Welcome to the new modern. L.A. musician Nick Waterhouse and his band The Tarots are young revivalists who offer a contemporary spin on classic sounds. Waterhouse comes from a world of "record people" and grew up just down the road from The Distillery (an all-analog Costa Mesa recording studio which houses the old console from Muscle Shoals), so he was afforded the privilege of seeing how the music-making process used to work. Working in precise detail, he crafts and refines a sharp modern-vintage sound throughout his first album, Time's All Gone.
The blues may come in myriad shapes and sizes, but on the eve of 2012's South By Southwest music festival, it took the form of two sisters from Los Angeles: Jennifer and Jessica Clavin, who make up the core of Bleached. A rough-and-tumble garage-rock band, Bleached is one of many young punk-infused acts playing three-minute, three-chord bashers with sneering, unraveled immediacy. When played on stage, the band's music takes on a messy-but-fun live-wire buoyancy.
Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 10:05 am
It just so happens that Elton John and Rufus Wainwright were both at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. today. Rufus played a Tiny Desk Concert for us (on an upright piano that fit perfectly behind the desk) and Elton was here for an interview on Talk Of The Nation. If only they had crossed paths! So we sent a note out on Twitter (@allsongs): If we could have gotten them together in the same room, what would have been the perfect duet?
Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 10:06 am
Archie Powell has been surrounded by music since he was little: His father was a violinist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Powell himself picked up the guitar at 11, so songwriting became a natural next step for the music prodigy. He joined up with his band The Exports — brothers Ryan, Adam and RJ Export play keyboards, bass and drums, respectively — soon after college. By 2010, the Chicago-based power-pop band was ready with its first full-length studio album, Skip Work.
Petra Anderson is a gifted 22-year-old composer and violinist who was critically injured in the movie theater shootings last Friday in Aurora, Colo. She was shot four times. Three shotgun pellets landed in her arm and a fourth nearly killed her.
It was a magical experience having reggae legend Jimmy Cliff here at KCRW for the first time, as the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer played a set of timeless classics and fantastic cuts off his new album, Rebirth. In an intimate, soul-stirring set — he sang and played acoustic guitar, with just one other musician accompanying him — Cliff's voice sounds as strong as ever, and his spirit is truly inspiring.
I'm usually a fan of "between" albums — the ones that break away from an artist's established sound, either tentatively or extravagantly, exploring the extremes of inspiration. These records are often misunderstood upon immediate release, but offer clues to an artist's discography over time.