until Aug. 3.
July 19, 2010 Conor O'Brien essentially is Villagers. The Dublin, Ireland, native played nearly all of the instruments on the band's debut album, Becoming a Jackal, and even did the cover artwork. Though he tours with a full backing band, for this Tiny Desk performance he showed up with just his guitar. In the process, he treated the NPR staff to one of the most beautiful and memorable sets we've had here.
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July 14, 2010 The Avett Brothers have released a new video for "Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise," from the band's latest album I And Love And You. It's a spare but stunning work of art, featuring the animated paintings of Jason Ryan Mitchum.
Courtesy of the Artist
July 13, 2010 Frontman Michael Timmins tells how one of the standout tracks from the band's latest album came to be. Timmins lived briefly in China and spent his time making recordings of exotic sounds. Those tapes are the foundation for the new record.
July 12, 2010 The Walkmen's latest album, Lisbon, isn't due out until Sept. 14, but we've got a sneak preview of one of the standout tracks. "Stranded" is a soulful piece with beautiful horn parts straight out of a 1950s Sun session.
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Click the 'enlarge' link to see the full band.
courtesy of the artist
July 5, 2010 Grandaddy and Earlimart are two beautifully mopey bands that secretly just want to have fun. After years of releasing (usually) melancholy albums, members of both groups recently decided to get together and record a whole new batch of songs that are surprisingly playful and full of hope. I Heart California, coming out July 13 under the collective band name Admiral Radley, is breezy with a healthy dose of humor.
June 29, 2010 The people have spoken. After tallying thousands of votes, we discovered that a solid majority of listeners who participated picked the Gorillaz album Plastic Beach as 2010's best music to date.
June 28, 2010 Danger Mouse (a.k.a. Brian Burton) and The Shins' James Mercer recorded a homemade video of the two performing an acoustic version of "Insane Lullaby." The track originally appeared on the Danger Mouse/Sparklehorse album Dark Night of the Soul.
Left to right: David Lynch, Danger Mouse (Brian Burton), Sparklehorse (Mark Linkous).
courtesy of EMI Records
June 27, 2010 It took more than a year of closely guarded negotiations, but Dark Night of the Soul, the mysterious album from Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse and David Lynch, is finally getting an official release. It was initially announced in the spring of 2009 but never came out because of an unspecified dispute between EMI Records and producer Brian Burton (a.k.a. Danger Mouse). The album will now be released on July 13. In the meantime, you can hear the whole thing here as part of NPR Music's First Listen series.
Ryan Lott, a.k.a. Son Lux.
Courtesy the Artist
June 25, 2010 The experimental electro-rock artist Son Lux (Ryan Lott) has released a new video for his song "Weapons VII." The video features a mix of artfully stylized images, including half-naked models and Lott himself completely covered in a white powder.
Artist Vincent Valdez created this painting to accompany Ry Cooder's new song.
June 24, 2010 Arizona's ongoing battle over immigration has inspired a new single from guitarist, composer and venerated session musician Ry Cooder. The song, "Quicksand," will be released June 29, but you can hear it on the All Songs Considered blog now.
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The New Pornographers, performing live at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.
June 23, 2010 Hear the power-pop band in a full concert, recorded live from Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club.
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June 22, 2010 With half of 2010 over with, it's time for you to tell us your picks for the year's best music so far. Go to the All Songs Considered blog and vote for your favorite artists and albums. We'll reveal the results on the show on June 29.
Dublin native Conor O'Brien writes and records under the name Villagers.
May 30, 2010 Listen to Becoming a Jackal, the debut album by the Irish folk-rock band Villagers, and it's hard to believe it's the work of just one guy. Young Conor O'Brien, who says he's been "terrified of bands" ever since his previous group The Immediate broke up, plays nearly everything on this incredibly expansive record. Becoming a Jackal will be available here in its entirety until its release on June 8.
May 24, 2010 When millions of people gathered to watch the series finale of 'Lost' last night, they bid farewell not only to the characters they'd come to love, but also to the brilliant work of composer Michael Giacchino.
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