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Killer Mike performing at Moogfest in October.

Watch The Best Rap Of 2012: A Conversation

December 25, 2012 – Microphone Check hosts Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Frannie Kelley remember the year in hip-hop.

A Tribute To Marvin Gaye's Forgotten Classic

December 25, 2012 – Motown legend Marvin Gaye composed the soundtrack for the film, Trouble Man.


Ranchera star Lila Downs.

Read Latin Roots: The Christmas Music Of Latin America WXPN

December 25, 2012 – Beat Latino host Catalina Maria Johnson discusses popular Latin holiday music traditions. WXPN


E.T.A. Hoffmann's original story, "Nutcracker and Mouse King," is darker and spookier than the ballet version most people know.

Read No Sugar Plums Here: The Dark, Romantic Roots Of 'The Nutcracker'

December 25, 2012 – Few people remember E.T.A. Hoffmann, but many are aware of his famous creation: The Nutcracker.


The New Standards recently performed "Snow Days" for The Current in Minneapolis.

Watch The New Standards: A Supergroup Celebrates 'Snow Days' KCMP

December 25, 2012 – Watch the Twin Cities trio perform the centerpiece to its annual holiday show for The Current. KCMP

Baltimore blues, jazz and gospel singer Lea Gilmore performing in Belgium.

Read Baltimore Singer's Big Voice Touches Siberia

December 26, 2012 – Lea Gilmore is a blues, gospel and jazz singer with a strong drive for social justice.


The Chipmunks, left to right: Simon, Theodore, Alvin.

Watch Another Year, Another 'Christmas With The Chipmunks'

December 24, 2012 – Some of the most frequently reissued holiday music of all time comes from three animated rodents.


A sampling of one listener's cherished classical Christmas albums from a few years back.

Read Whatever Happened To The Classical Christmas Album?

December 24, 2012 – The flow of classical Christmas albums has slowed, triggering a longing for past recordings.


Billy Joe Shaver.

Listen Billy Joe Shaver On Mountain Stage

December 24, 2012 – Backed by his own band, the legendary country singer-songwriter sings a few of his favorites.


Pink Martini.

Listen Pink Martini On World Cafe

December 24, 2012 – Hear the small orchestra perform holiday music from a number of countries, live in the studio.


La Havas Brings Her Soulful Songs Across The Pond

December 24, 2012 – Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with La Havas about what's at the root of her creative process.


Tracey Thorn.

Read Tracey Thorn On World Cafe WXPN

December 24, 2012 – Hear the veteran U.K. singer-songwriter perform songs from her new holiday album, Tinsel and Lights. WXPN


Bundle up like Ghostface (right) and Styles P and you'll be fine. Their group Wu Block played New York City on Wednesday.

Read The Week In Music: What To Stay In From The Cold And Read Now

December 23, 2012 – A video, a year-end essay and one piece of local reporting that say more than their headlines imply.

Choir! Choir! Choir! performs at the Toronto venue Lee's Palace, led by Daveed Goldman (left, with guitar) and Nobu Adilman.

Watch In Toronto, An Ad-Hoc Choir Becomes A Community

December 23, 2012 – The group Choir! Choir! Choir! opens its doors to anyone and tackles just about any pop song.


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