Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 12:56 pm
Last week's merciless onslaught of negative reviews for the new Arcade Fire record, Reflektor, sparked a conversation here in the All Songs Considered office about the weight of a writer's words, and whether those words have any real effect on a band's level of success (success in this case being album sales, or otherwise building a fan base).
Trumpeter Amir ElSaffar grew up near Chicago, playing jazz trumpet. In the early 2000s, while in his mid-20s, he began investigating the music of his Iraqi heritage, studying in Baghdad and with expatriate musicians in Europe. Then he began combining the two.
And now we'll continue with this theme of using hip-hop to teach. When legendary lyricist and DJ MC Lyte first appeared on the national scene 1988, she wasn't thinking about education. This is her hit song, "Lyte as a Rock."
In country music, Ashley Monroe is still a new kid on the block â€” but the 27-year-old artist has already worked with the likes of Wanda Jackson, Jack White and Miranda Lambert, and has also found success writing for other artists, including Carrie Underwood. The singer says her tastes are eclectic, but country has always had an especially tight hold on her.