Music

The new film Jackie, opening in theaters across the country this weekend, begins with a blank, black screen, underscored by melting strings. It's our first indication that music will play a central role here, at times even more so than the title character.

Minneapolis vocalist Lizzo grew up deep in the Pentecostal church, so it seemed natural to title one of her songs "Worship." But the track, like most of what the rapper and singer writes, would never have played in her childhood home. As she tells it, the family's attitude on secular music was clear.

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(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ADONAI")

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Vocalizing).

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The last time New York's Metropolitan Opera presented a work written by a woman was 113 years ago. It's a drought that lasted longer than the years between the Cubs' World Series victories. That situation has finally been rectified this week with the New York premiere of the opera L'Amour de Loin by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho.

The Rolling Stones' new album is a collection of blues covers called Blue & Lonesome. Recorded in three days during December of last year, with co-producer Don Was, the album pays tribute to the blues legends that inspired the band when it was just getting started.

This is Sample Size, our weekly new music feature with KOSU's Ryan LaCroix and LOOKatOKC music critic Matt Carney.

Today, Matt plays his favorite Oklahoma songs of 2016 from Husbands, Beau Jennings & the Tigers, and LABRYS.

Christmas is coming, and soon TV screens everywhere will light up with that 1946 holiday classic, It's a Wonderful Life. But the same story is coming a little early to the stage of the Houston Grand Opera. That's right: An operatic version of George Bailey's struggle with life and death opens this Friday.

Librettist Gene Scheer admits that adapting such a beloved movie has sometimes felt like a fool's errand. "It's almost secular scripture, this piece," he says. "Everyone knows all the lines."

Today's All Songs +1 podcast is a conversation with The Antlers' Peter Silberman on how hearing loss would eventually lead him to create his first solo album.

There are times when a beat can save your life, and others when it's the last thing you need. For the past three weeks or so, the sound of drum machines has mostly felt numbing — dissociative from the reality of the culture, and not in a good way. The music that has best soundtracked the current feeling of confusion and embattlement is mostly dark, ambient and atmospheric, though not without hope.

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