Music + Culture

Music + Culture
2:17 am
Tue March 12, 2013

'Bowery Boys' Are Amateur But Beloved New York Historians

Library of Congress

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 1:12 pm

In the 19th century, the Bowery Boys were a street gang that ruled that small section of Manhattan. In the 21st century, the Bowery Boys are two best friends — Tom Meyers and Greg Young — who record a do-it-yourself podcast with the same name.

Meyers and Young love to perform almost as much as they love New York City, and their show traces the unofficial history of the place. They record a few blocks from — you guessed it — the Bowery district.

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Music + Culture
1:29 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Self-Tracking Apps To Help You 'Quantify' Yourself

Noah Zandan shows off his Zeo sleep-tracking headband. His other self-tracking devices are on his wrists. Noah and his father, Peter, are both part of the growing "Quantified Self" movement.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 8:11 am

Technology has made it easier than ever to track your activity levels, your sleep cycles, how you spend your time, and more. The self-trackers who near-obsessively capture and analyze their own data are part of a growing "Quantified Self" movement.

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Music + Culture
3:44 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

A New TV Type: The Spunky, Obsessive Female 'Hummingbird'

Amy Poehler plays Leslie Knope on NBC's Parks and Recreation.
Colleen Hayes NBC

It's pilot season, that time of year when television networks create and test new shows with hopes of turning out the next big thing. But whatever new plots they come up with, it's safe to say that they will turn to the safety of a limited number of character archetypes: the lovable loser, the charming rogue, the desperate housewife.

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Music + Culture
11:21 am
Mon March 11, 2013

The 'Nasty Effect': How Comments Color Comprehension

Researchers found that exposure to uncivil comments can polarize opinion on news issues.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 2:56 pm

At its best, the Web is a place for unlimited exchange of ideas. But Web-savvy news junkies have known for a long time that reader feedback can often turn nasty. Now a study in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication suggests that rude comments on articles can even change the way we interpret the news.

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Music + Culture
2:10 am
Mon March 11, 2013

For John Baldessari, Conceptual Art Means Serious Mischief

Courtesy the artist/John Baldessari Studio

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 11:14 am

There are certain creations that have defined beauty for generations: Renoir's pudgy, pink nude; Rothko's brilliant blocks of color that seem to vibrate; Michelangelo's naked young man in marble, with a slingshot on his shoulder.

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Music + Culture
2:03 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Can You Make Sad Songs Sound Happy (And Vice-Versa)?

Michael Stipe broods on the cover of R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" single. Earlier this year, a remarkably cheery-sounding major-key version of the song appeared online.
Album cover

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 4:15 pm

Oleg Berg, an engineer and musician in the Ukraine, had a dream as a kid. He wanted to be able to take popular songs, the recordings of which were instantly recognizable, and invert their sound: making major keys minor and vice versa.

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Music + Culture
3:17 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Musical Treasures in Central Washington

Nic Caoille, Music Director of the Wenatchee Valley Symphony

 Nic Caoille  is the Music Director of the Wenatchee Valley Symphony and Director of Orchestras at Central Washington University.  I had the pleasure of working with him in October 2011 as host of that evening's  Wenatchee Valley Symphony concert.

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Music + Culture
12:07 pm
Sun March 3, 2013

At 100, Composer Margaret Bonds Remains A Great Exception

Margaret Bonds in 1956. Born in Chicago in 1913, Bonds became one of the first African-American female composers to gain recognition in the United States.
Carl Van Vechten Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 1:35 pm

Margaret Bonds, who died in 1972, is perhaps near the top of the very short list of African-American female composers. Thanks to her partnerships with Langston Hughes and soprano Leontyne Price and others, she's remembered in some circles as an important figure in American composition. But, mostly, she's been forgotten.

"It's amazing that people don't know who she was, although she was quite well known in her time," says Louise Toppin, an opera singer and a voice professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Music + Culture
12:25 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Marches Madness: John Philip Sousa's 'Washington Post'

Circa 1910: A program advertising John Philip Sousa and his band.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

It's Marches Madness! Throughout this month, we're posting some of our favorite marches — from the concert hall, opera stage and parade ground. Got one we should hear? Played any yourself? Let us know in the comments section.

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Music + Culture
11:11 am
Thu February 28, 2013

NPR Music Presents: Josh Ritter In Concert

Josh Ritter performs The Beast in Its Tracks at Le Poisson Rouge.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 7:53 am

To stand out as an acoustic-guitar-wielding folk-rock singer-songwriter, you'd better have an awful lot of charisma at your disposal — and it helps if, like Josh Ritter, you're able to infuse your songs with a sense that stakes are high and words ring true. A prolific singer-songwriter who's appropriately delved into a side career as a novelist, Ritter crafts his words carefully, but never loses sight of what makes them relate to the experiences of those who hear him.

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