Music

5:00am

Thu November 24, 2011
The Record

On Commercial Radio, Christmas Is Coming Early

Christmas music superstar Bing Crosby performing in 1977, back when the season, at least on the radio, started after Thanksgiving.
Getty Images

If it seems like you're hearing more Christmas music on the radio these days, it's not your imagination. More stations have been going all-Christmas — and they're doing it earlier than ever.

The reason is simple: Christmas music makes ratings go through the roof.

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10:47am

Wed November 23, 2011
World Cafe

tUnE-yArDs On World Cafe

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 12:33 pm

Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs.
Courtesy of the artist

Merrill Garbus, the woman behind tUnE-yArDs, began as a solo act, and her talent practically explodes out of every performance. She commands any space, especially from behind a set-up of a tom and snare drum, a ukulele, and her bare feet atop the loop pedals from which she builds her compositions. Every sound that Garbus weaves into her songs is so deliberately placed that "experimental" seems too nonchalant a word.

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2:10pm

Tue November 22, 2011
World Cafe

SuperHeavy On World Cafe

Superheavy: (left to right) Dave Stewart, Damian Marley, Joss Stone, Mick Jagger and A.R. Rahman.
Courtesy of the artists

SuperHeavy's credentials don't read much like those of most new bands. Its members boast 11 Grammy Awards between them, legendary parents, record sales in the millions and multiple Academy Awards for film scoring. And, on top of that, the band's existence was kept a secret until May 2011.

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2:01pm

Tue November 22, 2011
World Cafe

World Cafe: Keith Richards On 'Some Girls'

Mick Jagger (left) and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones in 1978, the year Some Girls was originally released.
Lynn Goldsmith

An atmosphere of tension surrounded The Rolling Stones when the band got into the studio to record Some Girls, its 16th U.S. release, in 1978. Not only did the group worry that the new waves of disco and punk threatened to pass it by, but Keith Richards was awaiting a serious heroin-trafficking court date that threatened to put him and the group out of commission. The Stones were in trouble.

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1:58pm

Mon November 21, 2011
Tiny Desk Concerts

Joe Henry: Tiny Desk Concert

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 1:38 pm

Michael Katzif NPR
  • Audio Only: Joe Henry's Tiny Desk Concert

For musicians performing behind Bob Boilen's desk at the NPR Music offices, there's often an inverse relationship between professional accomplishment and the amount of time required to set up. For new bands still finding their way, pre-show preparation can be a numbing chore of positioning effects pedals and rehearsing song after song before the cameras start rolling.

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