Tom Moon

Tom Moon appears in the following:

First Listen: Tweedy, 'Sukierae'

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A clue about the scruffy aesthetic of Sukierae arrives at the 2:27 mark of "World Away," one of 20 (!) songs on the first family-band album from Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. Until this point, the tune — a variation on the Bo Diddley beat strummed on acoustic guitar, ...

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On Final Recording, Joe Beck Exposes Possibilities Of The Guitar

Monday, September 01, 2014

Guitarist Joe Beck said he thought of the guitar as a six-piece band. Music reviewer Tom Moon says that's exactly how Beck's music sounds: layers of overlapping ideas. He reviews Beck's posthumous release, "Get Me Joe Beck."

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First Listen: Sinkane, 'Mean Love'

Sunday, August 24, 2014

"You know I love you, but you're mean."

Here's one of those eternal refrains. Nobody owns it; it's been in the air since forever. Maybe it was initially uttered by a songwriter toiling deep in the Brill Building, or first sung by a girl group.

Because it carries the essential ...

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First Listen: Kimbra, 'The Golden Echo'

Sunday, August 10, 2014

As it comes back around, an echo distorts the qualities of a sound just enough to encourage you to hear it differently. Maybe it's just distance changing the plain into the transcendent, but there's a trace of magic in an echo. It's like Narcissus' reflection, only better — inexact, an ...

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First Listen: Adult Jazz, 'Gist Is'

Sunday, July 27, 2014

To music obsessives of a certain age, the current generation of listeners sometimes appears as lightweight grazers at the Internet smorgasbord who seem unwilling (possibly unable) to focus attention at depth on a single piece of music. The summary dismissal: The kids today, they can't handle all of what somebody ...

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First Listen: Bear In Heaven, 'Time Is Over One Day Old'

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Two minutes and 11 seconds into "They Dream," from Bear in Heaven's fourth album Time Is Over One Day Old, the music takes a strange turn. The band has been shuttling along at a riveting adventure-movie clip, with Jon Philpot's reverb-swaddled voice functioning as the primary distinct element in ...

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A Sax Trio Taps Tradition While Thriving In The Present

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

On an assured debut, Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio pivots from jazz's bygone eras into the hyperlinked modern age and back again.

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First Listen: Cloud Boat, 'Model Of You'

Sunday, June 29, 2014

"The madness runs in cycles," Tom Clarke sings forebodingly in "The Glow," one of the highlights of the U.K. duo Cloud Boat's second album. The music rushes along, propelled by the high-efficiency tick of a drum loop, but there's no trace of madness or even anxiety in his voice. ...

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Album Review: 'Ultraviolence'

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

NPR music critic Tom Moon reviews Lana Del Ray's latest album, Ultraviolence.

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Album Review: 'While You Were Sleeping'

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Singer-songwriter Jose James' music lives at the intersection of jazz harmony, pop songcraft and hip-hop rhythm.

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Take 75: Great Solos In Blue Note Records History

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Blue Note Records has been many things over the course of its 75 years: a label responsible for blinding jazz innovations, a home for the titans of hard bop and soul jazz, a place for smart, sly, jazz-inflected pop creations.

One constant running throughout its history is improvisation. Its records ...

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Is The 'Xscape' Deluxe Version Worth It? 3 Words: Michael Jackson Demos

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

For Xscape, Timbaland and other producers flesh out various songs the King of Pop never finished. But the demos included in the expanded edition provide a rare glimpse into Jackson's creative process.

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First Listen: Conor Oberst, 'Upside Down Mountain'

Sunday, May 11, 2014

You probably haven't been waiting around for some singer-songwriter to update Harry Chapin's inescapable 1974 hit "Cat's In the Cradle," the slightly cloying tune about the changing dynamic between parents and children over time. And if you did happen to be waiting for such a song, you probably wouldn't put ...

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Album Review: 'Nikki Nack'

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Tom Moon reviews Nikki Nack, the new album by the Tuneyards. Moon says the album, which incorporates Haitian drumming rhythms, is a knockout blend of street rhythm and electronic pop.

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Album Review: 'Everyday Robots'

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tom Moon reviews the solo album by Blur and Gorillaz frontman, Damon Albarn. The new album, called Everyday Robots, examines the human toll of our ever-present technology.

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First Listen: tUnE-yArDs, 'Nikki Nack'

Friday, April 25, 2014

The creators of pop music are usually able to break down the fundamentals of their craft — that search for the clever rhyme, the killer beat, the singable chorus. They are less articulate, understandably, about the other quest, the one that powers those everyday searches: the pursuit of ecstasy in ...

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First Listen: Thievery Corporation, 'Saudade'

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Every language has words and phrases that elude easy translation. In Portuguese, "saudade" (pronounced by Brazilians as "sow-DAH-djee") is one of those. Some musicians equate it with the blues; it's generally associated with melancholy and longing. In its most recent bio, the Washington, D.C., electronic duo Thievery Corporation defines ...

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First Listen: Kevin Drew, 'Darlings'

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Back in 2007, Kevin Drew (of Toronto's baroque-pop collective Broken Social Scene) gazed longingly at a woman and pronounced her too beautiful for the carnal escapades swirling inside his brain. That song, "Tbtf," was among the wondrous creations on his solo debut Spirit If — a worship-dream set in ...

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In Rio, A Universe Of Samba

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

In Brazil, samba isn't just the music of Carnival. With throngs headed to the country for this summer's World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, samba de rota has become an act of cultural resistance.

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Album Review: 'Morning Phase'

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It's been six years since singer-songwriter Beck released his last album. Music critic Tom Moon says that Beck's new record, Morning Phase, is purposely out of step with the pop trends of the moment.

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