In 2007, a dozen or so reggae and soul artists met in Los Angeles and eventually formed The Lions. Heavily inspired by the culture surrounding Jamaican music both old and new, the group is deeply rooted in soul, but also has a rough edge reminiscent of The Upsetters or The Rockers Band.
Members Deston Berry, Alex Désert and Malik Moore handle lead vocals, while Black Shakespeare produces the backing tracks. Guitarist Dan Ubick and bassist Dave Wilder also contribute, along with a mix of musicians who've played with Big Daddy Kane, De La Soul and Raphael Saadiq.
Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 9:13 am
On Wednesday evening, NPR's fast-talking "Political Junkie" segment headed out of the studio and on the road (well, down the street to be exact) and brought the show to a live audience. The interactive show could not have met a more enthusiastic crowd, with residents of the nation's capital gearing up for an atypical weekend: the Presidential Inauguration.
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 7:41 am
How do you get picked to bake the inaugural cake? Is there a long application process that involves standardized tests, or is it more like the Publishers Clearing House, where someone surprises you at your door with a camera crew?
Duff Goldman says he's still not sure how it happened.
"They called us out of the blue," he says. "I got a text message from my office manager saying, 'Hey, we're making the official inaugural cake.' "
After the first Obama inauguration, everybody talked about three things: the historic moment, the Arctic weather — and Aretha Franklin's hat.
If it is possible for a piece of millinery to steal the thunder of one of the most-watched moments in recent memory, the Queen of Soul's hat managed to do it. Her gray felt cloche was topped with a giant, matching bow, outlined in rhinestones that flashed in the chill sunlight as she sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee."
Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 11:30 am
Audio for this feature is no longer available.
Like sand sifting through a pinhole, the first signal on Darkstar's News From Nowhere builds slowly into a sweetly psychedelic mound. "Light Body Clock Starter" opens the record by setting its tone: subtly textural, slightly queasy, pretty as a picture. Composed with luminous synths and melodic vocal lines, the U.K. trio's latest album is an unabashed venture into warped pop music.
The young musicians of Seguro Que Si will perform in this weekend's Inaugural Parade. Left to right: Daniel Chico (bass), Kevin Arguelles (piano), Maxwell Frost (timbales), Christopher Muriel (congas), Niyah Lowell (bongos), Annette Rodriguez (vocal), Sean Fernandez (trumpet), Robby Cruz (trumpet).
In the Inaugural Parade following the president's swearing-in on Monday, regimental and high school marching bands will appear alongside groups showcasing the nation's diversity. These include a float representing South Carolina and Georgia's Gullah-Geechee culture, plus Native American groups and a mariachi band from Texas. Bringing the salsa is Seguro Que Si, a high school band from Kissimmee, Fla.
Everyone has relationship problems, even God — at least, according to humorist Simon Rich. His latest book of short stories, The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories, is quirky, surreal and sometimes a little dark. It's divided into three sections: Boy Meets Girl. Boy Gets Girl. Boy Loses Girl.
"It is a pretty honest and personal book," Rich tells NPR's Rachel Martin, "which is a strange thing to say about a book that's filled with so much time travel, and rocket ships, and talking trolls and magical goats, but it is actually a pretty honest book."