Music + Culture

 

This Saturday, April 21st will be the world wide observance of Record Store Day. The idea of celebrating independently owned record stores and artists has been going on for 5 years. At the same time there’s been an increase in listening to music on vinyl.

With the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the Titanic approaching this Saturday, April 14, the Wenatchee Valley Symphony and the Yakima Symphony will each be commemorating the event with concerts that feature music from James Cameron's Academy Award-winning film Titanic.

 

The Classics Rock with the Bottom Line Duo

Apr 4, 2012
Photo by GH KIM Photography

From “Walk like an Egyptian” to “Flight of the Bumblebee” the Bottom Line Duo break down musical stereotypes with humor and artistry,  and they do it on recycled instruments!  Okay, the instruments are just plain old, but you get the idea.  You can catch this husband and wife, bass and cello duo at Englewood Christian Church in Yakima this Thursday afternoon, April 4th, at 1:30.  

Check out their cool rendition of "Walk Like an Egyptian."  The bass makes for a cool a percussive instrument!

Photo by Nigel Chadwick / Wikimedia Commons

Did you know London has a tempo of 122.86 beats per minute? So says musician David Byrne, of Talking Heads and solo career fame. Byrne’s new sound installation , titled “Get It Away,” builds a song around sampled sounds recorded in the city.

“It turned out that most of the sounds seemed to converge around a common rhythm,” Byrne says, “I let the sounds dictate the groove, the tempo, and then I simply played along.”

Tacoma Symphony Orchestra to Feature Faure's "Requiem"

Mar 29, 2012

The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra's concert on March 31, 2012 will be highlighted by the performance of Faure's Requiem. Despite changes to the orchestration of the work to incorporate a full orchestra three years after its debut in Paris, the TSO will present the piece in its original format.

If you feel like being surrounded by mystery, enchantment, and beauty then Lost In The Trees’ new album, A Church That Fits Our Needs is a stellar fit.  The album has a special feeling.  Like that moment when you’re shoe shopping and you find a pair that fits your foot in a perfect way.  That might be a strange comparison, but my heart rushes when I listen to this album.  The movement of every song on this album is impeccable, leaving you with a feeling of hope and wonder.  With the lush-like vocals, lyrics, and sounds of cellos, violin, viola, tuba, piano, guitar bass, and percuss

One of my favorite bands, Real Estate stopped by NPR to perform a three-song Tiny Desk Concert.  Real Estate’s latest album Days has been on repeat for me since its release from Domino Records last fall.  For being a surf-rock, lo-fi, breezy pop kind of band this album fits perfectly with a crisp autumn or winter day. 

Watch Real Estate’s Tiny Desk Concert here.

The music of two innovators from the last two centuries comes together Saturday night in Tacoma.  Tacoma Philharmonic and Broadway Center present ‘The Bad Plus – on Sacred Ground: Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring’.  According to Billboard, The Bad Plus is America’s most “audacious, rule-breaking jazz trio”.  They will be performing one of the most famous works of 20th century art, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, a work that at its premiere in 1913 caused a riot among the audience

'Kinshasa Symphony': An Ode To Musical Joy In Central Africa

Mar 8, 2012

An amazing new documentary film is a must-see not just for music lovers, but for anyone who needs to see the nourishing power of the arts and human connections.

Kinshasa Symphony takes us into the everyday lives of the members of a most unlikely ensemble: the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste, located in the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a place ravaged by war, endemic poverty and corruption.

Cover Art From The "Space-Age"

Mar 5, 2012

From the late 1940s through the early '60s, the space race spawned a short-lived genre of "outer space exotica". Although the music on these records was often considerably less adventurous than the album covers promised, it's an fascinating mix of instrumental pop, electronic gadgetry, big band swing, movie music and garden variety elevator music. Here's a sampling of some memorable "space" records.

Click on the image gallery to see a sampling.

See more at Retro Cocktail Hour online

Kitty Eisele is supervising senior editor at NPR's Morning Edition. In this essay she remembers Monkees band member Davy Jones, who died Wednesday at age 66.

This is embarrassing to write, but years ago when my first crush erupted, I asked my dad to write a love note on my behalf to Davy Jones.

Find playlists for Exploring Music by clicking on a day of the week under the description of each week's theme.

March 26 - 30, 2012: You and the Night and the Music
Novelists who have drawn their plots around great music.
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri - Coming Soon

I was lucky enough to catch this Latin-American inspired 6 piece band, last winter here in Pullman, WA at one of our only music venues in town, The Belltower.  At the time, I was listening to their second release, Lupon, with which I had instantly fallen in love.  Lead singer and song writer Luz Elena Mendoza creates the most beautiful and enchanting melodies with accordions, clarinets, shakers, and other percussive instruments.  These Portland, OR natives keep climbing the indie charts with music that reflects a mix of Mendoza’s Mexican h

Before they made it to the Oscars, the nominated films — not to mention all the films that didn't make the cut — were viewed by some 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Many of those movies were shown in small, private, rented screening rooms all over Hollywood.

The studios have their own screening rooms, of course, but often directors want a more private place to screen works in progress — with no studio suits in sight.

Local Films to be Premiered Oscar Night

Feb 22, 2012

This Sunday, February 26, many will sit down to their televisions to enjoy the 84th Academy Awards. Since the release of the nominees the internet has been filled with predictions and debates mainly centering around the "Best Actor in a Leading Role," Best Actress in a Leading Role," and "Best Picture. While these awards are being revealed down in Hollywood, the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts (WICA) will be presenting an award show of its own. 

Conductors on Vacation

Feb 21, 2012

A Northwest Public Radio listener, Dave Ostrom, had a David Letterman-like "Brush with Greatness" while on a boat trip to Antarctica.  Zubin Mehta, Music Director for Life of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and his wife were also on the boat.   She had convinced him to bring his concert tails and to wear then while walking out into a group of king penguins numbering well over 100,000.  At one point he made a comment about another conductor conduc

This year's Grammy broadcast featured four powerhouse female vocalists, including British songstress Adele, who swept all six of the categories for which she was nominated.  So, who can we look forward to seeing at next year's music award shows? 

A Skating Rink's 'Ribbon In The Sky'

Feb 14, 2012

Orchestral music and sports go together like a horse and carriage, right?  Well, that may not be the first connection that springs to mind but inspiration comes in many forms.  Just ask Ryan Hare, a bassoonist and an associate professor of music at Washington State University.  He stopped by the Northwest Public Radio studios recently to speak with Robin Rilette about the world premiere of his piece “Maracanazo.”

Note: A number of listeners responded to this story and said the definition of appoggiatura was incorrect. Music commentator Rob Kapilow has a second opinion here.

Valentine's Day Dedications

Feb 8, 2012

Unleash your inner Romeo or Juliet!  Recognize a special person in your life this Valentine’s Day with an on-air dedication. E-mail your short (100 words or less) dedication by Sunday, February 12th at midnight and yours could be included during my Valentine’s Day show from 9:00 am to Noon. 

Frédéric Chopin was known for his piano works, and famous for solo piano pieces. But he also composed a number of piano concertos (pieces to be accompanied by other instruments). One of his first was Piano Concerto No. 1.

As published on JAZZ24 -

The Jazz 100 is a crowdsourced list of the most quintessential jazz songs of all time, determined by the listeners of Jazz24.org and NPR Music.

If there was one theme we noticed while sorting through the 1,500 nominations, it was that time does not take its toll on great music. "Take Five," which was the first jazz single to sell 1 million copies, was the undisputed top choice, while Miles Davis' "So What" (which was coincidentally recorded in the same year, 1959) was the clear No. 2.

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