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Wild Nothing at Mount San Jacinto for a Field Recording, recorded in April 2013. NPR hide caption

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Wild Nothing: Nuanced Pop At 8,500 Feet


With freezing hands and an adventurous spirit, Wild Nothing performs a stripped-down version of its song "This Chain Won't Break" on the side of the Mount San Jacinto peak near Palm Springs, Calif.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra performs live at the Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 27, 2013. Lizzie Chen/NPR Music hide caption

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra: NPR Front Row

Watch the band perform "No Need for a Leader," a tremendous cocktail of riff-rock and Black Sabbath-style psychedelia, recorded live at the Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Daniel Zott (left) and Joshua Epstein of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. perform live on KCRW. Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW hide caption

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KCRW Presents: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.


The dance-happy Detroit pop duo gives Morning Becomes Eclectic a preview of its upcoming album, due out in the fall. Watch Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein perform "War Zone" live in the studio.

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James Blake, Live In Concert

Watch the singer perform his breathtakingly emotional music, recorded live at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. Unpredictable and often mysterious, Blake's songs are intense and riveting.

Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo performs live on KCRW. Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW hide caption

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KCRW Presents: Yo La Tengo


Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew visit the Morning Becomes Eclectic studios to perform songs from their most recent album, Fade. Watch the venerable indie-rock trio play "Two Trains."

Jherek Bischoff in his home studio. Q2 Music hide caption

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Jherek Bischoff: The Composer Who Lived On The Ocean


The young composer has worked with David Byrne, Caetano Veloso and Amanda Palmer. Take a video tour of his old bedroom — and the place where he makes his blend of rock, pop and classical music.

The National performs live at The Cutting Room studios in New York City. WFUV hide caption

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The National: Falling For 'Graceless'


The band performs a special studio session for New York City's WFUV in advance of its new album, Trouble Will Find Me. Watch The National perform "Graceless," live from The Cutting Room Studios.

M R Shajarian performs a Tiny Desk Concert in March 2013. Marie McGrory/Marie McGrory/NPR hide caption

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Mohammad Reza Shajarian

Joined by three excellent collaborators, Shajarian gives what amounts to a brief master class in the art of singing. In the course of this love song, titled "Az Eshgh," the Iranian icon unleashes torrents of swooping, soaring, goosebump-inducing sound that's still perfectly controlled at age 73.

Savages lead singer Jehnny Beth. Brittney Bush Bollay/KEXP hide caption

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Savages: Elegant Brutality, Rendered Anything But Silent


The British post-punk band makes its American radio debut at KEXP in Seattle. Luckily, cameras are rolling for these four blistering songs from Savages' debut album, Silence Yourself.

Chris Tomson (left) and Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend perform at Apogee's Berkeley Street Studio in Santa Monica, Calif. Brenda Janario/KCRW hide caption

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Vampire Weekend, Live In Concert


For this performance, recorded for KCRW, Vampire Weekend took a night off from a West Coast tour to play for a small audience of eager fans at Apogee's Berkeley Street Studio in Santa Monica.

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Gregory Porter: A Lion In The Subway


In the arts mecca of New York City, subway buskers are often overqualified. But they're not usually world-class jazz singers with the lungs and charisma of old-school soul stars.

Buddy Miller and Jimmy Lauderdale perform a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 19, 2013. Gabriella Demczuk/NPR hide caption

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Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale

The veteran country players mix corny humor, musical merrymaking and timeless vocal harmonies. With three songs from their album-length collaboration Buddy and Jim, Miller and Lauderdale perform an endearing set at the NPR Music offices.

Steven Bernstein performs at 92Y Tribeca with Sexmob. John Rogers for NPR/ hide caption

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Sexmob: Live In Concert


The quartet specializes in a distinct strain of improvised music: jazz that aims at fun by bouncing off the walls. Led by slide trumpeter Steven Bernstein, the band parties to the themes of Nino Rota.

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Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom: Live In Concert


A go-to choice for jazz heavies and arena-level singer-songwriters alike, drummer Allison Miller made time to cultivate her own working band in the past few years. Hear her quartet perform live.