Early ratings are in for last night's Super Bowl. And while down a bit from last year, the game clocked a respectable 96.9 million viewers. The half-time show was easily the most high-profile gig singer Bruno Mars has enjoyed in his young career.
The windowsills were lined with people standing, as every nook between every office desk filled to capacity with NPR employees and their assorted guests. Pixies, after getting misplaced for a time in our parking garage during a moment worthy of This Is Spinal Tap, showed up in time to encounter the largest crowd we've ever assembled for a Tiny Desk Concert. (Our new office space allows for more guests than the old one did, but it's still a mark of this band's significance for so many youthful grownups.)
We made 20 stellar World Cafe in-studio performances available for download during February, but they're all coming down Feb. 28 at midnight. Grab music from Neko Case, Parquet Courts, Jason Isbell and more today, before they're gone tomorrow.
To download each song, click the title in the SoundCloud playlist (the song will begin playing), and then click "download" arrow to the right of the title.
Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 9:17 am
Dance Mania might have been Chicago house music's most popular 1990s label — not only in Chicago, but in the entire upper Midwest. To go to a rave between 1993 and '99 was to very likely encounter a handful of Dance Mania tracks per night. Odds were good you'd encounter one of its artists, too: DJ Funk, Paul Johnson, DJ Deeon and Robert Armani, to pick just a few artists on Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1997, kept full schedules of one-nighters across the U.S.
Leyla McCalla, formerly of The Carolina Chocolate Drops, had an ambitious idea for her solo debut as a musician. She wanted to take poems by Harlem Renaissance legend Langston Hughes and put them to song. But McCalla told Tell Me More's host Michel Martin that she wasn't overwhelmed by the challenge.
Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 8:15 pm
Eric Church was surely aware that he was cribbing from one of America's most beloved young-adult novels when he called his fourth full-length album The Outsiders. The title song opens the record with lines that could have been ripped from the jacket copy of S.E. Hinton's classic heartland/gangland story: "They're the in-crowd, we're the other ones / It's a different kind of cloth that we're cut from." Electric power chords crest and crash as Church howls out declarations in a voice that's part preacher, part rapper, part metalhead and all alpha dog.
Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 9:18 am
Galore, the first album by the London duo Thumpers, is rooted resolutely in the first-person plural: Temperamentally as well as lyrically, it reaches out as a piecemeal missive both to and from you and me and everyone we know, assembling a steadfast vision of the whole world as a sprawling family in a tiny neighborhood. These are songs whose collective narrative engine is a belief in the power of a passionate few to forge meaningful connections, to keep life's ills at bay or, as "Unkinder (A Tougher Love)" would have it, to move the earth.
Hear All Songs Considered Hosts Bob Boilen And Robin Hilton On 'Emmaar'
How do you build on the reputation that has made your band the most visible ambassador of an entire people? For its seventh international album, Emmaar, Tinariwen has some striking ideas that were born out of both creativity and absolute necessity.
Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 9:15 am
It makes cosmic sense that Sun Structures, the debut album from Temples, arrives at the height of the current nostalgia wave associated with the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania and the British Invasion.