Benjamin Naddaff-Hafrey

This week, Big Thief will release its second album of the year. The double play alone doesn't capture just how prolific this band is, though. Two Hands is the third Big Thief release in the past year and six days, if you count lead songwriter Adrianne Lenker's solo record, abysskiss. Broaden the count from there, and it is the fifth Big Thief-related LP of the past year and a half, including solo outings from guitarist Buck Meek and drummer James Krivchenia. Big Thief is like a hydrant with its top knocked off. Music is pouring from Big Thief.

Every so often, late at night over the past couple years, a team of NPR Music video producers has been toting approximately 80 pounds of audio/video equipment and a statue of a golden owl to the far reaches of American cities. The owl is our Night Owl, and it's the totem that has presided over nearly every episode of a show that goes by the same name. Night Owl is our chance to get out into the field, put some of our musicians somewhere unexpected and see what magic may arise.

After the unfortunate Songs of Innocence roll-out, many people questioned whether there was still a place for U2 in 2014 and beyond. U2 seems to have asked themselves the same question. As other, more grippingly consequential upheavals occurred over the ensuing years, the band found themselves touring their newly relevant 1987 classic, The Joshua Tree.