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Paul McCartney was looking for adventure when he made this record. So he recorded it in Nigeria, without a lot of his usual bandmates, in a shoddy studio. Bob Boilen gives a remastered version of the album a spin.
There's nothing particularly funny about most 16th-century choral music, but the young members of the a cappella ensemble Stile Antico cracked themselves up the entire time they sound checked for this Tiny Desk Concert. But when the cameras started rolling, they were all business. Watch the 12-person ensemble perform in the NPR Music offices.
NPR producer Veronica Miller says it's been a great week for girls of color. Two videos -- one with a muppet, the other by a budding child star -- are circulating the web and helping young girls celebrate their beauty and individuality.
The daughter of actors Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith, nine-year-old Willow, hopped into the spotlight this week with the debut of her first music video. Willow Smith's song, "Whip My Hair," has caused a stir on the Internet. Some love it, but others wonder if the little performer is too young to be drawing so much attention. Host Michel Martin talks with Danielle Belton, author of the politics and pop culture blog BlackSnob.com, about Willow Smith's moment in the spotlight.
These three songs, performed live at the NPR Music offices, benefit from a rich assortment of instrumentation: cello, viola, accordion, trumpet, snare drum, cymbal, tambourine, another gigantic drum and a pair of acoustic guitars.
Tom Tom Club began as a side project of Talking Heads' rhythm section: the bass of Tina Weymouth and the drums of Chris Frantz. The group's music was a staple of parties and clubs back then, and the music took on a life of its own in various samples and remakes, especially in the pop hit "Genius of Love." Watch the legendary band perform in a rare acoustic set at the NPR Music offices.
Led by Ari Picker, who studied film scoring at Berklee, Lost in the Trees creates a cinematic blend of storytelling and strings. There's freshness and excitement to the music he writes, and that comes through in his arrangements of cellos, violins, tubas, French horns, guitar and more. Here, the band performs three of its new songs in the NPR Music offices.
Barzelay may be the most underrated songwriter in the business today, with a sneakily firm grasp on poignancy and humor, and his live performances convey a kind of awkwardly fidgety fearlessness. Here, he mixes old and new in a charming four-song set at the NPR Music offices.
Many Americans know Seu Jorge as the melancholy singer performing mesmerizing David Bowie covers in the movie The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. In his new project, with his band Almaz, Seu Jorge is far more versatile. Jorge feeds off the audience's energy in this concert at the NPR Music offices.