Music

The creators of pop music are usually able to break down the fundamentals of their craft — that search for the clever rhyme, the killer beat, the singable chorus. They are less articulate, understandably, about the other quest, the one that powers those everyday searches: the pursuit of ecstasy in sound. There's something almost paranormal about that part of the creative process, yet we know those moments, instantly, when we hear them.

This week's puzzler comes courtesy Michael Lerner, drummer for the band The Antlers. Lerner is on the short list of current favorite drummers. His work is always melodic, never too busy or indulgent. But he also never settles for the straight up four on the floor. I found the fills he selected for this week's puzzler to be... challenging. But see what you think.

Heavy Rotation is a monthly sampler of public radio hosts' favorite songs. Check out past editions here.

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Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Viking's Choice: Lantlôs Will Crush You With Bliss

Apr 24, 2014

What do you do when your favorite metal band "goes soft"? Take to the message boards? Subtweet until the mounting "favorites" validate your rage? Or do you open up to the sound? In the new issue of the monthly metal print magazine Decibel (No.

Vijay Iyer On Q2 Music's 'Spaces'

Apr 24, 2014

Pianist, composer, improviser and 2013 MacArthur Fellow Vijay Iyer has built a career of making musical connections. Increasingly recognized as one of the most inventive musicians working today, he received an interdisciplinary Ph.D.

Baggy pants make different music than skinny jeans. Cowboy hats sound different than fedoras. T-shirt-and-jeans bands make a different noise than suit-and-tie bands. You can often look at a band's clothing and have a pretty good idea what it'll sound like.

New songs by The Jazz June and Sunny Day Real Estate, tours from American Football and Texas Is the Reason — it's a helluva time to be a '90s emo kid.

Damon Albarn's credits are legion. He's the frontman of Blur, the British band who created a giant catalog of forward-thinking guitar pop and one enduring, stadium-rattling jock jam. He's the vocalist and principal songwriter of Gorillaz, the animated supergroup who managed to give the iPod a little street cred. He led Bobby Womack out of long career stall and into 21st century cool, co-producing the soul legend's left-field comeback album, The Bravest Man in the Universe, in 2012.

Pop star Justin Bieber has been lurching from crisis to crisis in recent months, but his latest faux pas could be his biggest, risking the affections of possibly a billion Beliebers.

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