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World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN-logo

World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN


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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Philadelphia, PA





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




Joe Henry's Many Musical Hats

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

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

Bedouine on Solitude, Syria & Reality TV

Azniv Korkejian, aka Bedouine, was born in Aleppo, Syria and lived on an American compound in Saudi Arabia until she was 10. Korkejian talks about the difference between life inside those compound walls and life outside in the rest of Saudi Arabia, how she adjusted to her family's move to the US when she was a kid and how she's translated her nomadic spirit into a very charming self-titled debut as Bedouine. She also reveals what it was like to work as a sound editor for reality television...

Duration: 00:33:29

Christmas with Elvis: Priscilla Presley

You're invited to Graceland for the holidays! Priscilla Presley tells stories about the first gifts she ever exchanged with Elvis, how they spent Christmas as a married couple, how that changed when they became new parents, and what it's like for her to hear Elvis songs now. We'll also listen to music from a newly arranged album - Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, for which Priscilla was the Executive Producer.

Duration: 00:25:40

Jidenna: From "Classic Man" to Chief

There's an energy and attention to detail in everything the artist Jidenna does, from the swanky way he dresses to his explosive dancing. It's no surprise that Jidenna collaborates with Janelle Monae and is signed to her label Wondaland Records. Jidenna had a huge hit with 2015's "Classic Man", and in the time since he has released the full-length album Long Live the Chief and an EP called Boomerang. Jidenna tells stories about the time his family was ambushed in Nigeria when he was a kid,...

Duration: 00:24:58

That Voice Though. Metric's Emily Haines

On Choir of the Mind, the new solo album by Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton, Emily strips away the wailing guitars and radical synths that usually surround her as lead singer of Metric and instead lets her voice do the playing, singing parts that normally would be performed by musicians. In this session, Emily performs live at a piano. If there are people or noises around you, kick them out or tell them you'll be back in a bit. Emily's voice deserves your full attention and best...

Duration: 00:31:54

Greek Australian Lute Punk: Xylouris White

Xylouris White are an odd couple that works. Xylouris is George Xylouris - he comes from a famed family of musicians based in a mountain shepherding village on the Greek island of Crete and he has been a professional musician since he was 12. White is Jim White – an Australian post-punk drummer with a deft touch that can go from thunderous to tender on a dime. Jim held it down in the instrumental trio Dirty Three, and has also backed Cat Power and PJ Harvey. Jim and George met and started...

Duration: 00:11:17

Mindbending Cumbia: Combo Chimbita in Concert

Psychedelic, trippy and downright freaky, Combo Chimbita use Cumbia as a building block to create what they call tropical futurism. They embrace an inventive combination of rhythms and sounds from Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America. A quartet of first generation New Yorkers whose backgrounds are Colombian & who grew up loving heavy metal, psychedelic funk & soul, the band's debut release is a concept album called Abya Yala. It came out this summer and with this music only episode you...

Duration: 00:11:58

Bette Smith Bets Big

With her 7-piece band in tow, Bette Smith delivers a performance as big as her ambitions. Bette always wanted to be a singer, but her dad – a church choir director - disapproved of singing secular music. After he died, Bette decided to go for it and took every opportunity she could to sing. Bette found fans in Ray Charles shortly before he died, and in Jimbo Mathus of Squirrel Nut Zippers who produced her debut album Jetlagger.

Duration: 00:25:21

Bootsy Collins Brings the Funk

Bootsy's rolodex is full of funky friends, including Victor Wooten, Musiq Soulchild, Stanley Clarke and the late Bernie Worrell who all play on Bootsy's new record, World Wide Funk. We'll hear music from Bootsy's new record and stories about laying down funky bass lines in bands backing up George Clinton and James Brown who introduced Bootsy to a thing called The One.

Duration: 00:15:07

10 Years Apart + A Tell-All Memoir Later

Things were pretty rocky around the time the band Luna broke up in 2005. Since then, lead singer Dean Wareham has written a tell-all rock and roll memoir, including some details about what went wrong. He and the band's bassist Britta Phillips also got married. Luna reunited a couple years ago and have recently released two new records - a full length album of covers called A Sentimental Education, and an instrumental EP called A Place Of Greater Safety. The band performs live music, and...

Duration: 00:27:23

Dhani Harrison On Memories and Music

The son of The Beatles' George Harrison, Dhani has just released his complex and artful debut solo album IN///PARALLEL. The record is inspired by memories from Dhani's past, including the terrifying night someone tried to murder his parents. Dhani shares that story, and some happy memories like the time he found a bunch of funny (or not so funny) "dad jokes" his father George had faxed back and forth with friends. Dhani co-produced George Harrison's posthumous 2002 album Brainwashed, and...

Duration: 00:41:35

Beck-trospective: From "Loser" to Colors

According to Beck, listening to his new album Colors may feel like "Jogging in a glass box while there is a blizzard outside and you are wearing a form fitting body suit." Unpredictable and a little wacky? Yep, but that's Beck. Ever since his 1993 song "Loser" brought rap, sitar, slide guitar and a little Spanish together in what became an unexpected hit, Beck has continued to surprise his fans. We'll talk about what many fans are finding surprising on Colors – including its bright, shiny...

Duration: 00:33:35

From Old Crow to Folkin' Solo: Willie Watson

First as a founding member of Old Crow Medicine Show and now in his own solo career, Willie Watson brings folk-based roots music alive for new listeners in the 21st century. He makes songs like "John Henry" or "Gallows Pole" — that have been played so often by so many, they seem to have no more tread – stick to the road and carry him somewhere new. Watson recently released his second solo disc called Folk Singer, Volume 2. The eleven-song collection was produced by friend and fellow...

Duration: 00:28:31

Swimming in Water Metaphors on The Wave

Nashville-based Los Colognes took their time recording their latest album, their third, called The Wave. While the record isn't a concept disc, water comes up again and again. The band talks to the Cafe's David Dye about writing the new material and about moving as an entire group from Chicago to Nashville almost 8 years ago. The switch from the Windy City to Music City helped them find a solid creative community. Hear that and more, including two live songs!

Duration: 00:16:41

Steve Winwood on his 'Greatest Hits'

Winwood tells the World Cafe's David Dye the stories of writing the song "I'm a Man" for The Spencer Davis Group, meeting Eric Clapton and forming Blind Faith with him and becoming a successful solo artist in the 80's with hits like "Back in the High Life." Steve Winwood's new album, Greatest Hits Live, is a career-spanning retrospective that includes new versions of songs including "Can't Find My Way Home," "Dear Mr. Fantasy," "Gimmie Some Lovin," "John Barleycorn" and "Arc Of A Diver."

Duration: 00:16:09

Longest Live Guitar Song Ever on World Cafe

Get ready for 20 minutes of guitar glory courtesy of Chris Forsyth, in a live performance from his new album Dreaming In The Non-Dream. Chris also talks about honing his personal style of playing and taking career-changing lessons from former Television guitarist Richard Lloyd.

Duration: 00:26:06

From Puerto Rico to Philadelphia: La Tribu de Abrante

No doubt you've heard a lot about the devastation in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit in September. La Tribu de Abrante know the situation first hand – last weekend, they flew from their home in Puerto Rico to Philadelphia to play a special live show. La Tribu de Abrante is led by Hiram Abrante and includes Hiram's 3 brothers as well as his son. Hiram talks with NPR's Alt.Latino host and World Cafe Latin Roots correspondent Felix Contreras about viewing their audience as family and...

Duration: 00:16:10

De Puerto Rico a Filadelfia: La Tribu de Abrante

La Tribu de Abrante entrevista y actuación en español para World Cafe con Felix Contreras.

Duration: 00:19:53

Cale Tyson: If the Cowboy Hat Fits

Growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, Cale Tyson felt no love for his parents' taste in country. He was more of a screamo kind of kid – which is emo plus screaming. He says his 14 year old self was certain "there is no way in hell I will ever like or play country music." But not only did Cale come around to his parents' tastes, like so many of us do, he ended up moving to Nashville and making a couple honky tonk records, followed by his latest release – a straight up country soul offering...

Duration: 00:22:40

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