First Listen: Public Service Broadcasting, ‘The Race For Space’

Public Service Broadcasting's new album, The Race For Space, comes out Feb. 23. (Courtesy of the artist)
Public Service Broadcasting’s new album, The Race For Space, comes out Feb. 23. (Courtesy of the artist)

Wrote a long essay about Public Service Broadcasting’s ambitious space-themed concept album, The Race For Space for NPR Music’s First Listen series.

First Listen: Mr. Gnome, ‘The Heart Of A Dark Star’

Mr. Ghome's The Heart Of A Dark Star.
Mr. Ghome’s The Heart Of A Dark Star.

This was originally written for NPR Music’s First Listen series. Read the rest over at NPR Music or Soundcheck.

For a record about journeying deep inside the darkest recesses of the mind, there’s nothing introverted about the Cleveland duo Mr. Gnome’s new album, The Heart Of A Dark Star. Named for an evocative phrase in a Neil Gaiman book, The Heart Of A Dark Star is a bold and blustery hurricane of guitars, organs and voices, all swirling around in the night air.

NPR First Listen: Phish, ‘Fuego’

Phish's 'Fuego' is out now.
Phish’s ‘Fuego’ is out now.

This was originally written for NPR Music’s First Listen series. Read the rest over at NPR Music or Soundcheck.

Whether you know its work or just its reputation, you’ve probably already made up your mind about Phish. Maybe you love the band and its music, maybe you can’t stand them, or maybe you liked them and have since moved on to other things. Phish is one of the most dynamic and celebrated live acts in all of music, with a loyal community any artist would envy, but it’s also divisive. This is a band that inspires passion with its multipart compositions, meandering improvisations, playful (often nonsensical) lyrics and unwavering positivity. For the same reasons, it also courts punchlines from its fervent detractors.

Reblogging: NPR Links Update

Been awhile since I’ve dumped some links. This time I seem to have a whole boatload…So let’s get to it then.

All the Links after the jump…

Reblogging: Another NPR Link Update

It’s been awhile since I had my last link dump of articles and videos and projects posted over at NPR Music and NPR.org. So here goes.

Reviews and Blog Posts:

— First Listen: Superchunk, ‘Majesty Shredding’

— First Listen: Blonde Redhead, ‘Penny Sparkle’

— First Listen: Jesca Hoop, ‘Hunting My Dress’

— All Songs Considered blog: How ‘Scott Pilgrim’ Rocks Out On Both Page And Screen

— Song of the Day: Lower Dens: A Blissful Swarm Of Feedback

Video work:

Ana Tijoux: Tiny Desk Concert (filmed and edited)

Brian Courtney Wilson: Tiny Desk Concert (filmed and edited)

Lawrence Arabia: Tiny Desk Concert (filmed)

Peter Wolf Crier: Tiny Desk Concert (edited)

Frazey Ford: Tiny Desk Concert (filmed)

Mavis Staples: Tiny Desk Concert (filmed)

The Holmes Brothers: Tiny Desk Concert (edited)

Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer, Zakir Hussain: Tiny Desk Concert (filmed)

Villagers: Tiny Desk Concert (filmed and edited)

Oh yeah, and be sure to check out the new podcast I’m producing alongside NPR’s arts and entertainment blog Monkey See. It’s called Pop Culture Happy Hour and features Linda Holmes, Trey Graham, Stephen Thompson and Glen Weldon discussing all things television, movies, comics, books.

Here’s the most recent one:

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Emmys, ‘Runway,’ And General Misanthropy

Reblogging: NPR Linksplosion

Been awhile since I’ve dumped some links in for things I’ve done. Away we go…

— Song of the Day: School Of Seven Bells: A Spacey Dance-Pop Hymn

— All Songs Considered blog: Five Great Cover Songs From 2010 (So Far)

Jason Moran: Finding Sound, Then Making It His Own
— A Blog Supreme: More Moran Motion Pictures Please

Los Campesinos!: Tiny Desk Concert

Gogol Bordello: Tiny Desk Concert

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic: Tiny Desk Concert

— A Blog Supreme: Where Was The Jazz At Bonnaroo 2010?

NPR Music: Live From Bonnaroo webcast and coverage

The Mynabirds: Tiny Desk Concert

Zuill Bailey: Tiny Desk Concert

First Listen: Blitzen Trapper

Fredrik: Tiny Desk Concert

Broken Social Scene: Leaner Lineup, Same Big Sound

Reblogging: Flaming Lips First Listen

So I had the noble task of hearing the new album from The Flaming Lips, Embryonic, about a month ahead of time and then getting to write a short entry about it for NPR Music.

We are featuring the album on the website, in its entirety for the next few days, so take a listen and see what you think. Me? I think it’s awesome.

Reblogging: Jazz Labels That Matter And The Dead Weather

I had a few more things I’ve written go up in the last week to shamelessly promote. Here’s a three bulleted rundown:

On Monday, All Songs Considered asked the question ‘Do Labels Matter?‘ While they discussed that in their show and blog, I helped spotlight two jazz labels that DO still matter for A Blog Supreme: Tzadik and Nonesuch.

Then today, we put up a ‘First Listen’ for The Dead Weather’s fiery new album Horehound. You can hear that here and read what I had to say about the record.

Here is the video for their single “Treat Me Like Your Mother:”

The Dead Weather – Treat Me Like Your Mother

Oh and if you haven’t checked out my John Vanderslice review on Song of the Day, here it is again.