NPR Music

It was on a family trip to Japan when Jui-Ting Hsi's patience with her father Kuo-Jen Hsi reached its limit.

The family, on vacation from Taiwan, had filed into a characteristically silent and crowded subway car in Tokyo when the family patriarch began speaking loudly, attracting a few glances from other passengers.

Summer heat is a challenge to keeping your cool: it's hard to slow down and not lose your rhythm, your temper, your style. When the temperature crawls up, and the humidity just kinda hangs there, you need music that can help you hang in there with it, not fight it. Ambient music is no match for the heat — groove is essential.

Join us for a special live broadcast on WMOT and VuHaus webcast this Friday evening, June 22 as WMOT and World Cafe present a special record release concert featuring Lera Lynn.

Two days after his 76th birthday, Paul McCartney released two new songs, which he calls a taste of Egypt Station, a new studio album set for release September 7.

"I Don't Know" is a doleful ballad, while "Come On To Me" is fiery, foot-stomping rock song — hear them both below.

Bettye LaVette's voice illuminates the definition of a true soul singer. It pierces through the physical and awakens the listener's emotional core. A soul singer's voice is only amplified through experience, and as Bettye told me when we spoke, "I've got so much stuff to cry about, and so much stuff to holler about, and so much stuff to laugh about."

Just a week after releasing the sultry collaboration "Bed" for Nicki Minaj's forthcoming album Queen, Ariana Grande and Minaj have reconvened their mutual appreciation society for yet another track. "The Light Is Coming" will appear on Grande's upcoming album Sweetener, due out Aug. 17.

It's in the name: returning a place to its proper condition. It's in the logo: a house tipped on an angle, in need of repair. Restorations, now 10 years running, is named for more than just architectural stability. It's emotional renewal for the members themselves and for anyone listening. The band's self-reflective, true colors are just as loud and bold as the layers of guitars galloping through each song.

Funny what the passage of 50 years will do to a controversy.

The Colorado Sound asked Brent Cowles to help us celebrate the station's first birthday. Cowles happily agreed and brought an all-star band to the party. Cowles had the crowd in the palm of his hand keeping everyone moving with mostly up-tempo numbers, but when Cowles decided to slow things down, you could have heard a pin drop. A silence fell over the crowd as they became mesmerized with the gorgeous harmonies and passionate lyrics of "9th and Lafayette."

The Thistle & Shamrock: Combos

9 hours ago

What goes with what? When it comes to Celtic music combos, almost anything goes, as long as it sounds good. So you be the judge when host Fiona Ritchie revels in the joyous sounds of multi-instrumental line-ups this week.

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Friends, a lot happened over the weekend. On Friday, Luis Fonsi proved once again that he can get millions of views with a well-drawled ayyyyy on any given beach in Puerto Rico; this time, he got an unexpected assist from U.K. grime star Stefflon Don. On Saturday, Daddy Yankee recruited the recently reunited old-school duo R.K.M. and Ken-Y for another go at it, now that reggaeton seems to (finally) be having its mainstream moment.

It was Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day when this somewhat loud and sometimes frenetic band came to play at my desk. I couldn't help but wonder if The Messthetics would inspire some eight-year old child in the office to one day become a musician, one who'd go on tell the tale of seeing these D.C. legends at an office when they were a kid.

The Women's March and #MeToo movement have helped raise the volume for women's voices across the country. But one place where women still struggle to be heard is in America's symphony halls. Take a look at which composers the top U.S. orchestras are performing in the upcoming season, and you will find some surprising disparities.

On Saturday, one of the highest-profile and most scrutinized marriages in pop music became an official collaboration with the surprise release of Jay-Z and Beyoncé's album Everything Is Love, credited to The Carters, alongside a video for the album's first single, shot in the Louvre. The album had been rumored since the release of Beyoncé's 2016 album Lemonade and Jay-Z's 4:44, both of which addressed fault lines in the artists' marriage, and in a summer of major hip-hop albums, this instantly marked a new high-water mark.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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For Saintseneca, fatalistic gloom blends seamlessly with a kind of playful sprightliness: Zac Little's songs often simmer in a sad swirl of death and esoterica, but his deadpan ruminations are buoyed by the sounds of exotic instruments, candy-colored pop hooks and many points in between.

Southern friendship is all about porches. The craftsman cottages of East Nashville were designed for afternoon sweet tea and guitar picking with the perfume of whatever's on the smoker (these days, it's as likely to be tofu as hog) wafting by. Bars like Mickey's on Gallatin Pike have great porches, too — a famous local might come in for a cold beer and leave hours later in a new super group.

If you've written off women's wrestling, you're missing out.

Your Favorite New Artists Of 2018 (So Far)

Jun 19, 2018

The South Florida rapper XXXTentacion, born Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, was shot near a motorcycle dealership in Deerfield Beach, Fla., this afternoon and later was pronounced dead after being transported to an area hospital, the Broward Sheriff's Office has confirmed. According to a statement provided to NPR by the Broward Sheriff's Office, at 3:57 p.m.

A summer already full of high-profile hip-hop releases just got hotter. NPR Music's Ann Powers and Rodney Carmichael break down the surprise release of Jay-Z and Beyoncé's joint album, Everything Is Love, and explore how it sounds both on its own and compared to the competition.

What's Your Summer Jam This Year?

Jun 18, 2018

Ah, summer. Between the endless freedom and sizzling heat, there's something about the season that makes it ripe for memories. Lounging by the pool, dancing freely to the latest crackling pop hit. Drinking on rooftops with friends, the humid evening inducing a warm, pleasant languor. Road trips, music festivals, lazy days alone: With so much time, we become better versions of ourselves – more relaxed, confident and unguarded.

Whatever it is, it's clear that summer deserves its own soundtrack. What's your summer jam? Tell us in the poll below.

PJ Morton, the keyboardist for Maroon Five, has a lot to say. At a moment when music and pop culture have become hyper-politicized, Morton has released a solo album. He says he wants it to do what other artists’ songs did during the civil rights era, and help push a movement forward.

You can hear an unplugged version of Morton’s new album here:

How does Morton work as both an artist and entrepreneur?

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