NPR Music

Joshua James' new album is called My Spirit Sister. Released a little over a decade into his career, it features staggering honesty — the kind of stuff that's difficult to say out loud, let alone sing. For example, James wrote the song "Millie" when his wife was pregnant with their second child and he was having severe doubts. "I really just had no idea how to cope with it," James says. "Should I just leave this gal with her mom and just depart and try to start again? What am I to do?"

The Station nightclub fire happened more than 14 years ago, and on Sunday, a memorial park was dedicated to the victims of the fire.

On Feb. 20, 2003, the rock band Great White was playing in the club in West Warwick, R.I., when pyrotechnics ignited flammable soundproofing foam. The building was quickly engulfed in flames.

In the end, 100 people were killed and more than 200 injured.

The effort to honor the victims of The Station nightclub fire with a memorial took more than a decade.

The music of the late Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda, the wife of the jazz giant John Coltrane, has always rested somewhat in the shadows. It didn't help that she gave her career up — to become a spiritual leader.

When Vince Staples releases his sophomore album Big Fish Theory next month, he won't be the only lanky rapper from Long Beach, Calif. with new music in the marketplace. Big Uncle Snoop Dogg, whose solo debut Doggystyle dropped the same year Staples was born, released his 15th studio album this week. And like the title Neva Left not-so-subtly suggests, his ubiquitous industry presence over the last quarter century is unprecedented in hip-hop.

If you're a regular NPR listener, you know BJ Leiderman's music. Leiderman is the John Williams of public radio: He's written the theme music for programs like Morning Edition, Marketplace and, yes, Weekend Edition.

On his first full-length solo album, Fantasmas (Ghosts), Alexander Zavala appears to us — amidst specters — as a messenger of sonic relief.

Beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, May 19, watch Benjamin Booker, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Robert Cray and more perform during the final night of public radio's Non-Comm 2017. The show streams live via VuHaus from World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

Find Friday evening's full schedule below; all set times are shown in Eastern time and are subject to change.

Friday, May 19

7 p.m. — Holly Macve

7:30 p.m. — The Growlers

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We're going to turn now to the week in music news with NPR's Jacob Ganz. Hey there, Jacob.

JACOB GANZ, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

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