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Unflinching Pop Stars

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Two of pop music’s biggest provocateurs have new albums this month. We’ll hear the latest from rapper/singer M.I.A. and rocker Liz Phair, and explore their antagonistic relationships with the press. Plus: soprano Angela Meade is an increasingly hot commodity in opera. She’ll sing live in our studio.

M.I.A. and Liz Phair Tangle with Fame and Criticism

Pop critics are abuzz about new releases from two provocative female artists. M.I.A. is set to release Maya, her first album since a nasty feud with the New York Times. Meanwhile, rocker Liz Phair has self-released an album that seems to lampoon herself – and M.I.A.

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Angela Meade: In Studio

American soprano Angela Meade made her professional stage debut unexpectedly at the Metropolitan Opera in 2008 when she was asked to sing Ernani's "Elvira" at a moment’s notice. But her career was already on the upswing with a series of awards including first place at the Met's National Council Auditions.

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Beat the Press

Aside from the obvious (and pretty important) similarity that they’re both women vocalists and songwriters, Liz Phair and M.I.A. have little in common.

Brooklyn Rider

Live From WNYC: Brooklyn Rider

The string quartet Brooklyn Rider was the only classical group to be included in this year's South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Their high-energy performing style and occasional gigs in rock clubs is helping to shake up the once staid image of the string quartet.

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Gig Alerts: Mingus Orchestra

The acclaimed jazz ensemble perform tonight at the Jazz Standard. Download their impassioned track "Invisible Lady," featuring Elvis Costello.

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Femi Kuti

Gig Alerts: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force

The Nigerian funk heavyweight and son of Afropop legend Fela Kuti performs at Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center. Download his groove-filled yet mournful track "Eh Oh."

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Gig Alerts: Kuupuu

The Finnish freak folk artist plays Issue Project Room tonight. Download her surreal track "Satu Tata."

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