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)."
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).
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.
The ambient rock band Family Band plays Union Pool on Wednesday night. Download its moody tune "Moonbeams."
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.
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.
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.
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."
Montreal indie rock trio Plants and Animals performs with Bombay Bicycle Club at Webster Hall on Monday night. Download its new single "Lightshow."
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."
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.
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."
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").
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."
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."