Heavy Rotation: 5 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Feb 22, 2013
Originally published on December 4, 2013 7:36 pm

Every so often, we ask a panel of public radio's music experts to share their favorite new songs. This week, we feature picks from KCRW's Anne Litt, WNYC's Soundcheck host John Schaefer, FolkAlley.com's Kim Ruehl, KUTX's David Brown and our own Frannie Kelley, one of the hosts of NPR Music Radio's Microphone Check.

The music ranges from a wrenching confessional to unapologetic braggadocio, with a little mbira thrown in. If you like what you hear, go ahead and download them. They're yours to keep.

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


Time now for our music project, Heavy Rotation. Every two weeks NPR Music reaches out to hosts and program directors at member stations around the country, and asks them to share a favorite new song. And every month, we play one of those tracks here on MORNING EDITION and get to know the music and some of the people playing it. Today's pick come from a name that will be familiar to many Public Radio listeners.

DAVID BROWN: My name is David Brown and I am the executive producer and host of something called Texas Music Matters.

WERTHEIMER: This former host of the Public Radio program MARKETPLACE now covers music for member station's KUT and KUTX in Austin, Texas. He says it's not that much of a stretch.

BROWN: Music, the activity of music in Austin generates somewhere on the order of $1.6 billion worth of economic activity. There is just so much going on, 10,000 musicians and the greatest densities of music clubs anywhere in the world.

WERTHEIMER: Brown says in Austin, music is news and they cover it thoroughly.

BROWN: We do artist interviews and artist profiles, where we're telling stories and we're telling it in that kind of informal way, in hopes that, even if you are not a music fan, you're going to find something that, kind of, connects to you.

WERTHEIMER: His pick for Heavy Rotation was inspired by one those interviews; a recent conversation with singer Miranda Dodson about her song "Try Again."

BROWN: And what she told me was so personal that I just, kind of, couldn't believe that she was just pouring it out, as she was. She said that, not that long ago, she became pregnant. And she was a bit surprised by it and wasn't really sure, even, that she wanted to be pregnant. But when she had a miscarriage, she and her husband talked about whether or not they would try again. And she realized that she wanted to do this.

She wanted to be a mother. And so, they decided to try again. And she had another miscarriage. And she was so profoundly affected by this, she began to question herself and wonder if there wasn't something wrong with her. And as she described it, she began to feel a sense of shame.


BROWN: We've all experienced those feelings of should we just give up? Should we just throw in the towel? Is anything worth this kind of personal doubt? That's what has ended up on this very heartfelt song, which, by the way, does have a happy ending that's not included in the song. I asked her, you know, well, what happened - did they try again, in fact? And she said, well, my son just celebrated his first birthday. So that was pretty remarkable.


WERTHEIMER: That's David Brown of Texas Music Matters. His pick for Heavy Rotation is Miranda Dodson's "Try Again." You can find the entire list at NPRMusic.org.

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.


And I'm Renee Montagne.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TRY AGAIN") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.