World Cafe

The premier public radio showcase for contemporary music serving up an eclectic blend that includes blues, rock, world, folk, and alternative country.

John Grant On World Cafe

Nov 18, 2015

Michigan-born singer-songwriter John Grant has dealt with his share of hardship, including a rough upbringing and family life, a struggle to come to terms with his own sexuality, alcoholism and HIV. But in spite of all that, he's blossomed with three critically praised solo albums and found stability and happiness in Iceland, where he now lives.

Mercury Rev On World Cafe

Nov 17, 2015

Originally formed in Buffalo, N.Y., in the late '80s, Mercury Rev hasn't always had an easy time finding an audience beyond its devoted cult following. But the band did see success in the U.K. with 1998's Deserter's Songs, and breakthrough albums like Yerself Is Steam and See You On The Other Side are still highly regarded.

World Cafe Next: Foxing

Nov 16, 2015

The St. Louis indie-rock band Foxing just released its second album, Dealer, which expands on the sound of its debut, The Albatross. How do these musicians respond to pressure to come up with new material? Foxing has an unofficial motto that helps: "We're a band, and someday we won't be a band." That takes the pressure off.

Hear two songs from Foxing and download the World Cafe: Next segment on this page.

FFS On World Cafe

Nov 13, 2015

FFS is two headliners in one: Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand, whose song "Take Me Out" was a worldwide hit in 2004, plus the American pop-rock group Sparks, which was formed in 1972 by brothers Ron and Russell Mael.

Latin Roots: English Rock In Spanish

Nov 12, 2015

On today's Latin Roots segment, Josh Norek of The Latin Alternative brings World Cafe a couple of Spanish-language versions of well-known rock songs in English. Two groups from Texas, Grupo Fantasma and The Chamanas, cover The Beatles and Portugal The Man, respectively.

1990s revivalism may be entering its dwarf-star phase without ever having shed proper light on itself. Last week, the 22-year-old rapper Vince Staples argued that for his generation, hip-hop's official Golden Age matters less than the viral onset of 21st-century stars like Soulja Boy.

Christopher Paul Stelling On World Cafe

Nov 10, 2015

The first time you experience Christopher Paul Stelling singing and playing guitar is eye-opening. Stelling's attack on the nylon-string acoustic guitar is uniquely forceful, and it serves his songwriting well on his new album, Labor Against Waste. Hear him perform some of those new songs live in the studio as part of today's World Cafe session.

World Cafe Next: The Vulgar Boatmen

Nov 9, 2015

The Vulgar Boatmen was an unusual group, to say the least. After starting at the University of Florida, it eventually became two bands: one led by Robert Ray in Florida, the other by Dale Lawrence in Indiana. Ray and Lawrence collaborated long-distance on songwriting.

One of The Vulgar Boatmen's best albums, 1989's You And Your Sister, is being reissued on Nov. 28. On this page, discover (or re-discover) two songs from that album, including a new remix.

Shawn Colvin On World Cafe

Nov 6, 2015

North Dakota singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin released her debut album, Steady On, in 1989. Her breakthrough came in 1996 with the album A Few Small Repairs and its Top 10 song "Sunny Came Home," which won the Grammy for Record and Song Of The Year.

Mac DeMarco On World Cafe

Nov 5, 2015

Canadian jangle-pop singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco is an itinerant: Originally from Edmonton, he's made stops in Vancouver and Montreal on his way to Queens, where he now lives and records.