The German group The Notwist makes electronic music with laptops and samplers. They pile sounds one atop another into massive collages. Over a decade they've become known for a heavy, industrial rock sound. With their newest release, Neon Golden, the group takes a different approach. Critic Tom Moon has a review.
Where Are All the Female Music Producers? (Part 2)
In her second and final report, NPR's Neda Ulaby talks to women music producers about the difficulties of a career behind the audio console. Once you get past the drugs and the groupies, what happens if you want to raise a family? Music includes Dusty Springfield, Queens of the Stone Age and Lady Marmalade.
Where Are All the Female Music Producers? (Part 1)
A hot new film, Laurel Canyon, stars Frances McDormand as a hard-livin', hard-lovin' record producer in '70s L.A. In the real world, female record producers were virtually nonexistent in the music industry. How come? NPR's Neda Ulaby investigates in a two-part series. Today: the secret history of women rock 'n' roll producers, with music from Sheryl Crow, the Fleetwoods, the Shangri-las and Missy Elliott.
Duke Ellington in Maine
Producer Kerry Seed presents the story of Ann Searcy. Growing up, Searcy was one of the few children of color in the resort town of Old Orchard Beach, Me. Her situation attracted the attention of one of Old Orchard's most famous visitors -- Duke Ellington.
Vince Gill, Live in Studio 4A
Vince Gill is a can't-miss country music hit maker whose signature sound combines the pop feel of modern country acts with a deep love and respect of traditional country music soul. Gill sat down recently with NPR's Melissa Block to play some songs from his new album. Watch a video of Gill perform a solo rendition of "We Had It All" and hear him perform other songs exclusive to npr.org.
Musicians In Their Own Words: Regina Carter
Jazz violinist Regina Carter is featured in our occasional series, "Musicians In Their Own Words." David Schulman produced the feature.
'Leaving Mother Lake'
In the Country of Daughters, at the far western edge of China, music is a part of everyday life... but traditional marriage isn't. Lynn talks to Yang Erche Namu and Christine Mathieu, authors of the new memoir Leaving Mother Lake: A Girlhood at the Edge of the World. (Little Brown & Company; ISBN: 0316124710). The book follows Namu as she leaves her family home to become a famous singer.
'Monsoon Diary: A Memoir with Recipes'
Shoba Narayan has written about her journey from southern India to the United States in her new book Monsoon Diary: A Memoir with Recipes, celebrating food, family ties and Indian culture. View a video of Narayan demonstrating the correct way to cook vegetable dosa, and get recipes for some of the other dishes featured in Lynn Neary's report.
Love Songs Come Alive in 'Bel Canto' Style
Mexican tenor Ramon Vargas releases In My Heart, a CD of 17th and 18th century Italian love songs sung in the Bel Canto or "beautiful song" style. It's a type of operatic singing characterized by rich tonal lyricism and brilliant display of technique. NPR's Michele Norris talks with Vargas.
Daniel Lanois: 'Shine'
NPR's Melissa Block talks with Daniel Lanois, who has produced records for U2, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson Peter Gabriel and perhaps most famously, Bob Dylan's Time Out of Mind. Lanois has just released his third solo recording, called Shine. It's his first solo record in 10 years. The CD is filled with his characteristic sound, full of depth of field, subtle shifts in mood and color. Much of his sound he attributes to his choice of old microphones and some studio trickery. (The CD Shine by Daniel Lanois is on the Anti label.)
Be Good Tanyas' 'Chinatown'
The Canadian trio The Be Good Tanyas releases its second album, Chinatown. The album is a rich blend of folk, country, old-timey and new-timey music. Meredith Ochs reviews this new release.
NPR's Michele Norris speaks with Helene and Celia
Fassart, who form the group Les Nubians. They talk about how their music
blends together musical influences from their youth: jazz, soul and
traditional African rhythms. And the Fassarts tell Michele how their
French lyrics have been received by English-speaking audiences. Their latest
CD is called One Step Forward.
Cheuse Reviews Shelter From The Storm
Alan Cheuse reviews the novel Shelter from the Storm by Michael Mewshaw. Cheuse says Mewshaw is a thinking person's thriller writer.
'Scorpio Rising' Features Rock-Techno Splice
The British electronic duo Death in Vegas scores in British dance clubs by mixing rock and techno. The duo's latest CD is called Scorpio Rising. Charles de Ledesma offers a review.
Debut Recording from The Sharp Things
The New York band The Sharp Things employs a long list of instruments. Strings, wind, and brass contribute as much to their music as guitar, bass, and drums. Their debut album is Here Comes The Sharp Things. Chris Nickson reviews.
Robert Siegel Robert talks with Martin Meredith about his book Elephant Destiny: Biography of an Endangered Species in Africa. Meredith talks about the history of elephants -- from their use in warfare as a kind of tank, to their use in billiard games and piano keys in the 19th century. He also discusses the socialization of elephants.
'Future of Freedom'
NPR's John Ydstie talks to Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International, about prospects for democracy in Iraq. Zakaria is the author of the book The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad.
'Stalin's Last Crime'
NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Jonathan Brent, co-author of Stalin's Last Crime: The Plot Against Jewish Doctors, 1948-1953. In January, 1953, Stalin announced there was a conspiracy among Jewish doctors to murder Kremlin leaders and Stalin himself. After Stalin's death soon thereafter, his successors said the so-called "doctor's plot" was contrived.
Bloodshot Records' 100th
Chicago-based alternative country label Bloodshot Records began with a modest ambition: to make good music and maybe sell a few albums along the way. Bloodshot has been issuing recordings since 1994. They recently reached a milestone -- their 100th release. To celebrate, they've compiled a collection of singles and rare recordings titled Making Singles, Drinking Doubles. Meredith Ochs has a review.
Diversity Marks 2003 Pulitzer Winners
This year's Pulitzer Prizes are announced Monday. Among the winners: Samantha Powers for her book on genocide called A Problem from Hell, Jeffrey Eugenides for his novel Middlesex about a hermaphrodite, and composer John Adams for his Sept. 11th-inspired music On The Transmigration of Souls. NPR's Laura Sydell reports.
Rosanne Cash's Rules of Travel
Rosanne Cash, the daughter of country music legend Johnny Cash, is singing again -- and that's no small thing. About three years ago, large polyps on her vocal chords robbed her of her usual soft, ringing voice. But after lots of therapy, she completed her first album in seven years. Cash talks about her long path back with NPR's Melissa Block -- and listen to full-length cuts of songs from her latest CD, Rules of Travel, recorded live in NPR's Studio 4A.
Alan Cheuse reviews Property by Valerie Martin. The book takes place on a sugar cane plantation in Louisiana.
Books & Music Review Archive
Alan Cheuse's Book Review for 2001
Alan Cheuse's Summer Reading List
The Top 100 Books Since 1900