June 19, 2002 The remix of the 1968 Elvis song, "A Little Less Conversation," is a huge soccer-mania hit in Great Britain. Host Bob Edwards finds the remix has topped the charts, and is part of a Nike advertisement.
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June 14, 2002 Music reviewer Will Hermes tells us about a current fad among DJs, computer-savvy musicians and music artists. They're taking already recorded songs — some popular, some very obscure — and with the help of computer software, mixing them with new beats and sounds. The results are known as "mashups." (6:15) The music used in this piece came from http://www.base58.com. The software ACID can be found at http://www.sonicfoundry.com/products/home.asp.
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June 12, 2002 All that big, messy garage rock from a band of two playing guitar and drums? The White Stripes are gaining mainstream notoriety. Allegedly brother and sister but really ex-husband and wife, they have a candy-coated mantra and a new CD. They also had a spot on the MTV Movie Awards. Whitney Pastorek reports.
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May 27, 2002 Sun, sound, picnics, and crowds. It's a summer music festival. On the next Talk of the Nation, we'll find out about some of the best festivals across the country. Classical, jazz, folk, bluegrass, world music, blues. What's your favorite music festival? Join guest host Melinda Penkava for a look at your summer music festival picks, on Talk of the Nation from NPR News.
May 2, 2002 Thousands of fans gathered at the New Birth Baptist Church outside of Atlanta today for the funeral of singer Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes. Lopes, a member of the record-setting group TLC, was killed in an automobile accident in Honduras last week. She would have been 31 this month. NPR's Joshua Levs reports.
May 2, 2002 Pippin Ross reports on the Alloy Orchestra, a band of three musicians who use junk to make music for old silent films. The trio searched through trash piles for objects like horseshoes, radiator pipes, and bedpans out of necessity: they couldn't afford instruments.
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April 8, 2002 Jean Battey Lewis reports on a singing-dance production that teams some of the greats in choreography, theater, and art, to produce a ballet called Life's Journey. Choreographer Septime Webre of the Washington Ballet collaborated with Aisha Kahlil of the a capella group, Sweet Honey in the Rock, playwright Norman Allen, and visual artist Sam Gilliam, to create the hour-long ballet that evokes heaven and earth.
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March 14, 2002 Susan Stamberg talks with Richard Perlmutter about his CD called Beethoven's Wig. This children's CD is a series of classical music favorites, but the twist here is that Perlmutter composed silly lyrics for them that both tell a story about the artist and can help classically impaired remember the names and composers of these old faves. (5:00) Beethoven's Wig: Sing Along Symphonies, by Richard Perlmutter is on Rounder Kids records. See http://www.rounder.com.
March 2, 2002 Scott Simon is joined by Elyssa Gardner, pop music and theatre critic for USA Today. They discuss some of this years Grammy Awards losers - music that was nominated in various categories but didn't win. Gardner points out that what drives the decision to award winners has more to do with being perceived in the music industry as "hip," rather than making choices based on what is simply the best produced music.
February 8, 2002 Scratch is the name of a new documentary film chronicling the evolution of the hip-hop DJ. The film's soundtrack is a distilled version of the documentary, laced together with clips of live performances and commentary from DJs. Guest host Liane Hansen talks with Bill Laswell, the producer of the soundtrack, about the idea of "turntablism" and "DeeJaying." (7:30) The CD is from TransparentMusic. For more, visit the movie Web site and the Transparent Music Web site.
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February 5, 2002 NPR's Joe Palca reports on composer Maurice Ravel's brain. Doctors are arguing over whether his dementia was a sort of inspiration behind the repetitive, hypnotic orchestration of his masterpiece, Bolero.
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January 27, 2002 We remember harpsichordist Igor Kipnis, who died Wednesday from cancer at the age of 71.
January 22, 2002 Singer Peggy Lee died yesterday at her home in Calif. at the age of 81. She was born on May 26, 1920, in Jamestown, N.D. She said her childhood was pretty bleak and the only solace she found was music on the radio. She vowed to join that world. Lee burst into that world as the singer with Benny Goldman's band in 1941. She set out on her own and wrote and arranged such hits as, Fever, I Don't Know Enough About You, and Manana. Karen Michel has an appreciation.
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January 19, 2002 Jon Kalish reports from Chicago on folk artist-turned-violin-dealer David Bromberg. Bromberg has become an expert in American violins.
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January 10, 2002 Commentator Mitch Myers explains there's a difference between a rock "anthem" and a rock "classic." Some artists, he says, are predisposed to writing anthems. And some radio stations that claim to play classic rock regularly play anthems instead.
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