music | Connecticut Public Radio


One Electronic Groove After Another

Feb 8, 2012

This week on the Needle Drop we've got new electronica, hip hop, and pop from Big K.R.I.T., Evian Christ, John Talabot, and Jack White.

Eccentric Art Pop and Unsettling Noise Rock

Feb 2, 2012

This week on the Needle Drop, we've got tracks via the latest releases from Chairlift, Gonjasufi, Pop. 1280, and more.

Flickr Creative Commons, jonathan.hadiprawira

Even if you think you have absolutely no relationship to Christian metal, you might have to think again, especially if you were a faithful watcher of "Friday Night Lights." Remember Landry's band Crucifictorius, which was almost called Stigmatalingus? That was a Christian speed metal band.

El Sistema

Jan 27, 2012
Emily Moran

Thousands of children struggling against poverty find hope - and the path to a better life - through classical music.

Its not some pipedream...but a very real and inspiring story of El Sistema - The System: a music phenomenon in Venezuela that’s touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of kids and captured the attention of the world.

Today, we talk with the author of a book about El Sistema. We’ll also speak with educators who are using music to transform the lives of students right here in Connecticut.

Youthful Punk Rock Tunes and Indie Folk Sisters

Jan 24, 2012

This week on the Needle Drop, we look into the latest release from the Swedish sister singer-songwriter duo First Aid Kit. We'll also be indulging in some experimental hip hop from young fathers, and a smattering of punk and post-hardcore from Cloud Nothings.

American Solutions, Flickr Creative Commons

Newt Gingrich, Frencesco Schettino and singer Lana Del Rey. They've all had bad weeks and probably none of them wants to be lumped in with the other two. All three have come in for quite a bit of scorn over the last few days, and they'll all be discussed on this episode of The Nose.

Gingrich, of course, is in the thick of a fight for the Republican nomination and, even as he burst in the lead in South Carolina, he was dragged back into sordid and painful stories about the sloppy conclusions of each of his first two marriages.

Odd Indie Folk and Experimental Beats

Jan 18, 2012

This week on the Needle Drop, we've got new tracks from Zammuto, Jonti, and the Act of Estimating as Worthless.

Favorite Albums of 2011 PT. 4

Jan 12, 2012

This is part three of the Needle Drop's show series tributing the best records of 2011. In this episode, we look back on new records from Thundercat, The Log.Os, La Dispute, Veronica Falls, and more.

Favorite Albums of 2011 PT. 3

Jan 5, 2012

This is part three of the Needle Drop's show series tributing the best records of 2011. In this episode, we look back on new records from Battles, Iceage, Africa Hitech, and more.

Chuck Obuchowski's Favorite Jazz Recordings of 2011

Dec 30, 2011
Flickr Creative Commons, HenryStradford

Friends often complain to me that they have a tough time finding new music which really wows them. They suggest that the current jazz scene needs more star power: after all, where are the Armstrongs, the Ellingtons, the Monks and the Coltranes of this generation?

Flickr Creative Commons, HenryStradford

Like pretty much everybody else on the planet, I bought my first jazz recordings in college. Thirty-five years later, I still feel inadequate and intimidated by a lot of what I hear. I think listening to jazz is sort of a muscle. Either you use it or it atrophies.

For today's show, we asked three jazz experts to pull together about 15 of their favorite recordings from the past year. (Listed below.)

Favorite Albums of 2011 PT. 2

Dec 28, 2011

This is part two of the Needle Drop's show series tributing the best records of 2011. In this episode, we look back on new records from Fleet Foxes, Crystal Stilts, Big K.R.I.T., and Holy Ghost!.

Diane Orson

Think college music program in Connecticut and the Hartt School of Music springs to mind. There’s the Yale School of Music and Wesleyan’s ethnomusicology program. Now, a report on the quiet transformation of Southern Connecticut State University’s Music Department – thanks to the generosity of a state resident.

SCSU student Andrew Pinto sings a song he composed. Pinto, a music theory major, says he’s benefited from free private singing lessons at Southern.  

A Gift For The New Haven Symphony

Dec 22, 2011

After years of struggle in a tough economic environment, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra may have gotten a big break from a prominent Connecticut family. The symphony will get a large chunk of a $20 million bequest by the late Richard English, whose grandfather founded the orchestra.

"It is a sea change for us to be so stable and so strong that we really can talk about where we want to spend our money," said Elaine Carroll, the symphony's executive director.

Favorite Albums of 2011 PT. 1

Dec 20, 2011

This is part one of the Needle Drop's show series tributing the best records of 2011. In this episode, we look back on new records from Nicolas Jaar, Colin Stetson, and PJ Harvey.

Flickr Creative Commons, cogdogblog

We're bringing our music experts in today to give you their picks, especially those of you who have to buy stuff for other people during the holiday giving season. I decided to get out of their way and not bring in any picks of my own, but I'll use this little unencumbered moment to mention a few things.

Where We Live: Mates of State

Dec 16, 2011
Catie Talarski

NPR Music says Mates of State are the “sound of infectious joy.”  Its a joy that rubs right off of this very happy and pleasant married couple - both on their new record, Mountaintops, and in person.

"Booker" is one of singer songwriter Milton's most well known songs, a tribute to the late New Orleans pianist James Booker. In fact it was the NPR song of the day back in 2009. With his husky soulful voice and evocative lyrics, Milton has garnered high praise from critics and scores of fans. Milton plays Friday night at Cafe Nine in New Haven, and he joins us now by phone.

Ambient Classical and a Blend of Different Metals

Dec 15, 2011

This week on the Needle Drop, we've got new music from the latest Jacaszek album, Glimmer. It's a plesant blend of classical instrumentation, and ambient songstructures. Plus, it's complimented with a few electronic elements as well. We've also got a blend of different metal styles coming off the new Cormorant album, Dwellings, as well as a posthumous album from music producer Nujabes.

Ambient Samples and Old School Indie Rock

Dec 7, 2011

This week on the Needle Drop, we're playing fuzzy, lo-fi punk rock from the Spits. We'll also be bringing new tracks from Comet Gain and the ambient music project Oneohtrix Point Never.

Youth Media

Dec 6, 2011

Young people in New Haven are tackling the crime problem with microphones and video cameras. This is just part of a growing number of youth media projects that are opening up ears and minds about young people growing up around the world.

Today, we’ll talk to the head of Youth Rights Media in New Haven - and a Yale World Fellow and Ted Fellow Gavin Sheppard. He started his own organization in Toronto, empowering youth through creative industries like music and writing.

Needle Droppin'

Dec 2, 2011

We get some end-of-the-year music recommendations from Anthony Fantano. He’s the man behind The Needle Drop, which is a blog, YouTube channel and radio show that can be heard on WNPR. He is the “internet’s busiest music nerd.”

We have a bonus song included in the web version of this segment. Here is a list of all the songs Anthony and John discuss for the latest edition of the Where We Live/The Needle Drop mashup.

Electronic Soul and Haunting Psych Rock

Nov 30, 2011

This week on the Needle Drop, we've got some futuristic soul music from a new musical project, the Log.Os. We're also featuring new EPs from Crystal Stilts and King Krule.

Atlas Sounds and Experimental Electronica

Nov 18, 2011

This week on the Needle Drop, we've got new tracks from the new Atlas Sound record, Parallax. If you've been in the market for some dreamy pop rock tunes, this is where you wanna be. We've also got some of the most mind-bending electronic music I've heard htis year coming from the new Nicolas Jaar EP, Don't Break My Love.

On Being A Punk

Nov 9, 2011
Flickr Creative Commons, Robbie1

It was Good Friday, 1982, and I was up in the balcony at the Lit Club in Hartford, a punk rock epicenter housed in the Lithuanian American Club in Hartford.

National acts like Black Flag, Killing Time and the Circle Jerks played the Lit in its heyday, but its local heroes were Jack Tragic and the Unfortunates. Jack was a West Hartford Hall High dropout, and the group had a punk hit called "I Kill Hippies." 

Strange Boys and Icelandic Metal

Nov 8, 2011

This week on the Needle Drop, we listen to new tunes from Teebs, Comet Gain, Gonjasufi, and Surfer Blood. We'll also be exploring the latest albums of Sólstafir and the Strange Boys.

Real Life Survival Guide Episode 20

Nov 5, 2011
Cindy Papish Gerber

Episode 20 was recorded at Christopher Martins in New Haven as the New York Giants battled Miami on the big screen.

I was joined by my cohost, Duo Dickinson, along with Brian Virtue, the co-owner and manager of Christopher Martins, and our guest conversationalists, Joanne Kahan, Marianne O’Hare, and Cynthia Lyon, band leader and keyboard player for Eight to the Bar.

Nerd Raps and Techno Beats

Nov 3, 2011

This week on the Needle Drop, we've got some long strands of ambient, minimal techno from the new Field album, Looping State of Mine. We're also pushing some tracks from the new Milo album I Wish My Brother Was Here. He's a nerd rapper with a witty sense of humor.

We'll also be kicking things off with new tracks from the Strange Boys, the Devil's Blood and more.

Progressive Synths and a Bad, Bad Singer-Songwriter

Oct 28, 2011

This week on the Needle Drop, we've got new tracks from Tom Waits, Kuedo, Michael Beach, and more.

Chion Wolf

There are parallels -- and I don't think I'm forcing them -- between indie rock musician Mike Doughty -- whom you'll hear on the show today, and Mahler's first symphony, which Hartford Symphony conductor Caroyln Kuan will discuss in advance of performing it for the next four nights.