The World Cafe: Next artist for this week is a folk-rock sextet from Boston and Washington, D.C., called Kingsley Flood. Fueled by Naseem Khuri's songwriting, the band is about to step out of the album-release cycle by releasing To The Fire EP in early 2015 — followed by a new EP for each season of the year.
Yusuf Islam, a.k.a. Cat Stevens, just completed his first U.S. tour in 36 years, in which he performed music from his just-released album Tell 'Em I'm Gone alongside favorites from his long career. He'd stopped playing the latter for nearly three decades after changing his name and embracing Islam in 1977. In this performance, he plays old and new music alike in a session recorded at Philadelphia's Tower Theater.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 2:20 pm
Another segment in our new Latin Roots series on the Essentials, the songs you need to know in each genre. We have a pretty good guide for our Latin alternative segment today. It is Josh Norek, who is the co-founder of the annual Latin Alternative Music Conference, and former head of Nacional Records.
He discusses the evolution from the original term "Rock En Espanol" and shows the variety of music under the name alternative.
Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 8:52 pm
It has been a prolific year for our guests today, the punk band Parquet Courts. They have released two albums this year: Sunbathing Animal under their own name and Content Nausea as Parkay Quarts. We will talk with two founders of the band, Andrew Savage and Austin Brown, and hear performances from the stage of World Cafe Live. We also find out that the new songs are inspired by influences as diverse as Russian history and Louisiana prison songs.
Hear an unusual session today with Hailu Mergia, a keyboard player and Ethiopian music star who now lives in the U.S. He came to World Cafe's attention through Awesome Tapes From Africa, the website where Brian Shimkovitz posts cassette tapes of African music he discovers. That's what led Shimkovitz to Mergia.
Lily & Madeleine, two sisters from Indianapolis, made their name — and their first EP, The Weight Of The Globe — on the strength of covers uploaded to YouTube. Now, the duo's second album (Fumes) builds on its combination of sibling harmonies and haunting, lilting arrangements.
Hear the full segment at the audio link and individual songs from Lily & Madeleine's set below.
This week's World Cafe: Next artist is the Canadian alt-country trio Elliott Brood. With five albums under their collective belt, Casey Laforet, Mark Sasso and Stephen Pitkin have been playing together since 2002, and the experience shows. The band moves with the easy flow of musicians who know each other well, which in turn lends its rootsy songs lived-in authenticity.
Elliott Brood's latest album is titled Work And Love. Hear and download two of its songs on this page.
Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 7:29 pm
Kindness, born Adam Bainbridge, knows his way around grooves. Otherness, his second album, is a fitting introduction to the Blood Orange collaborator's sincere, kinetic take on R&B and synth-pop. Songs begin deep in the pocket and slowly unravel in a spray of horn blasts and drum hits. In this way, "World Restart" functions as both a song title and a mission statement: Kindness is rejuvenating.
Hear the full segment at the audio link and individual songs below.
Montreal's Elephant Stone combines the sounds of Indian classical music and '60s psychedelic rock — the two loves of frontman, bassist and sitar player Rishi Dhir.
"It's music I was brought up on," Dihr says. "The idea of fusing pop music with Eastern instrumentation was never a foreign thing. It was just something that seemed natural to me. You listen to this music, you absorb all these influences. What comes out is what you can do."