As '80s Week continues, World Cafe keeps combing through its archive for artists from the decade of synths and irregular haircuts. Today, that means bringing back a wide-ranging 2004 session with Colin Hay of the Australian band Men At Work. Hay's distinctive voice helped carry songs like "Who Can It Be Now" and "Down Under" to prominence in the early '80s.
Here, the singer performs a few of his newer songs and tells the story of Men At Work's international success.
This week's World Cafe: Next artist, Calgary's Viet Cong, released its full-length debut last week. It's not so much a dark record as a harsh one: This is a guitar-intensive rock band whose songs stretch out with some sturm and drang, while still finding ways to get under your skin. Hear and download two songs from Viet Cong on this page.
The much buzzed-about Toronto-based band Alvvays joins us today. We first heard about Molly Rankin and the band in 2013 when Frank Yang of the blog Chromewaves presented them as a band to watch on our Sense of Place visit to Toronto. Their self-titled debut came out last year and within a month had become the most played album on college radio. They join us in the studio today. Make sure to download the band's performance of "Adult Diversion."
Nude Beach, a punk trio from Brooklyn, is today's guest on World Cafe. The band recently released a double album called 77, and it's full of catchy power-pop tunes.
Formed in 2008 while its members were still in high school, the band includes guitarist and singer Chuck Betz, drummer and singer Ryan Naideau, and bassist Jim Shelton. Nude Beach made three albums together before releasing 77 in October. In this session, we'll learn what the title 77 signifies and hear some of its songs performed live.
On this episode of Latin Roots from World Cafe, Rachel Faro joins the show to discuss cancion de protesta. While the U.S. experienced its own period of politically charged songs about the Vietnam War and more in the '60s and '70s, Latin American songwriters were creating commentary about the repressive regimes in power there.
Here, Faro shares some of the musicians who put their lives at risk — and identifies the artist she considers the Bob Dylan of the Latin music world.
Israel Nash got his start in music after moving to New York City; his 2009 debut came out of his experiences there. His 2011 follow-up album was recorded on a small farm in the Catskills and was co-produced by Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley. A relocation to a small ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas, preceded his new record, Rain Plans.
On this episode of World Cafe, he describes how he wanted his third album to reflect the Hill Country, and professes his love for Neil Young. And, of course, he performs a few of his songs live.
This week's World Cafe: Next artist is a band that's been around for a decade and a half. In fact, Big Dark Love is Murder By Death's seventh album.
After many years in Bloomington, Ind., its members recently relocated to Louisville, Ky., where they recorded their new album. Murder By Death plays everything from intense indie-rock ballads to rootsy rock songs. Hear and download two tracks from Big Dark Love at the audio link.
The Revivalists' name can be interpreted a couple ways: Yes, the band keeps older forms of music like blues and R&B alive, but its spirited performance also recalls a gospel revival.
It's no surprise that the group came together in New Orleans. The Revivalists' members got together in 2007 and have played 150 dates a year ever since. Last year brought a reissue of their second album, City Of Sound, which they'd put out themselves in 2012. The reissue includes an extra live disc.