NPR Music

Planet Money
2:17 am
Fri November 9, 2012

The Secret Genius Of Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift's fourth studio album, Red, sold 1.2 million copies in its first week, the highest first-week sales total in a decade.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 9:14 am

Taylor Swift's new album, Red, sold more 1.2 million copies in its first week — the highest first-week sales total for an album in over a decade. She did it partly by answering a surprisingly complicated question: What's the best way to sell an album?

There are so many ways to release your music these days. You can sell it at Amazon, iTunes, Wal-Mart, and Starbucks. You can release it to streaming sites like Spotify. You can go on tour.

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Mountain Stage
3:26 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Larry Cordle On Mountain Stage

Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 1:39 pm

Larry Cordle makes his second appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live in Bristol, Tenn./Va., in partnership with the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance.

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World Cafe
2:47 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Ian Hunter On World Cafe

Ian Hunter.
John Halpern

After the pioneering glam-rock band Mott the Hoople dissolved in 1974, Ian Hunter kicked off a solo career that stalled in the '80s. It took the death of Hunter's close friend and Spiders From Mars guitarist Mick Ronson in 1993 to reinvigorate his music career. But one thing has remained constant: Whether with Mott the Hoople or in politically charged albums nearly 40 years into his career, Hunter has never held back.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:00 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

'A Late Quartet': Melodrama With A Pounding Musical Heart

Mark Ivanir, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken and Catherine Keener as the Fugue String Quartet.
courtesy of Entertainment One Films

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 8:23 pm

After a quarter century together as one of the world's top chamber music ensembles, the Fugue String Quartet is falling apart at the seams. A generation older than his colleagues, cellist Peter (Christopher Walken) is experiencing the early symptoms of Parkinson's, and with his sudden retirement, a morass of long-buried resentments and pain come spewing out of his three younger partners: first violinist Daniel (Mark Ivanir), second violinist Robert (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and violist Juliette (Catherine Keener).

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The Checkout: Live
12:18 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Omer Avital's Band Of The East: Live From 92Y Tribeca

Omer Avital.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 7:30 am

Bassist Omer Avital came from Israel to New York in the early '90s and found himself among the top tier of straight-ahead modern jazz performers. The time in the big city led him to re-investigate his roots — his parents are from the Arab-speaking world — and in 2002, he returned to Israel to study traditional music and oud. Since returning, he's remained a monster bass player, but has also integrated his Middle Eastern musical interests into his composing.

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