Miracles of Modern Science are a rock group with a love of jazz and chamber pop — and no need for a guitar. The band's debut album is called <em>Dog Year</em>.
Credit Courtesy of the artist
A lot of rock bands visit the NPR studios with maybe a fiddle or two in tow. But Miracles of Modern Science are not a typical rock band. the group boasts a mandolin, upright bass, cello, violin, drums — and absolutely no electric guitar.
Evan Younger, Josh Hirshfeld, Kieran Ledwidge, Tyler Pines and Geoff McDonald met in college, where they bonded over a shared love of jazz, rock and classical music. But even more important to their chemistry, McDonald says, is a belief that those genres can play nice together, with satisfying results.
"They used to call me Brian McWhite," Robin Thicke says, laughing.
Discovered by Brian McKnight, the singer-songwriter got a record deal at 16, and got his start writing and producing songs for artists like Brandy and Christina Aguilera. Since embarking on his solo career in 2003, Thicke has released five albums, the latest of which is titled Love After War.
In jazz, to be a bassist usually means playing in someone else's band. The bassist-as-bandleader is a fairly rare thing, with the torch being passed over the years from Charles Mingus to Ron Carter ... and now to Philadelphia-born Christian McBride.
Tis the Season! Celebrating Hannukah with the Klezmatics 'Woody Guthrie's Happy Hoyus Hanukh, ' the Solstice with an old favorite by Dar Williams, and celebrating Christmas with a She and Him Christmas.'
Most of the names announced for induction to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame this week are familiar: Guns N' Roses, Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The name Laura Nyro may need some explaining.
She was the daughter of a New York jazz trumpeter, who took her along to his gigs. She sold her first song, And When I Die, to Peter, Paul and Mary for $5,000 when she was just a teenager; left New York's School of Music and Art; and became a star at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival at the age of 20.