NPR Music Essentials
7:48 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Heavy Rotation: 10 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 9:57 am

This month on Heavy Rotation — the series in which public-radio hosts and DJs share their favorite new songs — we have music from all over the map. Hip-hop, punk, EDM, folk, pop: It's all here. Meet this month's panel of pickers:

  • David Dye, host of NPR's World Cafe
  • Rita Houston, program director of WFUV in New York City
  • David Brown, host of Texas Music Matters for KUTX in Austin
  • Jessi Whitten, music director at Colorado Public Radio's OpenAir indie station
  • Alex Ruder, DJ at KEXP in Seattle
  • Kim Ruehl, a writer for FolkAlley.com
  • Andrea Swensson, blogger for TheCurrent.org
  • Travis Holcombe, a new daytime host for KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif.
  • Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Frannie Kelley of NPR Music Radio's hip-hop station Microphone Check
  • Otis Hart, coordinator of NPR Music Radio
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Time, now, for our music project, Heavy Rotation. Every month, NPR Music asks our colleagues at public radio stations around the country to pick a favorite track playing on their station. And then, we feature one of those songs on MORNING EDITION. Today, it's Saint Paul, where reporter Andrea Swensson keeps tabs on local music for "The Current," on Minnesota Public Radio.

ANDREA SWENSSON: I kind of act as a liaison between the community and the station, and help them find new stuff and write about the music that we're adding to rotation.

WERTHEIMER: Swensson likes a new song from a musician Minnesotans know well. His name is Sean Tillman. He's from Owatanna. His fans know him as Har Mar Superstar.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LADY YOU SHOT ME")

HAR MAR SUPERSTAR: (Singing) Lady you shot me on top of all the tears you brought me. You broke my one rule. You treated me cruel.

SWENSSON: This is definitely more of that vintage soul sound than he's ever explored before; and kind of trying to channel, you know, the Otis Reddings and the Sam Cookes of the world.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LADY YOU SHOT ME")

SUPERSTAR: (Singing) What else can I do if you are untrue? I'll get back in line behind the other guy, if there's a chance you'll let me...

WERTHEIMER: In channeling Sam Cooke, Swensson says in this song, Har Mar Superstar refers to the singer's death.

SWENSSON: "Lady, you shot me" is actually the final words that Sam Cooke ever said. He was actually shot to death in a motel, in 1964. And when he was shot by the motel worker, he said, "Lady, you shot me!"

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LADY YOU SHOT ME")

SUPERSTAR: (Singing) Lady, you shot me! All the tears you brought me...

WERTHEIMER: Har Mar Superstar is known around the world, but he has not forgotten his Minnesota roots.

SWENSSON: People here love seeing Har Mar, and love - you know, he likes to play little bars in town, like the Triple Rock; and he'll jump up on the bar, and people just really get into it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "LADY YOU SHOT ME")

SUPERSTAR: (Singing) Now I lay bleeding. All the tears you brought me...

WERTHEIMER: "Lady, You Shot Me," by Har Mar Superstar. That's what's in Heavy Rotation this month on "The Current," at Minnesota Public Radio.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "LADY YOU SHOT ME")

SUPERSTAR: (Singing) Lady, you shot me. On top of all the tears you brought me...

WERTHEIMER: You can listen to more songs from the series, at NPRmusic.org. It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "LADY YOU SHOT ME")

SUPERSTAR: (Singing) ...All your love, I needed. What else can I do now? You were untrue... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.