Stephen Thompson

Stephen Thompson appears in the following:

First Listen Live: Queens Of The Stone Age, '...Like Clockwork'

Friday, May 24, 2013

Queens of the Stone Age's first album in six years follows an unusually chaotic stretch for the band: Lineup and label changes, frontman Josh Homme's lengthy stint in the hit supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, and what Homme calls "a manic year" all inform the brooding, stormy sound of ...

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We Get Mail: What's A Modern Music Snob To Do?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the booklets of money-saving coupons we use to light kindling in the fireplace is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, tips for obsessive music fans in an age of ...

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First Listen: Laura Marling, 'Once I Was An Eagle'

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Laura Marling has accomplished an awful lot at 23 — four strong albums, armloads of awards — but what's more remarkable is the way the U.K. folksinger has gotten to this point. Marling's songs dig well beyond the everyday, with each sung in a wise, dusky, brooding voice that ...

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First Listen: Sean Nelson, 'Make Good Choices'

Sunday, May 19, 2013

In the playfully faux-autobiographical "Kicking Me Out of the Band," Harvey Danger's Sean Nelson closes his solo debut by painting a comical portrait of a deluded former frontman whose hedonistic exploits get him booted from the band he'd founded. It's a stinging, clever bit of satire — the sort of ...

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We Get Mail: Can You Build The Perfect Cover Song?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the CDs in which the Vitamin String Quartet plays the songs of 30 Seconds to Mars is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, the dos and don'ts of covering ...

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First Listen: The Handsome Family, 'Wilderness'

Sunday, May 12, 2013

For nine studio albums spanning more than two decades, The Handsome Family's Brett and Rennie Sparks have crafted a sort of glum Appalachian fatalism. With Brett singing his wife's evocative lyrics, the Albuquerque-based duo examines the underbelly of the human psyche — demons, depression, death — with a sound that ...

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First Listen: G&D, 'The Lighthouse'

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Georgia Anne Muldrow and Dudley Perkins (a.k.a. Declaime) have worked together and separately for years now, trafficking in funk, soul, hip-hop, jazz, psychedelic space-rock, spoken-word poetry, protest music and more. But they've rarely combined all of the above as ambitiously as they do throughout their two albums as ...

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We Get Mail: How Can A Vinyl Lover Start Over From Scratch?

Thursday, May 09, 2013

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the ironic promotional cassingles is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, how a regretful fan of vinyl records can re-create her discarded collection.

Kirsten Elbourne Mathieson writes: "I'm big-time ...

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Cayucas: Sunlight In Song Form

Thursday, May 09, 2013

If you've ever been poolside on a hot day, you know what it's like to have your senses bombarded with leisure; to feel the sun radiating and shimmering off everything around you. Watch the first few moments of this Field Recording, with its bobbing inner tubes and lounging vacationers, and ...

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We Get Mail: What To Do When You've Burned Out On Your Favorite Music

Thursday, May 02, 2013

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid enough Verizon Fios solicitations to sink a barge is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, tips for rediscovering the music we once loved.

Sam Williams writes: "There's no chance ...

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First Listen: Mikal Cronin, 'MCII'

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The term "garage rock" too often suggests a disregard for craftsmanship — the idea that distorted guitars and agreeably blaring arrangements leave no room for impeccability. But Mikal Cronin's second album, MCII, mixes shambling rock with a perfectionist ear with quality control, as its star (who plays most of ...

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First Listen: She & Him, 'Volume 3'

Sunday, April 28, 2013

For what was once a fairly mysterious project, She & Him has stuck to a straightforward formula. The "She" is actress Zooey Deschanel, the "Him" is M. Ward, and there's a pecking order: The occasional cover aside, these are Deschanel's songs, sung almost entirely in Deschanel's voice, ...

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We Get Mail: Should Parents Try To Get Their Kids Into Great Music?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the solicitations disguised as tax refunds is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, what role parents can and should play in teaching their kids about classic albums.

Mike Liderbach ...

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Jittery Jams: 10 Songs For Coffee Lovers

Thursday, April 25, 2013

All week, Morning Edition has been examining how coffee fits into modern life, which led us to look into the many ways the drink's trembling tendrils have reached into popular music. With the Beastie Boys taking their "sugar with coffee and cream," Carly Simon finding "clouds in my ...

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First Listen: Colin Stetson, 'New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light'

Sunday, April 21, 2013

It's no exaggeration to say that Colin Stetson rarely stops to take a breath: The Montreal saxophonist uses circular breathing and other inventive techniques — no loops or overdubs! — to sculpt muscular instrumental soundscapes that bulge and roar ominously. Not one for airy pauses, Stetson infuses his solo ...

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First Listen: Deerhunter, 'Monomania'

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bradford Cox's music is the stuff of an obsessive and unquiet mind. Everything about the singer's approach to music — whether he's dumping four discs' worth of home recordings onto the Internet with little fanfare or smearing fake blood onto his spindly, dress-clad body onstage — has a chaotic, haunted ...

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We Get Mail: Do CD Hoarders Need An Intervention?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the value-packed coupon booklets we'll never open is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, what to do about an unruly CD collection.

Cindy Nelson writes: "On the spectrum of ...

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Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Live In Concert: SXSW 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

It began, appropriately enough, with a plea for darkness. Nick Cave may have opened his SXSW set in the twilight hours, but if anyone could will the night into being, it's the black-clad Australian star.

After opening with "Higgs Boson Blues" — a circuitous dirge from Push the Sky Away, ...

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First Listen: Mother Falcon, 'You Knew'

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A super-sized chamber-rock collective from Austin, Texas, Mother Falcon constructs sweepingly majestic rock out of a nine-piece string section, multiple horns, a bassoon, a glockenspiel and a diverse assortment of voices that sing and shout to the rafters. The band makes the most of those many moving parts — its ...

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First Listen: Laura Mvula, 'Sing To The Moon'

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The massive commercial success of Adele and Amy Winehouse guaranteed an avalanche of high-profile U.K. soul singers, particularly the kind whose music harkens back to brassy '60s soul. But, as charming and effervescent as singers like Duffy and Paloma Faith can be, their music isn't forward-looking; ...

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