90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
A New Playlist For 2013

New music for a new year.

Parquet Courts

Parquet Courts (Photo: Parquet Courts)

It’s a new year. Maybe time for some new music on your playlist.

Maybe you’ve had enough of Adele, Mumford & Sons, Fun, Taylor Swift. Time for a changing of the guard. A new batch of options.

Well, allow us to make a few suggestions. We’ve got Ann Powers from NPR Music with us. J. Edward Keyes from eMusic. And a bunch of fresh tunes.

From Jessie Ware. Haim. Parquet Courts. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Atoms for Peace.

This hour, On Point: new music for a new year.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ann Powers, NPR Music critic and correspondent.

J. Edward Keyes, Editor-in-chief of eMusic.

From Tom’s Reading List

eMusic “We hate to gloat, but last year, we predicted Purity Ring, Kendrick Lamar, Porcelain Raft and Nicolas Jaar would have big years in 2012. Were we wrong? That’s a decent success ratio, sure, but we’re aiming for an even better guess-rate for next year. And looking through our list of 13 to Watch in 2013, I feel confident in saying this year’s hopefuls will be next year’s breakouts. Take a few minutes to get to know them now.”

Billboard “Expect great things from new or emerging artists in the country and Americana worlds in 2013. Here’s the 615′s picks for ten artists to keep a keen eye on, from the Brooklyn-based Americana band the Lone Bellow to a new album from Pistol Annies star Ashley Monroe to the throwback sounds of Coy Taylor.”

USA Today “Shazam makes its 2013 predictions, which were pretty spot on in 2012. Last year, Shazam predicted that Frank Ocean, Lana Del Rey, A$AP Rocky and Michael Kiwanuka would be stars in 2012. They were right.”

Ann Powers: 13 Artists To Watch In 2013

Gary Allan

Ashley Monroe

The Band Perry

Valerie June

Bobby Rush

Wynter Gordon

Lady

St. Paul And The Broken Bones

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Atoms For Peace

Lisa Germano

Haim

Angel Haze (song at link includes explicit language)

J. Edward Keyes: 13 Artists To Watch In 2013

Parquet Courts

White Lung

Merchandise

Icona Pop

Pure Bathing Culture

Joey Bada$$

Savages

Night Beds

Sky Ferreira

Daughn Gibson

Jessie Ware

Blut Aus Nord

Ducktails

And Tom Ashbrook Adds

Lake Street Dive

Spotify Playlist

Also, check out our Spotify playlist of music we played during the hour at this link:
A New Playlist For 2013
Careful, some explicit language.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • http://twitter.com/jmsteelman Jordan Steelman

    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club? The same BRMC that released their debut LP 12 years ago? Yeah, they’re slated for a breakout year…Clearly Ms. Powers is a bit behind the curve.

    • http://twitter.com/klaatu4u Mr.Moraz

       And a cover of a Call song to boot!!!!

  • Shag_Wevera

    Lake Street Dive.

  • Jasoturner

    May we have a moment of respectful silence for the demise of Ween?

  • wauch

    How about My Morning Jacket, Sound Tribe Sector 9, or Gary Clark Jr

  • 1Brett1

    I don’t listen to commercial music much. What I hear is often coming from talented musicians who have a sound within a kind of modern/pop/30-something/genre-busting style. As is characterized in the above blurb for the show: they’re “stars.” 

    I guess what seems unfortunate is the ephemeral quality of many (not all). They remind one of bistros in a city, like so many making a go through a few catchy, tasty dishes, relying on foot traffic and word of mouth, only to be gone out of business in four years or so to make way for the “new” bistro. Musical styles often change, not from a natural evolution but out of necessity to stay current, yet within a certain era they repeat themselves and lose what made them vibrant in the first place: being fresh.

    Sorry, but if trends lead artistic expression rather than the other way around, one gets a “product” that is doomed to be fleeting (and anachronistic if carried on beyond its trend).

  • JobExperience

    Talk and music are two separate things.
    If you played music and zipped your lip this would be Pandora.
    This hour is also purely promotional, as is the Internet Dating infomercial in hour one.
    Lightening up is treason considering the tragedies of Empire.
    Why not compare Catherine Bigelow to Leni Reifenstahl?

    • nj_v2

      I guess today’s show line-up answers my question from yesterday.

      “Will there be show on Obomber’s appointment of Dr. Drone to CIA Director?”

  • Coastghost

    New music, or “new music” (new or fresh performers, same ol’ same ol’ rock and roll)? The rock ‘n’ roll idiom of popular music is going on SIXTY YEARS OLD. Actual innovation, whether in terms of songwriting, musicianship, or production values, is almost as old as the Stones at mid-career, whose successive triumphs have extended the range of adolescence from the twenties into the thirties, the thirties into the forties, and on and on into geriatric decrepitude and style-draped senility. Will the reigning pretense (that rock ’n’ roll is the musical idiom of perennial youth and not simply the musical idiom coined between c. 1951 and 1980, if we want to confer maturity to adolescent ferment) endure to the funerals of Jagger and Richards, McCartney and Starr, Chuck Berry and Pete Townshend? Shiver me timbers . . . . 

  • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Astraspider

    If you’re name-dropping Jessie Ware, you have to fold Frank Ocean into the “outre R&B” conversation as well. He’s the millenials’ Morrissey, not only because of his complex sexual profile, but because of the wit, irony, and self-deprecation he bakes into songs that still hold up as R&B scorchers even if one doesn’t catch the underlying braininess.

  • jefe68

    Not one jazz listing.

  • huntstown

    If you are interested in young and new artists, you can’t get younger than this for a rock and roll band. Their amazing video won awards.

    Two 11 year olds and one 14 year old – all their original music, playing electric guitar, bass, drums and vocals. 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UABRU5D1G24

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.russell.5249 Andrew Russell

    oops

    • djeddieo

       oops?

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.russell.5249 Andrew Russell

    Twin Shadow

  • BpenfieldJ

    2013 releases i am looking forward to:

    Widowspeak
    Jim James
    Atoms for Peace
    Danny Brown
    Earl Sweatshirt

  • http://www.facebook.com/apnelson44 Alex Nelson

    What about hip hop?  I have been loving Sammus’ M’other Brain!

  • ToyYoda

    Could you recommend a band that would be the analog to Philip Glass or Gyorgi Ligeti?

    • scottmartin49

      There’s an NPR program called ‘Music from the hearts of space’ (sic?) that might work for you. A really wonderful artist whose works are compositionally classical is Sufjan Stevens, try ‘Michigan’, or ‘Illinois’. German romantiscism for the 21st century!

  • djeddieo

    Niki & The Dove, Swedish duo, (playing Brighton Music Hall in Boston on Sunday, BTW). Check ‘em out:

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1344073/Niki%20%26%20The%20Dove%20-%20The%20Gentle%20Roar.mp3

  • Daniel Barks

    Née is the best thing coming out of St. Louis, MO right now.

    http://www.neemusic.com/about

  • Chucky1943

    I think Kingsley Flood is going to have a big year and should be on your radar…it’s roots-influenced, but also really high energy…the show I saw felt at points like a punk show. 

  • http://twitter.com/baseballpajamas The Other Rob Ryan

    Been listening to alot of Django Django in the last 6 months. A sound that seems pretty straightforward on first listen, but which has interesting undertones of surf and psychedelia with an admixture of electronic bleeps and bloops.

  • http://twitter.com/KeithBenoit Keith Benoit

    Father John Misty. Ex of Fleet Foxes. Better than their stuff, IMO. Anarchic and funny.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS84BMFszW0

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=558126466 Erica Charis

    I’d add Kingsley Flood to that list–they seem to be getting a lot of buzz, their concerts keep getting more and more crowded, and they keep releasing tunes that are ridiculously catchy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY6D26chpG0 

  • mjboylan

    Diamond Doves – formerly the band for Elvis Perkins – releases its CD later this month.  “Eat Your Heart Out.” 

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.brenner.94 Joshua Brenner

    Don Gibson also sound like the 80′s group Dead Can Dance.

  • http://twitter.com/baseballpajamas The Other Rob Ryan

    It’s worth mentioning, yes? that the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club song that you just played was actually a cover of a song by The Call.

  • DrTing

    Many Original songs created by ProjectAuraNexus are very therapeutic to us. Need no drugs if you listen to these creative & peaceful songs.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/ProjectAuraNexus/videos?view=0

  • http://twitter.com/FHAndersonJr Fred Anderson Jr

    Thanks for this segment – I love music and On Point – Saw Carolyn Currie at U Maine Planetarium Christmas Concert -(Very “etherial” music. ) She promises to go on the road now that kids are grown. Hope so. I’ll use Spotify for checking out ALL the artists you mentioned. (At 67 I love EDM and the new sounds – It keeps me young)

  • Anne Wilson

    Great show, Tom, but as a 50-something who admires a lot of current pop artists but is moved by few of them, I have a request. How about A New Adventurous Classical Music Playlist for 2013 show? Or just a whole show on the Bang on a Can collective that Alex Ross wrote about in last week’s New Yorker?

    • Erik_Thorkildsen

      New Classical:  Brooklyn Rider – “Three Persian Miniatures”   I saw them in Charlottesville a few months ago – WOW!

  • Jenny

    How about john muther from milwaukee? Absolutely beautiful music from an original and always thoughtful singer-songwriter. Love how much post-folk music is cropping up these days.

  • matisse51

    What about all the emerging bands that are self-published on sites like Bandcamp? Take a listen to Eidolons: http://eidolons.bandcamp.com/track/xylem-and-phloem.

  • David Neikirk

    Any opinions on the new Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds?

    • scottmartin49

      Still love them, but have they progressed much since “Wings of Desire” days?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002030752616 Travis Weaver

    Daptone Records!!! I love their insturmental bands, Menahan Street Band, antabalis, the Budos Band…also digging on Dangermouse projects, Rome, and The Broken Bells.

  • KevinsPelican

    If you appreciate the art of great storytelling, wonderful melodies, intresting harmonies, and beautifully crafted instrumentation, check out a new indie-folk/rock group from Wyoming called Illustrated Manual. Their debut album, “The Long And Tangled Beard” was released late 2012, and it’s available on iTunes. You won’t be disappointed!

  • KevinsPelican

    If you appreciate the art of great storytelling, wonderful melodies, intresting harmonies, and beautifully crafted instrumentation, check out a new indie-folk/rock group from Wyoming called Illustrated Manual. Their debut album, “The Long And Tangled Beard” was released late 2012, and it’s available on iTunes. You won’t be disappointed!

  • Jess Melgey

    Tom Ashbrook knows WHAT’S UP.

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.brown.9212301 Paul Brown

    Is Bobby Rush really 77? You’d never know it from the tunes on his new album,Down In Louisiana. I’d guess he was at least a couple of decades younger because of his energy and attitude. This CD is full of blues, with a good dose of funk.  -MICHAEL DOHERTY

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.brown.9212301 Paul Brown

    Bobby Rush has been cranking out albums cut from the same cloth for so long that it’s fair to ask what’s the difference with 2013′s Down in Louisiana. As it turns out, the answer is plenty. Departing from his signature slicked-back soul-blues, Rush strips his band down to the basics — guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, accentuated with a little accordion on occasion — abandoning the horns and getting down and dirty.
    Down in Louisiana packs a gut-level punch that feels even more bracing after years, even decades, of glossy grooves, so this is a sheer sonic pleasure, but what makes the record really work is that Rush doesn’t abandon his signatures. 

    Thing of it is, by getting a little dirt underneath his fingernails, he’s wound up with a record that will not only please his legions of fans, but an album that will convince doubters that this 77-year-old bluesman is something of a modern-day blues legend.
    -Stephen Thomas Erlewine

  • 1Brett1

    There were some gems on all of this, the others were…well, immediately forgettable. I found myself having some empathy for record execs; they have to listen to piles of these things and make a fast determination about what might “sell” or…not.

    I kept hearing about “regional” music, and I found myself thinking that I use the term differently than the guest using this phrase. Most of what we were hearing on the show were commercially viable music from different regions. Most of the music I hear (and play; I’m a working musician) is “regional,” although not very commercially viable beyond niche markets. While the artists I hear on my circuit might employ the use of “blending” musical styles, they do so more organically whether than in some ostensible attempt to catch a wave, so to speak.

    I was amused at Tom’s attempt to get into the spirit; he sounded a bit like a middle-aged father trying to find interest in his children’s lives. It was sincerely charming to hear him attempt to co-opt certain phraseology.I was also amused, at first, at the guests talking about music; then, as the show went on, I found it an incredible bore, hearing them provide commentary in such a way about the validity of this group or the invalidity of that artist.

    • scottmartin49

      Artistic integrity is what they’re looking for I think- always a tough thing to define, much less pursue.
       
      (I think about Zappa in a manner similar to Duchamp, at least among ‘knowing’ artists.)

      Among more youthful, popularly oriented acts, pure originality is almost impossible what with the great body of work behind them and it takes ’aging’ to develop the full on original weirdness of, say, Ray Wylie Hubbard.
      My daughter and I have a great time listening to what’s new- which I usually reference to something past- thereby increasing both of our respective musical lexicons. She’s was totally amazed by Riotgirrrrl after I dredged up my old Bikinikill tapes….and the new hipster stuff isn’t that bad to my ears.

      Regionality, ehh; I think everyone hopes to be in on the new “Athens”, “Austin”, or (I was there when Phish broke) “Burlington”.   

      • 1Brett1

        …Enjoyed your comment. 

        I steer clear of such phrases as “artistic integrity,” as those get bandied about so much, they become meaningless, or at least their meanings get diluted and become catch phrases that degenerate into a superlative that can mean pretty much whatever the user wishes them to mean.

        I do use “regionalism” (my own, and of the other performers with whom I travel among, in the same circles) in a very different sense than the guest on the show and, ostensibly, in the way you use it. I, for example, do not “hope” for being in on any “new” regional phenomena or trend. I, personally, am not shooting for a vanguard. I’m 58 and play what I want (currently, and for the past ten years or so, have been working on a kind of purely acoustic, organic blend of Swing, Gypsy Jazz, Folk, “Singer-Songwriter” and Old Country). It has been gratifying to hear some of those trends come around, but I did it out of hearing something in my head (and not necessarily anything I had heard). I write a lot of songs, but do not (and will not) bow to working within any particular genre or only within my aforementioned “genre-busting” ideas, i.e., if I hear an original Reggae tune in my head, I will not make it bend to my proverbial will; it will be what IT seems to want to be, and so on…

        I suspect I’ll be playing what I play long after some trend similar to mine is over, or at least until I get bored with that and hear something else in my head I wish to pursue.

        What I really liked about your comment is how discussing/listening to music has become a part of your relationship with your daughter, and how this brings with it a better understanding (and knowledge growth) of each perspective; that’s so cool. 

        You’ve also reinforced my feeling that we are in a golden age of music. Contrary to some codger who bemoans the need for ‘good old days’ or who presents some treatise about how “it’s all been done,” which are both reactionary mentalities (“why, back in my day” kinds of realms), I am optimistic that any musician, or listener, can do what he/she wants. Once upon a time, if I wanted to play a Country tune on a stage, and get a gig out of the experience, I’d have to actually be a “Country act” playing in “Country Venues.” This is no longer the case, and it frees me up to singularly define how I wish to express myself as a musician. 

        • scottmartin49

          Lovely- should be prototypical for all  aspiring ‘artists’! You’ve got originality AND artistic integrity working for you…

          It IS a great era for a performer when, as you say; “Once upon a time, if I wanted to play a Country tune on a stage, and get a gig out of the experience, I’d have to actually be a “Country act” playing in “Country Venues.” This is no longer the case, and it frees me up to singularly define how I wish to express myself as a musician.”

          Have you noticed how the really epochal shifts and artists are caused by exactly that? I mean, to simplify;

          Dylan channeled Guthrie
          The Dead were a country blues band
          Sex Pistols were The Who+++++
          (The Clash were reggae!)

          ….and my current favorite Sufjan Stevens who reinterprets singer/songwriter emotionalism as German Romantic Classical composition- Schubert lieder for the 21st century. All any of them needed was a venue/means of transmission. This has been one of the most enjoyable ‘old guy’ moments for me- explaining to a modern teen just how ‘freaking hard’ we had to work to find the uncommon compared to now! I’m sure you remember too…

          “Art” is just ‘what we know’ expressed after passing through our own subjective filters. Truly done, this will always be “original”. I think this is why age, education, and access to source material helps- more filters!

          P.S.; find yourself an archivist. Work like yours isn’t always appreciated in its own time, but may be critical knowledge someday. Remember Son House…;)

          • 1Brett1

            Great comment; I especially liked your description of those ‘old guy’ moments when you impart to your daughter how much more difficult it was, once upon a time, to access music that was off the beaten path, so to speak.

            I have enjoyed our conversation immensely, and I hope to “see” you again on this forum (they do periodically have music segments in their second hour on On Point, most of which are pretty good).  

  • scottmartin49

    2013 will be Nickelback’s year all the way-they’ve already passed ebola, lobbyists, and Congress in popularity!

     http://wonkette.com/496062/cheer-up-congress-at-least-you-are-more-popular-than-that-dude-who-knocked-up-rielle-hunter#more-496062

  • 1Brett1

    As much as I grew up loving electric Blues, and Blues in general, I’ve found it tiresome, now, for some time, particularly electric Blues. However, the Bobby Rush CD sounded pretty cool, and it was very gratifying hearing he’s now 77! Making something that has been worn out sound “new” and “fresh” can be done…and by old people, too! 

  • Mondo Skip

    Alt-J’s debue album, “Awesome Wave” is a very fresh sound!

  • Mike_Card

    Yawn. Nothing here I didn’t hear in 1993.  All the callers sounded like back-ups.

  • Estevan Carlos Benson

    I’m shocked someone called in to say they’re looking forward to “dubstep”.  A couple years late…

  • Estevan Carlos Benson

    Scott Walker’s Bish Bosch should count as new in 2013 (even though it came out in late Dec. 2012).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000531208612 Robert Wilbur

    theres a unique instrumental group out of new york that has been around for about a year now. They play a wonderfully pounding blend of house, dubstep, jazz and even a hint of classical style dance music. Only 2 saxes and a drummer Theyre called Moon Hooch. They are on tour opening for Lotus and coming to the House of Blues on the 25 Jan. These 3 talented instrumentalists prouduce an amazing amount of harmonies and a big sound that will surely get you moving. Certainly worth a look. 

  • npruser

    New band called The Analog Affair. They’re small time and relatively unknown out of Washington D.C. Bon Iver/National vibe is the best I can describe them. They recently posted a couple new demos on their SoundCloud page: https://soundcloud.com/theanalogaffair

    Check em out and enjoy!

  • Joe Suszczynski

    There’s a great band here in upstate New York that I’ve been following for more than 15 years – The Gifted Children. Their  songwriting is very original but their music is hard to fit into a specific genre. These guys have recorded over 1,000 songs and released dozens of albums and EP’s – I think they’re the best band that nobody’s heard of.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.leithauser Dan Leithauser

    My Bloody Valentine is supposed to have a new album out!  Most anticipated for that listener who mentioned Tame Impalas…

  • Sasha Brown

    When does this segment get added to the available podcasts?

  • RiverVox

    The band that Amanda Palmer recommended is Heather Christian & the Arbornauts. http://heatherchristian.bandcamp.com/

  • kvbailey

    A piece was played by a trio (french I think) with an electric cello…I don’t see it on the play list and would really like to hear more

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 22, 2014
This undated handout photo, taken in 2001, provided by the Museum of the Rockies shows a bronze cast of the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as the Wankel T.rex, in front of the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont. (AP)

As a new Tyrannosaurus Rex arrives at the Smithsonian, we’ll look at its home – pre-historic Montana – and the age when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.

 
Apr 22, 2014
Security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in the town of Suwayrah, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 21, 2014. Suicide bombings and other attacks across Iraq killed and wounded dozens on Monday, officials said, the latest in an uptick in violence as the country counts down to crucial parliament elections later this month. (AP)

We look at Iraq now, two years after Americans boots marched out. New elections next week, and the country on the verge of all-out civil war.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

More »
Comment
 
Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

More »
Comment