Gwen Thompkins

Host of Music Inside Out

Gwen Thompkins is a New Orleans native, NPR veteran and host of WWNO's Music Inside Out, where she brings to bear the knowledge and experience she amassed as senior editor of Weekend Edition, an East Africa correspondent, the holder of Nieman and Watson Fellowships, and as a longtime student of music from around the world.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
9:29 am
Thu February 6, 2014

The Strange World Of Alex McMurray

Alex McMurray at the Bitter End in NYC, 2011.
Dino Perrucci

As noggins in New Orleans go, there is no noggin like that of singer-songwriter Alex McMurray. He's got more original characters in his head than a Hollywood film library. Why else would McMurray write a song about the man who shot the man who shot Liberty Valance? (Spoiler Alert: John Wayne is in the crosshairs).

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
2:00 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Scott Aiges And The Music Biz

Credit Guillaume Laurent / Flickr

With the 56th GRAMMY Awards this weekend, it's time to consider the business of music. Artist royalties, mechanical royalties, revenue streams and recording contracts have been the bread-and-butter of Scott Aiges.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
2:00 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Wild Kingdom: Animal Music From Louisiana

A dog and its man at Laurence Square.
Credit Gregg Goldman

This program was originally broadcast in October, 2013

If this week's show doesn't bring out the animal in you, consult a doctor. You may be a vegetable... or a mineral... or a big block of cheese.

This is the time of year when pet lovers take their animals to church, when Lions and Tigers and Cardinals and Falcons take to the field, and when we turn to Louisiana songs about animals.

We've got birds, bees, a monkey, a horse, and even a cheetah. Yes, there are cheetahs in Louisiana. But the potholes slow them down.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
1:29 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Three Movies & A Trumpeter

Credit Seán Collins (photo illustration)

Chances are good that you’ve got a little time on your hands these days and you may just find yourself in front of the DVR. We’ve picked three holiday films we like — for no other reason than we’d watch them again if you made the popcorn.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
10:42 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Preservation Hall: Hallowed Ground

Credit Amanda Irizarry / Elephant Quilt Productions

Listen
Giants of traditional jazz played here; hell, they still play here: tucked behind walls with a patina worthy of the temple Preservation Hall has been through the years. 
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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
2:00 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Scott Aiges And The Music Business

Credit Guillaume Laurent / Flickr

Artist royalties, mechanical royalties, revenue streams and recording contracts have been the bread-and-butter of Scott Aiges.

He's managed musicians (Astral Project, The Continental Drifters, and Royal Fingerbowl to name just three) through the years and he teaches the business of music at Tulane. For awhile he was a music critic at The Times-Picayune. And he's even worked in the halls of power, serving as the director of music business development for the City of New Orleans. 

He knows the business.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
11:38 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Reggie Scanlan: Bass Lion

Credit Fantail Media / Flickr

There's a reason why lions prefer the company of other lions. Just ask Reggie Scanlan.

As a bass player, Scanlan worked with James Booker and Professor Longhair before starting a 33-year run with the Radiators. He's now in a band of all-stars called the New Orleans Suspects.

Scanlan tells us some of the lessons he's learned from playing, touring, and recording with the best in New Orleans music.

For instance: band tours last longer with separate hotel rooms. And if you can't sing... don't. 

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
6:30 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Chefs Pair Music With Their Recipes

Chef Josh Galliano
Credit Seán Collins

Commercial kitchens are the workplaces (and playgrounds) of some of the most inventive people around and they have some of the best soundtracks on the planet.

When your dinner reservation is still just a pencil mark in a ledger, long before the candles are lit, before the linen table cloths are smoothed and the cutlery is placed just so, your favorite restaurants are suffused with great music. Rock 'n' roll, gut-bucket blues, country, funk, ska, and jazz make the food taste better because the chefs are listening. And their musical taste is just as refined as any other.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
10:52 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Meschiya Lake: Modern-Day Chanteuse

Meschiya Lake & The Little Big Horns
Credit Babs Evangelista

Meschiya Lake & The Little Big Horns have been playing together as a band since 2009. But their repertoire suggests a much longer, deeper history, dating back to the early part of the last century, when people were buying phonographs and drinking absinthe in its original form.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
9:59 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Caleb Elliott & New Releases

Singer-songwriter Caleb Elliott

At their best, pop songs conjure exactly what it’s like to be young. The stories are often simple. But they’re not so easy to write. Because the best pop songs take on the same themes as a great epic poem or a Wagnerian opera. Pop is about the loss of innocence.

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