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The first time I heard Rodrigo y Gabriela, the pair was covering Metallica's "Orion." It's a beautiful composition, but what I couldn't wrap my head around was that this dense, majestic instrumental was being played by only two acoustic guitars.

The Artistic Duality Of Drummer Mark Guiliana

Jul 11, 2019

Drummer/composer Mark Guiliana traverses many musical landscapes from modern jazz (Brad Mehldau), Tunisian oud music (Dhafer Youssef), Hasidic reggae (Matisyahu), or legendary rock (David Bowie.) However, these days, his primary mode for expression is displayed in two distinctly different sounding bands: the acoustic The Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet and his electric Beat Music project.

Ahead of Disney's 2019 live adaption of The Lion King hitting theaters on July 18, Disney Music has released the original motion picture soundtrack. We're feeling the love already.

This Sunday, July 14, watch a live stream of Nuevofest 2019, a Latin music festival hosted by AfroTaíno Productions with performances by seven outstanding artists, plus some special guests. You can catch all the action via VuHaus, public radio's music-discovery video platform. More info on the event and each artist can be found on WXPN's The Key.

Last month, Bon Iver released a pair of new songs — "Hey Ma" and "U (Man Like)" — with little context to surround them.

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.

The Music Of Our Spheres

Jul 11, 2019

What does Space sound like? As an astronomer, I could tell you about interplanetary gas, magnetic fields and the physics of waves propagating through them both. But that's really not the answer that matters as we cross the 50-year threshold of an epoch-making walk on the Moon. This month marks an anniversary that asks us to reflect on the profound impact the Apollo mission left on human culture.

When Omar al-Bashir was ousted from the Sudanese presidency in April of 2019, there was an explosion of new culture in Sudan. In a country under strict Islamic law, suddenly, graffiti appeared on walls. Music of all kinds blasted from speakers. Men and women commingled openly at a protest camp in front of military headquarters.

Standing as a stark example of these post-military crackdown changes is Capital FM — a popular music radio station that was at the center of the spring's cultural revolution.

Since it dropped in April, Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" has been an inescapable hit. The song's massive blow-up is at least partially thanks to TikTok: the social media platform that launches viral stars 15 seconds at a time, and what writer Alyssa Bereznak called the "future of the music industry" in a recent article for The Ringer.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Common Currency

Jul 10, 2019

The instrumental links and song streams that connect musical traditions in far-flung lands are often invisible. Join host Fiona Ritchie to discover the connections and follow the flow with artists Joe Craven, Julee Glaub and The Paul McKenna Band.

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