Listen to We Partyin' Traditional Style!, the new album from the New Orleans trumpeter, bandleader and BBQ-lover Kermit Ruffins in its entirety.
Hear the entrancing new album from the India-born, New York-based vocalist Falu and her band in this week's Check Ahead.
Ray Manzarek, founding member of the legendary rock and roll band The Doors, has died at the age of 74, after a long battle with bile duct cancer.
Watch a bizarre new music video from the Lawrence, Ks.-based indie rock band Hospital Ships.
For most athletes, retirement offers an opportunity to pursue other interests. While many turn to the broadcast booth or business ventures, a few turn to music, either as musicians or for careers in the industry. Musician Erin McKeown talks with former Division I basketball player Christen Greene, now a music business manager for bands such as The Lumineers.
Watch the dexterous finger-tapping guitarist Marnie Stern give a glimpse into her colorful New York City apartment and perform an intense, bare-bones rendition of "You Don't Turn Down."
On the hypnotic new album from the electro soul duo.
Joyce Cohen recently wrote on BuzzFeed about living with hyperacusis, a condition which makes soft sounds unbearably loud and painful. After Cohen joined us last week to talk about it, we received some great emails and voicemails from you, with a wide range of feedback. The segment got us talking here in the Soundcheck office, too.
Here's why: Joyce described how she blocks out noise while living amid the sonic chaos of New York.
In my situation, because I know I'm going to be subjected to a lot of loud noise, I always protect my ears. I have industrial-strength earmuffs, so I look like the baggage handler [at an airport].
Even if you don’t have hyperacusis like Cohen, even if you don’t live in New York, you might still take measures --- some of them extreme -- to find peace and quiet.
All this week on the show, we're asking our listeners and in-studio guests: How do you block out noise? Where do you find quiet?
Sam Beam, the singer-songwriter who records as the indie-folk act Iron & Wine, told John Schaefer that he finds peace and quiet while driving, despite the hum of the car interior and the tires on the road.
I've had to make a habit of not turning music on in the car. It used to be where I listened to music, because it was really the only place I had where you were stuck. I feel like it's also a matter of perspective, because I have a bunch of kids. What some people think is quiet is probably different than my idea of quiet. I definitely learned to block a lot of noise out through sheer force of will. So the car feels really quiet to me.
Unlike Beam, the saxophonist Colin Stetson lives in a major city, Montreal. A solo artist who also tours with Bon Iver and Arcade Fire, Stetson finds quiet while running, but what he hears depends on the terrain.
I won't put earbuds in if I'm running in the woods -- trailrunning out in Vermont [...] But when I'm running in the city, I tend to drown out the noise with something that's more aggressive and more powerful than the city's noise, so I listen to a lot of metal.
What about you? How do you block out noise? How do you create a quiet space? Leave a message for us at 866-939-1612. Or, post your story in the comment section below.
Join NPR Music and WNYC's Soundcheck for a First Listen Live concert from proto-punk band Iggy & The Stooges, broadcast from New York City. Watch the group rip through songs from its new album, Ready to Die, as well as a handful of old favorites.
A few nights ago, my friend Susan Werner began her show in Franklin, Mass. in an unusual way. Werner, a crafty singer-songwriter and genius multi-instrumentalist, donned her old, beat-up Red Sox hat (despite being from Chicago by way of Iowa), sat down silently at the piano, and tenderly plucked out the melody to Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline." Whether they were sports fans or not -- though by osmosis, heredity, and peer pressure most folks in the Boston metro area are -- the audience immediately recognized the song and sang the rest of the words as Werner simply grinned. It was a lovely moment of catharsis after a week that had left even the most stoic or cynical person weary.
I too have found myself looking for some similar kind of antidote to the strained voices of my local broadcasters, the cable outlets all jockeying for scoops, and the breakneck true-false-true rumor mill of own Twitter feed. So I spent the weekend recording, sitting in with my friend songwriter-cellist Ben Sollee, performing at my local shop for Record Store Day, and joining Susan onstage for the rest of her show. I was reminded of how music is such a lovely counterweight to panic and anxiety.
While music offers a certain type of emotional solace and respite after public tragedy, sports is also often pointed to as a place of “healing” -- a word used far too often for my taste when describing the experience of going to a game. Healing takes time, healing is personal, healing lasts longer than an anthem sung together. Or the generous gesture of a front page to an out of town sports section. Or a surprise visit to Fenway park by Neil Diamond to perform his “Sweet Caroline.”
Musician Erin McKeown reflects on how, compared to digital music listening services, watching sports online is way behind the curve.
Who says kids have to listen to "kiddie music"? Soundcheck host John Schaefer shares a playlist of some songs he played for his own daughters.