Stephen Thompson

Stephen Thompson appears in the following:

Pop Culture Happy Hour Small Batch: Remembering Prince

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Linda Holmes and Stephen Thompson discuss the way Prince changed music, supported other artists, defied creative constraints and challenged the notion of what it means for a pop singer to rebel.


First Listen: The Jayhawks, 'Paging Mr. Proust'

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The long-running roots-pop band's new music nicely re-creates a honeyed, harmony-rich sound while still expanding it in subtle, appealing ways.


First Listen: Original Broadway Cast Recording, 'Bright Star'

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Edie Brickell and Steve Martin team up again, this time to compose a Broadway musical about star-crossed couples in North Carolina during the first half of the 20th century.


First Listen: Rufus Wainwright, 'Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets'

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Wainwright and his many guests pile on the gravitas while still digging into the Bard's material with playful and provocative spirits.


Palehound: Tiny Desk Concert

Monday, April 11, 2016

Ellen Kempner and her band perform three tense and evocative songs from last year's Dry Food, set amid the pin-drop silence of a rapt crowd.


First Listen: Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop, 'Love Letter For Fire'

Thursday, April 07, 2016

With the help of producer Tucker Martine and a smart, subtle band, Hoop and Beam achieve a fine balance — of songwriting sensibilities and of time in the spotlight.


Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Batman V. Superman' And The Objects We Desire

Friday, April 01, 2016

We look at a big new movie and discuss what we want from our blockbusters. Then it's on to a discussion of the pop-culture objects we covet, plus What's Making Us Happy this week.


Charles Bradley, Live In Concert: SXSW 2016

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Several music fans at SXSW walked away from our showcase claiming this was the concert of the night. Watch to find out why.


First Listen: Andrew Bird, 'Are You Serious'

Thursday, March 24, 2016

On his 13th album, Bird delves deeper into alternately peppy and muted ruminations on love and chemistry. Always a thoughtful songwriter, he's found a way to sound playful while maturing with time.


South By Southwest Music Preview

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The 30th anniversary of the popular South by Southwest festival kicked off Friday. NPR Music's Stephen Thompson has a preview of some of the bands to check out this year.


First Listen: Jeff Buckley, 'You And I'

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

It's hardly a new observation that when entertainers die prematurely, they tend to stay fixed in our imagination as forever young and beautiful — free of blemishes, missteps and the twin ravages of age and commercial decline. In the case of Jeff Buckley, who died at age 30 in ...


The Austin 100: A SXSW 2016 Mix

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Every year, the SXSW Music Festival features thousands of artists from around the world. And every year, The Austin 100 winnows them down to an even hundred discoveries and highlights across genres. Every song on the list is fully downloadable from this page until March 31, 2016 — either individually ...


Pop Culture Happy Hour: Our 2016 Oscars Preview

Friday, February 26, 2016

At the end of a grueling Academy Awards race, we at Pop Culture Happy Hour like to unwind with a good, long talk we call our "Oscars Omnibus" — a roundup of our thoughts on all the Best Picture nominees, notable acting nominees, and issues and themes surrounding the prior ...


For 20 Minutes, The Grammys Transcend The Awards-Show Blahs

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Sometime tomorrow, Linda Holmes and I will break down Monday night's Grammys telecast in a Small Batch edition of Pop Culture Happy Hour. And, for a variety of reasons, we're not likely to spend much time on the awards themselves.

The headlines there, after all, aren't shocking: Taylor Swift's 1989 ...


Palehound, Live In Concert

Monday, February 01, 2016

Finding a songwriting voice takes time — and then there's the process of pinpointing the best way to send that voice hurtling through speakers. Palehound's Ellen Kempner has long had the words: scathing and evocative, certain even when swimming in an ocean of doubt. And with every live show, ...


Leon Bridges, 'River'

Monday, February 01, 2016

Leon Bridges' music hearkens back to the soul of old: He may be a charismatic singer in his 20s, but his music draws on a crisply appointed, pure, decades-old sound. But watch the new video for his song "River," and it's clear that Bridges has his eye fixed on ...


Pop Culture Happy Hour: In Conversation With Fred Armisen And 'Welcome To Night Vale'

Friday, January 29, 2016

Pop Culture Happy Hour entered this week juggling a couple of problems. For one, a gigantic blizzard had just dumped roughly two feet of snow on the D.C. area, making transportation virtually impossible and, it turns out, stranding Glen Weldon in a Virginia cabin for much of the week. Getting ...


Playing SXSW 2016? Send Us Your Songs

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Every year around this time, many of us on the All Songs Considered team — including Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton, Ann Powers and me — each dredge through nearly 2,000 MP3s by bands playing the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. And every year, we wind up missing something. In ...


First Listen: Elliott Smith, 'Heaven Adores You'

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

There's an untouchable quality to the works of Elliott Smith, the singer-songwriter whose 2003 death haunts his already-haunting songs about pain, longing, love and survival. As with the similarly ill-fated Nick Drake, attempts to emulate or cover Smith's music tend to capture the feathery beauty while missing the ...