NPR Music

The Music Of The Northern Lights

Jan 3, 2021

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To be a respected citizen of the bluegrass world, no matter how far newgrass, jamgrass, folk-rock, pop, indie and classical offshoots push its boundaries, requires being able to play in a traditional style with real command and grit. The band Sister Sadie has certainly lived up to that musical ideal over the past eight years through various festival and club dates and two album releases.

Founding singer-guitarist Dale Ann Bradley describes, with conviction and an evocative gardening tool metaphor, how her band mates attack their instruments:

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The enigmatic rapper MF Doom has died. He emerged mysteriously onto the New York scene in the late 1990s and became a cult figure in the underground rap world. NPR's Andrew Limbong confirmed his death with his former business partner. He has this remembrance.

Congratulations! You made it to 2021! This year, more than any other in recent memory, maybe you're excited for a fresh start — and certainly hopeful that this year might be better than the last. While we can't know what the future holds, this day may well feel like you've made it to the other side of something, like you've crossed a bridge over troubled water. To kick off the new year, here's a playlist that's all about new beginnings. Enjoy.

Daniel Dumile, the rapper and producer best known as MF DOOM, died Oct. 31, according to a message posted on his Instagram account by his wife, Jasmine Dumile on Thursday. No cause of death was given. He was 49 years old.

Jasmine Dumile's post reads:

French jazz pianist, bandleader and composer Claude Bolling, whose work spanned jazz clubs, the big screen, and Carnegie Hall, died Tuesday at the age of 90. His death was announced by his representatives.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Solstice

Dec 31, 2020

Some of the world's oldest festivals were held around the middle of winter. The ancient Celts actually thought the midwinter sun stood still for 12 days. This week, Fiona Ritchie offers up songs and tunes to lighten and brighten the darkest days of the year. From the short and chilly days of winter, hear music to warm your heart on The Thistle & Shamrock.

In Memoriam 2020: The Musicians We Lost

Dec 31, 2020

Collecting the names of musicians who die in any single span of time, as NPR does at the end of each year, can be an occasion for tribute or reflection or an exercise in collapsing days, a gateway to a specific moment of pain or gratitude. The truth at the end of 2020 is that the tremendous and overwhelming volume of loss nearly renders the need for that kind of reminder irrelevant. Throughout this relentless year it has been constantly renewed.

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