Tom Moon

John Flansburgh and John Linnell, the braintrust of They Might Be Giants, have been writing songs at a seemingly furious pace for somewhere around 30 years. Lots of songs. Twenty albums' worth, plus those daily Dial-A-Song ditties of the pre-Internet era, plus movie soundtrack one-offs and TV themes ("Boss of Me," the Malcolm in the Middle theme, won a Grammy), plus ad campaigns (a memorable one included 14 songs for Dunkin' Donuts).

The Best Reissues Of 2017

Dec 20, 2017

2017 was a good year for old music. And previously unheard scraps left off of classic albums. And discoveries of studio works and live performances that, by whatever cruel twist of fate, never saw the light of day. Some of these were curiosities; some force listeners to rethink their assumptions about periods in music history they thought they knew.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RAY SUAREZ, HOST:

Jazz drummer Brian Blade is best known for this kind of sound.

(SOUNDBITE OF WAYNE SHORTER'S "ORBITS")

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

The last time most of us saw Beck, he was onstage at the Grammy awards accepting the Album of the Year honor for his 2014 work Morning Phase and almost being interrupted by Kanye West.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.


When they set out to make new music, rock icons who have visited – or resided – at the pinnacle of success face unexpected challenges of scale.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.


Pop culture sells the idea that the human aptitude for art is instant, a birthright. Those who toil in this realm know better: It's a journey. Making art involves understanding the nature of inspiration, managing influences, building skills, locating kernels of truth within oceans of static. It takes time.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Don't look for Walter Becker on those endless (ridiculous) listicles ranking the "Guitar Gods of the 1970s." He's rarely mentioned in the same breath as major dudes like Eric Clapton, or Jimmy Page, or Duane Allman, or Carlos Santana, or Billy Gibbons, or Frank Zappa.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.


Recording is a little bit like fishing. Sometimes you make elaborate preparations, get the best gear and set up in advantageous surroundings ... only to wind up with zilch.

Sometimes you grab whatever is close at hand and just get busy. The hours go by like minutes, and the next thing you know, the bucket is full.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Veteran jazz guitarist Peter Bernstein created one of his best pieces of work more than 20 years ago. It's called "Signs Of Life." Now music reviewer Tom Moon says Bernstein has released a riveting update, "Signs LIVE!"

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Pages