music

French dance music producers Daft Punk won Album of the Year for Random Access Memories and Record of the Year for their hit "Get Lucky" at the 56th annual Grammy awards on Sunday night. In a ceremony heavy on collaborative performances (Robin Thicke with Chicago, Kendrick Lamar with Imagine Dragons and Metallica with Lang Lang were a few of the more random pairings) and light on surprise, no single artist dominated.

Read The Complete List Of Winners

YouTube Photo/Patricia O'Brien & Gabriel Miller

In 1985, KUOW’s Marcia Alvar interviewed Norman Durkee, the longtime music director of Teatro Zinzanni, the over-the-top musical theater production held in a tent on lower Queen Anne. Durkee died on Sunday at the age of 65.

Durkee, a soft-spoken man with a long white beard, had a long career in jazz, classical and rock music, including playing the piano part on Bachman Turner Overdrive’s song, “Takin’ Care of Business.” He also did a stint making ads in Los Angeles, where his creative impulses didn’t always meet the approval of the businesses that hired him.

Deep Dark Secrets Of The (Orchestra) Pit

Jan 8, 2014
KUOW Photo / Sophie Ding

Tuning her violin for a performance, Maeve McIver-Sheridan knows that she's preparing for a forgotten and thankless task. "You get to the end of a show and no one acknowledges us," McIver-Sheridan said, "unless my parents are there."

McIver-Sheridan, a senior at Shorecrest High School, plays in a pit orchestra underneath the stage, invisible to the audience. It's a different story from the glamor on stage.

How Jewish Composers Created Iconic Christmas Music

Dec 23, 2013
From Wikipedia.

Steve Scher talks with Amanda Wilde, host and producer of KUOW's The Swing Years,  about how immigrant Jewish popular music composers shaped America’s perceptions of Christmas through music.

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.

The Poetry Of Rock And Roll

Dec 18, 2013
AP Photo/Brian Branch-Price

Not every rock song is poetry, but Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon argues that some are. Ross Reynolds talks with the New Yorker poetry editor and professor at Princeton about poetry, songs, his band Wayward Shrines, and his new book, "Word On The Street: Rock Lyrics."

Ben Fong-Torres' book "Willin'"

Ross Reynolds talks with author Ben Fong-Torres about his new band biography, "Willin': The Story of Little Feat."

Flickr Photo/Courtney Johnston

Marcie Sillman talks with music journalist and author Charles R. Cross about Nirvana's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

From Wikipedia.

The most popular Christmas carol in America stands apart from the others in a number of ways: It’s not upbeat, there are no fanciful characters and it isn’t religious. Instead, it’s melancholy and wistful – full of longing for bygone days.

courtesy of Radio Raheem

Seattle is a town full of music. From indie rock to folk to rap, the city boasts a bevy of thriving scenes. These days, those scenes tend to cross-pollinate. And that can result in something powerful, especially when a traditional gospel singer is part of the mix.

From Wikipedia.

The Anthology of American Folk Music is one of the most influential recordings in history. The Anthology brings together American roots music that was saved from destruction by a local man in the days before World War II.

Born in Portland, Ore., and raised around Bellingham and Seattle, Harry Smith was an eccentric painter, film maker, and anthropologist who convinced gathered  music from forgotten 78 rpm records originally released between 1927 and 1932 at the dawn of popular culture.

Flickr Photo/Ted Leung

What happens when you become a star and then you’re not anymore? Where do you go after that?

Seattle guitarist Dave Dederer was a member of The Presidents of the United States of America. In the '90s they had three top-40 hits, two Grammy nominations and a platinum album.

Dederer’s star has faded but his career hasn’t. Now he’s at Amazon as the head of music programming. Bill Radke asked Dederer what made him switch careers.

Courtesy of Bazillion Points Books/Steve Double

In June 1989, Sub Pop Records rented out the Moore Theatre in Seattle to showcase three of its up-and-coming bands: Mudhoney, Tad and Nirvana. The manager sent security home early because he didn’t think anyone would show up.

The manager was wrong: It was the first sold-out show by a local group. The lack of control and the chaos from a crazy crowd resulted in Sub Pop being blacklisted from the Moore for the next 10 years.

12 Years a Slave is the most compelling film about music to be released this year, maybe this century. It's so many other things, too, as others have noted: a corrective to the weird cocktail of piety and cartoonishness that Hollywood usually supplies when depicting slavery; a gorgeous art film and an actor's hellish paradise; a cultural highlight of the Obama administration.

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