World Cafe

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

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World Cafe
2:36 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Merge Records At 25

Superchunk bandmates Laura Ballance (left) and Mac McCaughan (second from left) founded Merge Records in 1989.
Jason Arthurs Courtesy of the artist

The label that's brought you Arcade Fire, Spoon, The Magnetic Fields, Neutral Milk Hotel and Superchunk turned 25 last year. Superchunk bandmates Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan formed Merge Records just to release singles from their band and friends in 1989.

On this episode of World Cafe, we'll discuss the label's emergence as a major force. We'll also hear performances from Superchunk, Telekinesis, The Rock*A*Teens and others recorded at last summer's 25th-anniversary Merge Festival in Carrboro, N.C.

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World Cafe
3:34 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Fly Golden Eagle On World Cafe

Fly Golden Eagle.
Semi Song Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 12:08 pm

Arrayed around a deserted auditorium on the grounds of a long-abandoned Texas college, the Nashville band Fly Golden Eagle recorded the 26 songs that became its album Quartz. Led by songwriter Ben Trimble, Fly Golden Eagle recently released a streamlined version of the collection (called Quartz Bijou) for a national label. The songs were influenced by the 1973 film The Holy Mountain, by director Alejandro Jodorowski, and even function as a soundtrack to the film.

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World Cafe
12:45 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Damien Rice On World Cafe

Damien Rice.
Lilja Birgisdottir Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 12:09 pm

Damien Rice's new album, My Favourite Faded Fantasy, marked his return to recording after eight years away from the music business. In 2002, the Irish singer-songwriter's gorgeous solo debut, O, went gold and platinum around the world.

But after touring to support his second album (2006's 9), Rice stepped away from music. As he says in this interview, he had to. With help from producer Rick Rubin and others, Rice says he's rediscovered his love for songs. He performs some of his new ones in this session for World Cafe.

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World Cafe
9:52 am
Fri January 2, 2015

World Cafe's 2015 Music Preview

JD McPherson is on Ann Powers's list of artists to watch in early 2015.
Jimmy Sutton Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 12:11 pm

After all the time we've spent looking back at the best music of 2014, it is finally time to explore some of the releases we can look forward to over the first few months of 2015. NPR Music's pop critic Ann Powers keeps her eyes on wide range of music; she helps us understand the middle and explore the edges.

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World Cafe
9:45 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Over The Rhine On World Cafe

Over the Rhine.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 12:17 pm

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World Cafe
11:16 am
Wed December 24, 2014

An Americana Christmas On World Cafe

Luther Dickinson.
Courtesy of the artist

We have a wonderful collection of artists — friends old and new — visiting to perform music from the new compilation An Americana Christmas. We will hear a high-energy original by Nikki Lane, called "FaLaLaLaLove Ya." Robert Ellis covers a Willie Nelson classic. Ronnie Fauss adds to a growing history of "Christmas in prison" songs.

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World Cafe
10:20 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Judith Owen And Harry Shearer On World Cafe

Judith Owen and Harry Shearer.
Courtesy of the artist

For 15 years, singer-songwriter Judith Owen and her husband, humorist and actor Harry Shearer, have been hosting holiday singalongs at home and in venues throughout the country. Today, they're with us on the World Cafe. This year's edition is called Christmas Without Tears — originals, a Spın̈al Tap Christmas song and classics, all in an intimate in-studio performance.

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World Cafe
1:27 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Haerts On World Cafe

Haerts.
Rich McKie WXPN

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:15 pm

Haerts, which stylizes its name with the a and e reversed, joins World Cafe in the studio today. Eccentric spelling is just one element that makes the electro-pop band stand out.

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World Cafe
2:55 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

World Cafe Next: Kingsley Flood

Kingsley Flood.
Terry Moffatt Courtesy of the artist

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.

World Cafe
2:48 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Yusuf/Cat Stevens On World Cafe

Yusuf Islam, a.k.a. Cat Stevens.
Rich McKie WXPN

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.

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