Music

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When Xenia Rubinos' father was suffering from Parkinson's disease, she flew to Florida every month to visit, pick up groceries, take him to appointments, and check in with his caregivers. It was an emotional time that inspired the song "Black Stars" from her album Black Terry Cat, in which she sings, "He's a million black stars / And he's gonna live a million years."

"It was very cryptic, and quite mysterious. I received a phone call and I was told that Kanye was an enormous fan of my work, and he would like to meet me."

That's how it started for painter Vincent Desiderio. The next day, he flew from New York to Los Angeles to meet Kanye West. When he arrived, he says, "It was as if I'd entered into a surprise party for me."

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

The new video from Jamie xx, for the song "Gosh," is a small wonder to behold.
Gorgeously directed by Romain Gavras, the short film opens in a possibly future world where zoned-out club goers sit around with virtual reality headgear covering their faces. It then follows a man dressed in white as he leads a vast army of apparently devoted followers on some sort of vision quest that includes some remarkable, synchronized moves.

For this most American of holidays, how do we define our music? What makes it uniquely American?

In 1929 George Gershwin wrote that it's "something deeply rooted in our soil." Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Marin Alsop said, "It's highly energized, rhythmic music derived from the blurring of lines between popular and serious styles."

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

Today, Matt plays new music from Blood Orange, Angel Olsen, and Whitney.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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