On The Stage Names, Okkervil River's songs are sad and happy, sometimes at the same time. In an interview and performance from KUT, the band plays new songs and describes the origin of its sound, touring, South by Southwest, insomnia and influences.
The adventurous Pacifica Quartet approaches Mozart string quartets as if they were miniature operas. The group taps into the lyrical and dramatic sides of Mozart's so-called "Dissonance" quartet in the studios of WGBH in Boston.
Bird has developed a unique sound originating in blues, folk and rock. Armchair Apocrypha, the singer's eighth full-length album in ten years, showcases his ongoing evolution. Hear a performance recorded live at the Bumbershoot Festival.
Hear a performance recorded live at the Bumbershoot Festival
Trumpeter Christian Scott adds jazz improvisation to a decidedly rock-oriented palette. His sextet joined WBGO's Josh Jackson in a New York studio to play four selections from Anthem, his musical response to Hurricane Katrina, as well as to introduce an exclusive new ballad: "M.I.A."
Since writing poetry as a teenager and making his first foray into songs on 1970's 'Small Talk at 125th & Lenox,' Scott-Heron has merged message and music in a manner that's influenced countless activists and artists. Hear an interview and performance from WFUV.
Known for its fresh approach to centuries-old music, the baroque band Rebel pays a visit to NPR's studios to play lively music by Telemann that calls for the clarion sound of the valveless baroque trumpet.
More than 30 musicians have joined The Waterboys at one time or another, and the Irish band's style has varied from majestic rock to Celtic folk to the more experimental and contemporary rock of recent years. Hear leader Mike Scott and the band in an interview and performance.
The pianist has performed with legends such as Chet Baker and Lee Konitz and earned accolades from Pacific Northwest jazz publications. His playful variations and improvisations are often compared to Bill Evans. Hear an interview and performance recorded by KPLU.
The daughter of successful songwriter Terry Gilkyson, Eliza is a third generation musician who grew up in Los Angeles knowing that her life would revolve around music. Hear the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter in an interview and performance from Folk Alley.
After three albums of energetic power-pop, Vancouver band The New Pornographers slows it down with Challengers. The group performs an acoustic set at the KEXP studios and tells host Cheryl Waters how it "flailed" through writing the new album.
In this live performance at KUT, the band performs a few songs and discusses its ascent from independent cult success to full-on pop stardom. Hear acoustic versions of songs from Rilo Kiley's new album, Under the Blacklight.
The Bad Plus' members bring comedy to their not-quite-jazz music, but they're also serious musicians. The trio records mainstream popular standards and '70s progressive rock with a sense of drama. Hear an interview and in-studio performance recorded by WBGO.
The singer, songwriter and producer's latest solo album, Civilians, returns to his rootsier sounds. It's a great complement to Mary Gauthier's new album, which Henry produced; she joins him on one song in this interview and studio performance from WFUV.
Animal Collective began by intersecting folk, noise, ambient drone and psychedelic music into an intriguing, sometimes frustrating mess. The band has progressed to a unified sound, but remains rooted in melody and weirdness. Hear an interview and performance from KEXP.
One of the most impressive jazz singers to emerge from the '90s, Karrin Allyson continues to wow audiences with her expressive voice. Her latest album, Footprints, earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Hear an interview and performance recorded by KPLU.