KTEP - El Paso, Texas

All Songs Considered

Masego is one of music's most promising chameleons. The Virginia-hailing multi-instrumentalist and purveyor of all things traphousejazz (a subgenre he coined in the beginning of his career) is gearing up to release a funky debut album this fall.

For the past seven years, the Yokohama, Japan-based producer Takahide Higuchi (who goes by the name 食品まつり aka Foodman) has dug into the quick-cut textures of footwork, making the Chicago-born style of electronic music his own. But then, Foodman began picking apart his digital feasts.

Kindness should be fundamental to our being. But it's increasingly a battlefield, as respect for who you are and who you want to be is riddled with political landmines, trolls both online and in the streets and people who judge your worth based on gender and race alone. The Chicago-based artist, poet and activist Tasha wants you to be kind to yourself and others, and makes music in kind that feels like a quietly stoic challenger to a beastly world.

On this week's show, All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with Ann Powers, Marissa Lorusso and Sidney Madden about some of the greatest songs released by women and non-binary artists in the past 18 years.

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with NPR Music's Ann Powers and Lauren Onkey about the life and legacy of the Queen of Soul. Aretha Franklin passed away on Thursday at the age of 76. In this career-spanning conversation, we share the songs and stories behind one of the most influential artists of all time, from her earliest days singing gospel in her father's church, through her 1980s pop hits, later collaborations with artists like Lauryn Hill and much more.

New Music Friday returns from a two-week break with some of 2018's most anticipated releases, including Death Cab For Cutie's Thank You For Today, Mitski's Be The Cowboy, Ariana Grande's Sweetener and more. All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers, Lars Gotrich and Stephen Thompson to talk about these and other essential albums being released on Aug. 17.

Featured On This Episode:

  1. Death Cab For Cutie: Thank You For Today
    Featured Song: "Gold Rush"

Sarah Davachi's electro-acoustic compositions seek the corners of quiet with a studious and patient curiosity. Gave in Rest, her second album of 2018, takes its inspiration from early church music, in particular "the quietude, the air of reverence, the openness of the physical space, the stillness of the altars," she writes in a press release. From "Matins" (morning prayers) to "Evensong" (evening prayers), the L.A.-based composer fills the day with moments of peace.

Advisory: This is a live stream. Language is unpredictable.

There's a myth about self reflection: that it leads to self-love; that gaining an understanding of ourselves always brings peace. Perhaps that's true in the long term. But sometimes when we go looking for ourselves, we don't always like what we find.

There are a couple of fine lines that inevitably get mapped when you're picking music for kids that won't make you, a parent and adult human alive to the many and various pleasures of the musical world, crazy. First: What's the real difference between "bad" and "annoying," and on which side of that binary do you prefer to spend your time? Second: How much is the brain between that particular little set of ears going to understand those lyrics?

Today, The Band's Robbie Robertson is going to take us back 50 years, to a basement just outside of Woodstock, New York and the formation of a sound and an album that all these years later still shapes the musical landscape.

When we started the Tiny Desk Contest, we had no idea how many people would want to participate. And here we are now: four years later and over 23,000 entries strong. We've seen the hard work that goes into producing your videos; we've heard your dreams of making it big. After everything you've given us to talk about, we wanted to keep that conversation going and kickstart turning those dreams into a reality. Introducing: Tiny Desk Talks.

As the lead singer of Big Thief, Adrianne Lenker has shown an incredible gift for pairing tender empathy with raw power. The band's first two albums, 2016's Masterpiece and last year's Capacity, are awash in bluster, but always grounded by the intensity and intimacy of Lenker's songwriting.

High On Fire helped usher heavy metal into the 21st century. When the band began in 1998, the scene was adrift in all things "nu," which undeniably left its mark on young listeners, introducing them to more extreme sounds. But those who carried the torch for metal — the kind handed down from Black Sabbath and Motörhead — kept the sound alive and thriving, even if only the dedicated few listened.

Our 2018 Tiny Desk Contest On the Road tour brought us incredible musical discoveries in every city we visited. Year after year, this Contest would be nothing without our dedicated community of creators from every state. We couldn't feature all these artists on our one (short) tour, but luckily, plenty of NPR Member stations from across the country produced their own events featuring some of their local Contest favorites — so we asked them to recap their shows for us. You can read about some of them below.


KCUR - Kansas City, Mo.

The roséwave lifestyle may be loose and laid back, it's not lethargic. After all, it takes stamina to keep up your social calendar in the summer months. You need endurance to power through fall marathon training and never-ending rooftop happy hours.

We recently put out a call asking listeners to share their thoughts about the songs on Courtney Barnett's latest album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, and other tracks from her rich lyrical catalog. On this week's show, we share some of those listener stories and thoughts, and Courtney talks about what inspires her, the creative process and how her music can be interpreted.

Listen to the full interview with the play button at the top of the page and read edited highlights below.

On this week's New Music Friday, All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks to NPR Music guests Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson about the essential new releases for July 27, including the jangly guitar pop of Tony Molina, a celebration of queerness and the company we keep from Thin Lips and whimsical sing-a-longs from Raffi.

Featured on this Episode

  1. Israel Nash: Lifted
    Featured Song: "Rolling On"

Roger Miller wrote and performed some of country music's most enduring hits — most notably "Dang Me" and the eternal "King of the Road" — and dabbled in everything from Hollywood acting to writing a Tony-winning score. More than 25 years after his death, he remains a sizable influence on country's major stars, as a forthcoming tribute album makes clear.

Somewhere between dusk and nightfall, there's a point when the sky's deep reds and luminous notes of peach bleed into deep blues and silhouetted skylines. It's a somber, meditative medley of color, when the reflection of day turns dim; that's where the new record by Patrick McDermott, who records instrumental guitar music as North Americans, rests.

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