Top of the Pops
Guest host Liane Hansen talks about the current Billboard Magazine charts with Philadelphia Enquirer music critic Tom Moon and writer Meredith Ochs. Liane asks how an unknown artist like Ashanti can have a debut album that becomes a number one seller it's first week on the charts. They also talk about the marketing of rock music to the wrestling crowd. And they discuss the soundtrack to O Brother Where Art Thou? It's now in its 68th week on the charts. Liane asks if there is more than marketing at work to keep it there. (7:30)
Music heard in this segment is as follows: "Foolish," by Ashanti, from the CD Ashanti. "Can't Get You Out of My Head," by Kylie Manogue, from the CD Kylie. "Get the Party Started," by Pink, from the CD M!ssundaztood. "Yanking out My Heart," by Nickelback, from the CD The Scorpion King. "Indian War Whoop," by John Hartford, from the CD O Brother Where Art Thou?
On the eve of Freedom Day in South Africa, music reviewer Banning Eyre tells us of a two-CD set called South African Freedom Songs: Inspiration for Liberation. (4:15)
Patti Smith's Land
Patti Smith has just released a 2-CD set titled Land, a
compilation of her recordings from 1975 to the present. Sarah Bardeen, an editor at www.listen.com has a review. (4:00)
The CD is on Arista Records.
He's a remarkable young pianist who's playing at the New
Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival this weekend. He's not just remarkable
because he's only nine years old. But he is also remarkable because he has
autism. Margot Melnicove reports. (7:45)
Jeff Tweedy was one of the founders of Uncle Tupelo, helping create the alternative country sound the band was known for. Now he's gone on to take that pioneering spirit to pop music with the band Wilco. John Ydstie talks with him about his approach to writing songs and about the group's new album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. (8:15)
The CD is on Nonesuch Records. See www.wilcoworld.net.
Meredith Ochs has a review of a new Uncle Tupelo anthology that complies highlights from the band's four albums along with rare tracks. The collection highlights the music that helped launch a movement known as alternative country. (4:15)
The CD is 89/93: An Anthology, by Uncle Tupelo.
Released March 2002 by Columbia/Legacy; ASIN: B000063CN9
Host Liane Hansen talks with Steve Tyrell about his new CD, Standard Time. For many years, Tyrell was an accomplished record producer. He produced the Academy Award-winning B.J.Thomas tune, "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head." Now, Tyrell has a new career -- as a cabaret singer. (5:00)
The CD Standard Time is on Columbia, catalog number CD#CK86006
The Cadence of Grass
Montana resident Thomas McGuane has published a new novel called The Cadence of Grass. Alan Cheuse has review. (2:00
The publisher is Knopf.
Black Ivory Soul
West African singer Angelique Kidjo has been gaining fans on the international music scene for more than 10 years. Banning Eyre reviews her latest CD, Black Ivory Soul. (3:30)
The CD is on Sony Music Entertainment. See AngeliqueKidjo.com.
Guest host Liane Hansen speaks with singer-songwriter Ginny Owens about her latest CD, Something More. The CD is the follow-up to her debut, which won a Dove Award, the equivalent of a Grammy in the world of Christian rock. Owens describes her songs as journal entries that explore many themes in her life, not just her Christianity. (5:45)
The CD is on the Rocketown Records label. ASIN: B0000634FY.
Reviewer Alan Cheuse tells us about the latest thriller from American spy novelist Robert Littell. (2:00)
The Company is published by Overlook Press.
It Takes a Worried Man
Brendan Halpin's book, It Takes a Worried Man, describes Halpin's experience taking care of his wife when she had breast cancer. His wife suggested writing as an outlet to cope with his emotions. Liane Hansen talks with Halpin about the book that resulted. (5:00)
The publisher is Villard Books, 3/12/02.
Host John Ydstie talks with harmonica player Jerry
Portnoy. Portnoy grew up in Chicago and his dad worked on Maxwell street
where there was lots of action, including a place where blues musicians
jammed. Portnoy played harmonica with Muddy Waters band for six years but on
his new CD he plays music that comes more from big band and R&B.
The CD is called Down in the Mood Room, by Jerry Portnoy.
It's on the TinyTown Records label. See http://www.harpmaster.com/
Humanistic is the title of the first album by the Los Angeles-based band called Abandoned Pools. Tommy Walter - the lead singer - introduces to us his favorite song on the CD. The song is called "The Remedy." (2:00)
It's on Warner Brothers; ASIN: B00005OAE0. Also check out www.abandonedpools.com.
A new CD from Mali's Issa Bagayogo attempts to combine traditional African roots music and modern pop sounds into songs that don't sound like throbbing dance-club tunes. Reviewer Banning Eyre, editor of the website afropop.org, says that the CD Timbuktu strikes a magical balance between roots authenticity and 21st century hip. (3:45)
The CD is on the label Six Degrees. Catalog number 657036 1062-2.
The Fabulous Pre-Fab Gorillaz
The Gorillaz' debut album sold more than 6 million copies worldwide, and the group was nominated for MTV awards, Brit awards, even a Grammy. Their recent tour sold out premier venues in North America. Not bad for a bunch of cartoon characters. NPR's Susan Stone goes behind the curtain on All Things Considered. (8:00)
There Is a Tree More Ancient Than Eden
Reviewer Alan Cheuse tells us about the reprint of author Leon Forrest's first novel. It's called There is a Tree More Ancient Than Eden. It was first published in 1973. (1:30)
The book was reprinted by the University of Chicago Press.
Books & Music Review Archive
Alan Cheuse's Book Review for 2001
Alan Cheuse's Summer Reading List
The Top 100 Books Since 1900