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The Musical Universe

 

"These times are poignant / The winds have shifted / It's all we can do / To stay uplifted."

Those words are sung so powerfully by Rising Appalachia, the musical project of sisters Leah Song and Chloe Smith. This uplifting, original folk song for these challenging times is called "Resilient."

Beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 15, watch Phoebe Bridgers, Gang Of Youths, Rayland Baxter and more perform during the first night of public radio's NON-COMMvention 2018. The show streams live via VuHaus from World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

Find Tuesday evening's full schedule below; all set times are shown in Eastern Standard Time and are subject to change.

People who spend time with young children know firsthand the power of music.

It's easy entertainment.

And any teacher who works in early childhood will tell you that singing can yield amazing results. "If we didn't sing the cleanup song, I don't think anything would have gotten cleaned up," says Laura Cirelli, who worked as an assistant at a day care center in the late 2000s.

But there may be other ways — surprising ways — in which music plays a role in raising a human.

This week, Philadelphia's WXPN and World Cafe Live play host to the NON-COMMvention, an annual gathering of noncommercial music radio station staffers and industry pros.

Caroline Rose has arrived. I know this sounds a little unusual to say considering her new record LONER is her third studio album. But for a point of reference, if you listen to a moment of "Red Bikini Waltz" from her 2014 album, I Will Not Be Afraid, to her new album, LONER ... Yeah, it's a little different. But this is who Rose is.

The streaming platform Tidal, whose most public owner and champion is rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z, is facing heavy criticism and possible legal action from several Scandinavian artist organizations and other entities after a Norwegian business newspaper alleged last week that the company had faked hundreds of millions of plays on Beyoncé's Lemonade and Kanye West's The

"I think this is one of my vaguest songs," Mitski says in this conversation about her new song, "Geyser." "Usually my songs have a narrative of some sort. But this song is all feeling."

Odetta Hartman's songs have a way of spraying ideas in every direction. Sometimes, they don't even feel like songs so much as fragments, interludes or brief, fleeting brainstorms — blurted phrases set against chopped-up bits of violin, banjo, samples and effects.

Have you ever been in the car, scanning radio signals for signs of life, and thought about the stories behind the headlights passing on the highway? There's life in those spaces, in close quarters, alone or with friends, lovers, strangers. Then, windows down, you hear a pop song emanate from that beat-up sedan, that souped-up SUV, that pickup truck with the rusted tailgate. The song shifts the gears of your being, if only for a moment. With pop music's ability to transmute desire and despair into easily hummable enlightenment, it maybe even saves you.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LAKSHMI SINGH, HOST:

Mother's Day 2018 just got real. After years of creative reclusion — intermittently broken by a steady string of dynamic guest vocal appearances on other artists' projects — André 3000 has released nearly 22 minutes of new music in homage to his deceased parents.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

The flamboyant Netta Barzilai, representing Israel last night, won the world's biggest music show - the Eurovision Contest. Her winning song - "Toy."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Israel has won the Eurovision Song Contest, held this year in Lisbon.

The winning song, "Toy," by Netta, was a return to the over-the-top, cheesy style that many people associate with the singing competition.

When he won last year, Portuguese singer Salvador Sobral told the crowd he hoped his victory would bring back "music that means something." He said, "Music is not fireworks, music is feeling."

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

At 87 years young, the legendary Cuban Diva of the Buena Vista Social Club, Omara Portuondo, brought gasps of delight, then rapturous applause, just by walking out on the stage in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday night. She graciously acknowledged the love in the room then continued with her rendition of beloved classic "Veinte Años," backed by just a pianist.

Here at World Cafe, we're in the business of picking music. Making playlists for different occasions is something we do all the time, from holidays to album anniversaries to best-ofs and so on. But we've never put together a playlist for the kind of occasion you'll hear about today; in fact, I had never heard of this type of playlist before. It's a labor playlist, as in a soundtrack for giving birth — and we thought we'd do something a little different on the show and make a house call to find out what makes a great one.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Brittany

May 11, 2018

Hear intoxicating melodies from the father of the pan-Celtic sound, Alan Stivell, along with Kornog, and The Celtic Fiddle Festival. This week we feature the musicians who have helped shape the contemporary Breton sound.

Virginia Mayhew On Piano Jazz

May 11, 2018

Saxophonist, composer and bandleader Virginia Mayhew has appeared in major New York jazz venues from the Blue Note to Carnegie Hall, toured internationally and twice represented the U.S. as a Jazz Ambassador. She is also an active jazz educator and founded the Greenwich House Music School Jazz Workshop.

On this 1998 episode of Piano Jazz, Mayhew and McPartland join forces to perform "All the Things You Are" and "Body and Soul." They wrap up the show with a free piece, improvised live in studio, and McPartland closes the hour with "Darn that Dream."

The Weather Station On Mountain Stage

May 11, 2018

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Tamara Lindeman is the principal force behind The Weather Station, known for pairing her narrative songwriting skills with topical matters and subtle reflections of everyday life.

Accompanied by William Kidman on guitar and keys, Ben Whiteley on bass, and Ian Kehoe on drums, The Weather Station's sound can easily trace back to Joni Mitchell — but Lindeman is her own artist, with a distinct viewpoint and ability to weave a powerful story from it.

Where does a person's true strength lie: in themselves or their community? The story of eclectic collective &More is the story of that tension.

Rios de Norte y Sur (Rivers from North and South), the sophomore album from New York City's Radio Jarocho, pays loving homage to an art form that crossed the border with Mexican-American immigrants and has taken root in towns and cities around the U.S.

Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison, whose bleak but often triumphantly arranged rock songs tackled depression, anxiety and self-doubt, was found dead at Port Edgar near South Queensberry, Scotland, around 8:30 p.m. local time on Thursday, Edinburgh Police confirmed in a statement provided to NPR. He was 36.

If you've flipped through a radio dial recently, there's a good chance you've stumbled on Charlie Puth's voice — maybe on a few stations at once. His song "Attention" has been everywhere for months; the full album, Voicenotes, is out today.

A very pregnant Abigail Washburn points to Bela Fleck at the Tiny Desk and says "and just so you know, this is his fault." I won't spoil the video by telling you his response.

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton takes a quick run through May 11's essential album releases with NPR Music's Felix Contreras, Jewly Hight, Tom Huizenga, Lyndsey McKenna and Stephen Thompson. Featured albums include the irresistible pop of Charlie Puth, classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein, early folk recordings from The Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia, infectious guitar rock from Illuminati Hotties and more.

Beyoncé's Lemonade and Kanye West's The Life of Pablo were always bound to be overwhelmingly successful albums — returns after relatively long absences from two of the world's most well-known artists.

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