Jenny Lewis's new album, The Voyager, comes out today and we are lucky to have her as our guest playing live with her band.
From child actor to co-head of Rilo Kiley and thru some spectacular solo albums (Rabbit Fur Coat and Acid Tongue) plus working with Ben Gibbard in The Postal Service, we already know Jenny is a trooper. This weekend her story was chronicled in a profile in The New York Times Magazine.
For this week's rebroadcast of the 800th episode of Mountain Stage, we have a special bonus Song of the Week: "Most People" by California rock band Dawes. It's been a staff favorite since it was first released last year, and the Mountain Stage performance of the song features extended guitar work by frontman Taylor Goldsmith that isn't usually heard in other broadcasts.
There aren't a whole lot of failures on the resume of Jeff Tweedy, who co-piloted the groundbreaking alt-country band Uncle Tupelo in the '80s and early '90s, then multiplied its popularity as the leader of Wilco. In that band, Tweedy's refusal to compromise his vision led to his greatest commercial success, vaulting idiosyncratic records like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost Is Born into the canon.
Far removed from his days as a white-knuckled teenage prodigy in Bright Eyes, Conor Oberst has settled into his 30s as a wise and wizened elder statesman. He's come to channel his youthful intensity into real showmanship, especially onstage, while continuing to mine powerful emotions and a sort of fearless poignancy in his songwriting.
The Newport Folk Festival sells out months before its lineup is announced, but fans aren't entirely in the dark: Most know there's at least a 50 percent chance that the lineup will include the countrified California roots-rock band Dawes. Led by brothers Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith, Dawes is a heartwarming crowd-pleaser, both on stage and on albums like last year's Stories Don't End.
In the past, the Berklee Gospel & Roots Choir has been employed as a sort of Newport Folk Festival palate-cleanser: a way to kick off the day with something kind, approachable, reverent and rooted in many folk traditions. This year, with Mavis Staples on top of the bill, the group, which opens the proceedings on Sunday, functioned as both and a theme-setter.
Three recent college graduates are getting paid to take a road trip. The one catch? They have to drive a giant peanut while they do it.
The giant Nutmobile is part of a brand campaign by Planters, the snack food company, which has hired the grads as brand ambassadors to drive it around the country. After all, it takes teamwork to maneuver a 27-foot-long, yellow peanut in shopping mall parking lots. But if you think handling the vehicle sounds tough, there's more.
The muscular farmer sits in the basement kindergarten of the church, perched on a tiny chair intended for a child. He and his family are spending the holiday here, after being forced to flee from extremists.
"Our village is more than 300 years old," Ahmed Ali says of Shreikhan, near Mosul, "and we never had any such problems."
For most Muslims around the world, Eid is a time for gifts, feasts and visiting relatives. But for him and others in a militant-controlled swath of northwest Iraq, it's a strange and unhappy holiday.