Mon February 10, 2014
Tiny Desk Concerts

Suzanne Vega: Tiny Desk Concert

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 12:51 pm

Suzanne Vega performs at a Tiny Desk concert in January 2014.
Meredith Rizzo Meredith Rizzo/NPR

In pop-music circles, Suzanne Vega is known almost entirely for two songs from the late 1980s: the child-abuse ballad "Luka" and a song that launched literally dozens of dance remixes, "Tom's Diner." But Vega has been making vital, inventive music the entire time — much of it folk-based, though her sound has taken many smart detours along the way — and is about to put out her first album of original material in seven years, Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles.

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Mon February 10, 2014
Music Interviews

Phosphorescent: Songwriting That 'Gives Off Light Without Eating Itself Up'

Matthew Houck, the driving force behind Phosphorescent, performing at the eTown recording studios, Oct., 2013.
Jim Hill KUNC

The London Evening Standard anointed Matthew Houck as “the most significant American in his field since Kurt Cobain.” As the driving force behind Phosphorescent, there’s no pressure there, right?

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Sat February 8, 2014
Tiny Desk Concerts

Fanfare Ciocarlia: Tiny Desk Concert

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 8:13 am

Fanfare Ciocarlia performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in January 2014.
Jim Tuttle Jim Tuttle/NPR

Truth be told, I was scared. We've stuffed a lot of musicians behind the Tiny Desk, but when I saw Fanfare Ciocarlia (pronounced "fan-FAR-eh cho-car-LEE-ah") at Globalfest the week before the band arrived at NPR, I couldn't fathom how we'd corral these 12 musicians and their various assorted horns and drums into that truly tiny space.

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Sat February 8, 2014
marc on the blues

It Took B.B. King To Get Arthur Adams 'Back On Track'

Arthur Adams live at Sunset Junction festival, Los Angeles, Calif., Aug. 2008.
mykalburns Flickr - Creative Commons

Many years ago B.B. King told Arthur Adams, “I love the spirit in your guitar playing.” It was a friendship that has contributed to Adams’ development and success as an individualistic and sophisticated artist.

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Thu February 6, 2014