Music

Remembrances
4:44 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Amiri Baraka's Legacy Both Controversial And Achingly Beautiful

Amiri Baraka, shown here in 1972, was a renowned poet whose politics strongly shaped his work.
Julian C. Wilson AP

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 9:31 am

One of America's most important — and controversial — literary figures, Amiri Baraka, died on Thursday from complications after surgery following a long illness, according to his oldest son. Baraka was 79.

Baraka co-founded the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s. His literary legacy is as complicated as the times he lived through, from his childhood — where he recalled not being allowed to enter a segregated library — to the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. His poem about that attack, "Somebody Blew Up America," quickly became infamous.

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Music Interviews
3:26 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

This Expensive Rubber Mat Could Be The Synth Of The Future

Fitted with rubbery keys and advanced electronics, the Seaboard was designed to realistically mimic other instruments by letting players pull off subtle bends and slides between notes.
Roli

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 9:06 am

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The Record
2:43 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

An Under-The-Radar Albums Preview For 2014

Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, whose album, the imagined savior is far easier to paint, will be released on March 11.
Emra Islek Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 8:40 am

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All Songs Considered
1:45 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

The Good Listener: When Good Musicians Do Bad Things

Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, seen here in 1968, had a relationship that offended many fans' sensibilities. But their complicated romantic history hasn't affected either's musical legacy.
Getty Images

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid a deluxe version of the Ashley Monroe record in which "deluxe" means "packed in a 10-pound wooden crate" is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, how and whether to enjoy music by folks whose real-life actions offend us.

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World Cafe
1:01 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

The Dismemberment Plan On World Cafe

The Dismemberment Plan.
Courtesy of the artist

A Washington, D.C., indie-rock band that formed in 1993, The Dismemberment Plan released four widely beloved albums before going quiet for more than a decade — save for a brief reunion to perform a small handful of sold-out benefit concerts in 2007.

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