Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 8:51 am
From his 1970s breakthrough as a founding member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra to his influential role as a leading drummer in the style of jazz and jazz-fusion, Billy Cobham remains a powerful musical explorer. Born in Panama, raised in New York and residing in Switzerland, he translates his multicultural experience into a blend of jazz, rock and funk.
Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 8:50 am
Known as the queen of rockabilly, Wanda Jackson is widely considered the first woman to record a rock 'n' roll song: 1958's "Let's Have a Party." A singer-songwriter, pianist and guitarist, Jackson became a pioneer for her mix of country and rockabilly music. This approach served her well in the mid-1960s, as rockabilly began to decline in popularity.
Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 1:41 pm
John Murry's first album, The Graceless Age, makes its U.S. debut on March 5. An active musician since 2006, Murry moved from his hometown of Tupelo, Miss., to Oakland, Calif., a couple years ago to work alongside musician Bob Frank.
A descendent of Nobel Prize in Literature recipient William Faulkner, Murry visits his family's literary past and channels it into his music. His dark, deep rock 'n' roll is alluring, emotional and infectious.
Hear two tracks from The Graceless Age in this installment of World Café: Next.
Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 1:23 pm
After nearly 30 years of prolific genre-avoidance, the indie-rock trio Yo La Tengo returns with Fade,its first studio album in almost four years. The record, the band's 13th full-length release, features "Before We Run," a six-minute piece of orchestral pop showcasing Yo La Tengo's stately side.
A.C. Newman has been at the forefront of some of the best-loved indie-pop bands of the past two decades, most notably The New Pornographers and Zumpano. But as a part-time solo artist, Newman tends to craft work that's more melancholic than his playful efforts with The New Pornographers.
The four main members of the Swedish band The Amazing play in many other successful music acts (Dungen, et al), some of which are shared projects. The overlap makes for obvious chemistry within this experimental, genre-bending folk-rock supergroup.
On its most recent album, 2011's Gentle Stream, The Amazing jumps around quite a bit, delving into psychedelic folk, pop and acoustic rock. Here, the group plays songs from its latest album and sits down with David Dye to discuss its grandiose name and musical influences.
Richie Follin is the leader of the Brooklyn pop-rock band Guards. Listening to the group, it's hard not to mention the singer's older sister, Madeline Follin of Cults, as their shared upbringing and influences are obvious.
Beyond literal lineage, Cults and Guards share an aesthetic of buzzy and revitalized old-school pop. In perfect little-brother form, though, Guards is a bit edgier — a little grungier and more eclectic in a way that people with cool older siblings often are.
Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 9:16 am
In light of ongoing conflicts in Northern Mali, we checked in with Chris Nolan, an organizer of Festival in the Desert — the music festival that takes place each January in the Sahara region where much of the recent fighting has occurred. On today's installment of World Café, Nolan discusses the festival's history and elaborates on the decision to postpone the event this year.
Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 2:23 pm
The up-and-coming band Parquet Courts showcases some refreshingly raw '70s punk vibes on its first full-length album, Light Up Gold, released last August.
Parquet Courts' lead vocalists and songwriters, Austin Brown and Andrew Savage, met at a record-listening club while attending the University of North Texas. After moving to New York City, the pair teamed up with Savage's brother, Max, and bassist Sean Yeaton, to release their EP American Specialties in 2011.
Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 1:05 pm
Sitting down with Beach House is a bit like listening to the band's music. No matter how many times we feature Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, they impress with their relaxed complexity and refreshing insight into how music can work.