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World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN

NPR

WXPN's live performance and interview program featuring music and conversation from a variety of important musicians

WXPN's live performance and interview program featuring music and conversation from a variety of important musicians
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Location:

Philadelphia, PA

Networks:

NPR

WXPN

Description:

WXPN's live performance and interview program featuring music and conversation from a variety of important musicians

Language:

English


Episodes

What's It Like To Be a Pro Recording Engineer?

8/21/2018
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Working with the likes of Rhiannon Giddens, Elton John, the Dixie Chicks, John Mayer and more, engineer Vanessa Parr has had to grapple with questions like - What do you do when musicians get frustrated in studio? How do you hold it together and work when you're standing next to your heroes? How do you help an artist when they get creatively stuck? Vanessa talks us through some memorable sessions from her very cool career and tells you what to listen for in some of her favorite recordings.

Duration:00:24:03

Remembering Aretha Franklin

8/16/2018
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The Queen of Soul died today at the age of 76, and we've invited some special guests to reflect on her remarkable legacy. Gospel music Professor Dr. Deborah Pollard shares how the city of Detroit felt hearing Aretha sing at President Obama's inauguration. Music writer Ann Powers, and radio host Gwen Thompkins reflect on what Aretha's songs meant for women and civil rights. NPR Music's Senior Director Lauren Onkey shares a firsthand account of what it was like to tour the Rock and Roll Hall...

Duration:00:37:54

Jukebox The Ghost Are Off To The Races

8/14/2018
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Jukebox the Ghost, the Brooklyn based three piece have been making dynamic pop and rock for the last 15 years, having just released their 5th album, Off to the Races. It's a joyous affair, with no shortage of inventive pop melodies, big hooks, and yes, plenty of piano. We talk about some of the fun tricks they used on Off to the Races, including layering Ben's voice over 100 times.

Duration:00:34:17

Liz Cooper and The Stampede

8/13/2018
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Call it psychedelic, call it classic, or call it the sound of new Nashville -Liz Cooper and the Stampede are leading the rock pack in Tennessee right now. Cooper has gained a growing following in Nashville and beyond as one of the rock scene's most distinctive guitarists, with a style few can imitate; in her trio, the Stampede, she builds alluring soundscapes where her gently philosophical, wryly romantic lyrics come to life. She shares her take on 21st century psychedelia with the Cafe's...

Duration:00:39:28

Jim Lauderdale: Time Flies

8/7/2018
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Americana Master, Jim Lauderdale has been a Nashville performer and songwriter for over 30 years, releasing dozens of solo albums and writing for folks like Patti Loveless, Vince Gill and George Strait. You'd forgive him if he wanted to take it easy after winning the lifetime achievement award from the Americana Music Association, but instead Jim's releasing TWO albums this year, that serve as bookends for his career: A new studio album called Time Flies, and a collection of songs Jim...

Duration:00:26:05

Amanda Shires Changes That Nashville Sound

7/31/2018
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In the year and a half since Shires last visited World Cafe, she's finished her Masters of Fine Arts, raised a toddler, made a new record, won Emerging Artist of the Year at the Americana Music Awards, toured in her husband Jason Isbell's band, and called up a country radio station to give them a piece of her mind after hearing a steady stream of only male voices.Shires shares some of those stories, and performs live music from her new record To The Sunset.

Duration:00:30:35

Amanda Shires Changes That Nashville Sound

7/31/2018
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In the year and a half since Shires last visited World Cafe, she's finished her Masters of Fine Arts, raised a toddler, made a new record, won Emerging Artist of the Year at the Americana Music Awards, toured in her husband Jason Isbell's band, and called up a country radio station to give them a piece of her mind after hearing a steady stream of only male voices.Shires shares some of those stories, and performs live music from her new record To The Sunset.

Duration:00:30:35

Stanley Clarke: The Message

7/31/2018
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Stanley Clarke is a legend and virtuoso of both the electric and acoustic bass. As a classically trained musician, he's worked with countless musicians over the last several decades, most notably with Chick Corea in Return to Forever. On this visit to the World Cafe, he discusses his new album, The Message, and shares stories about Tom Petty, Keith Richards, and bass peer Jaco Pastorius.

Duration:00:29:50

Dave Matthews Band

7/19/2018
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Hear live performances and an impassioned conversation with frontman Dave Matthews. Dave shares his excitement about the band's new album Come Tomorrow. He talks about having his song "Crash Into Me" used in the Greta Gerwig film Lady Bird, going to the March For Our Lives in Seattle with his daughter, and being born into apartheid-era South Africa. Dave also talks about the lineup changes in his band since they formed in 1991, including the passing of original saxophone player LeRoi Moore...

Duration:01:06:04

Love Leads to 24 Million Spotify Streams

7/16/2018
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Zack and Dani Green were married before they ever played music together. It was 6 months in when, one afternoon, the guitarist and singer asked his spouse for input on a song he was writing. Within hours they realized that Dani's background as a student of literature and her talent as a harmonizer brought Zak's music to another level. After reaching out to a few friends they created the band Birdtalker, and before ever embarking on a national tour their song "Heavy" took off on Spotify –...

Duration:00:28:58

The Suffers Do Whatever Feels Right

7/13/2018
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The first line you hear lead singer Kam Franklin say on The Suffers new album is "Full on disclosure/I'm not here for exposure/I came to have a good time/So let me shine". Yeah, the Suffers are a party and a lot of fun, but they've also worked incredibly hard to find success. They've survived hurricanes and discrimination in the music business to thrive, all while proudly repping their hometown of Houston. The city's music scene and diversity are a huge part of the band's identity. We'll...

Duration:00:20:21

Frank Turner Wants To "Make America Great Again"

7/10/2018
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But how? That's the twist you'll hear in a song on Turner's new album "Be More Kind". Turner visits the Cafe to talk about his decision to dive back into the arena of social commentary in his music, even though in the past he received flak from both the left and the right sides of the political spectrum for his views. Turner also speaks about the personal benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and how the "militantly practical" techniques he learned have helped him cope with his own ups...

Duration:00:27:01

Robert Hilburn on Paul Simon

6/29/2018
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Renowned music critic and author Robert Hilburn has released the new biography, Paul Simon: The Life. The book follows Simon's enduring career, exploring the stories behind pivotal moments like the breakout hit "The Sound of Silence," and his 1986 comeback solo album, Graceland. We're talking about one of the greatest American songwriters today on the World Cafe.

Duration:00:34:35

The Mighty Kississippi

6/21/2018
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When she was young, Zoe Reynolds (aka Kississippi) wanted to be a pop star like Britney Spears. Then she discovered the singer-songwriter style of Liz Phair, and got inspired by bands like Dashboard Confessional - who invited Kississippi to open up for them on tour this year. Zoe has persevered through line-up changes, a record deal that fell through before her full-length debut Sunset Blush was released and the last-minute surprise that she would be performing solo without her band in...

Duration:00:15:26

SPINAL TAP'S DEREK SMALLS

6/21/2018
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It's rare to sit down with rock and roll royalty like Spinal Tap lead singer David St. Hubins or lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel. So instead, we sat down with Derek Smalls, bassist and "lukewarm water" for the seminal band. Tap made its mark as one of England's loudest bands, releasing slightly above average records like Shark Sandwich and Smell the Glove. Now, Smalls is striking out on his own, with a reflective solo record in the vain of David Bowie's Blackstar and Leonard Cohen's You Want...

Duration:00:17:40

Bettye Sings Bob (Dylan)

6/20/2018
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Bettye LaVette has an uncanny ability to squeeze every ounce of emotion out of a song with her voice. On her latest album Things Have Changed Bettye applies that talent to the music of Bob Dylan. Bettye relays the story of the time she met (read: was kissed by) Bob Dylan, and her thoughts on Dylan's own vocal delivery. She also delves into the ups and downs of her own career, from the frustration of struggling through failed record deals while many of her contemporaries got rich, to...

Duration:00:33:08

Bermuda Triangle: Pals. Porches. Harmonies.

6/19/2018
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Alabama Shakes leader Brittany Howard and rising solo performers Becca Mancari and Jesse Lafser created Bermuda Triangle somewhere between afternoons spent trading songs on porches and evenings spent hanging out at bars in East Nashville. Now, even though they have only released two songs, the trio have played sold out shows across the country. Their magic is as much about the friendship that preceded the band as it is about the music they now make together – you can hear how their bond...

Duration:00:31:10

Welles Rocks Our World

6/15/2018
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Welles has the look, the voice, the licks, the hooks, and the attitude of a real rock star. His classic rock meets grunge debut, Red Trees and White Trashes is alternatingly big, chunky, bombastic and driving, yet intimate, sensitive, quiet and reserved - there's no shortage of ballads AND barnburners. Welles talks about what it was like to leave his home in Arkansas and make the journey to Nashville where he recorded with super-producer Dave Cobb.

Duration:00:26:30

Natalie Prass: Sour Times = Sweet Riffs

6/14/2018
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Prass had an entire album ready to record when the results of the 2016 election left her feeling "devastated", in her words. She scrapped what she had been working on to write new songs that reflected the world around her. But the resulting album The Future and the Past doesn't sound embittered or in-your-face or even downtempo. In our interview, Prass explains how artists like Stevie Wonder inspired her to dig in to the sweet possibilities that tough times can make people stick together,...

Duration:00:33:10

Peter Hook: Substance

6/13/2018
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Few musicians have more of a signature sound, or personality, than Peter Hook. He was one of the founding members of Joy Division, pioneers of the post punk genre. When their lead singer Ian Curtis died on the eve of their first American Tour, the remaining members didn't mourn, within a week they'd reformed as New Order and proceeded to change the landscape of electronic music over the following decade. In this wide-ranging discussion, Hook talks about his time in both bands, plus playing...

Duration:00:41:01