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music

Sleater-Kinney is back together, has a new album coming out Jan. 20 via Sub Pop records, and will go on tour early next year. The album is called No Cities to Love, and you can listen to the first single, "Bury Our Friends," right here.

Flickr Photo/Paul Elliott (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Forty years ago, busking, or playing music in the street for money, became legal in Seattle. Now, it's officially "Busking Week" to celebrate, and KUOW caught up with local musician Josh Philpott as he played guitar downtown.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

You may not know his name, but you've probably heard his music.

Antonin Dvorak's New World Symphony contains some of the catchiest tunes in the classical music repertoire. The Czech-born composer was best known for synthesizing European folk melodies into his music. After an extended stay in New York in the late 1800s, Dvorak incorporated traditional American and African American tunes as well.

How My Basement Led Me To The Jazz Scene On Jackson Street

Sep 3, 2014
Public domain, via BlackPast.org

Nia Price-Nascimento lives in a house built in the 1920s in the Central District, Seattle's historically African-American neighborhood.  Last year, she found out there are two chambers hidden under the wooden floorboards in her basement creating a sub-basement. That led her to a journey back in time, as she explains in her own words.

Before I get into the story, you need to know I’m African American and Brazilian. I grew up in a mostly African-American neighborhood, but most of my friends are white, and I never really felt like I fit in. I recently got curious about my heritage.

Young Seattleites Feel Limited By Lack Of All-Ages Live Music

Sep 2, 2014
KUOW Photo/Noah Phillips Reardon

At Seattle's Capitol Hill Block Party this July, a crowd at the Main Stage was waiting for hip-hop artist ASAP Ferg to come out. The crowd was chanting and everyone was excited.

"There's a lot of emotions attached to music that you don't get with talking to somebody or going down the street," observed Mila Widmayer, 16. She's a singer and a volunteer at the Vera Project, an all-ages concert venue. "Music just affects your life in ways that other things can't."

Flickr Photo/Seattle Municipal Archives (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with music journalist and author Charles R. Cross about music festivals in the Pacific Northwest. Have they become too big and corporate?

Courtesy of Kathleen Gillette

Kathleen Gillette has had a passion for singing for as long as she can remember. She was always "very excited about bringing a piece of music to the audience. I loved it. I just loved it.”

Life is about making difficult choices. Sometimes you make them, and other times it’s not up to you. For Gillette, life pulled the stage out from under her.

Jess Van Nostrand, The Project Room

Seattle was at the epicenter of the international music scene in the early 1990s. You've probably heard the stories about the bands that got big record deals, like Soundgarden, Mudhoney and Nirvana.

An Autistic Teen's Guide To Impersonating Michael Jackson

Aug 27, 2014
Courtesy of Lorenzo Manuel

It was homecoming dance at Roosevelt High School, and the Roosevelt football team had just been crushed. As it started getting late, the energy sunk even lower. People were mostly slow dancing; it was all Taylor Swift at that point.

Just then, a familiar tune started to play. The thinning crowd began to roar. A spotlight came on. As the first lyrics of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" shook the room, a skinny kid with short brown hair and a sparkly glove began to dance.

Museum of History and Industry/Timothy Eagan

August 21, 1964.

That's the day the Beatles came to Seattle for the very first time.

The Fab Four played 12 songs — 29 minutes total — at the Seattle Center Coliseum. Despite the concert's brevity, by all accounts the 14,000 fans in attendance went wild.

RadioActive: Music For All Ages And Lessons From Opera Singers

Aug 8, 2014
KUOW Photo / Jenny Asarnow

Come with Noah Phillips-Reardon and Ernesto Morfin and hear two musical stories in this final podcast of RadioActive's Summer 2014 Workshop. Noah finds out why some shows in Seattle aren't all ages, and Ernesto learns life lessons from an opera singer. 

RadioActive is KUOW's program for high school students. Listen to RadioActive stories, subscribe to the RadioActive podcast and stay in touch on Facebook.

Don't Stop 'Til You Reach The Summit

Aug 7, 2014
Courtesy of Leo Egashira

Join Esa Tilija and Meghan O'Kelley for an inspiring podcast about individuality and living life to the fullest. Meghan shares how autistic high schooler Lorenzo learned to express himself through an unconventional hobby: impersonating Michael Jackson. Esa tells the story of how Leo, an avid backpacker, got a life-changing diagnosis that served as a call to truly live.

RadioActive is KUOW's program for high school students. Listen to RadioActive stories, subscribe to the RadioActive podcast and stay in touch on Facebook.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

As German composer Richard Wagner contemplated the Ring cycle in the 19th century, he decided it wasn’t enough to create a four-night saga of gods and humans.

He also envisioned an instrument that didn’t yet exist, one that could sound "strident" one moment and “gorgeous and mellow” the next. He wrote the music for the Ring in the 1860s and 70s with the instrument in mind. Then he commissioned someone to build it.

From The Past To The Present In Our Communties

Aug 6, 2014
KUOW Photo / Jenny Asarnow

What are the amazing stories in our community that get looked over? Nia Price-Nascimento learns about West Coast jazz by starting in her sub-basement, and Ahlaam Ibraahim shares how computer science has a huge affect on one girl's life.  

RadioActive is KUOW's program for high school students. Listen to RadioActive stories, subscribe to the RadioActive podcast and stay in touch on Facebook.

It was early May 2007. Two friends, 16-year-old Christopher Horton and 20-year-old Brian Dean, were sitting on a porch on 23rd Steet and Orcutt Avenue in Newport News, Va., in the city's downtown neighborhood.

Someone walked up to the porch where they were sitting and opened fire with a handgun, killing both Horton and Dean.

Jennifer Hopper in KUOW's green room in 2014.
KUOW Photo/Akiko Oda

A life can change in a moment.

For Jennifer Hopper, that moment was July 19, 2009, the night Isaiah Kalebu broke into the South Park home that Hopper shared with her fiancée Teresa Butz. The man repeatedly stabbed and raped the two women. Butz died on the street in front of her home.

Fashion And Music And Treats, Oh My!

Jul 30, 2014
KUOW Photo/Lila Kitaeff

Black on black, instrumental music, and bubble tea: What do they all have in common? They're currently trending. Join Nia Price-Nascimento and Noah Phillips Reardon on an exploration of what will be big in the coming year.

Flickr Photo/Jan Kjellin (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks with Seattle-based music writer and critic Charles R. Cross about why it's almost always better to know less about a musician's personal life and political views. The Puyallup Tribe announced they're canceling rock musician Ted Nugent's shows at the Emerald Queen Casino, saying comments Nugent recently made about President Obama helped push them to cancel the shows.

Ross Reynolds talks with author David Kinney about this new book "The Dylanologists: Adventures in the Land of Bob."

Broadcasting live from the land of legal weed and sliding into the frame like a giant Pacific octopus, here comes Lese Majesty, the third album from Seattle's Shabazz Palaces. It's definitely hip-hop, but... was that a drum? Human? Synthesizer? Sample of an old record? We may never know. MC and producer Ishmael Butler keeps his cards close.

From Wikipedia

In 1932, a new singing style was emerging: crooning. What we might consider easy listening now wasn't necessarily received cordially by its contemporaries. Cardinal O'Connell of Boston described it as "imbecile slush" and "a degenerate form of singing.”

Flickr Photo/Mike Arieta (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The "Frozen" shark has been jumped.

How many months have we been saying, “enough of that song from Disney's 'Frozen!'” The song “Let It Go” has been inescapable on the web, television and the radio. But it's not so bad — it’s not like Pearl Jam is doing it.

That is, until Friday night in Milan, Italy, when Eddie Vedder and the boys were in the middle of playing their song, “Daughter.”

I guess it reminded Eddie of his own daughters, that he's gotten older and so have you.

People who can't clap on the beat drive comedian Aaron Michael King crazy, especially one group in particular. He devoted a whole YouTube sketch to ... some white people he knows.

Rodney Crowell performs with the ease and swagger of a man comfortable in his ways. He carries his songs the way he carries his old guitar: out in the open, no case, almost as an extension of his body.

Seattle Symphony YouTube Video

Critics are squabbling over Seattle Symphony's latest program: teaming up with Sir Mix-A-Lot and some dancing women at Benaroya Hall in a performance of "Baby Got Back."

You don't associate orchestral music with liking big butts and not lying, but the video of the performance is a hit — more than two million views on YouTube so far. (Scroll down to watch the video.)

KUOW Photo/Tonya Mosley

Marcie Sillman talks with Seattle rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot about his upcoming performance with the Seattle Symphony.

Update: The performance was a hit, with women from the audience getting on stage and dancing to Mix's classic, "Baby Got Back."  

A Conversation With Saxophonist Kenny G

Jun 5, 2014
Kenny G
AP Photo/ Jim Cooper

Sax man and bestselling instrumentalist of all time, Kenny G, needs no introduction. Following stints with Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra (at the age of 17) and The Jeff Lorber Fusion, the Seattle native and UW grad embarked on a solo career in the early 1980s.

Flickr Photo/@HyeonsikMoon (CC-BY-NC-ND)

When the League of American Orchestras' annual meeting kicks off in Seattle on June 6, the almost 1,000 conventioneers will have more than classical music on their minds. American symphony orchestras are thinking about survival in an era where potential audiences have the world available at the tap of a smart phone.

Classical musician and radio host Dave Beck of Seattle's KING-FM jokes "there are lots of people in classical music audiences whose hair is even grayer than mine."

Flickr Photo/Charlie Brooks (CC-BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde speaks with cultural historian, musician and writer Peter Bacon Hales about Jimi Hendrix's cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower," which is the subject of a chapter in his new book, "Outside The Gates Of Eden: The Dream Of America From Hiroshima To Now."

Flickr Photo/Carlos (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds interviews saxophonist and bandleader Jacob Zimmerman and vocalist Katie Jacobsen about an evening of music from Disney films they’ll be performing with others Saturday night at the Royal Room in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood.

Zimmerman has performed marching band renditions of Disney favorites in the Disneyland All-American College Band. Jacobsen loved Disney music as a kid, and then got into it again when she began giving voice lessons and all the girls wanted to sing Disney songs.

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