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Sondre Lerche's Two Real Lives

This year, Sondre Lerche has had a regular studio album, Phantom Punch, and done the entire soundtrack for the film Dan in Real Life. Lerche talks about bursting through to the mainstream and performs a few songs live.

Sondre Lerche's Two Real Lives

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Whistling with Peter Bjorn and John

Peter Moran serves up a slice of the Swedish trio's catchy, catchy pop.

Whistling with Peter Bjorn and John

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The Sonorous Strings of the Erhu

It sounds almost like a violin, but not quite. The erhu is a traditional Chinese two-string instrument, played with a bow. Virtuoso soloist Ma Xiaohui demonstrates how to finesse music out of it.

Listen: Ma XiaoHui plays and chats with Robert Siegel

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Tegan and Sara's Walk in the 'Park'

The twin sisters of the Canadian acoustic pop duo Tegan and Sara play live from their newest release, The Con.

Listen: the Bryant Park interview

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Mark Olson Finds 'Salvation'

Before embarking on a solo career, Olson was a founding member of The Jayhawks. Since the band's demise in 1995, he's remained one of the most respected singer-songwriters in roots music. Hear Olson play songs from his most recent album, Salvation Blues.

Mark Olson Finds 'Salvation'

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The Merry Sound of the Pipettes

The Pipettes, an ultracool British pop trio, put a postmodern spin on songs that throw back to the sound of Phil Spector. The group is defiantly catchy, a new kind of bubblegum for listeners' ears. "We are the Pipettes," its members sing, "and we have no regrets."

The Merry Sound of the Pipettes

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Thirty Years, and the Honey Is Still 'Sweet'

After 34 years of making music, Sweet Honey in the Rock has kept its flavor and its fan base, even as its lineup has changed. The group recently visited NPR for a performance and interview, sharing old favorites and songs from its latest CD, Experience...101.

Thirty Years, and the Honey Is Still 'Sweet'

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Josh Ritter Goes to the 'Dogs'

Josh Ritter describes his new album as an attempt to stop seeking perfection and instead embrace wild music. Live in the Bryant Park studios, the Idaho-born songwriter performs "To the Dogs or Whoever."

Stephin Merritt records a Project Song for NPR. NPR hide caption

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Stephin Merritt: Two Days, 'A Million Faces'

From a group of six photos and six words, Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt picked "1974" — and an image of a man wearing a suit covered with dolls. Two days later, the song they inspired was finished.

The Musical 'Seeds' of Jesca Hoop

Unsigned and living in a van, Hoop took the Los Angeles area by storm with only a demo recording. Several years later, she has a fully fleshed-out major-label album, one that draws on sundry sounds and shape-shifting voices.

The Musical 'Seeds' of Jesca Hoop

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The Del McCoury Band Performs in Studio 4A

Several years ago, influential bluegrass musician Del McCoury decided to do away with modern concert amplification and go back to the basics: three microphones. With his sons at his side, McCoury performs and answers questions about his life in music.

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

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