Archive for the ‘Laura Marling’ Category

Downloading MP3 Audio from NPR Radio

August 15th, 2010

So its been a while between posts, but I thought I’d post this quick how-to that I worked out a few days ago after trying to download Laura Marling’s recent appearance on World Cafe.

I’ve been trying to do this for a while, but as NPR have upgraded their player, many (if not all) guides out there on this topic no longer work. The new player requires the use of an additional API Key to get the MP3 link.

Here’s how to do it:

1) Install both Firefox (or Chrome?) and Firebug

2) load up the initial story page on NPR… something like :

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129026990

3) Click on ‘Listen Now’ at the top of the page, and let the popup open

4) While on the popup window, Open Firebug (F12 on a PC), and click on the ‘Net’ Tab. If firebug doesnt open, either click on the address bar, and press F12 again, or click the little bug icon in the bottom right corner of the popup window.

5) clear your browser cache ( CTRL + SHIFT + DEL). (or else the browser wont bother getting the URL you want)

6) While Firebug is open, reload the page ( F5 )… (this will give us details of all the XML that the flash object requests)

7) On the ‘Net’ Tab, hover your cursor over each entry. Find the URL’s starting with http://api.npr.org. There will be two - one gets the additional information for the page, and one gets the main information. The one you want will have the same id as the initial story page:

The Initial Story URL:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129026990

the XML URL:
http://api.npr.org/query?id=129026990&mediaId=129002511&fields=show,audio,multimedia,parent,titles,teasers,dates,song,album,product&apiKey=MDAzMzQ2MjAyMDEyMzk4MTU1MDg3ZmM3MQ010

8) Notice the new apiKey field - the XML will not display without a valid apiKey! Open this XML URL in a new Browser tab, and Search for <mp3 type=”mp3″>, and your mp3 link will be below it! It should look something like:

http://pd.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/wc/2010/08/20100806_wc_01.mp3?orgId=715&topicId=1103&aggIds=100920965,122773665

9) if your having trouble saving it off, open it in a new tab and do Tools > Page Info > Media > Save As…

Its worth noting that if you know the broadcast date, and the name of the show, you could probably work out the links yourself - the first bit is static: http://pd.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/

The last bit can be worked out from show name (World Cafe) and broadcast date (2010/08/06): wc/2010/08/20100806_wc_01.mp3

enjoy!

Laura Marling - Saint Pancras Old Church, 23 November, 2009

December 19th, 2009

images from http://www.flickr.com/photos/timsnell/4138043334/Having seen Laura at Royal Festival Hall, and in a very crowded Hoxton Bar and Grill, I was not going to miss her in this tiny venue, holding no more than 100 seated fans. There is something special about a performer whose music can credibly travel between large and small venues, and still hold an audience to less than a whisper.

This tour, Laura was totally stripped back to her and her guitar. While I occasionally wanted for the warm accompaniments of Marcus Mumford, and the songs were slightly shorter with missing interludes, it was still sublime to hear her songs simplified, in their fundamental forms.

She performed most of the tracks from her debut album ‘Alas, I Cannot Swim’, but also a some new material from her next album, which sounds to be coming along nicely. I’m even happy to say one of my favourite tracks of hers (‘Blueberry Stone’) is not from her first album - hopefully it will mak an appearance on her new album?

heres a few samples:
Laura_Marling_-_Blackberry_Stone.mp3
Laura_Marling_-_Needle_and_the_Damage_Done.mp3

image by timsnell on flicker.

Laura Marling - Royal Festival Hall, 11 August 2009

August 16th, 2009

Proceedings for the night began in much of the same vein as it continued through out - a short film introducing a small community of friends and folk musicians who work with, and influence each other. They are the babes of the new folk scene in London which is slowly growing, and tonight included stirling performances by Laura Marling and band, Alessi’s Ark, Ethan Johns, Andrew Bird, Johnny Flynn, Mumford & Sons, Pete Roe, Peggy Sue and Sons of Noel and Adrian.

It sounds like quite a large gathering, and it was - a truly eclectic mix of styles with a total of 24 songs for the night. One would expect that the additional acts would be merely a distraction to the main event, but this certainly was not the case. Laura introduced the audience to the wonderful music of her friends, who put a convincing case together that this was also just scratching the surface of the untapped folk talent out there. I’m certainly going to be listening to many of them in alot more detail in the weeks to come.

It was great to see Laura in a different context to the solo aspect I experienced at the Hoxton gig some months back. Tonight she was accompanied by a keys, drums, cello, fiddle and bass, which all filled out the textures in her songs nicely. I couldnt help but draw some comparison between her and Nick Drake’s ‘Way To Blue’ when she sang with the cello. While I think she has already attained alot of the influence on others that Nick Drake had, I hope she has a much longer and prosperous life than he acheived. Her new album tracks are as good as - if not a growth from - her debut album, and I still strongly believe she has alot of potential as an era defining songwriter - the next Joni, Suzanne or Tori, and I personally cant wait!

Heres a few tracks from the night:

Laura_Marling_-_Rambling_Man.mp3

Laura_Marling_-_Blackberry_Stone.mp3

Johnny_Flynn_-_unknown.mp3

Laura Marling - Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, 30 March 2009

April 7th, 2009

picture by luptonn - http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=marling&w=93717952%40N00

I’ve reviewed Noah and the Whale already, but I must say I’ve been looking forward to seeing an ex member, Laura Marling more, simply because of her stunning debut album ‘Alas I Cannot Swim‘, which showed maturity and songwriting prowess well beyond her 19 years.

I went with a few friends who are fans, and my unsuspecting girlfriend, who was not yet aware of Laura Marling’s music. Hoxton Bar and Kitchen itself is a trendy place off Hoxton Square, which served quite a tasty selection of food and beer. The performance area itself was a smallish concrete room, which soon became totally packed out to 300 enthusiastic fans.

Unfortunately, even with 2-3 sound engineers chipping in it soon became apparent we were in for a long night, with each act arriving on stage later and later. First was Sixtoes, a group of guys with an acoustic Anthony and the Johnsons kind of sound, who were quite pleasant to listen to. Then came the longeur of the night - Polly Scattergood. Its been along time since I’ve suffered through such a pretentious, contrived tripe (even at the level of an opener). From the laminated setlist, bad song lyrics, and a total lack of genuineness in performance. I read somewhere a review calling her ‘the new Tori Amos’. As an avid Tori fan, all I can say is no… just… No.

Laura finally made it on stage at 11:15, (after it took 45 minutes to set up 4 or 5 microphones in an acoustic setting) and it became clear that the wait was well worth it. In contrast to Polly, Laura’s clever, honest and well written songs quenched my thirsty ears - her execution was simply honest and beautiful. She played many non album tracks, perhaps signalling that a new album may be on the way soon, either way, she was utterly captivating, holding the entire audience in awe. She had Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons performing with her, and they complimented each other really well.

If Laura continues to make music like this for the rest of her career, she’s going to be huge. I’m looking forward to her returning. Heres a few samples from the night:
Laura Marling - My Manic And I.mp3
Laura Marling - Rebecca.mp3
Laura Marling - Oh Mama How Far Ive Come.mp3
Laura Marling - Ramblin Man.mp3

heres a few cool reviews:

http://www.crazybobbles.org/2009/04/01/laura-marling-isnt-in-kansas/

http://www.egigs.co.uk/index.php?a=12900

http://www.nme.com/news/laura-marling/43799

the photo above is from Luptonn’s flickr: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=marling&w=93717952%40N00 (many thanks to him!)