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First Listen
11:01 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

First Listen: Warpaint, 'Warpaint'

Warpaint's self-titled album comes out Jan. 21.
Mia Kirby Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 11:58 am

A few years back, the band Low sold T-shirts emblazoned with a fine unofficial motto for its music: "I don't like cool, I like beautiful." For the four women who make up Warpaint, those two qualities aren't mutually exclusive: The L.A. group's swirling sound is full of mysterious buzzes and coos, and there's a sense of everything-in-its-right-place grace and impeccability to it, yet the songs themselves never feel icy or distant.

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First Listen
11:00 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

First Listen: Tom Brosseau, 'Grass Punks'

Tom Brosseau's Grass Punks comes out Jan. 21.
Nathaniel Wood Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 11:58 am

The opening lament on Tom Brosseau's new Grass Punks is as old as the hills: You don't pay attention to me anymore. In a thin, reedy voice that grows more vulnerable as the song unfolds, Brosseau confronts the reality that he no longer commands his beloved's attention. He's been supplanted not by a new affair, but by the smartphone: "I long for you to hold me in your arms," he sings, "but instead, you cradle your device."

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First Listen
11:00 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

First Listen: The Gloaming, 'The Gloaming'

The Gloaming releases its self-titled debut album on Jan. 20.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 12:02 pm

The prime minister of Ireland showed up for The Gloaming's first gig; that's how big the supergroup's formation has been for fans of Irish music. Here at NPR Music, Bob Boilen and I have been waiting anxiously for the band's first album ever since The Gloaming made its U.S. debut at globalFEST in January 2012.

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First Listen
11:00 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

First Listen: Against Me!, 'Transgender Dysphoria Blues'

Against Me!'s Transgender Dysphoria Blues comes out Jan. 21.
Ryan Russell Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 12:01 pm

The bracingly political Florida punk band Against Me! has been a going concern since 1997, but Transgender Dysphoria Blues can't help but feel like a debut: It's the group's first album since singer Tom Gabel came out as a woman. Now named Laura Jane Grace, she still barks her lyrics with fiercely assertive intelligence — with a voice as yet largely unchanged from the one in the band's earlier work — but Against Me!'s subject matter can't help but be turned on its head.

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First Listen
10:59 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

First Listen: Gem Club, 'In Roses'

Gem Club's In Roses comes out Jan. 28.
Tonje Thilesen Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 10:00 pm

Roses are beautiful and alluring, but they're often seen in the saddest of settings: hospitals, funerals. The music of Gem Club is a bit like that, mixing beauty and melancholy. One makes you appreciate the other, so it's a dynamic that works perfectly on the band's second album, appropriately titled In Roses.

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Weekends On All Things Considered Podcast
9:15 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

The Case Against Hugging, Dead Authors, Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones' new album with the Dap-Kings, Give the People What They Want, comes out Jan. 14.
Kyle Dean Reinford Courtesy of the artist
  • The Case Against Hugging, Dead Authors, Sharon Jones

In this week's podcast, we hear a researcher's objections to hugging, comedian Paul F. Tompkins brings authors back from the dead, and Sharon Jones beats cancer and releases a long-awaited album.

All Tech Considered
6:50 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Internet In America: An On Again, Off Again Relationship

Comcast is the largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the United States. A recent survey found that many Americans give Internet service providers low marks for satisfaction.
Matt Rourke AP

The American Customer Satisfaction Index surveys large swaths of consumers about various industries. And in last year's survey, Americans rated Internet service providers at the very bottom for satisfaction. That puts them below the postal service, health insurance and even airlines.

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A Blog Supreme
5:38 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

The 2014 NEA Jazz Masters Concert

Clockwise from top left: Anthony Braxton, Keith Jarrett, Richard Davis, Jamey Aebersold.
Carolyn Wachnicki/Rose Anne Colavito/Ken Halfmann/John Nation Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:33 pm

In a concert and ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, the National Endowment for the Arts recognized its 2014 class of Jazz Masters.

The honor is the highest federally supported award for jazz artistry; those recognized receive a $25,000 grant and a tribute performance. The event was webcast live on the NEA's website, XM Satellite Radio and WBGO.org, as well as on NPR Music.

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Television
5:33 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Why Live Award Shows Have High Value, Even When We Hate Them

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 6:50 pm

Award shows are a booming business these days. Ratings have been climbing year by year, and networks are definitely paying attention — and packing their schedules to the brim.

There are at least 19 televised award shows airing between the start of the year and the broadcast of the Academy Awards on March 2.

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Middle East
4:57 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Kerry: 'No Other Alternative' To Ending Violence In Syria

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 6:50 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

The U.S. and other world powers have agreed on a plan with Iran to start rolling back parts of the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief. Secretary of State John Kerry says the deal goes into effect later this month.

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Religion
4:57 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Former Pastor Decides To Spend A Year Without God

Minister Ryan Bell has decided to "try on" atheism for a year. The former Seventh-day Adventist pastor was asked to leave his congregation in March.
Natalie Gee

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 6:50 pm

Former Seventh-day Adventist Pastor Ryan Bell made an unusual New Year's resolution: to live for one year without God.

He used to lead a congregation in Southern California, but in March, he was asked to step down after voicing some of the doubts that led to this decision to "try on" atheism.

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Politics
4:57 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Congress Gets A Beating In Gates Memoir, Too

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 12:50 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

When it comes to American foreign policy, the hot topic this week wasn't Syria. Instead, pundits and commentators of all types were furiously debating how President Obama handled the wars in his first term. That was thanks to retired Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' new book "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War." Even though the book hasn't hit stores yet, critics of the White House have been crowing over Gates' unvarnished critique of President Obama and Vice President Biden.

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Author Interviews
4:57 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Lessons On Blindness, 'For The Benefit Of Those Who See'

A blind child studies at the Braille Without Borders school in Lhasa, Tibet, in 2005. The program was the first of its kind in the country.
China Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 6:50 pm

In 2005, Rosemary Mahoney was assigned to write a magazine profile of the woman who started Tibet's first school for the blind, Braille Without Borders.

Sabriya Tenberken, who is blind herself, traveled to Tibet as a young woman and found that blind children there had no access to education, which motivated her to set up a program. During college in Germany, where she grew up, Tenberken also developed the first Braille script for the Tibetan language.

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Music Interviews
4:57 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

'No Music, No Headphones': Sharon Jones On Getting Through Cancer

Sharon Jones' new album with the Dap-Kings, Give the People What They Want, comes out Jan. 14.
Kyle Dean Reinford Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 6:50 pm

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Code Switch
3:08 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Should NAACP Image Awards Only Go To African-Americans?

Robin Thicke, center, performs with Verdine White, left, and T.I. at The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! in Los Angeles in December. Thicke is nominated for Outstanding Male Artist at the NAACP Image Awards this year.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Who should be eligible to receive an award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People? And if that definition becomes flexible, what does that do to the mission of the award itself?

That's a question worth asking as the NAACP Thursday unveiled a huge roster of nominees for its 45th annual Image Awards — a ceremony long thought to be a way to honor African-American performers who are often ignored by mainstream Hollywood awards contests.

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Parallels
3:06 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

The U.N. Has Stopped Counting, But Syrians Keep Dying

Kotaiba Mohammad poses during an anti-goverment demonstration in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. He worked as a nurse, helping those wounded in the country's civil war. He was seized and shot dead last month by Islamic extremists.
Courtesy Malek Al Shemali

The United Nations announced this week it is no longer updating the Syrian death toll, which has surpassed 100,000, because it cannot accurately confirm the number of dead due to chaotic conditions in the country. But Syrians are still being slaughtered, and the fighting has gotten more complicated than ever.

It's not just President Bashar Assad's government army versus the rebels. The rebels are also battling rebels, and civilians are often the casualties, including a male nurse from Aleppo.

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Race
2:25 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

The Globes Will Be Golden, But Hollywood Remains Mostly White

Sunday's Golden Globes celebrate a diverse group of actors. Even so, very few shows feature minorities in leading roles on screen or off.
Valerie Macon Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 1:57 pm

Sunday night is one of the biggest nights in Hollywood, as stars from film and television gather for the Golden Globe Awards.

This year's awards, which celebrate the best writing, acting and production of the year, are being hailed as the most diverse yet, with a significant number of minority actors up for awards.

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The Two-Way
2:13 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Pope Francis Names 19 New Cardinals, None From The U.S.

Pope Francis continues to shake up the Vatican establishment. Today, speaking from his studio window to followers in St. Peter's square, he announced 19 new cardinals from some surprising places, the AP reports.

Francis did not name any cardinals from the United States and chose instead to represent poorer nations.

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Iran, World Powers Will Begin Implementing Interim Nuclear Agreement

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 1:52 pm

Iran and six world powers will begin implementing an interim agreement designed to pause parts of Iran's nuclear program.

The White House said that beginning Jan. 20, Iran will begin eliminating its stockpile of "higher levels of enriched uranium and dismantling some of the infrastructure that makes such enrichment possible."

In return the the five permanent members of the United Nations — the U.S., Russia, China, the U.K. and France — plus Germany will ease some sanctions on Iran.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

French First Lady In Hospital, Following Reports Of Hollande Affair

French president François Hollande and his companion Valerie Trierweiler.
Jacques Brinon AP

The French first lady Valerie Trierweiler has been admitted to a hospital in Paris in need of "rest," her spokesman tells Reuters.

This comes just after a French tabloid published photographs that it alleges reveal that her boyfriend, French President François Hollande, was having an affair with actress Julie Gayet.

Reuters adds:

"'She has been in hospital since Friday. She will leave tomorrow,' her spokesman Patrice Biancone told Reuters. ...

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