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Soundcheck

People Who Don’t Enjoy Music; Liam Finn Plays Live; Knitting Factory Founder Michael Dorf Honors Paul Simon

Monday, March 17, 2014

In this episode: A recent study shows that some people -- in fact, perhaps as much as two percent of the population -- don’t feel any emotional response when listening to music. Robert Zatorre, neuroscientist at the Montreal Neurological Institute, explains what’s known as “musical anhedonia” and why music might not have an impact on some brains.

Then: New Zealand singer-songwriter Liam Finn comes from a musical family: he’s the son of Neil Finn from Crowded House and Split Enz. Hear him and his band play songs from his new album, The Nihilist, in the Soundcheck studio.

And: Michael Dorf founded the popular down-and-dirty music venue The Knitting Factory back in the 1980's, and the much more upscale venue City Winery 20 years later. The music impresario joins us to talk about his annual Carnegie Hall tribute show series -- which this year will honor the music of Paul Simon.

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First Listen: The Bad Plus, 'The Rite Of Spring'

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A jazz trio plays the score to Igor Stravinsky's gloriously noisy, 101-year-old fever dream of a ballet as literally as possible — and still manages to sound like itself.

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First Listen: Future Islands, 'Singles'

Sunday, March 16, 2014

David Letterman made them famous, but there's more to Future Islands than animated GIFs of Samuel Herring's dance moves. The band's new album, Singles, is full of extremely catchy pop songs.

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First Listen: Liars, 'Mess'

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A band with a taste for reinvention takes on the blippy moodiness of '80s acts like Depeche Mode, Erasure and Yaz.

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First Listen: Yasmine Hamdan, 'Ya Nass'

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Beirut-born artist has an electro-pop sound that's both bracingly new and intimately familiar — at the intersection of sexy-cool electronica and iconic Arab tradition.

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First Listen: Thou, 'Heathen'

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Thou has never been about convention. The Baton Rouge metal band bathes in foul pleasures on Heathen, making sense of its sprawling doom, drone and punk roots to rally desperate revolutionaries.

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All Things Considered

Ambrose Akinmusire: 'Music Can Tell You What It Wants To Be'

Sunday, March 16, 2014

One of the most talked-about names in jazz, the 32-year-old trumpeter is more auteur than star. In an extended interview, he explains why it's crucial to let his collaborators think for themselves.

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opbmusic Presents: Yuck

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Watch the London band perform a song off their second album, Glow & Behold, in the OPB studios.

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Get Lucky On St. Patrick's Day With These 25 R&B Songs

Sunday, March 16, 2014

If you're planning to stay up all night this St. Paddy's Day, let these 25 four-leaf clovers from NPR Music's R&B channel, I'll Take You There, set the scene.

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NPR Music At SXSW 2014: Saturday

Sunday, March 16, 2014

On the final night of SXSW, with heavy hearts and ringing ears, we say goodbye to Austin. As a parting gift, music gives us the keys to the universe and a glimpse of the future. It's a fair trade.

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'Rebel Music': When Hip-Hop Met Islam

Sunday, March 16, 2014

From Afrika Bambaataa to Public Enemy and beyond, hip-hop has long been a culture to which young urban Muslims around the world can relate.

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Tycho: Music By A Visual Imagineer

Sunday, March 16, 2014

On the new album Awake, Scott Hansen has taken his passion for design and merged it with his interest in ambient music.

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New Sounds

New Music for Ancient Instruments

Sunday, March 16, 2014

For this New Sounds, listen to Chris Brown's new work for gangsa, one of the traditional instruments of the Philippines, related to Indonesian gamelan.  There's also music from Raphael Mostel for Tibetan singing bowl and new music for traditional Japanese koto.

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SXSW 2014: Everything Is Better In Slow Motion

Saturday, March 15, 2014

With hundreds of bands and tens of thousands of fans, South by Southwest goes by really fast. We slowed the whole Sam-dancing, bull-riding, crowd-surfing party down for you.

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All Things Considered

Eastern Sounds Go West

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Some prominent musicians from the Arab world have been trading notes with European artists — and DJ Betto Arcos has been paying close attention.

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Lady Gaga At SXSW: 'Don't Sell Out. Sell In.'

Saturday, March 15, 2014

In a keynote event at SXSW, the queen of pop transgression offered support for anyone struggling with self-definition and illustrated how hard it is to steer clear of the constraints of corporate pop.

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NPR Music At SXSW 2014: Friday

Saturday, March 15, 2014

On Friday in Austin, Texas, full-throttle music consumption and overwhelming crowds battled to a exhausting, exhilarating draw.

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A Fresh Vocalist From The Same School As Adele, Winehouse

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Zara McFarlane is a young jazz singer from the U.K. who has been compared to Nina Simone. NPR's Jacki Lyden speaks with Zara about her unusual voice technique.

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Classics For Kids

Beethoven’s Symphonies

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The nine symphonies that Ludwig van Beethoven wrote changed the course of symphonic writing forever. Learn about this great music and the man who wrote it this week on Classics for Kids.

All Ears with Terrance McKnight

Musical Polyglots

Saturday, March 15, 2014

This week, host Terrance McKnight considers musical polyglots – musicians who depart from this trend and are fluent in various musical dialects and performance practices.

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