music

Playing In Tune
7:47 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Seattle Inventor Finds Key To Solving Saxophone Discord

University of Washington saxophone professor Michael Brockman is the inventor of the Broctave Key.
Courtesy University of Washington

There’s an old joke among saxophone players: The instrument, they say, comes from the factory out of tune.  Dr. Michael Brockman is a professor of saxophone at the University of Washington. He actually thinks the saxophone can be tuned, and he’s determined to do something about it. 

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Best Of Weekday
9:00 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Weekday Archive: Taj Mahal And Steven Pinker

Taj Mahal
Jay Blakesberg

Our spring membership drive rolls along with two of our favorite interviews: two-time Grammy winning musician Taj Mahal joined us late last year to celebrate 40 years in music and a new retrospective album, "Maestro." Plus, we listen back to a conversation with Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker about his book, "The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window Into Human Nature."

Live Performance
9:00 am
Fri March 29, 2013

The Maldives' Jason Dodson Live In Studio

The Maldives.
Credit Photo Credit/Haley Young Photography

The local folk/rock band The Maldives have performed everywhere from the back of a flatbed truck to the stages of Sasquatch, Bumbershoot, Capitol Hill Block Party and SXSW.

The Maldives are a seven-member band that started with lead singer and guitarist Jason Dodson over six years ago, and have established themselves as a quintessential band in the Northwest music scene. Jason Dodson joins us in studio to talk and perform live.

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Seattle Music History
8:00 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Mad Season's Meteoric Rise And Tragic Fall

Mad Season.
Credit Courtesy/Wikipedia/Lance Mercer

Seattle's music scene was booming in the mid-1990s. Four friends from different established bands decided to get together for a side project called Mad Season. Layne Staley sang in Alice in Chains, Mike McCready played guitar for Pearl Jam, Bassist John Baker Saunders toured with The Walkabouts and Barrett Martin was the drummer for Screaming Trees. 

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Latin Music
12:50 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

From Austin, Con Amor: Our Favorites From SXSW

Cafe Tacvba performs at Stubb's during SXSW 2013.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 8:02 am

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Guitar Making During Wartime
11:37 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Rosie The Riveter Had A Sister, Laura The Luthier

Courtesy of John Thomas

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 1:40 pm


PORTLAND - During World War II, a popular song called "Rosie the Riveter" turned female assembly workers into icons. Women filled in at places like the Boeing airplane factory in Seattle and the Kaiser shipyards in Portland while the men went off to war.


But one famous guitar company allegedly tried to hide the fact that it was using female replacements to keep making its musical instruments. Now, seven decades later, a Portland guitarist is helping to tell that story.

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Musical Performance
9:00 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Singer-Songwriter Shelby Earl Live In Studio

Shelby Earl performing at Neumos in 2011.
Credit Photo Credit/Dave Lichterman For KEXP

Seattle singer-songwriter Shelby Earl released her debut album, the folk-rock "Burn the Boats," in 2011. Since then she’s been touring and working on her second album, due out this year. She stops by the studio to play a few songs ahead of her trip to Austin's South by Southwest festival.

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Musical Maladies
12:29 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

The Science Of Songs You Can't Escape

I just can't get you out of my head!
Flickr Photo/hobvias sudoneighm

It sounds shocking, but earworms are an epidemic that affect at least 90 percent of people as often as once a week. That’s according to a Goldsmiths University study. But before you go logging onto WebMD, fear not! These earworms are more commonly referred to as songs, regular old songs — often radio hits or catchy grooves that burrow deep within the human brain. For instance, maybe you've been visited by this hungry earworm:

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Energy & Environment
9:00 am
Thu February 21, 2013

The Price Of North Dakota's Oil Boom

A winter sunrise across an oil field in North Dakota.
Credit Flickr photo/Adam Schreiner

North Dakota is booming. The state's unemployment rate is just 3.2 percent — well below the national average of 7.9 percent. Officials are trying to keep pace with a population surge brought on by oil industry jobs that have made North Dakota the country's number two oil-producing state. But what will extracting millions of barrels from the Bakken oil field mean for the region's environmental and economic future? Writer and reporter Richard Manning joins us with the story of North Dakota's oil boom.

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Celebrating The Past
5:00 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

New Life For Restored Memories From Seattle’s Female Rockers

Sarah Rudinoff in "These Streets."
Photo/Charles Peterson

You probably know the bands that put Seattle on the international music map in the early 1990s. Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam have become legends, but they're only part of the Seattle music story. Women rocked the scene, too. Gretta Harley came to Seattle in 1990, looking for her tribe, and she says she found it.

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First Listen
3:10 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

First Listen: 'Son Of Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys'

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Keith Richards collaborates with Tom Waits in "Shenandoah" for Son of Rogues Gallery, out Feb. 19.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 5:40 am

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

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Support Services
9:00 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Is Help On The Way For Kids "Aging Out" Of Foster Care?

What support systems do foster kids have as adults?
Credit Flickr photo/James Evans

Turning 18 marks a form of adulthood at least, bringing new independence and legal rights. For a foster child in Washington state, turning 18 can also mean the end of a stable home life. InvestigateWest reporter Claudia Rowe joins us with the story of one young woman’s experience “aging out” of foster care, and what state government might do to help.

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Love Songs
2:37 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

From Alt.Latino, With Love: A Valentine's Day Extravaganza

Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 8:03 am

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Brazillian Music
1:41 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Jovino Santos Neto: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Jovino Santos Neto, piano, and Paul Taub, flute, play the little-known flute music of Jovino's mentor, Hermeto Pascoal.
Credit Cornish College of the Arts Photo

In 1977, Cornish College of the Arts faculty member Jovino Santos Neto was coming back home to Brazil after university studies in Canada. Jovino was planning to do graduate work in biology in the Amazon rain forest. But on a whim, Jovino decided to first knock on the door of the famous Brazilian composer, bandleader and multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal.

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Arts & Entertainment
10:00 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Chat Room: Grammys Awarded, Bushes Hacked, Soderbergh Out

Portland musician Esperanza Spalding accepts the jazz vocal album for "Radio Music Society" at the 55th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, in Los Angeles.
Credit Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP

More than 28 million people tuned in to watch the Grammy Awards — how much do the Grammy's actually have to do with music? Bush family photos are posted online after a hacker breaks into several private email accounts. What kind of a window is it into the former president’s life, and is it a window we should be caught looking through? Also, director Steven Soderbergh says he's retiring from filmmaking. What legacy does he leave behind and how does film fit into the storytelling medium today? Northwest Film Forum’s Lyall Bush, singer and songwriter Rachel Flotard and Three Imaginary Girls co-founder and editor Liz Riley join us to discuss the week's art and culture news.

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