Music Reviews
11:51 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Fight Sound With Sound: Grateful Dead's Arena Combat

Dave's Picks Volume 9 features a 1974 Grateful Dead concert played in Montana.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 2:47 pm

The same week that Neil Young introduced his Pono music player designed to spark a huge boost in audio fidelity, I listened for the first time to a recording of a Grateful Dead concert I attended almost 40 years ago. And I realized that passions about good-sounding music go through cycles. Today, the lo-fi medium is MP3s through earbuds.

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Favorite Sessions
11:35 am
Mon March 31, 2014

KEXP Presents: Pontiak

Pontiak performs live in the KEXP studios.
Eric Gonzalez Alfaro KEXP

The three brothers in the Southern rock band Pontiak could tear the roof off any coliseum with their arena-sized riffs. Hailing from rural Virginia, the Carney brothers — Van, Jennings and Lain — have crafted a long string of albums filled with fuzzy, feedback-laden neo-psych stoner jams since forming Pontiak a decade ago.

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10:11 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Hill Harper Moves To 'Fire And Desire'

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 11:36 am



Now we hear from a man who says a relationship he built with a prison inmate changed his own life for the better. Actor Hill Harper documented his friendship and the advice he shared in his book "Letters to an Incarcerated Brother." When we spoke with him about the book last year, we also spoke with him for the regular feature we call In Your Ear. That's where we invite some of our guests to tell us about the songs they've been listening to. And he told us about what he listens to when he wants to unwind.

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All Songs Considered
10:49 pm
Sun March 30, 2014

Which Member Of Wilco Is A Wildcat & More: A Final Four Music Quiz

Kentucky's James Young pulls up for a shot against the Michigan Wolverines on Sunday.
Andy Lyons Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 10:54 am

The Final Four is set. The No. 1 overall seed Florida Gators take on the upstart Connecticut Huskies this Saturday, followed by a matchup between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Kentucky Wildcats.

These programs obviously have great basketball pedigree, but did you know that each of these schools have ties to some of our favorite musicians? Take this quiz to find out how the college scenes in Gainesville, Storrs, Madison and Lexington have shaped your iTunes collection.

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First Listen
10:04 pm
Sun March 30, 2014

First Listen: Valentina Lisitsa, 'Chasing Pianos'

Valentina Lisitsa's new Chasing Pianos features Michael Nyman's music for the Oscar-winning film The Piano.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 9:06 am

Music is an aural medium, but the two musicians represented on this album have careers defined, at least in part, by visuals. Valentina Lisitsa, the 44-year-old Ukrainian-born pianist, revived her stalled career by uploading videos of herself playing Chopin to YouTube. After millions clicked, she landed a record deal.

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