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Pop Music

Studio 360

Backup Singers Bring the Hits

Thursday, March 12, 2015

There’s no predicting how well a particular song will do on the pop charts. But researchers have found that one characteristic unites a strong majority of hits: backup singers.

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Studio 360

42 Years of Hits in 37 Minutes

Thursday, March 12, 2015

In “Billboard,” avant-garde musician and programmer R. Luke Dubois compresses four decades of chart-topping hits into one very strange-sounding song.  

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Studio 360

Linda Ronstadt: “Heart Like a Wheel”

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Linda Ronstadt’s “Heart Like a Wheel” made her a household name. Now it’s in the National Recording Registry.

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Studio 360

Boots, Before and After Beyoncé

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Boots moves on from the mega music mystery of 2013 when he was credited on Beyoncé’s self-titled album alongside super-producers like Timbaland, Pharrell, and Frank Ocean. 

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Studio 360

Sideshow Podcast: Boots, Before and After Beyoncé

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Boots moves on from the mega music mystery of 2013 when he was credited on Beyoncé’s self-titled album alongside super-producers like Timbaland, Pharrell, and Frank Ocean. 
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Studio 360

How Devo Became Devo

Friday, October 24, 2014

Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale were students at Kent State in 1970, when the shootings led them to reject the counterculture they had been part of. 

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Studio 360

Cyndi Lauper: The Way She Talks

Friday, September 19, 2014

With a Tony Award for Kinky Boots, Cyndi Lauper is still finding new twists in her career 30 years after “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”

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Soundcheck

How Well Do You Know Your Middle-Aged Pop Stars?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"Weird Al" did it. So did Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Test your knowledge of middle-aged artists who hit No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart.

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Soundcheck

That Was A Hit?!?: Extra Helpings Of 'Sukiyaki'

Friday, June 20, 2014

Kyu Sakamoto's 1963 hit "Sukiyaki” left its mark on rapper Slick Rick, Mad Men and countless cover versions.

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Soundcheck

Girl Talk And Freeway Collaborate On 'Broken Ankles'

Monday, June 09, 2014

Girl Talk's Greg Gillis and Philadelphia rapper Freeway talk about their new collaborative EP, Broken Ankles.

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Soundcheck

Watch: Kishi Bashi, Live On Soundcheck

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Hear the looping violinist perform songs from his sophomore release, Lighght, a record filled with twinkling melodies and anchored by the buoyant Watch "Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It!"

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Soundcheck

The Origins Of Twee Culture

Friday, May 30, 2014

Marc Spitz talks with John Schaefer about his book that charts the rise of twee in pop culture and identifies some surprising twee forefathers. 

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The Takeaway

Michael Jackson Resurrected in New Album

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Michael Jackson died in 2009, but for the second time since then, the King of Pop has a set of new songs coming out. The album, Xscape, goes on sale today, and features demos of unreleased vocal tracks that Jackson recorded in the 1980s and 1990s.

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Soundcheck

Morrissey Book Club: The Exit-Interview Podcast

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Our staff comes to terms with reading (or attempting to read) Morrissey's Autobiography, with the help of Smiths biographer Tony Fletcher.

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Soundcheck

Morrissey Book Club: Why Reading This Memoir Was Like Running The New York City Half Marathon

Monday, March 17, 2014

Producer Joel Meyer draws parallels between two recent experiences: reading the Morrissey memoir and running 13.1 miles (or 21.08 km for readers of the U.K. edition).

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Soundcheck

Morrissey Book Club: Fight or Flight

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Two weeks ago, we took our first steps on a long journey into the mind of a beguiling yet frustrating pop star. We formed a club. We set high goals. Some of us even bought the book. But we never said the journey would be easy.

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Soundcheck

Morrissey Book Club: Milestone One

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Morrissey Book Club reaches its first milestone -- the first third of the book. Soundcheck's own Joel Meyer gives his impressions of the first part of Morrissey's Autobiography.

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Soundcheck

Bands to Watch in 2014: Diane Birch, Chance the Rapper, Lizzo

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's never too early to start looking for the next big thing, and Time's Melissa Locker joins Soundcheck to talk about her picks for up-and-coming artists and bands for 2014. Her list includes groups that haven't even yet released an EP -- to artists who are already signed to major labels.

Among others, Locker predicts 2014 will be a breakout year for Diane Birch, who was plucked out of a hotel lobby by Prince and has already released two albums. Locker also picks two rappers -- Chance the Rapper and Lizzo -- who each have a unique sound that she thinks will change the direction of R&B. Plus, hear the band that Locker crowns "the next pop overlords."

Read Melissa Locker's full list of artists to watch in Time.

One of Locker's picks for 2014: Lizzo

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Soundcheck

Why the Bee Gees Sang So High

Friday, August 02, 2013

The Bee Gees didn’t always use an aggressive falsetto. In fact, it was an act of desperation. We hear the story from David N. Meyer, author new book The Bee Gees: The Biography.

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Soundcheck

Phish And Insane Clown Posse: What Jam Fans And Juggalos Have In Common

Friday, July 12, 2013

Nathan Rabin talks about his "misadventures" with Phish and Insane Clown Posse fans, as chronicled in his new book You Don’t Know Me But You Don’t Like Me.

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