Chris Weingarten, music editor at Rolling Stone, joins us to explain why it's a big deal that Daft Punk -- an electronic music group -- was nominated for two Grammys in the "Big Four" categories this year. Plus, he walks us through the Grammys' long and rather awkward history with dance music -- from the ill-fated 1980 "Best Disco Recording" category, to the nomination of a song from the Space Jam soundtrack for "Best Dance Recording" in 1998, to Skrillex's non-televised acceptances of three awards last year.
In this episode: Daft Punk is no stranger to the Grammys. Since 1998, the French electronic duo has been nominated 13 times, and, five years ago, they won the awards for Best Dance Recording and Best Electronic/Dance Album. But this year, Daft Punk has managed to break into what’s known as the “Big Four” categories -- and has become the first group ever to be nominated for both Best Dance/Electronica Album and Album of the Year. Chris Weingarten, music editor at Rolling Stone explains why this is matters for dance music.
Then, the moody and lovely British pop group London Grammar performs songs from its new album, If You Wait, in the Soundcheck studio.
And: Radio programmers at Top 40 stations are desperate to keep you tuned in and listening to ads -- that’s how they pay the rent. So they’ve done some homework, and they think they might have a way of competing with music streamers like Spotify: Play fewer hit songs, more often.
SPIN editor Chris Weingarten shares with Soundcheck host John Schaefer some of his thoughts behind the album.
In this episode: Actress and soprano Audra McDonald recently starred in Broadway's revival of Porgy and Bess. Now, she's back with her first solo album in 7 years, Go Back Home, featuring songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein and Stephen Sondheim, among others.
Plus: Spin editor Chris Weingarten gives his take on the new Daft Punk album, Random Access Memories, which has spawned a heavy favorite for the “song of the summer” title.
And: Songwriter and Muppet pal Paul Williams recently teamed up with the masked men of Daft Punk to work on their new album. He joins us to talk about the results.
NPR Music critic Ann Powers joins us to look at what topped her her list in 2012, including one very sexy slow jam. Then, we turn the Soundcheck 2012 Music Survey on its head and asks music writers Maura Johnston and Chris Weingarten about the music that made them writhe in agony this year.