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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

No More Day Jobs for Mt. Joy

2/22/2018
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Founded in the Philadelphia area by Sam Quinn and Matt Cooper, Mt. Joy's ambitions were to record songs. And that's what they did, before heading back to their day jobs, as a manager in the music industry, and as a lawyer. Everything changed, though, when they uploaded the song "Astrovan" to Spotify. Over 10 million plays later, the band has set up shop in Los Angeles, played Conan, and are a part of NPR's new music discovery program, Slingshot. Kallao talks to Matt and Sam about what it was...

Duration:00:22:08

No More Day Jobs for Mt. Joy

2/22/2018
More
Founded in the Philadelphia area by Sam Quinn and Matt Cooper, Mt. Joy's ambitions were to record songs. And that's what they did, before heading back to their day jobs, as a manager in the music industry, and as a lawyer. Everything changed, though, when they uploaded the song "Astrovan" to Spotify. Over 10 million plays later, the band has set up shop in Los Angeles, played Conan, and are a part of NPR's new music discovery program, Slingshot. Kallao talks to Matt and Sam about what it was...

Duration:00:22:12

O-M-Glen Hansard!

2/21/2018
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Talia here - I had a hard time holding it together while Glen Hansard emotionally wailed his guts out performing songs from his new album Between Two Shores. And the guy can spin a yarn too. Glen tells stories about the advice he got from Bruce Springsteen, the month he spent travelling from Ireland to Spain in a rowboat, and the way he remembers his late father.

Duration:00:29:47

Sunny War Will Stop You In Your Tracks

2/20/2018
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It's difficult to describe Sunny's guitar virtuosity - but you can find her somewhere between the rooted blues of Robert Johnson, the lightning plucky folk of Richard Thompson and the dexterous wonder of Jack Rose. Sunny cut her performance chops busking for nearly a decade on Venice Beach, where she hung out with people she calls "gutter punks". We talk about the drug-induced near-death experience that landed her in a sober living facility, and how she honed a performance style as unique as...

Duration:00:29:41

Unreleased Nashville Rock: Idle Bloom

2/19/2018
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Voted best local band by the Nashville Scene in 2016, Idle Bloom will release their sophomore album this summer. Since their founding 4 years ago the group has grown from its roots in the all ages punk community to a tight, tuneful ensemble whose songs are equal parts daring and dreamy. Lead singer Olivia Scibelli, guitarist Gavin Schriver, bassist Katie Banyay, and drummer Weston Sparks put out their Idle Bloom debut Little Deaths last year and they have a new disc called Flood the Dial...

Duration:00:22:48

Lana Del Rey: Fame, Feminism & Getting Free

2/16/2018
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From her collaborations with Stevie Nicks and the Weeknd on her latest album Lust for Life, to the advice she's gotten about fame from Eddie Vedder and Courtney Love, Lana Del Rey reflects on where she's at now. That includes her discomfort around singing the lyrics "he hit me and it felt like a kiss" from 2014's Ultraviolence and her thoughts on the #MeToo movement. Lana also reminisces about growing up in Lake Placid, New York and cops to being a tree-lover. Who knew?

Duration:00:35:47

From Gospel to Personal: Blind Boys of Alabama

2/15/2018
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For over 70 years, Blind Boys of Alabama have put their stamp on gospel standards. But their latest album Almost Home is filled with songs that tell the personal tales of the two original surviving members Jimmy Carter and Clarence Fountain - stories about being sent to a school for the blind when they were kids, touring the segregated South in the 40s, and the unwavering faith that got them through. Jimmy and Clarence's stories were adapted into new music by songwriters including John...

Duration:00:27:41

Sex, Race and Rock 'N' Roll: Good Booty

2/13/2018
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In her book Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music, Ann Powers explores how music has both reflected and shaped America's relationship with sexuality, and how race figures into the equation. Powers shares stories with host Talia Schlanger about the women who often didn't receive the credit they deserved – from the girl groups of the 60s like the Shirelles to one of the most recognizable but perhaps undervalued voices of the 70s, disco hitmaker Donna...

Duration:00:25:30

A Harp Walks Into Two Barrs...

2/12/2018
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The Barr Brothers are a beautiful folky sort of band made up of brothers Andrew and Brad Barr, along with their secret weapon - harpist Sarah Pagé. Sarah has rigged this incredible instrument (taller than our 6'2" producer John Myers) with pickups and effects pedals normally used on electric guitar. In this session Sarah breaks down her unique setup, and The Barr Brothers perform live music from their latest album "Queens of The Breakers."

Duration:00:27:29

Beyonce & Solange: Political & Personal

2/9/2018
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In 2016 the Knowles sisters each made career and culture-defining new albums. Solange released A Seat at the Table and Beyonce dropped Lemonade. Both were named to numerous Best of the Year lists, and last July, when NPR created Turning the Tables, the list of the 150 greatest albums by women, they extended the time period for consideration to end in 2016 instead of 2014 just because of strong demand to include these two discs. Ann Powers, who spearheaded Turning the Tables, is joined by...

Duration:00:29:35

The Finest Hill Country Blues: RL Boyce

2/8/2018
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Luther Dickinson, leader of the North Mississippi All Stars, produced RL Boyce's new album Roll and Tumble and joins the living legend from Como, Mississippi in our studio for a special mini concert. Hill Country Blues is a tradition made popular by Junior Kimbrough and RL Burnside; it's a style mostly played on electric guitar and often with a slide (although Boyce uses his fingers). When he was 15, RL Boyce started as a musician playing drums with Otha Turner and the Rising Sun Fife and...

Duration:00:13:08

Indie Pioneer: Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth

2/5/2018
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In addition to being widely recognized as one of the great American guitarists and a co-founder of the hugely influential Sonic Youth, Lee Ranaldo is also a published writer, poet, and visual artist. His new solo album is Electric Trim and features Sharon Van Etten, Nels Cline of Wilco, and Kid Millions among others. We'll talk to Lee about the recording of Electric Trim, how he learned to play guitar, and how easy it is to fall off a stage. He also discusses the hiatus of Sonic Youth and...

Duration:00:30:38

Fresh Music By Cape Town's Freshlyground

2/1/2018
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With members from South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, Freshlyground have been held up as an example of cross cultural collaboration. However lead singer Zolani Mahola has always felt some conflict about taking on the responsibility of post Apartheid "rainbow nation" hopes – she will talk about that, discuss what it was like for her to realize how Apartheid impacted her father's life as well as her own, and reveals the funny reason she got kicked out of a ska band before Freshlyground....

Duration:00:30:43

globalFEST: Around the World In One Night

1/29/2018
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David Dye reports back on his favorite musical finds from NYC's annual globalFEST, a one-night showcase of thrilling bands from around the world. He'll share music from a Congolese collective that has collaborated with Damon Albarn of Gorillaz, an Irish artist who blends traditional Celtic sounds with electronica, and a truly unique Cuban singer/flutist/rapper who wears all white and smokes a cigar on stage. Don't forget to bring your passport!

Duration:00:09:53

Mary Gauthier Sings Soldiers' Stories

1/26/2018
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To make her new album Rifles and Rosary Beads, Mary Gauthier talked to military veterans about their experiences in combat and in the often painful aftermath of their service. She turned those soldiers' stories into emotionally complex, powerful songs. Mary performs and talks with our Nashville correspondent, Ann Powers.

Duration:00:40:23

Native Young: S African Cross Cultural Collaboration

1/25/2018
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Native Young began as a bedroom project for the Cape Town based musician Yannick Meyer. But after hours of recording, the white South African realized that to truly make the music he wanted, he would need help. He found the traditional Xhosa Marimba player Mark Sikele and then recruited more musicians from the townships. Yannick, who was born after the end of Apartheid, didn't realize all he would learn from the musicians he collaborated with. Both Mark and Yannick, as well as the band,...

Duration:00:18:02

South African Jazz Today: McCoy Mrubata

1/25/2018
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Born in 1959 in the township of Langa, Cape Town, saxophonist McCoy Mrubata was among the contingent of jazz musicians who stayed in South Africa throughout the Apartheid period while many others fled. He left school after the 1976 student uprisings to devote himself to music, toured alongside Hugh Masekela in the 90s, and has led his own bands. McCoy Mrubata and his group join the World Cafe's David Dye in this special Sense of Place series interview recorded live in Johannesburg, South...

Duration:00:25:09

Tori Amos: To Survive It, Say It

1/24/2018
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Long before #MeToo became a catalyst for people to come forward with their own sexual assault stories, Tori Amos wrote the song "Me And a Gun" about her own experience being raped. Although her record label discouraged it, that song appeared on Tori's debut 1992 album Little Earthquakes. Tori shares advice for those who have yet to come forward about their own survival stories. We also talk about Tori's latest album, Native Invader, and the formative years she spent listening to music with...

Duration:00:28:16

Joe Henry's Many Musical Hats

1/10/2018
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Henry has produced music for the likes of Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Glen Hansard, Aimee Mann, Solomon Burke, Bettye LaVette and Meshell Ndegeocello. He visits the Cafe to talk about his prolific career, including the time Madonna turned one of his demos into a big hit. Henry also performs live music from his latest solo album Thrum, and breaks down the process of producing the same song for two very different World Cafe alumni - Rose Cousins and Lizz Wright.

Duration:00:27:14

Margo Price Sings It Like It Is

1/3/2018
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With her 2016 debut Midwest Farmer's Daughter, Price revealed her star power and songwriting skills, as well as the depths of her personal struggle. Her life story was intimately intertwined with the subjects of her songs: being broke, pawning her diamond wedding ring and selling her car, spending a weekend in jail after drinking too much, the sadness of losing one of her twin baby boys two weeks after he was born. With the follow-up, 2017's All American Made, she continues to write about...

Duration:00:46:39

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