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The Musical Universe

 

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.

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(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.

When the phantasmagorically weird Beatles film Yellow Submarine premiered 50 years ago, its psychedelic colors and peace-and-love sensibility quickly influenced fashion, graphic design, animation and music.

But the 1968 movie also influenced organized religion — a fact lost in the hubbub over the release of a restored and remastered version in American theaters on July 8.

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

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Catalonia, a culturally distinct and politically embattled region of northeast Spain, has held on to its distinct culture through centuries as it has struggled to redefine its relationship with the rest of the country.

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

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

A couple years ago, The Record Company released its debut album and earned a a Grammy nomination, a few hits, sold-out headlining shows, late night TV appearances — you get the idea — all off the strength of that one record made in bass player Alex Stiff's living room in LA. This is a surprisingly sharp trajectory if you know anything about how the music business works. But it's not surprising if you know how the band itself works.

Since being released from prison on bail in April 2018 following a highly publicized (and still ongoing) legal fight, Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill has become an strident spokesperson for prison reform.

Elvis Costello has canceled his remaining European tour dates through July 16 to recover from surgery of an "aggressive cancerous malignancy," according to a statement on his website.

When the rest of the music world rests, Future keeps working. Just days after the Fourth of July holiday, Nayvadius releases Beast Mode 2.

George Rodriguez, now 80, still doesn't go anywhere without taking pictures.

"People don't recognize me without my camera," he says. "I like to document everything that's goin' on."

The Stray Birds On Mountain Stage

Jul 5, 2018

Last year, The Stray Birds made their third visit to Mountain Stage, bringing us songs from their 2016 album Magic Fire. The record was produced by Larry Campbell, who is known for being a multi-instrumentalist as well as a three-time Grammy-winning producer. The album showcases not only their instrumental talents but their poetic and melodious songwriting abilities as well.

You're 22, just finished a grueling two-hour nap and have $8.43 left on your prepaid debit card. A friend of a high school acquaintance's cousin invited you to brunch, but you lost your metro pass (again) and free-range restaurant eggs cost a minimum $6. What do you do? You charge to the grocery store around the corner and make a beeline for the three-dollar wine. And when the tired cashier asks if you want to save 10% on all future purchases, you stay focused. Um, do you look like the type of person who can afford an in-store membership? Being alive is expensive. Bad wine is not.

Barbara Carroll On Piano Jazz

Jul 5, 2018

Pianist and vocalist Barbara Carroll (1925 – 2017) was described as a joyous and swinging jazz stylist. A dear friend of McPartland's, Carroll had a monumental career. When she was a guest on the program in 1979, she had just started her engagement at Bemelmans Bar in Manhattan, where she would go on to perform for a remarkable 25 years.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

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

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

"The Greatest Showman" didn't exactly raise the big top at the box office when it opened last December, but the original soundtrack to this movie musical about P.T. Barnum - that is turning out to be a way different story.

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

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Two men each charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter, representing the three dozen people who perished in the 2016 Oakland, Calif. warehouse fire, pleaded no contest on Tuesday, in a deal letting them avoid trial and possibly lengthy prison terms.

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