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Rahim AlHaj: Tiny Desk Concert

Nov 13, 2015

Ancestor to the lute and the guitar, the oud ‎is an ancient stringed instrument commonly played throughout the Middle East, North Africa and countries like Greece and Turkey. The oud has charmed audiences for more than 5,000 years, and the tradition continues with this reverent performance by one of the world's best players, Rahim AlHaj.

KCRW Presents: EL VY

Nov 12, 2015

EL VY is a new project from Matt Berninger of The National and Brent Knopf of Ramona Falls (and formerly Menomena). The two met in 2003 when their bands played on the same bill, and when you see them in a room together, it's clear their musical partnership was preceded by many years of friendship.

1990s revivalism may be entering its dwarf-star phase without ever having shed proper light on itself. Last week, the 22-year-old rapper Vince Staples argued that for his generation, hip-hop's official Golden Age matters less than the viral onset of 21st-century stars like Soulja Boy.

Brian Burton has good taste. As Danger Mouse, he's won five Grammy Awards and worked with everyone from the Black Keys to Gorillaz to Adele. Now the musician, songwriter and producer is adding another impressive project to his resume: his own record label.

Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Allen Toussaint has died at the age of 77, Spanish authorities have confirmed.The award-winning artist was known for songs like Working In the Coal Mine, Southern Nights and Fortune Teller. He suffered a heart attack shortly after coming off stage at Madrid's Teatro Lara on Monday night, reported Spanish newspaper El Mundo. He was found in his hotel and resuscitated - but suffered a second heart attack en route to hospital.

Matt Roberts/Getty Images

  Over the course of a career that lasted some sixty years, pianist, producer and songwriter Allen Toussaint's music and sound became a hugely influential force for artists working in many different genres. Toussaint died on Monday night in Madrid, at the age of 77. As the news has spread, artists and other luminaries have been pouring out their grief on social media. 

  The full blog and tribute is at NPR MUSIC

Allen Toussaint On Mountain Stage

Nov 10, 2015

Allen Toussaint appears on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the historic Keith Albee Theater in Huntington, W.Va. A New Orleans R&B institution, Toussaint has worn every musical hat there is to wear — and, along the way, is as responsible as any one person for that classic Crescent City sound.

"My whole life / Was like a picture of a sunny day," Carrie Brownstein sings in Sleater-Kinney's "Modern Girl." It's one of the band's happier-sounding songs, with a catchy, almost sweet melody belied by the deeply ironic, cutting lyrics. She follows up those lines with the ones that inspire the title of her new book: "My baby loves me, I'm so hungry / Hunger makes me a modern girl."

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