Stephen Thompson

Stephen Thompson appears in the following:

Song Premiere: David Wax Museum, 'Guesthouse'

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

David Wax and Suz Slezak, the married couple who form David Wax Museum, have put an extraordinary amount of research and work into their sound. They've spent years studying folk music in Mexico, digging back to its roots there to find inspiration, and have traveled the world as official ...


Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Wet Hot American Summer' And Impossible Missions

Friday, August 07, 2015

Linda Holmes is in L.A. for the Television Critics Association press tour, so she's appearing on this episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour as a panelist, calling in from NPR West. I'm in her host chair. A commercially disastrous 2001 movie has just gotten an eight-episode TV prequel on Netflix. ...


The National's Matt Berninger Has A New Band

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Partnerships between well-known musicians often result in unequal collaborations: One voice, usually the singer's, winds up dominating. So it's refreshing to hear "Return To The Moon," the first released song by a project called EL VY.

Pronouncing its name "El Vie" (not "El Vee"), the duo features The National ...


The Good Listener: How Do I Play DJ Without Embarrassing Myself?

Saturday, August 01, 2015

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the brick-sized bale of bills that arrived during our recent vacation is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives. This time around: thoughts on how to play DJ from the passenger seat of a ...


Pop Culture Happy Hour: Music, Movies And Music In Movies

Friday, July 31, 2015

Our pal Ari Shapiro is in a decent amount of demand these days: He's wrapping up a stint as an NPR international correspondent based in London, he's toured as a guest vocalist with the band Pink Martini, and he's just been named one of the hosts of All Things ...


The Giant Foam Finger: Sports Hatred

Monday, July 27, 2015

A couple weeks ago, Code Switch blogger Gene Demby and I sat down to reflect on a decade-old sports moment — a single play in a single game — and describe how it affected us as rival fans of the teams involved. In this second episode of the series we're ...


From Ballads To Romps, Ashley Monroe's 'The Blade' Is Timeless

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Stephen Thompson and Ann Powers of NPR Music talk about the new album from Ashley Monroe called The Blade.


The Good Listener: Where Are All The Great Lullabies?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the shipment of cat sedatives that have us pondering just how often we order shipments of cat sedatives is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives. This time around: thoughts on sedating children (not ...


First Listen: Ashley Monroe, 'The Blade'

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Not many country singers under 30 could score a chart-topping hit with mainstream mainstay Blake Shelton ("Lonely Tonight"), frequent collaborations with elder statesman Vince Gill and a spot in Jack White's Third Man House Band — which is saying nothing of Ashley Monroe's recurring role in ...


Pop Culture Happy Hour On Sports: Introducing 'The Giant Foam Finger'

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

We talk a lot about nostalgia on Pop Culture Happy Hour — about the ways entertainment has shaped our youth and placed our memories in perspective — but in doing so, we've mostly discussed movies, TV shows, music, books, board games, that sort of thing. In almost exactly five years ...


First Listen: Tame Impala, 'Currents'

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Tame Impala's Kevin Parker is a relentless tinkerer: His songs have an impeccable, fussed-over quality, to the point where fussy impeccability could easily seem like the sum total of his mission. Sounding great and being great are two vastly different features in the ever-subjective world of rock 'n' roll, ...


First Listen: Ratatat, 'Magnifique'

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

So much of Ratatat's appeal lies in what it doesn't do: On the band's fifth album, Brooklynites Mike Stroud and Evan Mast built sleek, propulsive instrumentals using a spare palette of guitars, synthesizers and simple percussion in such a way that the music sounds both triumphant and understated. These ...


Pop Culture Happy Hour No. 250: 'Magic Mike XXL' And 'Catastrophe'

Friday, July 03, 2015

Just a little less than five years ago, Linda Holmes and I decided to book a studio after-hours and record what we'd call "an audio experiment" — a roundtable discussion of pop culture with the two of us and our pals Trey Graham and Glen Weldon, produced by the ...


Song Premiere: Mimicking Birds, 'Dead Weight'

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

For years, Nate Lacy's Mimicking Birds project has been linked to his friends and colleagues in Modest Mouse. That band's singer, Isaac Brock, released both of Mimicking Birds' terrific studio albums on his Glacial Pace label, and both groups are scheduled to tour together in August. They ...


First Watch: Glen Hansard, 'Winning Streak'

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Glen Hansard's career stretches back more than a quarter of a century; in fact, his band The Frames celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. In that time, Hansard has won an Oscar for the song "Falling Slowly" — alongside Marketa Irglova, his co-star in the film ...


Kacey Musgraves Sings One For Marriage Equality

Friday, June 26, 2015

Country singer Kacey Musgraves opened this Friday's Tiny Desk Concert with four charming songs from her new album, Pageant Material, which we'll post online soon. But she couldn't possibly skip "Follow Your Arrow" on the very day the Supreme Court handed down its historic ruling on Obergefell v. ...


First Listen: Bully, 'Feels Like'

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Alicia Bognanno isn't one for wasted motion: The indefatigable lead singer of Nashville's Bully crafts her songs for maximum impact in minimal time, taking care never to overstay her welcome or overdress her arrangements. Feels Like, the Nashville band's effervescent debut, speeds by in about half an hour, having ...


The Good Listener: Will We Remember Today's Pop Stars In 50 Years?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the mail-order grapefruits that have us pondering the nature of the mail-order-grapefruit business is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives. This time around: thoughts on pop music's staying power.

Steven F. writes via ...


The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach Announces New Album With The Arcs

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Dan Auerbach spreads himself thin: The singer-guitarist's career has found room for a solo record, prolific production work with the likes of Dr. John, the side project Blakroc and, of course, eight albums as half of The Black Keys. His latest excursion is a band called ...


First Listen: Walk Off The Earth, 'Sing It All Away'

Sunday, June 07, 2015

The Canadian pop band Walk Off The Earth has followed a thoroughly modern path to success, starting with the way it broke through on the strength of adorable YouTube covers ("Somebody That I Used To Know" has 165 million views and counting) and continuing through its approach to its ...