Streams

Stephen Thompson

Stephen Thompson appears in the following:

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'House Of Cards' And Pop Culture Punching Bags

Friday, February 21, 2014

A reconstituted panel discusses Netflix's latest season-length offering before taking turns defending the seemingly indefensible. Then, as always, it's on to What's Making Us Happy.

Comment

First Listen: The Notwist, 'Close To The Glass'

Monday, February 17, 2014

The German band's collage-based sound brims over with buzzing, springy, playful urgency. Bathed in electronics, Markus Acher's softly accented vocals land like late-night affirmations from a trusted friend.

Comment

First Listen: Death Vessel, 'Island Intervals'

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Joel Thibodeau's eerily high voice sounds equally suited to basement-bound laments and celestial explorations. Island Intervals finds him splitting the difference and exploring the tension between those extremes.

Comment

The Good Listener: How Do You Make A Platonic Mixtape?

Friday, February 14, 2014

How do you share good music without giving the impression that you're "trying to say something"?

Comment

First Listen: Phantogram, 'Voices'

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The New York duo plays spiky, dense and danceable pop-rock songs with an electronic pulse. Voices is the sound of a band at ease and assured in its moment, as it seizes every scrap of momentum it's created for itself.

Comment

The Good Listener: What's The Perfect Soundtrack To Teenage Flirtation?

Friday, February 07, 2014

You're putting together a dance for teenagers. What kind of music best reflects their adolescence?

Comment

Playing SXSW 2014? Send Us Your Songs

Thursday, February 06, 2014

If you're in Austin come mid-March, we're asking for one song (via MP3) to represent your sound.

Comment

The Good Listener: Leave 'We Built This City' Alone!

Friday, January 31, 2014

It's largely accepted as truth that Starship's 1985 song "We Built This City" is the worst atrocity in all of music, in all of time. But we can do better — or worse, depending on how you look at it.

Comment

First Listen: 'Sweetheart 2014'

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Sweetheart compilations adhere to a simple concept in which well-liked contemporary artists cover well-liked classic love songs just in time for Valentine's Day. This year's participants include Fiona Apple, Vampire Weekend, Sharon Jones, Ben Harper, Jim James, Beck, Valerie June and more.

Comment

First Listen: Jeremy Messersmith, 'Heart Murmurs'

Sunday, January 26, 2014

With its subtle strings and sly infectiousness, Heart Murmurs is no less than an attempt to craft a new batch of pop standards. Whether Messersmith succeeds depends mostly on how many people are lucky enough to hear him.

Comment

The Good Listener: How Can I Conquer A Musical Blind Spot?

Friday, January 24, 2014

A reader discovers Devendra Banhart eight albums into his career. Where's a new fan supposed to begin?

Comment

First Listen: The Autumn Defense, 'Fifth'

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The band features bassist John Stirratt and multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone, both of Wilco. Warm and bittersweet, the timeless pop songs on Fifth have an agreeable brightness to them; they can seem unassuming, but they also burrow under the skin over time.

Comment

First Listen: Dum Dum Girls, 'Too True'

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The band's third album splits the difference between the guitar-fueled rumble of a '60s basement and the synth-friendly shimmer of an '80s studio. But the additional polish never overwhelms the songwriting.

Comment

The Good Listener: How Do You Know If You'll Love A Song Forever?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Songs are like relationships: Some burn hot before fizzling out, while others stay with us forever.

Comment

First Listen: Warpaint, 'Warpaint'

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The L.A. band's swirling sound is full of mysterious buzzes and coos, and there's a sense of everything-in-its-right-place grace and impeccability to it, yet the songs themselves never feel icy or distant. Warpaint's self-titled second album feels fashionable, sure, but not at the expense of approachability.

Comment

First Listen: Against Me!, 'Transgender Dysphoria Blues'

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The bracingly political Florida punk band's new album can't help but feel like a debut: It's the group's first album since singer Tom Gabel (now Laura Jane Grace) came out as transgender. She still barks her lyrics with fiercely assertive intelligence, with the added benefit of comfort and courage in her own skin.

Comment

The Good Listener: When Good Musicians Do Bad Things

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Our favorite musicians aren't always model citizens. Should that affect our enjoyment of the music?

Comment

First Listen: Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings, 'Give The People What They Want'

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Less than a year after a terrifying cancer diagnosis, the soul star stages a triumphant return. Set, as always, against The Dap-Kings' characteristically springy horns, Jones growls and struts through 10 timeless songs that couldn't sound better suited to the big stage.

Comment

First Listen: Damien Jurado, 'Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son'

Sunday, January 05, 2014

It's a testament to the singer-songwriter's versatility that he's made nearly a dozen albums of largely inward-looking folk and rock music, and yet has never made two records that sound the same.

Comment

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Time Machines, Time Capsules And A Live Studio Audience

Friday, December 27, 2013

It's Part 1 of our second-ever live show, a year-in-review episode recorded at NPR's Studio One. What we'll remember from 2013, what's changed in the last 20 years, and, as always, what's making us happy.

Comment