November 21, 2008 I recently did something I haven't done in more than 20 years: I put on a record — an actual vinyl LP — and just listened to it. The album was Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago. I had mail-ordered the record, and when I found it waiting for
November 18, 2008 The voting for the years best music has ended.We are about to post the results
November 10, 2008 Best known as the prolific and gifted frontman for the country-rock band Bright Eyes, Oberst ventured out on his own this summer. He released his first solo album in more than a decade: an eponymous sketchbook of introspective folk and rock, steeped in Americana. The new collection of songs are the centerpiece of a full concert by Oberst and his backing group, The Mystic Valley Band, recorded live from the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.
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October 27, 2008 I'm thrilled to be able to share a very special concert with you: It's the Elephant 6 Orchestra, recorded live at Chicago's Bottom Lounge, on Oct. 21.
October 27, 2008 Hear the collective, with members of Neutral Milk Hotel and many more, recorded live from Chicago.
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October 20, 2008 Dr. Dog isn't an obvious choice for one of NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concerts. The band's music can be pretty chaotic — loud and rumbling, with multiple instruments fighting to be heard.
October 14, 2008 Calexico is marking the release of its new album, Carried to Dust, with a series of videos that include some nice, live performances of their new songs. We began last month with the first and second installments of the videos. We've just got
October 8, 2008 Let's say you've got 24 hours to live. Forget all your unfulfilled dreams, the countries you haven't visited, the people you haven't seen. We're going to use these precious few hours left to listen to some music. So close the bedroom door, put on ...
October 6, 2008 Fifteen years after it was released, Exile in Guyville still resonates — if not for its faded shock value, then for its brilliant songcraft. It remains a vivid, beautifully realized pastiche of hard rock, moody piano pieces and power-pop. To mark the 15th anniversary of its release, Phair gave this live performance of the entire album, recorded at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, Calif.
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September 16, 2008 Icelandic acts like Bjork and Sigur Ros have earned the Nordic nation a reputation for strange, elfin rock. Folk-pop singer Emiliana Torrini, who grew up just outside of Reykjavik, hopes to change that. On her latest CD, Me and Armini, Torinni draws from a refreshing hodgepodge of influences.
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September 15, 2008 Pink Floyd fans have long argued over which band member was the most important. Some say it was Syd Barrett, the founding member who gave the group its name and guided the then-unknown band in maniacally imaginative directions. Others argue that i...
September 11, 2008 The Southern Gothic story-songs of country-rock singer Don Chambers hobble down lonely dirt roads, kicking up dust past ghost-town trailer parks, rusty littered yards and long-abandoned backwoods graveyards. On Zebulon, his latest CD recorded with the band Goat, Chambers serves up dark tales of hardship in the deep South.
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September 10, 2008 Predictable music is usually the most forgettable. Fortunately for electro-funk artist Benji Hughes, his debut double CD, A Love Extreme, struts with enough ear candy and lyrical surprises to make it one of the year's most memorable releases.
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September 10, 2008 I've been spending time with a preview copy of Calexico's upcoming release, Carried to Dust, and think it may be the band's best album. It's an elegantly produced collection of songs, with some wonderfully haunting moments.
September 9, 2008 Shanti and Buck Curran, who write and record under the name Arborea, are pitched as a husband-and-wife folk duo from Maine, but there's very little in their songs that resembles traditional roots music. Arborea is mostly an experimental album, with the Currans bowing and plucking their stringed instruments to create spacey, ambient drones.
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