Music

Pascal Danaë was born just outside of Paris and the first time he went to the French overseas region Guadeloupe, he was given the "Letter of Freedom" that belonged to his ancestor, Louise Danaë. She was freed from slavery in 1841 at 27 years old. At the time, she had four children, one of whom was Pascal's grand grandfather.

As lead singer and guitarist of Alabama Shakes, Brittany Howard has earned her accolades and then some. Since 2009, the band has won four Grammys, performed at the White House and heralded some of roots rock's biggest hits this decade. Still, Howard feels the urge to try something new every few years.

Every month is Latino Heritage Month on Alt.Latino, but I like to set aside some special features from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 to celebrate. We're kicking things off with a trio of interviews with musicians and a filmmaker who have three very distinct connections to Mexican music.

There's a reason the mixtape (or CD, or playlist, or .zip file) holds such sentimental power. A good mix can feel like a letter from a best friend, with each track carefully aligned with one's personal tastes. But the truly excellent ones are like being handed a key ring to the cosmos, with each track unlocking a door to a new world to explore. North Carolina may not take up that much space on a map, but it's home to an abundance of musical worlds. North Carolina Public Radio has spent the past year talking to artists about their favorite songs that say something about our home state.

With the ease of uploading music online, Internet sensations are made every day. But for one rising bedroom pop artist, it was truly accidental ... almost.

Until recently, mxmtoon — who otherwise prefers to go by her first name, Maia — kept her music a secret from the people in her immediate life. Now, with her debut album, the masquerade, mxmtoon is slowly peeling back the layers of her online persona.

Lisa-Kaindé Díaz and Naomi Díaz are twin sisters who make music as Ibeyi. Growing up, the twin sisters split their time between Cuba and France. The music they make now delivers West-African and Afro-Cuban influence through an electronic filter you can feel deeply in your bones, and the blend between their voices is nothing short of spectacular.

John Cohen straddled two worlds: as a photographer, he immersed himself in the avant-garde visual arts scene of 1950s New York; as a musician, he was an integral part of that city's folk revival of the same era. He was a member of the seminal New Lost City Ramblers and he used every platform he could — photography, filmmaking, writing and record producing — to preserve and celebrate the music he loved. Cohen died Monday at age 87. His death was announced on social media by his son, Rufus Cohen.

There may be more theremins than pieces of furniture in Marc Chouarain's apartment on the classic Parisian street Rue Montorgeil. The multi-instrumentalist, film composer and rare instrument enthusiast believes he has one of the biggest theremin collections in the world and invited us over to learn about the the very first electronic instrument.

Every Tuesday, The Spy adds new music to its rotation. Here are the adds for the week of September 17, 2019. This week's playlist includes a new song by Dear Boy, a single off of (Sandy) Alex G's latest album, and a song by girl in red released ahead of her North American tour, and so much more.

Listen to this playlist on Spotify or Apple Music.

The fastest route to obsolescence is telling y'all that it was better in ye olde days. The truth is that while the mechanisms for music change — rapidly nowadays, it seems — the motivations for discovery don't. You dig because ya dig, you know?

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