Four years after his death, the former singer of the Box Tops and Big Star is enjoying a level of popular acclaim that eluded him in life. A new biography of Alex Chilton, A Man Called Destruction, follows on the heels of a successful documentary about Big Star released last year.
Baggy pants make different music than skinny jeans. Cowboy hats sound different than fedoras. T-shirt-and-jeans bands make a different noise than suit-and-tie bands. You can often look at a band's clothing and have a pretty good idea what it'll sound like.
Finally today, let's end the program on a high note. Today marks 75 years since Marian Anderson, the African-American contralto, took to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to sing.
Anderson was supposed to sing at the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall, but she was barred from performing there because she was black. Let's listen to a bit of Marian Anderson's performance from April 9, 1939.
The song is from Merchant's first new record of all-original songs in thirteen years. The self-titled album is out May 6 on Nonesuch Records. Watch the video, let it settle in your bones, and watch again.
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His band's new album is called Lost in the Dream, but The War on Drugs' Adam Granduciel sounds like he's just woken up from one. While it's only the band's third record since forming nine years ago, Lost in the Dream is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessors: Granduciel transforms his ambient, oft-meandering Americana into grander and more propulsive arrangements that are no less exploratory. Like private songs writ large, they reach their full intensity in the hands of his entire band.