First Listen

Musica comprimida  -  Compressed Music

Musica comprimida – Compressed Music (Photo credit: Ferrari + caballos + fuerza = cerebro Humano )

I am a huge fan of NPR and the local PBS carrier, KQED Radio, but I only get to listen to a fraction of the content available.

In the past, I subscribed to podcasts to get every show I liked – Science Friday, Forum, Selected Shorts, Fresh Air, and more – but my computer was filling up faster than I could listen to them.

Now, I settle by catching what I can in the car on the way to-from work or volunteering and sometimes from my desk at the office – though it rarely offers the chance to concentrate and actually hear instead turning everything into a comforting background haze.

To supplement all of that, I follow a few of the various programs on Facebook and I love when NPR’s page posts about their music program, First Listen.

This is an amazing online resource for music lovers as you get both a well-written and concise review plus the ability to listen to some or all of an artist’s new release prior to it dropping in the market! It brings me back, in a way, to my days in radio and working as a music store assistant manager as we often received promo copies of singles or full albums weeks ahead of the drop. The difference is in those cases I could often get a copy for myself!

Two notable First Listen episodes are currently up and I urge you to listen and enjoy.

“Amok” by Atoms For Peace – A solo project of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke due for release Feb. 26.

“Amok still fits squarely into Yorke’s more interior solo sound world: a man pacing worriedly in his basement instead of sending his voice piercing heavenward, but sounding no less vital in the process,” says NPR’s Stephen Thompson.

“Optica” by Shout Out Loud – Also due to hit the stores (web or brick) on Feb. 26.

“…it’s as if someone traveled back in time 30 years and slipped The Thompson Twins the biggest hit of their career, and now a young band is tapping into our shared nostalgia by rehashing a hit that’s somehow been lodged in our memory banks all along. “Illusions” may be brand-new, but it already feels eternal.” – NPR Review

For me, the jury is still out on the Atoms For Peace. Despite it’s electronic orgins, I feel it would best be listened to on vinyl, but I’m not sold yet on putting out the money to get a copy just to find out.

However, the Shout Out Loud release truly belongs in my playlists with Roxy Music and Bowie. I’m putting it in my pre-release cart along with Depeche Mode’s new release – the first single, “Heaven,” is already getting airplay.

What are you listening to?

English: Depeche Mode Logo

English: Depeche Mode Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Copyright 2013 by T. E. Wilson

2 responses to “First Listen

  1. Pingback: Searching for the divine on a Sunday morning | Below Zero | Above Infinity·

  2. Pingback: Rock n’ Roll will never die | Below Zero | Above Infinity·

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