Ann Powers http://publicradioeast.org en East Nashville Rocks http://publicradioeast.org/post/east-nashville-rocks How do you know you are in East Nashville? Follow the beards, a current joker might say. If you do, you'll find yourself in an area tucked in between Nashville's neat downtown and the city's eastern edge, separated from each by the twisting Cumberland River. To the west, tourists flock to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Ryman Auditorium — the "Mother Church of Country Music." The Opryland complex — the venerable stage and radio show's comfortably suburban home since 1974 — is to the east, where the city sprawls into malls, hotels and tourists attractions. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:34:00 +0000 Ann Powers 47524 at http://publicradioeast.org East Nashville Rocks First Watch: Maddie & Tae, 'Girl In A Country Song' http://publicradioeast.org/post/first-watch-maddie-tae-girl-country-song It's starting to seem like even the bros are tired of bro country. The truck-loving Florida Georgia Line has switched up its game with the chart- dominant "<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42uphHWxmFU" target="_blank">Dirt</a>," a sensitive ballad about marriage and farming. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:52:00 +0000 Ann Powers 47143 at http://publicradioeast.org First Watch: Maddie & Tae, 'Girl In A Country Song' First Listen: Jenny Lewis, 'The Voyager' http://publicradioeast.org/post/first-listen-jenny-lewis-voyager "Nostalgia has no place for the woman traveling alone," the great travel writer Mary Morris once wrote. "Our motion is forward, whether by train or daydream." She's describing a necessary ruthlessness: Women are so often defined by their attachments (family, romance, even the fetishes of style) that becoming light enough to move often requires behavior others might read as cruel or, at best, distanced. Mon, 21 Jul 2014 03:20:00 +0000 Ann Powers 46870 at http://publicradioeast.org First Listen: Jenny Lewis, 'The Voyager' First Listen: Morrissey, 'World Peace Is None Of Your Business' http://publicradioeast.org/post/first-listen-morrissey-world-peace-none-your-business The rhetorical essence of punk is the decision to say what others believe should not be said. Mon, 07 Jul 2014 03:03:00 +0000 Ann Powers 45717 at http://publicradioeast.org First Listen: Morrissey, 'World Peace Is None Of Your Business' The Hits Of Yesterday And Today http://publicradioeast.org/post/hits-yesterday-and-today <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=450p7goxZqg</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFEmTsfFL5A</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93ASUImTedo</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIh2xe4jnpk</p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 12:33:00 +0000 Ann Powers 45474 at http://publicradioeast.org The Hits Of Yesterday And Today He'll Be There For You http://publicradioeast.org/post/hell-be-there-you <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkqVm5aiC28</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlYcUqEPN58</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1oM3kQpXRo</p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 15:57:00 +0000 Ann Powers 44924 at http://publicradioeast.org He'll Be There For You First Listen: Jim Lauderdale, 'I'm A Song' http://publicradioeast.org/post/first-listen-jim-lauderdale-im-song I recently ran into <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/search/index.php?searchinput=Jim+Lauderdale">Jim Lauderdale</a> at a party in Nashville, and I couldn't tell if his shirt was made of silk or cotton. Covered in fiery little dragons that seemed to flit around inside its piped seams, it was a beauty. Lauderdale told me it was made of breathable material and that it came from London. Mon, 23 Jun 2014 03:03:00 +0000 Ann Powers 44604 at http://publicradioeast.org First Listen: Jim Lauderdale, 'I'm A Song' A Gentle Buzz At The CMA Music Festival http://publicradioeast.org/post/gentle-buzz-cma-music-festival American music festivals used to be mostly a summer thing, but in many ways they now frame the concert experience all year round. In these temporary hot spots for pleasure and cultural conversation, new artists emerge as sensations and established ones do special things with fans. Culture watchers note fashion trends and predict whose careers will rise and fall by observing what emerges from festivals' impromptu communities. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 19:31:00 +0000 Ann Powers 43705 at http://publicradioeast.org A Gentle Buzz At The CMA Music Festival First Listen: Willie Nelson, 'Band Of Brothers' http://publicradioeast.org/post/first-listen-willie-nelson-band-brothers When <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15396875/willie-nelson">Willie Nelson</a> was a young hustler selling songs to <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15396529/patsy-cline">Patsy Cline</a>'s people, he probably never thought he'd become the crowd-anointed sage of country music. But that's what happened as the Redheaded Stranger went gray, turned smoking weed into a brand and a virtue, and produced a discography that added up to its own American Songbook. Fri, 06 Jun 2014 11:03:00 +0000 Ann Powers 43285 at http://publicradioeast.org First Listen: Willie Nelson, 'Band Of Brothers' Miranda Lambert's 'Priscilla,' An Ode To 'Being Queen Of A King' http://publicradioeast.org/post/miranda-lamberts-priscilla-ode-being-queen-king Pop stars are the ideal companions of their fans' daydreams, speaking their most romantic hopes and defiant declarations through the songs on the Top 40. Miranda Lambert, however, is the kind of friend who's not going to take anybody's bull. Mon, 02 Jun 2014 11:03:00 +0000 Ann Powers 42916 at http://publicradioeast.org Miranda Lambert's 'Priscilla,' An Ode To 'Being Queen Of A King' First Listen: Jose James, 'While You Were Sleeping' http://publicradioeast.org/post/first-listen-jose-james-while-you-were-sleeping When the spirit of <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15446165/nirvana">Nirvana</a> surfaces in a song, the artist paying tribute almost always shares style points with that treasured band. The hair is shaggy, the clothes a little ragged; the lineage unfolds, relatively neatly, from punk to the present. Mon, 02 Jun 2014 03:03:00 +0000 Ann Powers 42896 at http://publicradioeast.org First Listen: Jose James, 'While You Were Sleeping' First Listen: Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, 'Dereconstructed' http://publicradioeast.org/post/first-listen-lee-bains-iii-glory-fires-dereconstructed In north central Alabama, punk rockers often know as much about football as they do mosh pits. A guy with an arm-sleeve tattoo will open the door for a woman and call her "ma'am." Self-identifying as a blue dot in a red state doesn't preclude Sunday brunch with relatives whose own cars boast confederate-flag stickers. Mon, 19 May 2014 03:03:00 +0000 Ann Powers 41709 at http://publicradioeast.org First Listen: Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, 'Dereconstructed' Why Tori Amos Connects http://publicradioeast.org/post/why-tori-amos-connects When I spent time on tour with <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15182176/tori-amos" target="_blank">Tori Amos</a> a decade ago, collaborating with her <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Tori-Amos-Piece/dp/076791676X" target="_blank">on a book</a>, I'd see her invoke <a href="http://www.umich.edu/~umfandsf/symbolismproject/symbolism.html/F/fourelem.html" target="_blank">the four elements</a> many nights before her band would take the stage. Tue, 13 May 2014 15:39:00 +0000 Ann Powers 41254 at http://publicradioeast.org Why Tori Amos Connects Song Premiere: Naomi Shelton And The Gospel Queens, 'Sinner' http://publicradioeast.org/post/song-premiere-naomi-shelton-and-gospel-queens-sinner In 1963, Alabama was culturally closer to Brooklyn than it is now. The Great Migration of African-Americans out of the South created enclaves in cities all over the country, and the Civil Rights movement trained the eyes of the North on cities like Birmingham. Alabama native Naomi Shelton came to Brooklyn that year with the gospel in her heart and soul music turning her head. She found a place to sing, a bar on Flatbush Avenue, and a musical partner in keyboardist Cliff Driver. Tue, 13 May 2014 15:03:00 +0000 Ann Powers 41250 at http://publicradioeast.org Song Premiere: Naomi Shelton And The Gospel Queens, 'Sinner' Is It Worth It To Work It? http://publicradioeast.org/post/it-worth-it-work-it <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zR6ROjoOX0</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0CazRHB0so</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWo7SC-tG4U</p> Thu, 08 May 2014 18:42:00 +0000 Ann Powers 40885 at http://publicradioeast.org Is It Worth It To Work It? God, Drugs And Lizard Aliens: Yep, It's Country Music http://publicradioeast.org/post/god-drugs-and-lizard-aliens-yep-its-country-music <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWx6csgGkg4</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:07:00 +0000 Ann Powers 39148 at http://publicradioeast.org God, Drugs And Lizard Aliens: Yep, It's Country Music Why We Fight About Pop Music http://publicradioeast.org/post/why-we-fight-about-pop-music In 2007, the Canadian music critic Carl Wilson published a book-length experiment in extreme aesthetic sport: a sincere and shockingly comprehensive study of music he had already decided he hated. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:41:00 +0000 Ann Powers 38967 at http://publicradioeast.org Why We Fight About Pop Music First Listen: The Afghan Whigs, 'Do To The Beast' http://publicradioeast.org/post/first-listen-afghan-whigs-do-beast A lover's obsessiveness may charm at first, but it can soon turn frightening. For an artist, the relentless pursuit of one object — a sound, a memory dragged up and reshaped, a fantasy that makes the long hours of work feel intimate — feeds creativity or freezes it. Greg Dulli has been chasing the same seductive nightmare since he was 22, when his band <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/11/02/164173529/afghan-whigs-on-world-cafe">The Afghan Whigs</a> formed. Next year, he'll turn 50. Mon, 07 Apr 2014 03:32:00 +0000 Ann Powers 38266 at http://publicradioeast.org First Listen: The Afghan Whigs, 'Do To The Beast' First Listen: Ben Watt, 'Hendra' http://publicradioeast.org/post/first-listen-ben-watt-hendra The stranger on the bus, the woman who gives you your change at the corner store; every human loves and hurts and finds a way to navigate through life's confusions. But most people don't share their inner lives with many others. It's a special gift when an artist tells the stories of plain people in an ordinary voice, leaving in the stops and starts, the seeming banality, and the unadorned insight that each of us experiences when things hit hard, or when the days and nights just go on.<p>Ben Watt is a master of detail and of quietude. Mon, 07 Apr 2014 03:03:00 +0000 Ann Powers 38265 at http://publicradioeast.org First Listen: Ben Watt, 'Hendra' Make Peace With Pop: 6 Songs That Prove Pop Gets Along With Everyone http://publicradioeast.org/post/make-peace-pop <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShSDMPlX8No</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ou5T1SeGhOo</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBr5FPIL8UU</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtATrfNQJLU</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzoazPPC7b8</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36mCEZzzQ3o</p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 21:13:00 +0000 Ann Powers 38151 at http://publicradioeast.org