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Between their formation in 2001 and last album in 2014, guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney released eight LPs as The Black Keys and became household names with songs like "Tighten Up" and "Fever." When the duo took a break from recording and touring after years and years on the road, rumors flew that the two men had had a falling out.

According to the band, the truth is much simpler: "It was about time," Auerbach says. "We needed a little bit of normalcy."

In the world of English-language music, chances are that "new Oasis" means something very different to you than it does to the Spanish-language Internet.

Radiohead's Thom Yorke released his third official solo album, ANIMA, early Thursday morning, along with a short companion film featuring three tracks from the album.

One morning in 2010, a long-awaited piece of mail arrived at Deanna Martinez Neidlinger's home in Tacoma, Washington. It wasn't a Hogwarts letter, but for her three children – aged three, six and nine years old at the time – it might as well have been delivered by owl. Enclosed was a copy of the charity compilation album Jingle Spells 4, which included "Hogwarts Lullaby," a song that the family wrote and recorded together.

"The kids were able to hear themselves on a real-life CD and everything," Martinez Neidlinger remembers. "My three-year-old played the glockenspiel."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

June is LGBTQ pride month, and some of the loudest and proudest people in that community are drag queens. Now, drag queens don't have to be gay, but a lot of them are. NPR's Sam Sanders dug into the past, present and especially future of drag.

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.


There's a certain kind of song you just want to crank up after a bad breakup or a rough day at work. In 1963, a young singer renowned for a hit about getting ditched at a party unleashed just such an anthem.

Dave Bartholomew, photographed on January 12, 2013 in New Orleans.
Erika Goldring / Getty Images

Dave Bartholo

Several prominent bands, musicians and artist estates sued the world's largest record company, Universal Music Group [UMG], on Friday after an investigation published by the New York Times earlier this month alleged that hundreds of thousands of master recordings, protection copies, unreleased music and other materials had burned in a massive fire at a UMG vault in 2008.

Quinn Christopherson may be the winner of the 2019 Tiny Desk Contest, but this year's 6,000-plus entries included many outstanding performances.

At the dawn of the 1970s, Mort Garson installed a Moog synthesizer in his Laurel Canyon home studio. In those early days of Moogs, the modular synthesizer was a massive piece of equipment — a dizzying wall of knobs and inputs. "It looked like a switchboard from the 1940s," Garson's daughter Day Darmet remembers. "It was just huge, with all these wires. My mom and I thought that he had really lost it."

The entertainment industry has given us countless tales of romantic pairings that were products of proximity or convenience — on film sets, club stages and world tours, in TV and recording studios — but didn't survive the transplant to other, more mundane settings. Buddy and Julie Miller have lived a different narrative: persevering, continually adapting companionship, in public and private.

One of the most sought-after electronic music artists and producers has died. France's Philippe 'Zdar' Cerboneschi worked with musicians like Kanye West, Daft Punk, the Beastie Boys, Pharrell Williams and the band Phoenix. The Grammy winner accidentally fell through a window of a building in Paris last night; his death was confirmed by his agent, Tom Nettleton. He was 52 years old.

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.

There is such a superb and expanding community of musicians and producers creating Andean electro and alternative soun we've decided to highlight some of the womxn producers and femme-fronted projects stimulating this empowering movement. Ranging in soundscapes that feature ethno bass, dance floor field recordings and techno, these exceptional musicians are giving new life to often forgotten roots music.

A previously underreported fire at a California amusement park in June 2008 — and allegations of an ensuing coverup — could potentially upend the future of the world's biggest record company.

Spoon has dropped its first new song since the 2017 album Hot Thoughts. "No Bullets Spent" is classic Spoon, with crisp guitars, spare beats and frontman Britt Daniel's cryptic observations, this time on youth and coming of age in a world plagued by gun violence and economic inequality. "You got an education," sings Daniel. "Don't know what you got 'til you're 22 / Got a mortgage hung around your neck." Repeatedly he pleas, "What we need now is an accident / No one to blame and no bullets spent."

Nearly half the people admitted to state prisons in the U.S. are there because of violations of probation or parole, according to a new nationwide study that highlights the personal and economic costs of the practice.

The Council of State Governments Justice Center said the majority of these violations are for "minor infractions," such as failing a drug test or missing a curfew. Those so-called technical violations cost states $2.8 billion every year, the report says.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some other news now - there's a man of mystery winning fans right now in country music. He will not reveal his true identity, and he performs wearing a mask. Here's NPR's Peter Granitz.

PETER GRANITZ, BYLINE: Let's let him tell us who he is.

Updated on Jun. 17 at 11:41 a.m.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) musicians, carrying signs reading "Fair Play for World Class Musicians," have begun picketing in front of their artistic home, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, as the orchestra's management has locked out its players.

Our curation game is strong at NPR Music, from All Songs Considered to Alt.Latino, to memorials that pay tribute to beloved musicians, to roséwave's sommelier-level summer bops.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco is a film about how the California city has transformed in ways that have benefited the extremely wealthy and harmed its black residents. It's also a fairy tale about a deposed prince, and so, it requires a grand, fairy tale score.

It's been a crazy-packed week of surprise singles, with new tracks dropping from Charli XCX, Mac Miller's first posthumous verse (with Anderson .Paak's Free Nationals) and country singer Sturgill Simpson's "The Dead Don't Die," a song he wrote

"Angels, your mother is about to feed you new music for five months straight,"
Charli XCX tweeted in May. "You deserve it and you're welcome." Depending on your appetite for futuristic pop, that's either a treat or a threat.

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes, a stylish and engaging new documentary by Sophie Huber, opens in the recording studio, with a top-tier crew of modern jazz musicians going about their business. From his station behind a keyboard rig, Robert Glasper calls out ideas for an arrangement; Ambrose Akinmusire's trumpet, warming up, can be heard in the background. An establishing shot introduces Don Was, the musical polymath serving as Blue Note's president, as a hipster Buddha in the control booth.

In 2008, fire swept through a Universal Studios Hollywood backlot. The loss was thought to be a few movie sets and film duplicates. But earlier this week, The New York Times published a report revealing that the 2008 fire burned hundreds of thousands of master recordings of genre-spanning, legendary music from the late 1940s to the early '80s as well as digital formats and hard drives from the late '80s up through the early 2000s.

Nine months after his death, Mac Miller still hasn't left the mind of the rap world. Always an avid collaborator, Mac teamed up with Anderson .Paak's Free Nationals before his passing and now, fans get to hear it. "Time" marks the first posthumous release that has been sanctioned by the rapper's family.

Radiohead has officially released 18 hours of demos and outtakes recorded between 1995 and 1998 during the band's OK Computer sessions, after the tapes were reportedly stolen and leaked online.

Here's a thing you should know before watching Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story, Martin Scorsese's new Netflix documentary about one of the most notorious rock tours in the genre's history: Bob Dylan is messing with you. Dylan has been messing with people since his first braggadocio days in Greenwich Village, when his made-up tales of wandering the Southwest with a circus helped convince his friends in the folk scene that he was the real proletarian deal.

Houston rapper Bushwick Bill, a founding member of the pioneering rap crew Geto Boys, died on Sunday evening in Colorado, his publicist, Dawn P., confirmed with NPR. A cause was not given pending a medical examination; the rapper was diagnosed earlier this year with pancreatic cancer. He was 52 years old.

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.

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