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For more than 20 years the performance artist known as Reverend Billy — real name, Bill Talen — has been crusading against consumerism in New York and abroad. I first met him in early 2000, when I recorded his attempt to exorcise a cash register in the Disney Store on Times Square.

"People, tourists, listen to me," Reverend Billy called out in the flagship store. "Mickey Mouse is the anti-Christ. This is the devil!"


This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. We thought it would be fun to spend Thanksgiving with Paul McCartney, so we're going to feature my recent interview with him. We talked about his life and music through two projects. He has a new two-volume set of books called "The Lyrics," collecting his lyrics and the stories behind them, starting with songs he wrote before the Beatles and ending with songs from his latest album, "McCartney III," which was released late last year.

Young Dolph saw the good in people

Nov 24, 2021

By all accounts, including his own, it's a miracle that Young Dolph lived to see 2021. "I've been targeted since I was 17, 18, 19," he told The Guardian in 2018. The rapper, whose real name was Adolph Robert Thornton Jr., was 36 when he was fatally shot at a cookie shop in his native Memphis last week.

While the creative industries, like everything else, have been subjected to upheaval by the global pandemic, it is reassuring to know that musicians' creative sparks continue to burn brightly. Fiona Ritchie explores new music that's been coming out, with Simon Mayer and Hilary James, The Gothard Sisters, and Chris Newman's Breaking Bach - Flat Picking the Partitas.

Whited Sepulchre on / YouTube

Denver's Allison Lorenzen has spent time making her way back from intertwined musical and romantic turmoil, and has built her first solo outing,

Sailor Goon, 'Persian Rugs'

Nov 24, 2021

Symphonic Distribution on / YouTube

After toiling in the digital ether of Soundcloud for a time, 21-year-old singer-songwriter Kayla Le has emerged as Sailor Goon.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of World Cafe, we're looking back and posting playlists from each year of the show. As music has evolved over the years, so have our playlists, which have grown to reflect a much wider range of music than when we first set out.

Dave Grohl still remembers the first punk show he ever saw: Naked Raygun, in Chicago around 1982, at a little corner bar across from Wrigley Field called The Cubby Bear.

"They knew four chords and the singer was, like, on top of my head, and I was against the stage, and it was life-affirming, because I thought ... 'Oh my God! This is what I want to do,' " the Foo Fighters frontman says.

NPR Music's Turning the Tables is a project envisioned to challenge sexist and exclusionary conversations about musical greatness. Up until now we have focused on overturning conventional, patriarchal best-of lists and histories of popular music. But this time, it's personal. For 2021, we're digging into our own relationships to the records we love, asking: How do we know as listeners when a piece of music is important to us?