Why are musicians “selling out”?

At the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference, panelists discussed ‘How did this song get in that commercial?” More and more musicians are selling their music to advertising companies, a practice that used to be branded as “selling out.”

 

Piano-Money-

 

In an interview with NPR’s Audie Cornish, Michael Paoletta, a panelist, remarked that “Sometimes when the music is right, you don’t need words at all.” Read more about why music is so essential to advertising and much more here.

 

Michelle Obama delivers the keynote address at SXSW

First Lady Michelle Obama gave the keynote address at the annual South by Southwest conference and festival in Austin, Texas on Wednesday. She talked about the Let Girls Learn initiative and participated in a panel with Missy Elliott, Diane Warren, Sophia Bush and Queen Latifah.

 

 

Read some interesting commentary on the event at NPR.

 

George Martin, The 5th Beatle

George Martin, known as “the 5th Beatle” for his influential role in the production of The Beatles’ original albums, died this past Tuesday at the age of 90.

Bob Boilen of NPR writes, “George Martin’s skills as an arranger are on all of The Beatles albums: the strings on “Yesterday,” a trumpet on “Penny Lane” and the crazy brass and strings on “I Am The Walrus” are just a few of the ways he stretched the bounds of popular music. What you have to remember is that nothing had sounded like this EVER, and he played a large role in that progression.” Read the full article here.

 

 

Read a more in-depth discussion of Martin’s career on The Guardian.

From DJ to Hit

Who’s writing and performing those catchy basslines on today’s top hits in rap? DJ Dahi. Read NPR’s article here.

 

 

Dahi has a lot to say about the music industry:

“I was really inspired by watching the [2015] MTV Video Music Awards show —Kanye’s acceptance speech about listening to kids. It made me think about the kids who were also watching it. Are we giving them information that’s vital to their upbringing — or are we lying to them? I want to give kids a sense of the world through not only my eyes, but through the eyes of artists they love.” That means less celeb bickering and trivial boasting, and more thoughtful direction for an audience that Dahi feels has been led astray.

What do New Yorkers have to say about love?

Listen to NPR’s Valentine’s Day podcast about love in New York City. “You’d think people would be shy and private, but the love was overwhelming. One after another, New Yorkers took a seat and told us about what made them fall in love, the love they lost, and the love they’ll never forget.”

 

 

Music: Selena – Dreaming of You, Los Cenzontles & Andre Thierry – La Luna Y Las Estrellas, Sigur Rós – Hoppipolla, Alex Andwandter – Cómo Puedes Vivir Contigo Mismo

A new dose of global music

Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino from southern Italy and Bombino from Niger start out NPR’s global music recommendations. Hearing songs from different cultures alongside each other teaches us that there is beauty in difference, and also that music is an activity that links the entire world together. Learn tidbits of history while discovering some great new music in this Latitude blog post on NPR.

 

 

 

Recognize that voice?

Garrison Keiller, the host of the popular radio show A Prairie Home Companion, talks about his love for Minneapolis, MN on NPR’s World Cafe.

 

 

The music featured on A Prairie Home Companion aligns perfectly with Keillor’s own personal taste in music. In fact, the show started out as a music show! Listen to the whole interview here.

 

 

Playlist for 2015

Hooked on the music from Hamilton? Can’t stop listening to Adele’s new album? This is NPR’s year 2015 in music!

In light of last weekend’s attacks in Paris and Beirut, and of all the violence that occurs every day on this earth, music can heal and make life bearable. Listen to All Songs Considered’s playlist to celebrate global music and the appreciation of cultures other than our own.

 

Oumou Sangare

Oumou Sangare, Grammy Award-winning Malian Wassoulou singer

 

Pharrell Williams speaks @ NYU

Pharrell sat down with NPR’s Jason King at NYU last month for over an hour to talk about his new song “Freedom”, politics, childhood, and even tapas!

King’s bio of Pharrell is fascinating, and this interview is a really intimate look at a huge pop star’s surprisingly humble perspective. Watch and read here.

The Suitcase Junket

A found guitar, 1950s amps, and an oversized suitcase: Matt Lorenz plays “junk folk” at NPR’s Folk Alley.

 

Matt Lorenz

Matt Lorenz

Watch him perform his song “Earth Apple”.

 

Things you didn’t know about Arvo Pärt

Did you know that since the ’70s Pärt’s music has been inspired by bells?

 

Watch Pärt playing piano!

“she knew nothing about the music”

NPR wants you to “look at this” and I totally agree!

http://apps.npr.org/lookatthis/posts/album-art/

 

 

Denise Burt, a graphic designer, knew nothing about classical music when she started designing labels for Dacapo Records in Denmark. However, by engaging with the composers and artists of her projects, she designed covers that actually reflect the amazing music that lies underneath!

 

The Monks of Norcia

The Monks of Norcia, a Benedictine order in Italy, have produced a CD of a gregorian chant. Perhaps surprisingly, this type of CD is currently very popular. The 1994 album Chant sold about 6 million copies!

 

Also, the monks are now brewing beer to bring the community together, and to earn income.

Listen to the NPR story here.

 

Crankie?

Ever heard of a crankie? Well…”it’s like a mural on a spool” !

 

Check out Anna & Elizabeth on Tiny Desk! Their bios are pretty fascinating: http://www.annaandelizabeth.com/bio.html

Unexpected Americana

Check out Fede Graña Y Los Prolijos’ song “El Gigante” on NPR’s field recordings! The band is from Uruguay and is clearly influenced by americana and bluegrass.

And the lead singer seriously can’t stop smiling!

Fede Grana Y Los Prolijos

Fede Grana Y Los Prolijos

 

NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts presents José González

 

Love Songs: NPR’s Countdown to Valentine’s Day

In honor of everyone’s favorite (or least favorite) heart-filled holiday, NPR asked its listeners to send in their favorite romantic song. On this week’s All Songs Considered, they share and discuss the results. Number 1? “First Day of My Life,” by Bright Eyes. My personal pick, however, would be “Careless Love” as sung by Ray Charles and Madeleine Peyroux.

 

 

View the full list and listen in here.

 

Music for Concentration?

We all have our work playlists, the same 25 (or more) songs we zone out to while staring intently at the computer screen. NPR’s the Good Listener recently crowd sourced a list of reader’s favorite ambient sounds. Check out the article and list here.

My current favorite concentration music? Odesza.

 

 

“Silence is like fertile soil, which, as it were, awaits our creative act, our seed.” – Arvo Pärt

Arvo Pärt, an Estonian composer, is one of Armand’s favorites. Read NPR’s fascinating article about his music: The Silence and Awe of Arvo Pärt.

 

Newport Jazz Fest Photos!

Check out this NPR article about the Newport Jazz Festival 2014 and follow the link to their Flickr account!

 

 

The article is here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/ablogsupreme/2014/08/05/337841830/newport-jazz-2014-in-photos