NPR Music

The Record
5:12 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Summer's Over, But fun.'s Just Getting Started

All Good fun.: Band members (from left) Jack Antonoff, Andrew Dost and Nate Ruess (before he quit smoking) in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:15 pm

It's late in August, and after six straight months of touring, Nate Ruess is in the parking lot of the Al Bedoo Shrine Auditorium in Billings, Mo. Ruess, who sings in the band fun., owners of one of the year's biggest hits "We Are Young," has just finished assembling a portable basketball hoop outside the band's tour bus.

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Music Interviews
6:50 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Derek Hoke: Three Quiet Chords And A Microphone

Nashville singer-songwriter Derek Hoke describes his crowd-pleasing music as "quietbilly."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 6:40 pm

Every Tuesday night at the 5 Spot, some 200 people show up the East Nashville bar for Two Dollar Tuesdays: a $2 coverage charge, $2 beers and five musical guests. It's hosted by Derek Hoke, an unassuming, laid-back guy with the cowboy hat and retro-vintage eyeglasses.

"I call it a speed showcase," Hoke says. "Everybody plays five songs, and I tell them to play the 'best of' — you know, get up there, kill and get off. There's somebody coming up right after you, and we have to plow through this thing."

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The Record
6:02 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

The Week In Music: What To Read Now, Labor Day Edition

Justin Bieber and manager Scooter Braun last year.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 9:31 pm

No rest for the weary. It's been another whirlwind of a work week — over here we rejoiced that our hip-hop stream is up and running and then mourned the death of industry executive Chris Lighty.

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Music News
3:04 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Bang On A Pan: Steel Drum Orchestras Ready For Battle

Every year at the Panorama Competition in Brooklyn, massive steel-pan orchestras perform virtuosic arrangements of calypso songs.

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:40 pm

Despers USA practices on a big parking lot off Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, N.Y. Band members start wandering in around 6 or 7 p.m. and slowly take their places behind racks of steel drums. Like a symphony orchestra, they're organized by section — the thin tenors ringed around the outside; the big, deep, oil-drum basses toward the center; the midrange "guitars," as they're called, nearby.

Their section leader counts them in. He stops them, and then stops them again, saying the opening needs to be stronger. Eventually, they get it.

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2:56 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Luciana Souza: From Bossa Nova To Chet Baker

Luciana Souza has two new albums out, Duos III and The Book of Chet.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:38 pm

Brazilian singer Luciana Souza has worked in many genres, from jazz and bossa nova to classical music and even, as a small child, commercial jingles. A graduate of Berklee and the New England Conservatory of Music, Souza has been nominated for four Grammys and worked at a prolific pace. In fact, she's just released two albums of covers, Duos III and The Book of Chet; the latter finds her covering the works of Chet Baker.

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