Music

Neko Case On 'Hell-On'

Jun 9, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Every new album from Neko Case brings something interesting, unexpected, clever, maybe just a little odd. That continues with "Hell-on," her first solo album in five years.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LAST LION OF ALBION")

Anthony Bourdain's Twitter bio simply reads "enthusiast" which may be why the news of his death by his own hand has hit many fans so bluntly today. He was a truth-telling enthusiast you could trust. He explored the world for us with open heart, eyes and certainly appetite. Who among us didn't want to join him at a meal or on an adventure?

"Who the f*** is Awkwafina?" That's not just the premise of the opening skit to the actress, rapper and comedian's new EP. It's a legitimate question given the healthy dose of media attention Awkwafina (born Nora Lum) is receiving for her roles in summer blockbusters Ocean's 8 (out Friday), and Crazy Rich Asians, the first major movie in 25 years with an all-Asian cast (out August 15). The hype started long ago; she became an online sensation in 2013 thanks to viral YouTube hits that combined her comedic prowess and skillful rhyming.

Described by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys as the "greatest soul singer alive," Robert Finley joined us for a live session. His story is a quintessential American one of perseverance. He's loved music and performing his whole life, and now finally released his first album in his early 60s.

M. Ward surprise released the album What A Wonderful Industry today, taking on a subtler shade of music industry beef, writing about the heroes and villains he's encountered over 20 years.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers, Lyndsey McKenna, and Sidney Madden to talk about June 8's standout albums. Highlights include the candid, introspective rock of Snail Mail, the jazzy, laid-back R&B of British singer Jorja Smith, the sultry pop of Lykke Li, and more.

Featured Albums

  1. River Whyless: Kindness, A Rebel
    Featured Song: "The Feeling Of Freedom"
  2. Serpentwithfeet: Soil
    Featured Song: "Whisper"

On Tuesday evening, the family of Jalal Mansur Nurridin, 74, released a statement describing his death, writing that "Jalal slipped quietly away this evening into the arms of Allah," and asked that we use the last ten days of Ramadan to make dua for him. Nurridin lead the best-known iteration of the legendary Last Poets, a spoken word and percussionist collective formed on Malcolm X's birthday and that, at its best, embodied the spirit of Malcom as street hustler, soldier for the people and revolutionary sage — none more so than the Brooklyn-born Jalal, the Godfather of Rap.

The Band's Visit is a Broadway musical that tells the story of human connection and commonality between cultures. When an Egyptian police band gets stranded in a tiny Israeli town, the musicians wait in a cafe — and get to talking with the locals.

The plot is simple and the set modest, but since its debut on Broadway in late 2017, the show has become the surprise smash hit of the season. Now, the musical is nominated for 11 Tony Awards, including best musical, ahead of Sunday's award ceremony.

If you're a band in 2018, you can't just tell the world you're putting out an album. You have to hire skywriters, or etch your new cover art onto the side of a mountain, or fly journalists out to Wyoming for a live-stream or something. You have to make it an event!

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