Music

Boise State Public Radio Music can be heard in Boise and the surrounding Treasure Valley at 90.3FM, and across parts of southern and central Idaho, providing outstanding music, arts and cultural programming on air and online.

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Not just classical, Boise State Public Radio Music brings you jazz, americana, bluegrass, blues, folk, celtic and more. 

Below, you'll find a curated selection of the news and stories behind the music.  Posts about new releases, hit songs, and conversations with respected artists from a broad range of backgrounds.

 

Why Ravel Did Not Revel in Bolero

Dec 4, 2019

YouTube: a performance of Bolero from Michael Tilson Thomas

If you're a fan of classical music, you've probably heard the famous piece, The Bolero by Maurice Ravel. Producer of the weekly Boise Philharmonic Showcase, Jamey Lamar, shares some musical backstory with Boise State Publc Radio:

NPR Music's Top 15 Songs Of November

Dec 2, 2019

Stream this playlist via Spotify or Apple Music.

There's still some fight in 2019 left. Some of November's best songs come from late-year album contenders, some are stand-alone singles and still more point to what's ahead in 2020. We say, "Bring it on!"

This past September, the 20th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference featured a broad range of showcases from diverse musicians across alt-country, roots-rock, bluegrass, R&B, blues, folk and the singer-songwriter genre.

We are made of star-stuff. Carl Sagan was a poetic-ass dude, and, by many accounts, he was right. When a star dies, off shakes gas and dust like cosmic dandruff, sometimes creating new stars and planets. Some of that space dust becomes part of living organisms, like us.

No jazz instrument is more personal — or relatable — than the human voice. Jazz singers come in every conceivable style, each with their own expressive signature. This episode of Jazz Night in America offers a chance to spend time with some of the brightest newer voices in the genre.

For more than 30 years, Harry Connick Jr. has been putting out music that evokes the legacy of Frank Sinatra and other jazz icons. Now, he's back with a new album, True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter, and an accompanying Broadway show. NPR's David Greene visited the singer in Hollywood's Capitol Studios, where Connick demonstrated a few Cole Porter classics on the piano and talked about the musician's enduring influence.

Jeanine Basinger is a veteran film historian and author with a well-respected body of work — including 11 books — behind her. But read her new book, The Movie Musical!, and you might think she's a debut author with something to prove.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

George Michael fans, rejoice. His latest single is "This Is How (We Want You To Get High)." And it dropped this week.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THIS IS HOW (WE WANT YOU TO GET HIGH)")

NPR Music's Top 16 Songs Of October

Nov 4, 2019

Stream this playlist via Spotify or Apple Music.

Editor's note: This interview mentions domestic violence and suicide.

Singer-songwriter Allison Moorer was 14 years old when her father shot and killed her mother — and then himself. Moorer and her older sister, singer Shelby Lynne, were left to live with their aunt and uncle.

YouTube

We live! We die! We live again! There's something remarkably pointed about the War Boys' rallying cry from Mad Max: Fury Road.

Summer Walker's debut album, Over It, came out earlier this month — and it's already broken records. The 23-year-old's record became the most-streamed album by a woman R&B artist ever, breaking the record Beyoncé set with 2016's Lemonade. What's all the buzz about? Music critic Briana Younger of The New Yorker went in on the album's standout songs to unpack her appeal.

On "Girls Need Love"

Before the members of Congolese music collective KOKOKO! take the stage at Washington, D.C.'s Rock & Roll Hotel, they slip into bright yellow jumpsuits.

The fashion choice, they explain, has utilitarian roots: That's what a lot of workers in Congo wear. Their instruments have a similar no-frills style — they were crafted from kitchen pots, tin cans and air-conditioner parts.

On my daily commute, I toggle between podcasts and music I want to consider for Viking's Choice (or, if I need a self-motivating wake-me-up before hitting the office, the first two albums by Rage Against the Machine).

The recent biopic Rocketman painted a Hollywood version of Elton John's life, but a new memoir, Me, comes straight from the artist himself. In it, he describes how, as a young man, he was determined to enter the music business, in spite of some misgivings about rock 'n' roll in his household. As he tells Fresh Air, "My dad, of course, hated it."

The Mercury Prize-winning band Elbow has just released its eighth studio album, Giants of All Sizes. It's an exploration of mourning in terms both personal and political, as lead singer and lyricist Guy Garvey grapples with the loss of his father alongside such tragedies as the bombing in the band's hometown of Manchester in 2017 and what Garvey calls the "absolute cultural disaster" of Brexit.

Listen to this playlist on Spotify or Apple Music.

As we hit fall, we here at NPR Music are starting to look back at the year that was. But before we get there, we still have at least 12 weeks of new music to enjoy.

It's a Friday night in London, but the cityscape is far from sight. On a small stage, the silhouettes of two dancers undulate in double time, then half-time, their limbs slicing through the red-lit fog that blurs their outline. A digitally frayed, hummed refrain keeps the pace in and out of which they keep moving, as the rise and fall of composer and sound artist Klein's amplified breath signals her impending arrival through the crowd.

Caribou, the project of songwriter and producer Dan Snaith, has shared "Home," his first new music in over five years. Caribou last released the tropical, house-influenced full-length Our Love in 2014.

"Home" is warm, soulful and full of sweet longing. "It's just what she pleases," sings Snaith. "'Cause she's happy on her own / She picks up all the pieces, she's going home." At just over two-and-a-half minutes, Snaith builds the song around vintage horns and a sample from R&B singer Gloria Barnes' track of the same name.

Listen to this playlist on Spotify or Apple Music.

Ain't nothing minimal about minimalism. It's mind-expanding music within a limited frame, its attention to repetition and variation happens to be a sympathetic conductor for rock and pop music hypnosis.

Every month on Station Breaks, NPR Music stations handpick a diverse list of new songs by not-so-big bands. In this edition, check out British-Nigerian vocalist Ola Onabulé, Gothic country-rock by Roselit Bone and more. Songs from this month will be available to stream on the NPR Slingshot Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.


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