Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 11:07 am
Poor Jules Massenet. How could the most successful French opera composer of his generation fall so far out of fashion? Perhaps the new 23-CD box set of Massenet's music, marking the 100th anniversary of his death (yesterday), holds some clues.
Ha Ha Tonka makes its first appearance on today's Mountain Stage, recorded at the campus of Ohio University in Athens, with a set that features songs from the band's newest album, Death of a Decade. Taking its name from a state park in its members' native southeastern Missouri, the group was recently featured on the Ozarks episode of the Travel Channel's Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.
Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 7:24 pm
On this week's show hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share some of their favorite new discoveries, including the Kate Bush-inspired Swedish duo Niki And The Dove, German experimental pianist Nils Frahm, and a surprising new album from singer Amanda Palmer.
Also on the show: the best new music in a decade from the Chicago-based band Sea And Cake; the inimitable storytelling of Swedish pop singer Jens Lekman; and an epic new album from post-punk veterans Swans.
We were in London, searching for Hidden Kitchen stories, when we came upon an Eel Pie & Mash shop. It was full of old white marble tables, tile walls, pots of stewed and jellied eels, and piles of pies. These shops are now a dying breed, along with the eels they serve. Our search for the source of these vanishing eels led us to southwest London — to Eel Pie Island, a tiny slice of land with a flamboyant history that stretches from Henry the VIII to the Rolling Stones.
Boston's Debo Band takes inspiration from a golden era of popular music in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the late '60s and early '70s. During a brief period of cultural freedom in Ethiopia, funk and soul music fused spectacularly with local traditions. Debo Band's debut album both honors and updates the sound of "swinging Addis."
Swedish electro group Little Dragon has been remixed countless times. Their soul-infused dance songs steal scenes in primetime TV shows. They've collaborated across genres with the likes of the Gorillaz, SBTRKT and Big Boi. But their experimental evolution is most impressive when it unfurls live — as in this set that brought down the house at Celebrate Brooklyn.
For many years here at NPR, Gwen Thompkins was an editor and then went to East Africa as a correspondent. She's always had a great ear, so perhaps it's not surprising that her brand-new music radio show called "Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins" listens to music in a revealing way. The show is from Gwen's hometown, New Orleans, and every week she talks to people in Louisiana who have devoted their lives to music - songwriters, musicians, producers, you name it.
Gwen Thompkins joins us now from WWNO in New Orleans. Congratulations.