WRUR 88.5 Different Radio

World Cafe

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

Melbourne singer-songwriter Jen Cloher has pursued a wide-ranging and flexible career. She originally planned to study acting, but her passion quickly became music. Cloher released her first EP in 2005, formed a band called The Endless Sea and started garnering nominations for awards ranging from the ARIAs to the Australian Music Prize.

Courtney Barnett's record label, Milk! Records, is home to a wide group of Melbourne talent, including the very fun three-piece Loose Tooth. Friends Etta Curry and Nellie Jackson have known each other since the cradle; they added bassist Luc Dawson to complete the band. The trio released Saturn Returns early in 2016. Hear songs from that EP and a conversation above, and get a look at the band's performance as part of World Cafe's Milk!

If you thought that a band named King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard just had to make psychedelic music, you got that right. Out of the mind of leader Stu Mackenzie and the town of Geelong comes this incredibly prolific band that has put out eight albums in the six years it's been together. (That said, Mackenzie vows to never repeat himself.)

After realizing in music school how simpatico their interests were, Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs combined forces as Oh Pep!. The duo's humorous lyrics and off-beat instrumentation make for some very catchy tunes on its debut full-length, Stadium Cake.

Melbourne singer-songwriter Missy Higgins' first three albums all went to No. 1 on the Australian charts, and she regularly fills theaters Down Under. The songs she writes have a lot of heart; her most recent album, OZ, is a collection of equally thoughtful covers of songs by other Australian artists.

The strength of community radio depends a lot on the community itself, and that works the other way as well. Sarah Smith is one of the three co-hosts of Triple R Radio's Breakfasters program. Her job is to keep track of Melbourne's ever-evolving music scene. "People often say, 'Why is Melbourne the way that it is? Why is it seen as the live music capital of Australia?' " she says.

Don't tell Fraser A. Gorman that he sounds like Bob Dylan. He's heard it a few too many times, and his head full of curls certainly helps the comparison stick — but the Melbourne musician would prefer to be judged on his own merits. We like Gorman's 2015 full-length debut, Slow Gum, but we're really lucky to hear songs that will be on his new album in this session.

If Keith Richards put on a poodle skirt for a production of Grease and you added a 40-piece orchestra, you might have something resembling Foxygen's new record, Hang. Just released today, it marks the follow-up to the band's 2014 album ...And Star Power, and it cements Foxygen's reputation as eccentric and theatrical purveyors of pure fun.

Edna Vazquez grew up in Jalisco, Mexico — the same place that gave birth to mariachi music. Although the style was traditionally reserved for men, in 1998 Vazquez (who now lives in Portland, Ore.) became one of the first female mariachi vocalists and vihuela players in the Pacific Northwest. Since then, she has earned hard-won respect for her spectacular guitar playing and passionate, forceful vocals.

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