Streams

Stephen Thompson

Stephen Thompson appears in the following:

First Listen: Luluc, 'Passerby'

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Luluc writes songs for late-night drives and uneventful mornings — stuff to slow the blood and the world outside. On its second album, the duo uses calm as a medium unto itself.

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The Good Listener: On Recommending Songs With Profanity

Friday, July 04, 2014

When praising a new band to friends, should you warn them about salty language for their kids' sake?

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Lydia Loveless: Tiny Desk Concert

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

A 23-year-old singer-guitarist, Loveless performs gritty, countrified blues-rock in the NPR Music offices. Her three subdued but seething songs paint a picture of a smart, no-nonsense talent.

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The Good Listener: When Should A 'Washed-Up' Band Pack It In?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Quiet Riot tours with no original members. Is there a point where staying together is just silly?

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First Listen: Old Crow Medicine Show, 'Remedy'

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Like a big, friendly sheepdog that just can't help itself, the Virginia roots-rock group's music bounds right up to you and licks your face. This is a band with little use for muted gestures.

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The Good Listener: What Makes A Summer Song?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

When do we know what the song of summer will be? Have we already heard this year's song? If not, when do we typically start to hear it? Why do the other seasons lack their own song?

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Song Premiere: Sinead O'Connor, 'Take Me To Church'

Monday, June 16, 2014

The uncompromising singer's new song looks back on a lifetime of battles and broken loves, only to find pathways to peace, redemption, forgiveness and wonder.

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Starbucks Will Pay For Employees To Complete College

Monday, June 16, 2014

An online bachelor's degree from Arizona State University for every barista.

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The Good Listener: When We Call Songs 'Filler,' What Does That Mean?

Friday, June 13, 2014

If we skip certain songs on an album every time, do they automatically qualify as "filler"?

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First Listen: The Antlers, 'Familiars'

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Each of Familiars' deliberately paced songs sprawls to between five and eight minutes, and each takes a thoughtful journey in the process. The result mixes subtlety, grandiosity and beauty.

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The Good Listener: What Makes A Hit Song Overplayed?

Friday, June 06, 2014

With enough exposure, today's can't-get-enough pop smash can be tomorrow's invasive irritant.

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First Listen: First Aid Kit, 'Stay Gold'

Sunday, June 01, 2014

The Swedish sister act got its start playing feather-light folk-pop confections. But Stay Gold is a statement of staying power; a collection of bright, smart, substantial songs that stick around.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour: Recycling Franchises And Judging Books By Their Covers

Friday, May 30, 2014

The scheduled return of Sailor Moon inspires the gang to discuss the way franchises keep coming back around for new generations. Then it's on to book and album covers — and what's making us happy.

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First Listen: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, 'Only Run'

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Only Run expands on the band's simultaneously soaring, jittery and joyful sound in surprising ways. The result reflects a relentless pursuit of invention and reinvention.

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The Good Listener: When's The Right Time To Delete Your Music?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hard-drive space is virtually unlimited, but there comes a time when the music you have can obstruct the music you want.

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First Listen: Hamilton Leithauser, 'Black Hours'

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Walkmen's lead singer has gotten a head start on middle age, lyrically speaking. Black Hours finds him letting it catch up without losing his vitality in the process.

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The Good Listener: When Should I Keep Criticism To Myself?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Say your favorite musician puts out a bad album: How loudly should you express your disappointment?

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First Listen: Jolie Holland, 'Wine Dark Sea'

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The singer warps and slurs her words, setting them against low, sullenly rumbling arrangements that sprawl and wander ambitiously across the sounds of blues, rock, jazz and soul.

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First Listen: Haley Bonar, 'Last War'

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A bright, subtle storyteller, Bonar displays a mastery of pop-rock craftsmanship that keeps these songs as relentlessly catchy on the surface as they are alluringly complex underneath.

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The Good Listener: Can I Ruin My Wedding By Playing The Wrong Song?

Friday, May 09, 2014

A couple plays The Mountain Goats' brutal song "No Children" at a wedding. Can their love be saved?

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