Contributing roles in videos produced for NPR Music
Killer Mike Interviews George Clinton | ShopTalk | NPR Music
The 42-year-old rapper Killer Mike, of Run The Jewels, and the 75-year-old funk legend George Clinton, founder of Parliament and Funkadelic, may be from different generations, but it turns out they have a few things in common: They've both created music that seemed commercially risky at first, yet ended up transcending genres and creating a new audience. And they both embrace music as a force for social change.
It also turns out they've both owned barbershops — and that's no coincidence. Both men say the businesses allowed them the financial freedom to take creative risks. -Vince Pearson/NPR
Audio: Nickolai Hammar, Vince Pearson
Editors: Nickolai Hammar, Cam Robert
Video: Nickolai Hammar, Cam Robert
Bon Iver: Full Concert | NPR MUSIC FRONT ROW
In Brooklyn, NY, at Pioneer Works, a space Justin Vernon believes in and actively assists as a member of the Advisory Board, he and his team created a very special evening — a transcendent night of voices masked, faces hidden in darkness and a performance aimed at soul-searching and purpose over pop and stardom.
This music was performed by a powerful big band, with two drummers and a sax ensemble backing upfront processed sounds, like vocal alterations and sampling, alongside electric and acoustic guitars. It was a visionary performance, fit perfectly to brilliant lighting and sound, seemingly executed down to fine detail by a guy in a Tipitina's T-shirt, loose pants and high-tops: unassuming, seemingly uncaring, but most certainly in control. -Bob Boilen/NPR
Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly: NPR Music Field Recordings
Early on a spring morning in Manhattan, Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and Nadia Sirota gathered at Reservoir Studios in Manhattan to play a song first performed five years ago and an ocean away.
"Mercury" is the closing track off Planetarium, a song cycle about the planets by Stevens, Dessner, Muhly and James McAlister. The work was originally composed on commission for the Dutch concert hall Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, and first performed there in 2012. -Benjamin Naddaff-Hafrey/NPR
Slowdive: NPR Music Field Recordings
Before a month-and-change ago, Slowdive hadn't released an album in 22 years. So you'd be forgiven for watching the band perform "Sugar For The Pill" and struggling to pin down what era you're in — especially since NPR Music plopped the group in a playfully retro Brooklyn shuffleboard parlor for the occasion.
In the early '90s, Slowdive dressed up shoegaze's hazy drift with jolts of energy and a chiming dream-pop shimmer. The band lasted only three albums before splitting up in 1995, at which point members Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell formed the more countrified Mojave 3. Now, after reuniting in 2014, it's back with a self-titled album that picks up where it left off — but, while it conjures many signifiers of '90s college radio, the band's return album freshens the project up, too, with bright, impeccable songcraft. A patient mid-tempo gem that's as hooky as it is hypnotic, "Sugar For The Pill" is a particular highlight, so it's a joy to watch the reconstituted band trot it out for this Field Recording, filmed at Royal Palms Shuffleboard in Brooklyn. -Stephen Thompson/NPR
South X Lullaby: Lucius
At 10:00 p.m. on a wooden bridge over Waller Creek in Austin, Texas, two shocks of orange hair lit up the night. The musicians in Lucius gathered to perform our first South X Lullaby. Clad in matching blue onesies and jackets, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig sang "Dusty Trails," the closing song off their brand new record Good Grief, backed by Dan Molad, Andrew Burri and Peter Lalish. -Benjamin Naddaff-Hafrey/NPR
Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals live at the NPR Music SXSW showcase at Stubb's BBQ in Austin, Texas.
Audio: Timothy Powell/Metro Mobile, Josh Rogosin Cameras: Nickolai Hammar, Katie Hayes Luke, Cameron Robert, A.J. Wilhelm, Lizzie Chen Director: Mito Habe-Evans Post-Production Editor: Cameron Robert Thumbnail photo: Adam Kissick for NPR
South X Lullaby: A-WA
We first fell in love with A-WA in a badass video for their party song "Habib Galbi," complete with tasseled snapbacks on track-suited dancers. But at midnight during the SXSW music festival, the Israeli sister trio sang us a quiet lullaby in All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen's hotel room. Accompanied by an electric guitarist and seated on the side of the bed, "Ya Shaifin Al Malih" is a Yemeni folk song about a love that hurts. The sisters, who pull from their Yemeni Jewish roots, told us that it wasn't originally written as a ballad, but after explaining its meaning, how could it not be? "There's an enjoyable love and there's a love that gives you heartache," they said. "There's a strong love that no doctor can cure." You can hear that heartache in the gorgeous and haunting three-part harmony that ties a yearning soul in knots, as they sing (translated from Yemeni Arabic), "Have you seen my love / Tell him that he's my heart and my soul / Because I've been looking for him day and night." -- Lars Gotrich
Audio: Josh Rogosin Cameras: Mito Habe-Evans, Nickolai Hammar, Cameron Robert Editor: Cameron Robert
Charles Bradley: SXSW 2016 | NPR MUSIC FRONT ROW
Charles Bradley took the stage at Stubb's BBQ in Austin, Texas, Wednesday night, clad in an amazing, rhinestone-bedecked jacket that made his cuffs and collar sparkle like diamonds. Not for nothing is he known as "the screaming eagle of soul." --Stephen Thompson