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Illinois Rock'n'Soul.

 

As the days get colder and the sun sets earlier, sometimes you just want a powerful (if not angry) song to pump you up. Just in time for the chilly temperatures, pop artist Kimbra has released the funky, victorious "Top of the World."

Aussie electro-pop gurus Cut Copy brought their kaleidoscopic disco sound into our studio for a live set. "Black Rainbows" showcases the best of their new album, Haiku from Zero.

SET LIST

  • "Black Rainbows"

Photo: Davis Bell/KCRW.

Watch Cut Copy's full Morning Becomes Eclectic performance at KCRW.com.

A Trip To Norway For The Oslo World Music Festival

Nov 15, 2017

Norway is known for its natural beauty of glacial fjords and Northern Lights, but NPR world music contributor Betto Arcos visited Norway for the music.

Arcos traveled to the Oslo World Music Festival, where he has seen talented musicians from all over the world. Here are some of the musicians featured at the festival.

Interview Highlights

On Norwegian indigenous music

This past Monday evening, hundreds of supporters showed up outside Philadelphia's Criminal Justice Center to protest a ruling that sent rapper Meek Mill back to prison over violations of his probation. There was signage, chanting and hashtags (#FreeMeek and #RallyForMeek) associated with the demonstration in hopes of getting the event trending online.

We're in South Louisiana — somewhere between Arnaudville and Leonville — in the backyard of Louis Michot, looking out at his pond. In 1999, Louis and his brother Andre co-founded the band Lost Bayou Ramblers. And the sounds we hear in their backyard in the bayou actually appear on their latest album, Kalenda. So does music, of course; the band isn't here to play the cricket or the frog — more like Louis on the fiddle and vocals and Andre on accordion and lap steel guitar. But the music really does take you to a real place.

It's no secret that we're fans of The Oh Hellos here at NPR Music.

On a sunny, late-September afternoon in the garden of a guesthouse in Kabul, just beyond the armed guard at the iron gate, a couple of girls are tuning up for guitar practice. All headscarves and concentration, they stretch tentative fingers along the strings. Their teacher, a 56-year-old musician from Los Angeles named Lanny Cordola, sports own head covering, a green doo-rag holding in check a graying ponytail that drifts down the middle of his back.

This essay is one in a series celebrating deserving artists or albums not included on NPR Music's list of 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women.

November means different weather to different places, so it's presumptuous to assume that everyone is looking forward to an evening spent bundled up in front of the fireplace with a pile of fleece blankets and a cup of hot cocoa. But if you want to simulate the spirit of a cozy November night, you could do far worse than "Winter," the tenderly rendered new single from Irish singer-songwriter Rosie Carney.

Now, Now's breakout album, Threads, was not as much about breaking up as holding on. Its songs carried in them a weary recognition of how desire and nostalgia linger in the body and mind, and zoomed in on the brittle filaments that bind together people who have long since declared themselves better off apart.

Flamenco Is Alive After Paco De Lucía

Nov 14, 2017

The guitarist Paco de Lucía died more than three years ago, leaving behind an immense impact on flamenco music. He expanded what once was a very strict, traditional form by adding jazz and world music influences, and by collaborating with musicians outside of the genre.

Members of his last touring band, led by guitarist-producer Javier Limón, are currently on the road as the Flamenco Legends, revisiting the late guitarist's music while paying tribute to his legacy.

Los Colognes sound like they hail from some exotic European locale, but actually, they're from Nashville — where they relocated 7 1/2 years ago from Chicago. They fit well into the psychedelic jam band world, and recently released a third album, The Wave. Like the title, the whole record is filled with many water images and references.

The band kicks off the session with a performance of the song "Flying Apart." That and more can be heard in the player above.

It was my pleasure to talk music with Steve Winwood, one of the creative architects of prog rock. His career includes groundbreaking work with Traffic and Blind Faith; a solo career in the '80s; and writing standards like "Gimme Some Lovin'" and "I'm A Man" when he was still a teenager.

In this session, we hear songs from Steve's new double album Winwood: Greatest Hits Live, and we use that as a jumping-off point to talk about Traffic, Eric Clapton and more. Listen in the player above.

The season of list-making, specifically (for us) lists about the year's best music, is rapidly descending. But before the craziness begins over who had the best album or song in 2017, we thought we'd look back at some of our previous top-ten lists to see if they even hold up. As you can imagine, some albums we once thought were great have since lost their luster, while others haven't aged a day.

The Memphis gospel-soul man Don Bryant may not like rain, but he's sure dreaming about snow this holiday season.

José James, the eclectic, groove-minded jazz singer, has made no secret of his fondness for Bill Withers. There's a medley that James has been singing in concert for years, linking Withers' despondent anthem "Ain't No Sunshine" with an upturning grace note, "Grandma's Hands."

Considering all the unique monikers MCs have concocted throughout the history of rap, Aminé — Adam Daniel's middle name by birth — isn't all that strange. But that hasn't kept him from becoming the hip-hop artist with the hardest-to-pronounce name of the moment. He's been called everything from anime (as in Japanese animation) to amino (as in the acid).

Updated 8:41 a.m., Tue., Nov. 14.

The band Brand New is postponing its comeback tour of the U.K. following accusations of sexual misconduct against its singer, Jesse Lacey, made public last week on social media.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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