Stephen Thompson

Stephen Thompson appears in the following:

First Listen: Belle And Sebastian, 'Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance'

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Glaswegian folk-pop band's ninth album feels light on its feet, but without sacrificing the thoughtful, careful precision for which Stuart Murdoch and his collaborators are known.


'Archer' And The Loud Comfort Of Rhythm

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Every character on the animated FX comedy is a creep. So why is the show so pleasant, even relaxing, to watch?


Dessa: Something Old And Something New, Suitable For Choir

Monday, December 22, 2014

Watch the singer and rapper perform "Skeleton Key" and "The Good Fight" with the VocalEssence choir.


2014: The Year In Tiny Desk Concerts

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Surveying a year of concerts that took place behind a desk in NPR Music's offices, we offer up highlights from T-Pain to the Pixies to a 12-piece Balkan brass extravaganza.


Stephen Thompson's Top 10 Albums Of 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

In terms of pop hits, the shadow of 2013 fell over most of 2014. But for NPR Music's Stephen Thompson, there were plenty of winners this year as well.


Song Premiere: San Fermin, 'Parasites'

Monday, December 08, 2014

After a quiet opening passage, "Parasites" gets jarringly loud and frenetic, like several songs laid atop one another.


Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo: Tiny Desk Concert

Monday, November 24, 2014

Benatar and Giraldo run through three of their classic songs: 1979's "We Live For Love," 1984's "We Belong" and, after a long and satisfying windup, 1981's "Promises In The Dark."


First Listen: She & Him, 'Classics'

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward cover pop standards with the timeless impeccability for which they're known. Once again, Ward hovers mostly in the background, leaving Deschanel to steal the playful show.


The Good Listener: Do Some Musicians Play Too Well?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thoughts on whether superior technique actually detracts from music's quality.

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First Listen: Flake Music, 'When You Land Here, It's Time To Return'

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Before James Mercer became famous in The Shins, he sang in a like-minded band called Flake Music. Its newly remixed, remastered and reissued 1997 debut contains many ideas he would later revisit.


The Good Listener: For Thanksgiving, Is There Music Everyone Can Agree On?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Not everyone wants to watch football or parades. Can a whole family agree on one holiday playlist?


First Listen: Thompson, 'Family'

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Thompson gathers many branches of a formidable family tree that includes Richard, Linda, Teddy, Kami and several musicians not named Thompson.


The Good Listener: Am I Too Old To Go To Rock Shows?

Saturday, November 08, 2014

A reader is self-conscious about being one of the oldest fans at concerts. Should she be?


Pop Culture Happy Hour, Small Batch: The Rise Of Fan Fiction

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

In the wake of news about One Direction erotic fiction, Stephen Thompson sits down with our resident fan-fiction enthusiast, Petra Mayer, to discuss fan-driven writing and the future of publishing.


7 Places To Watch On Election Day

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Whether it's because of their size, demographic make-up, or the unique role they play, these places will have an outsized role in state — and possibly national — politics this year.


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?

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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.