Music

Travis Meadows has done a lot of living. The Nashville-based artist has battled both addiction and cancer, the latter of which claimed his right leg below the knee. He spent years as a missionary, wrote and performed Christian music, then tumbled back into alcoholism. And he's made a name for himself as someone who can spin dark poetry into some of country music's most heart-wrenching songs. (He based his 2011 album Killin' Uncle Buzzy on journal entries he made while in rehab.)

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Four years after an acclaimed debut, King Krule is back with his second proper album, The OOZ. The 23-year-old, UK-born Archy Marshall grew up in a family of musicians who played everything from ska to jazz to experimental jams in the house, and the eclecticism of his upbringing can be heard in tracks like "Bermondsey Bosom" — essentially spoken poetry in Spanish, with a beat. To mark the release of The OOZ, NPR producer Anjuli Sastry asked him to explain where that odd title comes from.

Ian Brady killed five children in the 1960s, in an infamous case of depraved murder. Brady died five months ago, but arguments over disposing of his body only now seem to be over, with a U.K. court saying Brady will be cremated with "no music and no ceremony," rejecting a plan to play the "Witches' Sabbath" portion of Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique.

It's not unusual for film composers to make music out of organic sounds found in or related to the movie. Take Nathan Johnson's stunning Looper score which was built on a foundation of sampled clicks and pops that captured the film's steampunk creakiness. Or, more elementally, the typewriter rhythms Mark Mothersbaugh used for his Royal Tenenbaums score, emulating the film's anachronistic storytelling themes.

The War on Drugs' A Deeper Understanding is epic. Ambitious. Huge. Case in point: the first single they released, "Thinking of a Place," clocked in at over 11 minutes. But make no mistake – this isn't the work of a noodley jam band. Every sound is deliberate, every dynamic is thoughtful, and the build is brilliant. That's thanks in large part to the way lead singer and songwriter Adam Granduciel works.

Talk about building a buzz! Slingshot artist Lo Moon wowed us with its first single "Loveless" in September 2016. They let it percolate for a good eight months before unleashing its follow-up single, "This is It" in May. And today, they give us "Thorns" — the third single off a debut album to be released in early 2018. Suffice it to say, this is a new band that's taking time to get it right.

The second Friday the 13th of 2017 is upon us, so we've assembled a playlist of songs for the superstitious and non-superstitious alike.

If you have even a tinge of concern, we would urge you to avoid black cats, walking under ladders, opening umbrellas in doors, and definitely do not accept any invitations to cookouts, late-night bonfires or sleep over trips to Camp Crystal Lake.

The Alt.Latino team is so grateful for the positive feedback to our periodic "Music Magazine" shows — and now, we're happy to present the Fall edition.

This week we put the spotlight on two playwrights, one of whom you probably know, the other someone you should.

Pages