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In the 1990 book  Bound To Lead: The Changing Nature Of American Power, economist Joseph Nye introduces us to a term he coined; soft power. Soft power is the act of trying to change things through coercion and appeal rather than force and intimidation. In the book, Nye's talking about government and politics, but our guest today, Doe Paoro, writes intimately about the power dynamics of her personal relationships. And Soft Power is the name of her new album.

Hozier is an artist who can create musical moments big enough to galvanize every molecule of air around them into action and tiny enough that they can burrow themselves in the hidden corners of your own heart. His ability to do both on the same album — and sometimes, even on the same song — is what makes him so special.

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Jeff Tweedy, frontman for Chicago's beloved Wilco, has released his first solo album of original music. WARM, out now, is a stripped-down version of Tweedy's signature alt-rock sound.

There's one obvious thing to get out of the way up front. Yes, The Nude Party actually played without clothes during the band's formative years at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. During their college years, the members hadn't picked a name for the band and because of their lack of wardrobe, the locals dubbed the group "The Naked Party Band."

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Amid all the Internet is capable of — instant news updates, ranking everything from albums to

Balms' "Candle" unleashes an atmospheric bummer — the kind that billows ominously, only to reveal a dark scene once the shroud has dissipated. The San Francisco trio alternates chunky riffs and a plodding rhythm section with dreamy melodies, sudden screams and a voice that coos, "I want your soul." The forbidding effect is something like early Red House Painters' pretty moans set to the downcast punk seething of ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead.

What constitutes bluegrass music? Does it need to be all acoustic? Can it ever be electric? Does it always include a banjo, a mandolin, a dobro and fiddles? If it ventures into jam band territory, is it still bluegrass?

The bluegrass question is one that the immensely talented Kalamazoo, Mich. band Greensky Bluegrass has been grappling with and answering since the members started 18 years ago.

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