NPR Music

Music Interviews
3:59 pm
Sun September 15, 2013

Honoring A Duty To Make Music In Silent Mali

Sidi Touré's new album, Alafia, is his third international release.
Johnathan Crawford Courtesy of Thrill Jockey Records

Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 6:08 pm

The songwriter and guitarist Sidi Touré is a superstar in his native Mali. But in the last 18 months, it hasn't been easy for Malian artists.

Islamic extremists are fighting for control of the area around Timbuktu, in the northern part of the country. The violence, along with a rebel-imposed ban on both music and secular art, has forced many of Mali's artists to flee the country.

Sidi Touré, who is from the North, was in the middle of recording his latest album when all this started happening.

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Sun September 15, 2013

Mike Doughty Annuls The 'Dark Marriage' Of His Former Band

Mike Doughty's latest album, Circles Super Bon Bon, revisits songs from his years fronting the band Soul Coughing.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 7:50 am

Mike Doughty spent the 1990s as the gravel-voiced frontman for Soul Coughing. Fusing elements of pop, jazz, hip-hop and house music, the band had a sound all its own — but Doughty says he was never satisfied with it.

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All Tech Considered
4:47 pm
Sat September 14, 2013

Musical Robots Take The Stage For Harmony, Not Domination

Stickboy, Compressorhead's four-armed drummer rocks out in front of thousands of fans at the Big Day Out music festival.
Shar Try ekto23

Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 4:38 pm

Robots aren't taking over the planet yet, but they are doing jobs in more and more places: hospitals and offices, movie sets and battlefields. They're making a mark in the world of music, as well.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
9:42 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Arturo O'Farrill: Tiny Desk Concert

The Arturo O'Farrill Octect performs a Tiny Desk Concert in June 2013.
Hayley Bartels Hayley Bartels/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 5:10 pm

Latin jazz works best when the musicians involved are as fluent in Afro-Cuban rhythms as they are in the deep grooves and advanced harmonics of bebop. Arturo O'Farrill has that pedigree in his DNA: His father, Chico O'Farrill, was part of a groundbreaking group of musicians who created the mash-up of Afro-Cuban music and jazz back in late-'40s New York.

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Music News
1:03 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Barbez Mines Resistance And Tradition Of Italian Jews

New York musician Dan Kaufman (third from right) traveled to Rome to learn more about the city's Jewish community and the Italian resistance during WWII. The result is a new album by his band Barbez, based in part on the lost melodies of Roman Jewish music.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 10:28 am

The unique musical traditions of Rome's ancient Jewish community were almost lost for good. Now, those melodies are being revived — not by musicologists, but by a rock band based in New York.

"I fell in love with the melodies, and I started to re-imagine them for my band in our own style," says Dan Kaufman, guitarist and leader of the Brooklyn band Barbez.

The Tradition

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