Ra Ra Riot's first two years of existence have been difficult, but the band just put out a beautifully polished and inspired debut, The Rhumb Line. Hear the group showcase the album in a full concert, webcast live from the Black Cat in Washington, D.C.
The Athens, Ga., band Of Montreal, led by frenetic frontman Kevin Barnes, has built a reputation on meticulously crafted, synth-driven psych-pop, with flamboyant production and gleeful sonic flourishes. Of Montreal brought this musical spectacle to Washington, D.C., for a full concert, webcast live at NPR.org.
Of all of Sam Phillips' roles as a musician — first as a contemporary Christian singer, later as an ornate pop artist — her latest incarnation is the most alluring. Her jangly, mostly acoustic songs rattle and shake with graceful, noirish tales of broken lives. Phillips is currently on tour in support of her latest CD, Don't Do Anything. She showcased the album in a full concert, recorded live at the Rams Head in Annapolis, Md.
The singer-songwriter took the stage at Los Angeles' club Largo for an intimate, funny show. He played song his new album, Harps and Angels and some old favorites. He told stories about his family between the songs, laughing with the band--easy, warm, charming.
Recorded at Atlanta's historic Fox Theater on July 5, Waits delivers a stunning and epic two-and-a-half hour performance, including songs he says he's never attempted outside of the studio before. Backing Waits is a five-piece group featuring Seth Ford-Young (upright bass), Patrick Warren (keyboards), Omar Torrez (guitars), Vincent Henry (woodwinds) and Casey Waits (drums and percussion). "They play with racecar precision and they are all true conjurers," Waits says. "They are all multi-instrumentalists and they polka like real men."
Just when it seemed to be permanently defunct, the British space-rock group Spiritualized returned with its first album since 2003, Songs in A&E. The band is touring in support of the disc, and lands at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club on July 25 for a live concert, webcast on NPR.org.
The Ting Tings' infectious dance rhythms (and a coveted spot in an iPod commercial) have made the English pop duo one of the year's most exciting and hyped new bands. Hear the duo, featuring drummer Jules De Martino and guitarist-singer Katie White, recorded live in concert, from Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club.