The X

On now at 91.9-3 HD and streaming above.

The Musical Universe

 

You always remember your first romantic encounter. Left behind on the night stand of a rented lake cabin, dog-eared and water-stained, its lurid cover slightly sun-faded. Smuggled into your bunk at overnight camp by that one girl who knew the names for acts you never even knew to imagine, with tell-tale spine cracks at all the juiciest bits. Late at night in a sleeping house, silent save for the hum of central air, when you finally worked up the nerve to click on the "M" rated Harry/Draco fic whose summary had been tantalizing you for weeks.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Masters award, bestowed every year since 1982, is often characterized as the United States' highest honor reserved for jazz. This morning the NEA announced four new recipients of the prize: pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim, composer-arranger-bandleader Maria Schneider, critic and novelist Stanley Crouch, and singer-songwriter and pianist Bob Dorough.

Great songs and tunes are always available to stream on ThistleRadio's 24-hour music channel. Span the decades on ThistleRadio with classic tracks from Battlefield Band and the Bothy Band, as well as Mary Jane Lamond, Session A9, Kris Drever, and Calan.

Mumu Fresh sings that the teacher arrives when the student is ready. During a recent trip to the Tiny Desk, she came bearing life lessons from the depths of her soul.

A regal combination of black power and Native American pride, Mumu Fresh — also known by her birth name Maimouna Youssef — is an abundantly gifted singer and emcee who prances between genres and styles. The Baltimore native fuses her rich multi-octave range and ferocious rap delivery with spiritually-inclined lyrics so potent and mindful they precipitated a wellspring of emotion throughout the room.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This week, musicians all over Latin America asked a lot of questions. Mala Rodríguez's first solo song since 2013 leads with the question, "Who protects me?" For La Mala, the question comes from an empowered, long-scorned woman. Gaby Moreno asks the same question, but for Central American immigrants. Other truth-seekers this week: New York-based Mexican singer Marrón offers a breezy respite and Cuban reggaeton (read: Cubaton) singer El Micha wants you to stop lying to yourself.

For some years now, citizens of the U.K. have turned music chart manipulation into a cheeky tradition, the idea being to select a song and, largely through grassroots online campaigning (helped along by media coverage, like this very article), to make it the most popular song in the country. Past attempts include driving "Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead" to the top spot on the singles chart following Margaret Thatcher's death — it reached No. 2.

"Stop asking musicians what they think." That is the opening line of the song "1933" on Frank Turner's new album Be More Kind, and a directive I was very happy to ignore when we sat down to talk about his music. Turner is clearly a deep thinker who values discussion and debate as fundamental parts of healthy society, in his words: "How do you have a conversation with someone you disagree with?"

The Tree of Forgiveness, his first album of originals in 13 years, is not just classic John Prine. When so much of humanity seems closed off, Prine knows when to be a little goofy, too.

Roy Montgomery's music is like swimming through phantoms, each entity a haunting, illuminating new spectral phase. It was Montgomery's guitar work and deep, warbling vocals that have disoriented far-out New Zealand rock bands like The Pin Group, Dadamah and Dissolve, along with his solo material, since the 1980s. But Montgomery has always been self-effacing about his own voice: "It's lazy," he told Perfect Sound Forever in 2003.

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

(SOUNDBITE OF THE CARTERS' SONG, "APES**T")

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

"Six feet of rugged manhood to stir the heart of every woman."

That's how one of his early movie trailers described Tab Hunter, the blue-eyed, blond-haired actor and recording artist possessed of a facial symmetry and bone structure so conventionally handsome they seemed preternatural. He died Sunday.

The horns burst, the voices wail and, as if about to launch into a sermon, this author, activist, intellectual, pastor and singer introduces himself: "My name is Rev. Sekou and these are the Seal Breakers, now they from Brooklyn." He points to his band and continues, "but I was raised in in a little old place called Zent, Arkansas that's got about 11 houses and 35 people, and they'd work from can't-see morning to can't-see night and then they'd make their way to the juke joint.

People who love the band Dawes really love the band Dawes. Songwriting and musicianship aside, I think one of the things fans latch on to is that this is a band that feels like a good hang. The band's current lineup includes Taylor Goldsmith, along with his brother Griffin on drums, Wylie Gelber on bass; and Lee Pardini on keys. Whether you listen to its records on long car rides or in college dorm rooms or in dive bars or at wedding receptions, Dawes feels like good company.

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. It seems like this guy's everywhere, right?

(SOUNDBITE OF DJ KHALED SONG)

DJ KHALED: (Rapping) DJ Khaled.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Summer is in the air. So are the bugs. They're also on the ground and in the trees, sometimes in your hair, everywhere else. But when bugs get in your ears, the results can be wonderful.

Harmonicist Frédéric Yonnet has played with Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, John Mayer, Ed Sheeran ... even Prince. But his biggest fan and supporter is Dave Chappelle, who worked with the Normandy native on Dave Chappelle's Juke Joint, a series of intimate parties featuring Yonnet, his Band With No Name, and an all-star cast of unannounced special guests.

Pages