I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program I will share a few thoughts in my Can I Just Tell You essay but now it's time for our Wisdom Watch conversation. That's the part of the program where we speak with those whose work has made a difference. Today we are speaking with a hip-hop pioneer.
In some ways, the film Not Fade Away is an extension of the friendship between the film's writer and director, David Chase, and its executive producer and musical supervisor, Steven Van Zandt.
Chase, the creator of The Sopranos, first encountered Van Zandt on TV, when Van Zandt introduced the Rascals to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. Chase soon cast Van Zandt as Silvio Dante on The Sopranos, and the two became close, bonding in particular over their love of pop music from the 1960s.
When I heard that Dwight Yoakam's latest album, 3 Pears, was co-produced by longtime KCRW favorite Beck, I was both delighted and intrigued. What we didn't expect was for his tried-and-true Bakersfield sound and honky-tonk style to put us under his spell long after his live performance, with his songs becoming a mainstay on our broadcast playlists for weeks to come.
Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 10:13 am
The world of acoustic music is about to get a new household name. The music of The Lone Bellow is born from tragedy and told with heart and simplicity. Zach Williams, a singer and songwriter for this Brooklyn-based group, is originally from Georgia, and his words began to flow following his wife's catastrophic horse riding accident that nearly left her paralyzed. Listen to The Lone Bellows' song "Two Sides of Lonely," from the band's forthcoming self-titled album.
If the sheer variety of holiday music that pops up each winter is any indication, there's no genre that can't handle a little Christmas spirit. This year, Louisiana country singer Sammy Kershaw decided to test that theory with the sounds of the bayou. His new album of Cajun-infused holiday songs is called A Sammy Klaus Christmas.
Folk singer John Fullbright got his start at the age of 16, playing at small venues in his native Oklahoma for tips and the occasional free meal. "I'd stand up there and play until my voice was gone, which sometimes would take three hours. Sometimes it'd take longer," Fullbright says. "But that's where I really learned to scream."
Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 6:22 pm
We decided to go all out for this year's All Songs Considered holiday party. The guest list for this (trust us!) unforgettable night of music and tall tales included Kishi Bashi, Dan Deacon, Carrie Brownstein and Nellie McKay. We hosted the festivities at a secluded cabin we rented one weekend in a snowy woods.
Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 2:55 pm
The North Carolina indie-folk band The Mountain Goats makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live in partnership with the Marshall Artists Series. Although frontman John Darnielle occasionally plays solo under the Mountain Goats moniker, the current lineup has operated as a trio since 2007.
You may remember Danica McKellar as Winnie Cooper in The Wonder Years. Today, the actress is also a math advocate and the author of Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape. In Tell Me More's 'In Your Ear' series, McKellar talks about the songs that helped her beat stress as a teen and inspire her as an adult.