Live Music

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It’s time for the next installment in our new series featuring local artists and musicians. This hour, we hear from folk-pop duo Chuck Costa and Mira Stanley of The Sea, The Sea. Their debut album, Love We Are We Love, dropped earlier this year. Both recently stopped by our studio to talk about and perform some of their new songs.

Later, we hear a tale from the sea. Kate Moore served as Keeper of Bridgeport’s Fayerweather Lighthouse for most of the 19th century. A Bridgeport historian and Coast Guard Ensign will tell us about her heroic and inspiring devotion to Long Island Sound’s busy seaway.

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Last month, Hartford’s very own Asylum Quartet visited WNPR's Where We Live to talk about and perform some music. 

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Photographer Chris Capozziello has been photographing his twin brother Nick for years. Despite being twins, there was a major difference between these two: Nick was born with cerebral palsy; Chris was not.

The photography of both brothers’ is featured in the book The Distance Between Us. The story it tells is about how both Capozziellos are living and coping with Nick’s condition. Both join us to talk about their project.

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The ukulele was not always obscure. Two of the biggest stars of the 20th century used them as their principal instruments. One is a name you probably don't know, but George Formby was a enormous sensation in Great Britain on stage and in movies in the 1920s and '30s. He specialized in playing a banjo-shaped ukulele, and he trafficked in comical, mischievous songs full of double entendres. 

Singer-songwriters Aimee Mann and Ted Leo are often at opposite ends of the volume knob. But what started as separate sets during a mutual tour, then a few walk-ons during Leo's solo set, is now an adventure in collaboration and mutual songwriting — and the birth of The Both. Months after this Tiny Desk Concert, which we recorded in February, there's an album.

Petra, Rachel and Tanya Haden are three sisters in love with the art of singing. Born in 1971 to a famous musical father (Charlie Haden is a world-class upright jazz bassist), they've separately taken on vastly different music projects. You may have heard Petra with The Decemberists or tackling the music of The Who a cappella. Tanya plays in Let's Go Sailing, while Rachel sometimes turns up with The Rentals and other projects.

This week, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, even if we aren’t Irish.

But sadly, this holiday meant to celebrate a heritage doesn’t really go too much deeper than green beer and shamrocks in the public consciousness.

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The musician Christy Moore said Ireland could never have the equivalent of a folk revival because it never let its traditions lapse. And that's very true. The are probably other places in the world as deeply attached to their traditional music, but I don't know where they are.

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This hour, we check back in with two musical acts that we’ve featured on the program before. Goodnight Blue Moon’s Elm City roots are evident in their music. Their new EP, A Girl I Never Met, features a song that’s based on a poem found in a Fair Haven history book. Goodnight Blue Moon join us in studio to talk about the new release and to play some music.

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"This song is about unrequited love - loving someone that just won't be able to give it back to you," said Goodnight Blue Moon's Erik Elligers. He's talking about a song off his band's new EP A Girl I Never Met called "Baby" and it's a song that has special meaning for us at WNPR.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour, we check back in with two musical acts that we’ve featured on the program before. Goodnight Blue Moon’s Elm City roots are evident in their music. Their new EP is called, A Girl I Never Met and it features a song that’s based on a poem found in a Fair Haven history book. Goodnight Blue Moon join us in-studio to talk about the new release and to play some music.

We're also be joined by another Connecticut musician: Daphne Lee Martin. Her upcoming album Frost is a follow-up to last year’s Moxie, which we featured on the show last year. Daphne joins us to talk about Frost and to catch up on her success since she last joined us.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

There is nothing particularly new about the idea that music can be a palliative or a distraction from pain or physical discomfort associated with illness. But over the last 25 years or so, we’ve seen a rising tide of interest in some that lies well beyond that -- a frontier where music’s actual therapeutic and even, curative powers can be discovered.

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A lot of interconnected things were happening in the 1990s, an oncologist and hematologist  named Mitchell Gaynor discovered trough a Tibetan monk, the so-called singing bowls and began incorporating them into the guided meditation and breathing work he did with his patients.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Even though they just released their debut, self-titled album, Violent Mae still had new, unreleased material up their sleeves.

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It's been one year since the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School transformed Newtown, Connecticut, the country, and the world. Over the last year, there have been countless musical tributes to the victims.

This hour, we share some of the music that came out of this tragedy. 

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The birth of the band Violent Mae may not have been intentional, but the result has been memorable. This duo met on an organic farm in Connecticut and just released their debut album, recorded in Hartford. Violent Mae joins us in-studio for a live concert on Where We Live.

Listen to Violent Mae's self-titled album and you can get a copy of it when you contribute to WNPR.

MPR/APM, WFUV, KEXP

Public radio might be best known for shows like Morning Edition, This American Life, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me and Car Talk, but did you know public radio stations across the country also feature some amazing music?

Thanks to the World Wide Web, many radio stations and shows put out beautiful videos of musical performances from not only local acts, but big-time national names.

John Mayer has a lot to be thankful for this year, including his return to the stage. A Grammy winner and a multi-platinum seller, Mayer is one of the most successful musicians of the past decade-plus — but a few events in his life have left him uncharacteristically quiet of late. He took a break from press after a pair of controversial interviews in 2010; not long after, he underwent surgery for damage to his vocal cords and had to stop speaking and singing publicly for more than a year.

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Are there countries where harmonica players are BIG stars? Why don't more women play it? How many different musical styles can you squeeze out of one of these things? Guests include a lot of the pros: Howard Levy, Don DeStefano and Chris DePino whose odd career arc has taken him from railroad conductor to chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party to professional harmonica player. Also, Wolfie gets an on-air harmonica lesson from these gods of the harp.

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Little Ugly performed live on WNPR's Where We Live from our pop-up radio storefront. If you couldn't make it to our pop-up radio storefront, relive it here.

Illustration by Johnnie Cluney / Daytrotter

New London's Daphne Lee Martin is making a national name for herself. Earlier this year, she released a new album called Moxie and went on to tour throughout the country. 

Most recently, she stopped off in Chicago during a tour in the Midwest, which is where Daytrotter is located. Daytrotter records sessions with a range of musicians like The Civil Wars, Iron & Wine, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals and Deer Tick.

An Ode to Opera

Nov 6, 2013
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Last month, the New York City Opera-- what Mayor LaGuardia called "the People's Opera" -- declared bankruptcy. This is/was the opera that introduced Americans to Placido Domingo and Beverly Sills.  Make what you will of the fact that the bankruptcy announcement coincided with the presentation of a new opera about Anna Nicole Smith.

It's Halloween! Watch a live Tiny Desk Concert featuring Neko Case and Kelly Hogan, as well as Eric Bachmann of Crooked Fingers and Archers of Loaf. Case is keeping her outfit under wraps for now, but promises a reveal worthy of the occasion.

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Little Ugly has become a staple of the Hartford music scene. They were named the "Best Indie Rock" band at the 2013 Connecticut Music Awards and were referred to as "one of the hardest working bands you'll ever encounter." Their latest release is called Where the River's Born and we'll talk with Little Ugly and hear some music.

Chion Wolf

Today you're going to meet the new State Troubadour, Kristen Graves, and renew your acquaintance with three former troubadours.

Chion Wolf

If Sean Spellman’s life was captured in a TV show, it’d be Portlandia. He’s a bearded guy - whose rootsy, folky rock band Quiet Life tours the country in a van powered by used vegetable oil.  And yeah, they’re based in Portland.

But get beneath the surface a bit, and Spellman’s an east coast guy - raised in New London CT and the Jersey shore, he wears his complicated love for New England on his sleeve, and has a spot in is heart for Springsteen, like any good Jersey guy would.

The New Orleans band Hurray for the Riff Raff exists as a vehicle for the powerhouse songs of singer-songwriter Alynda Lee Segarra, whose gigantic voice conveys the grit of bluesy soul while still fitting within the realms of rootsy folk and country. The group just followed its dynamite 2012 album Look Out Mama with a Kickstarter-funded collection of covers (and two originals) called My Dearest Darkest Neighbor.

Raised in Alabama and based in Brooklyn, Phosphorescent's Matthew Houck makes moody, searching, raggedly pretty music that reflects the sounds of both his respective homes. But there's also a wise, homesick weariness to Houck's voice that transcends time and place: Listen at just the right time, and a Phosphorescent record feels like a warm conversation with a friend who understands loneliness.

The Seattle septet Hey Marseilles makes some of the most good-natured chamber-pop music around, led by the unmistakably kind voice of Matt Bishop. Naturally, given the band's size, Hey Marseilles gets to make the most of a wide array of warm sounds, from cello and viola to horns and accordions, but those ingredients are all wisely wrapped around songwriting that exudes sweet, hooky sunshine.

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