NPR Music

Are you someone who believes that people can fundamentally change, or do you think we just are who we are? If you chose the former, you've got something in common with my guest today. Perfume Genius is led by artist Mike Hadreas, and today you will hear him talk about his belief that everyone has the ability to profoundly change who they are and how he himself has experienced change over the last couple of years.

Makaya McCraven calls himself a beat scientist, so it's no surprise when you ask about his childhood, you hear he was pretty much surrounded by rhythm.

"Rehearsals at our house, banging on drums since I was able to hold a drumstick, sleeping in my dad's bass drum," he recalls. "There was no front head, and a little pillow in there. And you could just kinda go in and lay down if you're small enough."

Malik Abdul-Basit, a rapper best known for his work with The Roots as Malik B., has died. He was 47.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Salm And Soul

Jul 29, 2020

This week, the performance style and traditions of both African American gospel and Hebridean psalm singing are explored and celebrated with the Gaelic psalm singers from the Isle of Lewis and the Mt. Zion CPCA Church Gospel Choir from Alabama. Also featured is Capercaillie with Hijas del Sol (formerly known as Sibeba).

Two controversies broke out this week regarding accusations of anti-Black racism in classical music. One involved two high-profile international soloists, pianist Yuja Wang and violinist Leonidas Kavakos. The other features less prominent individuals — a group of academics — but it also points to the slowness of the classical music community to take up difficult conversations about race and representation.

Everybody knows the name Fleetwood Mac — but few may know that the band's fame was built on the talents of a man who left the group after its third album and fell off the face of the Earth.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

After 25 years of hosting shows from the Grand Ole Opry, Eddie Stubbs is retiring.

Eddie Stubbs came to Nashville in 1995 to play fiddle for Kitty Wells. But within a week, that voice got him a job at radio station WSM and just a few days after that, he was auditioning to host the Grand Ole Opry.

From that perch, he's seen one amazing performance after another and quite a bit of history — from the Opry debut of Carrie Underwood to witnessing the last performance of an icon like Grandpa Jones.

Updated on Aug. 6 at 8:06 a.m. ET

In April 1945, Madame Roos wrote a letter to French authorities describing her piano she was hoping to get back. Roos, who was 72, was Jewish and her piano had been stolen when Nazis emptied her apartment in Paris.

A similar fate befell many of the 75,000 French Jews deported to concentration camps during World War II.

Lyric Jones: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Jul 29, 2020

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

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