Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper is the fifth full-length album Noah Lennox has released under his nom de plume Panda Bear. Baltimore native Panda Bear is a co-founding member of Animal Collective, a band known for their musical creativity and experimentation. The multi-instrumentalist has indicated that death and personal growth are lyrical themes of the new record. The music has been aptly described as "swirling" and "as pure as a babbling brook."
NPR Tiny Desk Concerts are intimate video performances, recorded live at the desk of All Songs Considered host, Bob Boilen. Boilen's desk is located at NPR headquarters in Washington, DC. Past performers have included Lucinda Williams, Rubblebucket, St Paul and The Broken Bones, J. Mascis, Tweedy, Pixies, Neko Case and many more!
On this week's trip down The Avenue, we'll hear music from all 5 nominees for The Blues Foundation's Rock Blues Album of the Year and all 5 nominees for the Koko Taylor Traditional Female Artist of the Year
WILLIAM CLARKE-BLOWIN' THE FAMILY JEWELS (EXCERPT)
Gravity Well is the new album from Rose's Pawn Shop. The Los Angeles-based, five-piece group formed in 2006, and this is their third full-length album. The sound of Rose's Pawn Shop can be categorized as Americana leaning toward the indie rock side. In fact, the songs on Gravity Well have been described as rousing, fierce and anthemic; the music a "stomping interpretation of alt-country and Americana songcraft."
The Iowa band Beverly and the Accordion performed live in IPR'S Cedar Falls studios on January 13. The six-piece group played songs from their new release The Porch Sessions, and more. An appreciative hometown audience responded enthusiastically to Beverly and the Accordion's Americana-flavored music. And yes, an accordion can be heard in the mix!
Philadelphia's DRGN KING (pronounced "Dragon King") began as a duo in 2009, with singer and frontman Dominic Angelella, and multi-instrumentalist and producer Ritz Reynolds. The duo later expanded to a four-piece band. After recording a few tracks and releasing a few EP's, the debut full-length album from DRGN KING was released in 2013. Baltimore Crush is the follow-up, with songs inspired by Angelella's youth in Baltimore, and highlighting the band's bright indie-rock sound.
The Heart Of A Dark Star is the fourth album from mr. Gnome, a married duo from Cleveland, Ohio. The full sound of mr. Gnome's music is created by singer/guitarist Nicole Barille and drummer/pianist Sam Meister. They have been recording as mr. Gnome since 2006. Their sound has been described as "art rock", with songs that explore fantastic and mythical subjects, and a theatrical approach to their music and stage show.
James Mercer's band The Shins began as a side project of his then primary group, Flake Music. The Albuquerque, New Mexico band was more collaborative than The Shins, and was active for much of the 1990's. They only released one full-length album, When You Land Here It's Time To Return, in 1997. Because of the success of The Shins (and another Mercer project, Broken Bells), interest remains high in Flake Music. The album's songs, remixed and reissued now on the Sub Pop label, are enjoyable guitar-based indie pop.
Blind Boys of Alabama formed in 1944, and have stated that their goal is to "spiritually uplift audiences." They have released many records over the years, and Talkin' Christmas is not their first Christmas album. It is, however, the first to feature collaborator Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal has been putting his unique stamp on blues and world music for nearly 50 years. In Talkin' Christmas the singers and musicians have created a special blend of gospel and R&B for the season.