For more than 20 years, the alt-rock duo They Might Be Giants has been playing clever and contagious music for fans of all ages. Winning over college campuses and preschools simultaneously, TMBG has never compromised the quirky lyrics and eclectic sound for which it's loved.
They Might Be Giants in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 06/30/2006
The brother-sister duo Fiery Furnaces make wildly experimental music thats as playful as it is unpredictable. Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger, on tour for their latest CD Bitter Tea, visit Washington, D.C. for a night of music originally webcast live on NPR.org June 30.
Alejandro Escovedo has been hailed as a poet, as a storyteller, and as one of the most important musicians of the last quarter-century. He blends rock, folk, blues and classically influenced music into a boundary-defying style that has won him a devoted following.
Alejandro Escovedo in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 06/23/2006
Britain's experimental rock group Gomez is known for blurring lines between musical forms and genres, creating an entirely original sound nearly impossible to pin down to any one style. The band visited Washington, D.C. for a full concert June 22, webcast live on NPR.org with jazz trio The Bad Plus.
Whether playing aggressive rock or hauntingly quiet folk, Montreal musician Sam Roberts is likely to inject social commentary into his songwriting. His eclectic mix of rock, pop and folk has won him a growing fan base across North America.
Sam Roberts in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 06/16/2006
Our series on Beethoven's nine symphonies — each performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra — concludes with the Ninth Symphony. Because of its length, the performance has been spread out over the course of two days.
A quarter century after the group first formed in New York, Sonic Youth remains one of rock's more inspired, creative bands. Now on tour for their 20th album, Rather Ripped, the trio visits Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club for a full concert, originally webcast live on NPR.org.
Our series on Beethoven's nine symphonies — each performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra — continues with the Eighth Symphony, which continued his trend of retreating to classical styles in even-numbered symphonies.
The Seventh Symphony's premiere concert was performed to benefit the soldiers wounded a few months earlier in the battle of Hanau. Viennese audiences, miserable from Napoleon's occupations and hopefully awaiting a victory over him, embraced the symphony's energy and beauty.
The Sixth Symphony is one of only two symphonies Beethoven intentionally named. His full title was "Pastoral Symphony, or Recollections of Country Life." Beethoven publicly declared the piece's "extramusical" purpose: an expression of nature.
The rootsy jam band moe. continues to develop its unique blend of pop hooks and experimental improvisation. Mixing American roots-rock with spare, acoustic alt-country, singer/songwriter Tim Easton covers familiar territory without falling back on cliches.
Tim Easton in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 06/09/2006
Although the Fifth Symphony is considered one of Beethoven's greatest musical works, at the time of its premiere his contemporaries were still smitten with his Third Symphony (the "Eroica"). Understanding of the piece grew as audiences began to associate it with Beethoven's life and musical style.
The Fourth Symphony is too often overshadowed by Beethovens more dynamic Third and Fifth symphonies. Following the monumental "Eroica" in chronology but not in style, the Fourth was closer to the more classical first two symphonies in the estimation of contemporaries.
Beethoven's Symphony No. 4 in B Flat Major, Op. 60
Beethoven's Third Symphony is regarded as a turning point in musical history, and it marks the beginning of his career's second period. The "Eroica" was long, technically challenging and aimed at more than entertainment — components that initially confused critics.
Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major, Op. 55
During the composition of his Second Symphony, Beethoven began to acknowledge the deterioration of his hearing, but the piece had a humorous and happy air. His contemporaries applauded it as a work of power and depth, but they commonly described his music of that time as bizarre.