music

Must-Listen Audio
11:38 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Listen: What a Record-Breaking Symphony of Singing Bowls Sounds Like

Jenna Sherman, 18, readies her singing bowl as she prepares – along with 277 others – to become a world record holder.
Audrey McGlinchy/KUT

Nearly 300 people sat cross-legged in the Texas Capitol extension’s open-air rotunda, tracing wooden sticks around crystal, brass and iron bowls.

They were there to celebrate the Dalai Lama's birthday and – with the utmost tranquility – become the largest group to ever play Tibetan singing bowls, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. 

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ACL Hall of Fame
7:00 am
Mon April 28, 2014

The Red Headed Stranger and Austin's 'Pride and Joy' Honored at ACL Hall of Fame

Emmy Lou Harris, Willie and Lyle Lovett perform together

Over the weekend, television’s longest running music program– Austin City Limits, celebrated the first induction ceremony for the new Austin City Limits Hall of Fame.  ACL returned to its original home at PBS’s KLRU Studio 6A Saturday evening to honor those who have left their mark on the show. The event featured more than a few famous faces.

Asked to dress Austin chic, the invitation-only crowd was, well, classically Austin. Plenty of boots, cowboy hats and jeans. Many of the women turned out in heels and dresses.  But arguably the best-dressed man in attendance was Lyle Lovett – in his signature suit and tie.

Lovett was there to honor Willie Nelson who was ACL’s first-ever inductee into the Hall of Fame.

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In Black America Podcast
6:25 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

Grammy Award Nominated Singer/Songwriter, Attorney and Cancer Survivor Tracy Randall

Tracy Randall

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Tracy Randall, Grammy Award nominated singer/songwriter, attorney and cancer survivor.

Randall isn¹t supposed to be here. In 2006, he was diagnosed with leukemia and after aggressive rounds of Chemo and radiation therapy, his doctors gave up and in February 2007 told him to go home and prepare to die. Through pure will, a positive attitude, his faith and alternative medical treatments, he’s still here and still singing.

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Life & Arts
7:05 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Prodigies or Not: Menuhin Competition Inspires Young Austin Musicians

Parent Daniella Sideh says she finds music is a place where she can bond with her children and understand how they learn.
Laura Rice, KUT News

The best young violin players in the world are in Austin right now for the Menuhin Competition. It’s the first time the prestigious contest featuring players under 22 years old has been held in North America.

UT’s Butler School of Music is hosting the 10-day competition. And it’s a rare opportunity for aspiring young string players in the area to see what’s possible with a lot of hard work.

“It’s considered the Olympics of the violin. It’s also called the F1 of the violin," Butler School of Music Interim Director Glenn Richter says. “We’re getting an international and a national exposure and flair that is very special for Austin.”

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SXSW
5:28 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Too Many SXSW Events? City Stops Accepting Permit Applications Before Deadline

A SXSW event in 2013.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

For the first time ever, the City has stopped accepting permit applications for the week of South by Southwest before the actual application deadline.

The application cut-off announced this morning applies to all temporary use, temporary change of use, and music permits. 

Multi-day permit applications have a deadline of one month before the event, so the city’s early cut-off only shortened that application window by one day.

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In Memoriam
10:16 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Folk Activist Pete Seeger, Icon Of Passion And Ideals, Dies At 94

Pete Seeger was an environmentalist, an activist and the most prominent folk musician of his generation.
Neilson Barnard Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 1:21 pm

A tireless campaigner for his own vision of a utopia marked by peace and togetherness, Pete Seeger's tools were his songs, his voice, his enthusiasm and his musical instruments. A major advocate for the folk-style five-string banjo and one of the most prominent folk music icons of his generation, Seeger was also a political and environmental activist. He died Monday at age 94. His grandson, Kitama Cahill Jackson, said he died of natural causes.

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Music
1:19 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Austin at the Grammys: Larry Monroe, Gary Clark Jr. Among Honorees

Blues DJ legend Larry Monroe, seen here in 2005. Monroe was posthumously honored at the Grammys last night.
KUT

Austin blues-rock guitarist Gary Clark Jr. led a select group of artists representing the Live Music Capitol of the World at the 2014 Grammy Awards.

Clark’s song “Please Come Home” was named the Best Traditional R&B Performance. Clark was also nominated for Best Rock Song. He didn’t win, but Clark can take solace in knowing he competed against bands including Black Sabbath and The Rolling Stones. (“Cut Me Some Slack,” pairing Paul McCartney with the remaining Nirvana lineup, won.)

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Life & Arts
8:35 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Austin's Ray Benson Goes it Alone, Gets Raves

'Brother Ray' Benson, minus the cowboy hat
Credit Kerrville Folk Festival

Though Ray Benson's been the de facto musical ambassador of Austin now for decades, he admits that by stepping out as a solo artist for the first time in more than a decade, he's just now getting to do what he always dreamed of doing when he started out in music as a teenager.  

"I didn't think I was good enough," he confesses.  

Benson's new album, "A Little Piece" seems to offer ample evidence he's good enough, at least if the critics are to be believed. In fact, Tom Semioli of the Huffington Post places Benson's new recording up there with the likes of breakthroughs like Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks" and Willie Nelson's "Phases and Stages."

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Texas
12:00 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Texas Singer-Songwriter Steven Fromholz Dies

Steven Fromholz was inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame in March, 2003.
George Brainard, Austin, TX

Texas singer-songwriter Steven Fromholz died after a hunting accident this weekend near Eldorado, Texas. He was 68.

The Schleicher County Sheriff's Office told the Associated Press Fromholz was shot when a rifle discharged as it fell to the ground while being transferred from one vehicle to another.

Steven Fromholz was well-known in the Austin music scene and among fans of 1970s outlaw country. He was named a Texas Poet Laureate in 2007.

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Science
6:00 am
Mon January 6, 2014

How Do Infants Understand and React to Music? – UT Professor Investigates

Andrea and Magdalene Robison partipate in a study at UT's Infant Music Lab.
Laura Rice, KUT News

For many people, most days would not be complete without music. Whether it's exercising to your favorite playlist or jamming along to the radio on your way home for work. 

But how much do infants get out of music? And are there types of music that babies prefer?

A professor at the Children’s Research Laboratory on the University of Texas at Austin campus is trying to find out.

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Music
8:26 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Here Are 68 Of 2013's Biggest Songs In 5 1/2 Minutes

YouTube

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 7:10 am

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Russia
8:53 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Their Release Is Just A 'PR Stunt,' Pussy Riot Member Says

Maria Alyokhina, after her release from prison on Monday in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.
Sergei Karpukhin Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 12:03 pm

The remaining members of the punk rock band Pussy Riot have been released from prison in Russia, a few months short of serving their full two-year sentences for "hooliganism" — a charge that the band's supporters say was just a trumped-up effort to quash free speech.

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Hipsterism
5:27 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Don't You Dare Call Me A Hipster! I, Sir, Am A 'Hep Cat'

Jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong signs autographs in the Blue Note nightclub in Chicago in 1948.
Edward S. Kitch AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 8:54 am

Aside from racial and ethnic slurs, there aren't many words that prompt a more immediate and visceral response than "hipster." Many associate the term with craft beer, smugness and, of course, Brooklyn. Modern-day hipsters have inspired a huge number of Tumblrs, memes and trend pieces in the media.

It may seem like hipsters sprang up out of nowhere sometime in the late 1990s, but the original hipsters were around several generations before that. And they were strongly associated with another uniquely American phenomenon — jazz.

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Music
9:55 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Arcade Fire On Its Brand-New Beat

Arcade Fire's new album, Reflektor, comes out Tuesday.
JF Lalonde Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 4:22 pm

Fans of Arcade Fire might be feeling a bit of culture shock. The group has been called the world's most successful indie rock band — but its new album, Reflektor, explores the Haitian roots of band member Regine Chassagne.

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Obituary
8:26 am
Mon October 28, 2013

What Lou Reed Taught Me

Lou Reed onstage in Amsterdam in 1975.
Gijsbert Hanekroot Redferns

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 9:57 am

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In Black America Podcast
5:34 pm
Sun October 20, 2013

Meet Earnest Pugh, Gospel Music's New Leading Man

Earnest Pugh, Gospel singer, writer and producer

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with gospel recording artist Earnest Pugh.

Pugh has experienced success he only dreamed of just a few short years ago. With the release of the project, "Rain On Us," and its title tune, Earnest Pugh was heard on Gospel radio stations nationwide and was catapulted to super stardom in the Gospel music industry. His smash hit single “Rain On Us” escalated to the #1 position on Billboard’s Top Gospel Singles Radio Chart and became the sixth most popular song of 2010.

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Austin City Limits Fest
4:33 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

At ACL, Austin Sign Language Interpreters Deliver Music to the Deaf

Lucy Brotherton is one of six interpreters for performances at ACL this year.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

If you’ve been to Austin City Limits Music Fest, you’ve seen them. And while they’re not the band, they are on stage and they are very talented, in their own way.

They've worked with everyone from Wu-Tang Clan to Green Day, from Black Sabbath to Jack White. They even braved the harsh cold of President Obama’s 2012 inauguration this past January.

They’re the sign language interpreters of LotuSIGN, and you can find them emphatically interpreting bands' lyrics and sounds at performances across the country. And while there’s plenty of air guitar and air piano, LotuSIGN means business.

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Music
6:00 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Dogs, Trains and a Piano: How Austin Sounds Inspired a New Album

Ben Johnson in his studio. Johnson originally came to Austin to attend The University of Texas at Austin.
Ben Johnson

Many people the world over are inspired by the 'Austin sound.' But Dallas native and composer Ben Johnson found his inspiration in the sounds of Austin. Literally.

In fact, "The Sounds of Austin, Texas" is the title of his new album – a collection of impressionistic pieces inspired by his adopted hometown, where he studied music in college. Johnson considers his latest album a collection of love songs to Austin. 

Johnson mixes field audio recordings from sites all over the Austin area with his own custom piano compositions, each dedicated to a particular place.  

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Music
1:03 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

How Austin's Anderson High School Got Phoenix to Play Their Gym

Phoenix performing in the Anderson High School gym last night.
Jenna Macaroni http://instagram.com/p/fMOLxAjT29/

When you were in high school, wouldn’t you have loved to have a cool band play in your gym? I remember trying to get the band Karp to play my high school in the 1990s, but the teacher who sponsored the student council balked once he heard what they sound like. Instead, they spent the money on a Top 40 video dance party with fog machines. 

But last night, Anderson High School in Austin ISD did what my high school could never do: They hosted a secret show for the French dance-rockers Phoenix. (While considerably more accessible than any post-hardcore band, it's a remarkable achievement nonetheless.)

“Seriously how the hell does Anderson book Phoenix to play a gig at their school and Pflugerville gets Granger Smith #injustice,” tweeted one envious teen.

“Phoenix at Anderson? Lucky bastards,” said another.

Indeed. So, how did it happen?

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Two Guys on Your Head
2:33 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

This is Your Brain on Music

Learning an instrument, especially as adults, provides us with a type of "brain food" that can help to protect our brains against damage. Experiencing music together is also an important part of being human.

We like to be in sync. Experiencing live music with others, whether you're playing an instrument or not, provides a certain synchronized relationship that boosts our feelings of togetherness and enjoyment.

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