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Gig Alert: Amadou & Mariam

Friday, August 03, 2012

Malian musicians Amadou & Mariam bring their melodic blend of desert blues and Afropop to Central Park Summerstage on Saturday. Download their new song "Dougou Badia (feat. Santigold)."

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Soundcheck Resolutions Check-In: Listener Andrea

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Our listener Andrea achieves her summer goal of forming an "all-shrink" band. We couldn't be prouder. 

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Gig Alert: Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Germany's Brandt Brauer Ensemble brings its acoustic electronic dance music to Lincoln Center Out of Doors on Thursday night. Download its song "Pretend (feat. Emika).

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WNYC's Summer Listening Recommendations

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Don’t let your playlist wilt in the summer heat. WNYC staff, from Jad Abumrad to Soterios Johnson, share what they’re listening to this summer. 

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Parallel Play: A.J. Jacobs' Reaction

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Last week, author A.J. Jacobs (A Year of Living Biblically, Drop Dead Healthy) joined John Schaefer and lots of our listeners for an online web chat and listening session of Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks. As A.J. told us after the fact, "It was like going to a party, but you don't have to wear any pants." In addition to hearing the author's reaction to the album, we also hear from a young Dylan fan who joined in our inaugural Parallel Play. She tells us about her listening experience - and recommends an album from the indie pop duo Beach House for A.J. to check out next. 

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Gig Alert: Family Band

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The ambient rock band Family Band plays Union Pool on Wednesday night. Download its moody tune "Moonbeams." 

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Sigur Rós, Live at Celebrate Brooklyn

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The Icelandic band Sigur Rós - complete with wind, brass and string players - brought their soaring eerie melodies and crashing waves of sound to Celebrate Brooklyn's Prospect Park concert series on Tuesday night. Stream the entire show, which was recorded by WNYC in conjunction with NPR Music, and check out photos below.

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Have You Ever Been In a Music Video?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Earlier this week, we got an email from one of our Soundcheck Resolutions participants - Andrea. (You might remember her as the psychotherapist who wanted to start an “all-shrink” band.) She shared some good news with us that we’re going to write about later this week. But her email also included something else that we found particularly interesting: a link to this 1992 “Back to the Grill” MC Serch music video.

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Yayoi Kusama: Pop Princess of the Polka Dot

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

This past weekend I went to check out the Yayoi Kusama retrospective at the Whitney Museum. Kusama is a Japanese artist, born in 1929, who, for a time, found herself at the center of a mid-20th century New York art scene that included Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg. She’s best known for painting polka dots on naked people, covering furniture in stuffed phalluses, and creating immersive, psychedelic installations, like the one currently on view -- a winking, magical room called “Fireflies on the Water.” She’s also known for her escape from New York in 1973 -- ­to a mental hospital in Tokyo, which is her home to this day…as well as for being quite the underground inspiration.

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Gig Alert: Jesse Harris

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Singer-songwriter Jesse Harris celebrates the release of his new album, Sub Rosa, at Rockwood Music Hall on Tuesday night. Download his new single, "I Won't Wait."

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Pick Three: Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Nas

Monday, July 30, 2012

We get a taste of three new releases from hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar and R&B singers Frank Ocean and Nas, hand-selected by writer, blogger and co-host of the MTV show “Hip Hop POV” Sowmya Krishnamurthy.

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London 2012: Musical Beginnings

Monday, July 30, 2012

The sounds of the Olympics' opening weekend, from Mr. Bean's one-note solo to gymnast Aly Raisman's "Hava Nagila" floor exercise. 

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Gig Alert: Plants and Animals

Monday, July 30, 2012

Montreal indie rock trio Plants and Animals performs with Bombay Bicycle Club at Webster Hall on Monday night. Download its new single "Lightshow."

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Music and the Olympics

Friday, July 27, 2012

The London Olympics will have plenty of music.  Some of it may even be worth hearing. 

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Gig Alert: Ondatrópica

Friday, July 27, 2012

Colombian cumbia supergroup Ondatrópica makes its U.S. debut at Lincoln Center Out of Doors on Friday night. Download its dub-tinged tune "Punkero Sonidero." 

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Joe Jackson on "The Duke"

Thursday, July 26, 2012

English singer-songwriter, composer, and pianist Joe Jackson first burst on the scene in 1979 with the song "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" He followed that with his 1980s hit, "Steppin' Out." Over the years, Jackson's made forays into chamber music, art song and jazz. Now, he's released an album of Duke Ellington tunes, called "The Duke" - and it's anything but standard. He joined us to talk about it.

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The Glory of Love

Thursday, July 26, 2012

It's no secret on the Soundcheck team that both my co-producer Gretta and I followed (okay, obsessively followed) this summer's season of The Bachelorette. It became a bit of a routine: every Tuesday morning, we'd go over our reactions to the previous night's emotionally fraught episode, while our boss Joel pretended not to notice that his only two direct-reports were animatedly discussing a reality dating show. (Poor Joel.) But this past Sunday during the show's finale, our dual interests in music and The Bachelorette magically aligned: to the tune of Peter Cetera's "The Glory of Love."

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Gig Alert: Mallu

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Brazilian singer-songwriter Mallu brings her sunny pop to the Museum of Modern Art on Thursday. Download her new song "Velha e Louca" ("Old and Crazy").

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Gig Alert: Jacob Garchik

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Trombonist and composer Jacob Garchik celebrates his new album, The Heavens: The Atheist Gospel Trombone, at the ShapeShifter Lab on Wednesday night. Download its lead single, "Digression on the History of Jews and Black Music."

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Parallel Play: Dylan's 'Blood on the Tracks'

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The author A.J. Jacobs is known for setting self-improvement goals and sticking to them, no matter how radical they might be. Back in June, Jacobs set out to fill in a gap in his music knowledge -- and listen to (a lot of) Bob Dylan this summer. On July 24, we aimed to school him in a critical chapter of Dylan's discography, as part of a Soundcheck Workshop experiment called "Parallel Play."

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