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Live on Soundcheck


In-studio performances by everyone from indie rockers to string quartets to jazz ensembles. When artists visit our studios, they are in peak form and often present special tracks, fan favorites and brand-new songs. In case you missed them, here are highlights culled by the Soundcheck staff.

In-studio performances by everyone from indie rockers to string quartets to jazz ensembles. When artists visit our studios, they are in peak form and often present special tracks, fan favorites and brand-new songs. In case you missed them, here are highlights culled by the Soundcheck staff.
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New York, NY




In-studio performances by everyone from indie rockers to string quartets to jazz ensembles. When artists visit our studios, they are in peak form and often present special tracks, fan favorites and brand-new songs. In case you missed them, here are highlights culled by the Soundcheck staff.






WNYC Radio 160 Varick St. New York, NY 10013 (212) 433-9692


A Very Wonka Afternoon With Primus, In Concert And In Costume

For more than 25 years, Primus has honed itsdistinct weirdo sensibility and earned fans with its funnylyrics and high-octane instrumental prowess. Atthe center of the group is Les Claypool, the band's slap-happy bassist and spiritanimal, whoseabsurdist musical whims and avant prog rock experiments have ledthebandfrom underground success tocult popularity. Now,with theirlatest album, Primus' original members -- Claypool,Larry LaLonde, and Tim “Herb” Alexander -- have deployedtheirinventive...


Amen Dunes: Lonesome Psychedelic Folk

Amen Dunes began as the personal project of Damon McMahon in 2006, blending indiefolk, 60's psychedelia and stripped-down, lo-fi rock. Despite the sharper production and help from pianist Jordi Wheeler and drummer Parker Kindred on Amen Dunes' newer recordings, McMahon’s layered vocals still remain at the dark heart of its lonesome tone. Following its self-released 2012 EP,Ethio Covers, Amen Dunes released its third LP,Love, on Sacred Bones Records in May 2014. Hear Amen Dunes perform...


In Studio: Abigail Washburn

Banjo player Abigail Washburn has cornered the market on a sound that fuses Appalachian and Chinese music. Her creation is loyal to both traditions, yet undeniably fresh. She joins us to perform songs from her new album, City of Refuge, live in our studio.


In Studio: Gary Lucas

Avant garde guitarist Gary Lucas toured with Captain Beefheart in the eighties and has been making music ever since. He plays live in the Soundcheck studio.


In Studio: Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O

Jazz drummer Matt Wilson has been getting into the holiday spirit. He brings his Christmas Tree-o to our studio to perform some traditional – and not-so-traditional – holiday songs.


Chocolate Genius Inc.: In Studio

Chocolate Genius Inc. is the brainchild of the eclectic New York singer-songwriter Marc Anthony Thompson. In recent years his collaborators have included Marc Ribot, Meshell Ndegeocello and Bruce Springsteen. He joins us, in advance of a new album called Swansongs, to perform live in our studio. Today's Playlist: 1- Chocolate Genius Inc. - Sit and Spin 2 - Cholocate Genius Inc. - She Smiles (LIVE) 3- Chocolate Genius Inc. - Polanski (LIVE) 4- Chocolate Genius Inc. - Enough For You (LIVE)...


Tift Merritt: In Studio

At the beginning of the decade, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Tift Merritt was heralded as the next alt country queen. But over subsequent albums, she turned away from the charts and focused inward. Merritt joins us to talk about the musical short stories that inhabit her latest album See You On The Moon, and to perform live in the studio.


Respect Sextet: In Studio

New York's Respect Sextet is known for its brash and eclectic approach to the jazz tradition. The group’s pieces mix and match elements of free jazz, funk grooves, New Orleans-style marches, bebop, and commercial jingles, all with a dash of whimsy. The sextet joins us to preview their latest album, out today, called Farcical Built for Six. And they perform live in our studio. The Playlist: 1. The Hinske Plow 2. Live Performance - Stray Alligator 3. Live Performance - Farcical Built for Six...


Neon Indian: Live

Musician and composer Alan Palomo records under the name Neon Indian. Originally a project that started in Austin before transplanting to Brooklyn, Palomo has been hailed as one of the best examples of the dubious new genre catalogued as "chillwave" or "glo-fi." Neon Indian was named one of the Best New Bands in 2010 by Rolling Stone Magazine and has been touring non-stop since the release of its critically acclaimed album, Psychic Chasms, last year. Neon Indian joins us with a full band...


Vivica Genaux: In Studio

Mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux has made Venice, Italy her home for some years now but she grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska. There she found that the harsh climate made her naturally suited to playing men on the opera stage and she has specialized in so-called trouser roles throughout her career. Genaux joins us to talk about musical androgyny and her latest album Pyrotechnics, and to perform live in the studio. The Playlist:1. "Come in vano il mare irato" (from Catone in Utica)2. Live...


Rachel Grimes and On Fillmore: Live

Rock became something else when pianist Rachel Grimes helped form the early post rock band called Rachel’s. Now she’s working with the duo On Fillmore, comprised of Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche and bassist Darin Gray. They’ll all play live in our studio. Today's Playlist 1. Rachel's, "Rhine and Courtesan"2. LIVE: Rachel Grimes, "Long Before Us"3. LIVE: Rachel Grimes, "Every Morning"4. LIVE: On Fillmore, "Taisho"5. On Fillmore, "Extended Vacation"


Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes: In Studio

Husband and wife pianists Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes have followed distinct career paths, with Charlap involved in a series of projects highlighting the Great American Songbook, and Rosnes gaining insider cred for her eclectic approach to the modern jazz repertoire. The two married in 2007 (at Jazz at Lincoln Center) and have pooled their talents for their first two-piano recording, Double Portrait. Today, the couple plays live and tells us about the key to a successful marriage –...


Angela Meade: In Studio

American soprano Angela Meade made her professional stage debut unexpectedly at the Metropolitan Opera in 2008 when she was asked to sing Ernani's "Elvira" at a moment’s notice. But her career was already on the upswing with a series of awards including first place at the Met's National Council Auditions. Today, she tells us about singing the title role in Bellini's "Norma," a work that has made stars for more than a century and a half. And she’ll sing the opera’s famous aria, “Casta...


Brooklyn Rider Live

The young string quartet Brooklyn Rider takes on everything from Debussy and John Cage to works featuring the Japanese shakuhachi and electronics. With their high-energy performing style and occasional gigs in rock clubs, the group is helping to shake up the once staid image of the string quartet. Brooklyn Rider shares their new album “Dominant Curve” and plays live in our studio. Their Playlist: 1. Kojiro Umezaki- "(Cycles) what falls must rise" 2. Live Performance- Debussy String Quartet...


Jazz Original: Paul Motian

In the late 1950s, Paul Motian became a regular in pianist Bill Evans' famous trio. Today, this influential drummer and composer is known for often performing sans piano. He joins us to talk about breaking a jazz rule with his latest album, Lost In a Dream, which features two young jazz talents: pianist Jason Moran and saxophonist Chris Potter. This is a repeat edition of Soundcheck.


Lang Lang Live

Lang Lang has become a global brand name. This year, the piano superstar has hobnobbed in Davos, appeared at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo, organized a Haiti earthquake benefit at Carnegie Hall, and launched his own line of Steinway student pianos. Lang joins us for two performances: one on WNYC's Steinway grand and another on his iPad. He tells us whether mobile technology can hold any serious music-making potential and previews his upcoming appearance with the New York...


Blitz the Ambassador: In Studio

Brooklyn rapper Blitz the Ambassador grew up in the Ghanaian city of Accra before heading to Brooklyn to pursue a life in music. Since then, he has established his own independent label and assembled a horn-and-drum-heavy backing band called the Embassy Ensemble. Before his home country faces off against Australia in the World Cup tomorrow, Blitz will represent for Ghana with a live performance in our studio.


Villagers: In Studio

The Dublin-based singer-songwriter Conor O’Brien made his mark on the local music scene in a rock quartet called The Immediate. Now, O’Brein is releasing his own albums under the name Villagers – and attracting attention outside Ireland. He joins us to play songs from Becoming a Jackal, live in our studio.


Sean Bones and Norah Jones: In Studio

In the new indie movie Wah Do Dem, indie musician Sean Bones plays a young Brooklynite who gets dumped by his girlfriend, played by Grammy winner Norah Jones. Bones' character winds up wandering the Jamaican countryside -- and a luxurious cruise ship. Bones and Jones both join us today to talk about the film – and they'll perform a song from the soundtrack live.


Joyce Moreno: In Studio

Brazilian singer Joyce Moreno started her recording career when she was 16, in the mid 60s when male artists dominated the field. At age 19, she shocked local critics by writing a song about a woman in the first person – unheard of at the time. She went on to be dubbed “one of the greatest singers of all time” by Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. She’ll perform live.