Soundcheck is WNYC’s daily talk show about music. Covering all musical genres, Soundcheck celebrates the musical passions of performers, composers, and critics as well as the public radio audience. Hosted by John Schaefer, listeners enjoy intimate conversations with and live performances by leading artists from around New York and around the globe.

Soundcheck is WNYC’s daily talk show about music. Covering all musical genres, Soundcheck celebrates the musical passions of performers, composers, and critics as well as the public radio audience. Hosted by John Schaefer, listeners enjoy intimate conversations with and live performances by leading artists from around New York and around the globe.
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New York, NY




Soundcheck is WNYC’s daily talk show about music. Covering all musical genres, Soundcheck celebrates the musical passions of performers, composers, and critics as well as the public radio audience. Hosted by John Schaefer, listeners enjoy intimate conversations with and live performances by leading artists from around New York and around the globe.






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


A Shot of Juke Music: The Band Vintage Trouble Will Not Be Contained

Los Angeles-based band Vintage Trouble is a powerfully fun time of old-school soul, southern rhythm & blues, sizzling dance moves, and catchy, crunchy guitar-driven rockenroll. When describing their own sound, the band uses the term “formatted recklessness.” Yes, and that almost puts words to their timeless and appealing concoction of old-school soul, powerful riffs and high energy showmanship. Vintage Trouble joins us live in the studio to shake the walls with their...

Duration: 00:25:06

Trumpeter Keyon Harrold's Vibrant Tunes Offer Strength & Courage

This session Trumpeter, singer, and composer Keyon Harrold has played with Beyoncé, Common, Erykah Badu, Rihanna, Eminem, D’Angelo and the Vanguard, LL Cool J, and Maxwell, to name a few. He was also the trumpet player behind Don Cheadle in the Miles Davis biopic, Miles Ahead; yes – that was his sound you were hearing on the Grammy-winning soundtrack. On his new album, The Mugician, (a play on musician & magician), the Ferguson, MO-raised, NYC-based Harrold returns to his own music, with...

Duration: 00:35:15

Drive-By Truckers Storm and Twang To Get Folks Thinking

The Athens, Ga.-based group Drive-By Truckers has been writing about the Southern experience and its history for more than 20 years. Fronted by founding members Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, the band's latest record, American Band, is a collection of twangy rock underscoring blunt songs of anger and protest. The band intended to raise issues; it is their aim to get people thinking about their views on race, in addition to many other pressing topics: income inequality, gun violence, police...

Duration: 00:34:46

Guitarist & Composer Kaki King, Plus String Quartet, In-Studio

Guitarist, artist, songwriter and composer Kaki King writes in a variety of styles – finger-picked and tapped instrumentals, out-and-out pop songs, and chamber music works -both acoustic and electric. Her latest record, called Live At Berklee, is a recording of her own works orchestrated for the concert stage, and featuring the Porta Girevole Chamber Orchestra. Kaki King brings a string quartet with her today into the studio to perform some of her elegant arrangements in this chamber plus...

Duration: 00:34:22

Manchester Orchestra Holds You Above All the Misery

Atlanta-based band, Manchester Orchestra, delivers gripping cinematic indie rock, and they recently impressed us in 2016 with their original film score for “Swiss Army Man.” That record saw music made unlike many film scores – without instruments. Singer Andy Hull and guitarist Robert McDowell just used layers upon layers of voices - breathing, humming, and other vocalizations done a cappella. So, for their latest record, A Black Mile To The Surface, they re-invented again – this time...

Duration: 00:29:52

Songwriter Dan Wilson "Re-covers" His Songs Written With/For Others

You probably know songwriter, producer and arranger Dan Wilson. He’s the songwriter who wrote massive hits with folks like Adele (“Someone Like You”) and The Dixie Chicks (“Not Ready to Make Nice”), and for his own band, Semisonic (“Closing Time.”) Recently, the in-demand songwriter reclaimed these songs, rearranging them for his voice, his guitar – so that one could imagine performing them in the woods or at a lake (in perhaps Minnesota, where he is from), acoustically. Dan Wilson joins us...

Duration: 00:34:59

Producer Ian Brennan on Amplfiying the Voices of Persecuted People, Most Recently, in Tanzania

Producer and author Ian Brennan has worked with world music, folk music, traditional music, and has a feel for the DIY and lo-fi punk aesthetic. He produced Tinariwen’s Grammy-winning album, Tasili, but he has also recorded and amplified many voiceless communities – like the Zomba Prison Project (Malawi), Khmer Rouge Survivors (Cambodia), The Good Ones (Rwanda), and now, most recently, one of the most persecuted groups on the planet- people living with Albinism in East Africa - the...

Duration: 00:29:25

Mischievous Electronic Pop from Argentine Singer & Producer Juana Molina

The Argentine singer/songwriter and brilliant producer of experimental off-kilter folk-tronica, Juana Molina, has a former life as a well-known comic actress. She embraces that playful humor and explores ancient folk legends involving bone on her latest record, Halo. The ever-changing electronic textures feel mysterious, and are full of shadows, but with a sense of devious fun, even at the risk of being morbid. Juana Molina joins us to play some of these fantastical (and fantastic!) tunes...

Duration: 00:34:15

The Infectious Groove of NYC's Antibalas, Purveyors of Funky Afrobeat, Live, In-Studio

Brooklyn’s own Afropop-funk-dance big band Antibalas, is probably your favorite band’s favorite band. The 12-piece plus ensemble ranges freely through all kinds of funk, Afro-Cuban music, loping rhythms of Ethiogroove, Caribbean dance, punk rock, and extraplanetary cosmic jazz. And that’s in addition to having been credited with introducing Afrobeat (in the tradition of the late Nigerian saxophonist, singer, bandleader and activist Fela Kuti) to a global audience. The Brooklyn collective...

Duration: 00:34:16

Public Service Broadcasting Samples the Past, Makes Music of the Future

The English outfit called Public Service Broadcasting builds its records around archival and documentary sounds, then layering in live drums, guitar, banjo, bass flugelhorn, and electronics. Their 2015 album The Race For Space was full of voices from the Apollo moon missions; and their current album, Every Valley, is built around documentary sounds of the mining communities of southern Wales – the boom and its subsequent collapse. We anticipate a dance-able, yet intentional history...

Duration: 00:34:33

The Captivating Analog Synth Artistry of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

The west coast-based sound-maker and experimenter Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith weaves melodic patterns and pulses, using various analogue synthesizers – like the rare EMS Synthi 100 synthesizer, a vintage Buchla modular synthesizer, earning her a fun title as a composer and producer – “synthesist.” Her palette includes strings, bassoons, clarinets, and horns, natural sounds, and noisy textures, along with her layered vocals with arresting results. On Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's latest, The Kid, due...

Duration: 00:29:48

Shilpa Ray Hand-Stamps The Nightlife And She's Stronger For It

The wonderfully twisted, self-possessed, wry, leather jacket-armored dark humored queen of the downtown night, Shilpa Ray, continues to survive working the door at the Lower East Side / New York City bar Pianos. And she’s turned that harsh reality into an album of cutting commentary. On the forthcoming record Door Girl, Shilpa Ray plays with throwback “girl group” sounds – except she’s got backing guy vocals and crisp production. Her songs are full of acerbic observations on desperate...

Duration: 00:29:46

Cigarettes After Sex Ignite the Slow Burn

Here's the Facebook Live session: Cigarettes After Sex is a sensual pop-noir band founded in El Paso, TX, but now based in Brooklyn. Frontman Greg Gonzalez’ dark androgynous voice wouldn’t be out of place in a David Lynch creation, or in "The Handmaid's Tale" (one of the songs WAS used in the TV series - "Nothing's Gonna Hurt You Baby") with its moody, dreamy, seductive and – a bit creepy - undertones. The spirit of arthouse cinema haunts these slow-burn romantic and very filmic songs,...

Duration: 00:29:42

Lee Ranaldo & Steve Gunn, from the New York Guitar Festival, in the Greene Space

Hear music from one of the two Sonic Youth guitarists, Lee Ranaldo, along with the fingerstyle folk rocker Steve Gunn, recorded at the 2017 New York Guitar Festival in the Greene Space. Ranaldo rhapsodizes about how he had been writing recently on acoustic guitar instead of electric, playing these “wooden” guitars, and even using standard tuning for most of the songs on his forthcoming record, Electric Trim (MUTE Records, due out September 15) . Jonathan Lethem helped out with the lyrics...

Duration: 00:36:19

Electro-Cumbia Bomba Estéreo Mix Traditional Sounds With Psychedelic Dance Music

Based in Bogota, Columbia, the band Bomba Estéreo continue to explore their South American roots, mixing up cumbia, vallenato, and champeta with reggaeton, hiphop, dubstep and Euro electronica. On their latest record, Ayo, they anchor melody lines with traditional woodwind instruments like flauto de millo or gaita played by folkloric musicians; bassist and synth master Simón Mejía augments them and marries them to electronica. The band gaily trips through a garden of pop delights, dropping...

Duration: 00:27:46

Feel the Force of OMD's Electro Dance-Pop Revival

The appealingly danceable music of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, or OMD, as the trailblazing synth-driven electronic band came to be known, has delighted and charmed listeners for decades. They formed in the late 1970's, greatly inspired by Kraftwerk, and with influences ranging from CAN to Barry White. Their string of breakout hits stretched through the 1980's, like "Electricity," "Tesla Girls," & "So In Love," while their song, "If You Leave," written specifically for the John...

Duration: 00:37:13

Gypsy Punks Gogol Bordello Turn Rage Into Joy

New York’s own gypsy punks Gogol Bordello have roots in Eastern European folk and Brecht-ian cabaret, along with punk and dub. With a band that usually includes accordion, fiddle, horns, percussion, jangly and electric guitars, Gogol frontman Eugene Hutz leads the turbo-charged “avalanche of rage-turned-joy,” whipping up frenzied crowds all over the world in every savage live performance. Their latest record, Seekers & Finders is coming for us all in August, and even features Regina...

Duration: 00:24:32

Vetted: The Harmonium-Wielding Chicago Soul Singer Zeshan B

Chicago-based soul singer Zeshan B takes on deep cuts from 1960s and 70s soul gems, as well as groovy, bluesy gospel-infused originals, sometimes in English. But, he also sings in Urdu and Punjabi, which is only natural, since Bagewadi’s parents are immigrants from India. (Other pertinent facts: he is a trained opera singer, he plays harmonium, and his earliest singing was in a mosque.) Zeshan B’s sound is wholly reminiscent of the Stax Records sound, with classic horn arrangements...

Duration: 00:22:39

Low Cut Connie Pounds Out Some Bluesy-Garage Rockenroll

This session has ended. Follow us @soundcheck on Twitter or subscribe to our podcast in iTunes, and we'll let you know when the audio is ready for download & streaming! Low Cut Connie is a garage rock band that actually recorded its first album in a garage. Led by Adam Weiner and Shondra (Weiner’s upright piano, which he brings wherever he goes), the Philly-based band has become known for its wild live sets and for being included on President Barack Obama’s summer playlist in 2015. The...

Duration: 00:29:42

Sam Amidon Experiments with Folk Music

The Vermont-born singer/fiddler/banjoist/guitarist and scion of a family of shape-note singers Sam Amidon has a reputation for having collected, re-imagined, and performed American traditional tunes other folk music, in addition to collaborations with Kronos Quartet and composer Nico Muhly. That said, this spring, Amidon released his first album of original music, which is an experiment in trying out the Appalachian music he loves, as well as "improvisation, beats, Don Cherry, Vermont,...

Duration: 00:29:43

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