Stephen Thompson

Stephen Thompson appears in the following:

Pop Culture Happy Hour, Small Batch: Taylor Swift's '1989'

Monday, November 03, 2014

NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and Jacob Ganz discuss one of the year's biggest pop records — its sound, its roll-out, its lyrics and its place in Taylor Swift's catalog.


First Listen: Damien Rice, 'My Favourite Faded Fantasy'

Sunday, November 02, 2014

After an eight-year break from recording, Rice gives his bold, dreamy, impeccably rendered music plenty of room to breathe and seethe over the course of more than 50 minutes.


The Good Listener: How Do I Share Music With My Kids? Should I?

Saturday, November 01, 2014

A dad can't wait to share songs with his newborn son. But are there right and wrong ways to do it?

Comments [1]

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Dear White People' And The State Of Animation

Friday, October 31, 2014

The panel discusses a new film about black campus life, engages in a wide-ranging discussion of animated TV shows, and expounds on What's Making Us Happy this week.


Banks: Tiny Desk Concert

Thursday, October 30, 2014

On record, Banks is at the center of lavish productions, each suitable for throbbing remixes and banks of swirling lights. Here, though, she serves notice as a powerful singer in her own right.


The Notwist, 'Kong'

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The song is about this fantasy that the singer Markus Acher had had about a superhero coming in and saving his house from a flood. And if you listen closely you can pick up little hints of that story.


First Listen: Neil Young, 'Storytone'

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Young recorded all of Storytone's 10 songs with either a 92-piece orchestra or an elaborate big band, but wisely includes beautifully stripped-down acoustic versions, too.


The Good Listener: Where's All The Great Halloween Music?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Christmas yields dozens of holiday albums each year. But, "Monster Mash" aside, what of Halloween?

Comments [1]

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Whiplash' And Carbon Dating

Friday, October 24, 2014

Audie Cornish joins the show to discuss an Oscar-friendly Sundance hit, what makes certain art a product of its time, and what's making us happy this week.


Pop Culture Happy Hour, Small Batch: Announcing Our Biggest Live Show Yet

Thursday, October 23, 2014

On Dec. 9 at 7 p.m., the Pop Culture Happy Hour crew will appear live at Washington, D.C.'s beautiful Sixth & I synagogue. Tickets go on sale on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at noon ET.


First Listen: The Flaming Lips, 'With A Little Help From My Fwends'

Sunday, October 19, 2014

On an album-length cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Flaming Lips' playful streak gets undercut with moments of abrasiveness and aggression — and detours down strange side roads.


The Good Listener: How Can I Become A 'Music Person'?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A reader grew up listening to Rick Astley in the '80s and needs to know if it's too late to change.


First Listen: Horse Feathers, 'So It Is With Us'

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The chamber-folk band's fifth album feels unerringly graceful — a quality that transcends tempo and tone, infusing every song with enough beauty to overwhelm sadness.


The Good Listener: When You Need To Concentrate, Which Music Is Best?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Do you spend your days wearing headphones and staring at a computer screen, looking for music to fill your head without distracting you from the task at hand? This column is for you.


Song Premiere: The Lone Bellow, 'Then Came The Morning'

Monday, October 06, 2014

On the first single from its new album, the band has lost none of its sleekly soaring charm.


First Listen: Stars, 'No One Is Lost'

Sunday, October 05, 2014

The Montreal band recorded its new album within earshot of a since-closed discotheque, and it shows. No One Is Lost prioritizes lightness and bittersweet uplift over the devastation of past records.


First Listen: Meatbodies, 'Meatbodies'

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Meatbodies' Chad Ubovich has learned to put his personal spin on the surf-strum mutant beach party championed by California psychedelic rock bands like Thee Oh Sees, Wand and Bleached.


The Good Listener: How Do I Avoid 'The iTunes Pit Of Despair'?

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Music has become so abundant, it's hard to keep track of your library — let alone give songs the time they deserve. But there are ways to start over and discover great new songs you already own.


First Listen: Foxygen, '...And Star Power'

Sunday, September 28, 2014

There's a because-we-can quality to the band's overstuffed, 82-minute second album, as Foxygen delights in letting its loosest threads unravel.


The Good Listener: When Was Pop Music At Its Lowest Point?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Haunted by memories of Paula Abdul rapping with a cartoon cat, a reader asks about popular music's worst era.