The Districts started out as a high-school band in Lititz, Penn. After some wise touring that included a SXSW visit last year — as well as a video with more than 300,000 views — the group now has a self-titled EP due out Tuesday on a national label. You can download two of the folk-pop band's catchy songs on the World Cafe: Next podcast.
In a segment from January of last year — around the time they released their successful debut, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic — Foxygen's Jonathan Rado and Sam France turn up on World Cafe to perform and discuss songs from their album together.
Not sure if it's a compliment to be called a "thinking man's metal band" — if nothing else, it's not so nice to the other metal bands — but Helmet has always made smart music that never loses its punch. Singer and guitarist Page Hamilton founded the group back in 1989, and since then it's gone through the usual motions of a successful band: early attention leading to a label signing, a series of albums that grow more critically acclaimed but sell less than expected, band dissolution and breakup, subsequent solo work and collaborations, and an eventual reboot.
Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 8:22 am
Minneapolis singer-songwriter Jeremy Messersmith sings sweet, timeless songs about love, desire, death and grief — not, it would seem, the stuff of grandiose artistic ambition. And yet Messersmith stands out by trying harder, doing more and always reaching farther than it seems.
Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 8:23 am
On her sixth album, Boston-born singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler gets darker than ever before: Its title must refer to a cold, polarizing kind of July, with the frigid climes that accompany an early-February release.
Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 8:21 am
The first thing you'll hear when listening to CEO's Wonderland is a sample from 2010's Feathered Cocaine, a documentary about the secret funding of al Qaeda as told through the experiences of an American falconer. The second and third things you'll hear are childlike yelps and music that could be the soundtrack to some John Hughes end credits. This song is called "Whorehouse." There is no better way to introduce yourself to the mind of Eric Berglund, the sole proprietor of CEO.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra is the work of Ruban Nielson, a New Zealand-bred musician who moved to Portland, Ore., six years ago. While there, he started working with samples in his bedroom that would later become the first Unknown Mortal Orchestra album in 2011. He released another in 2013, called II, as well as an EP.
A five-piece band from Brooklyn, Lucius is led by two singers, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, who met at Berklee College of Music in Boston. They crafted their unique vocal sound over the decade they've worked together, and now even dress alike.
Their similarities, as well as the longevity of their friendship, led to the title of their debut full-length album, last year's Wildewoman. Lucius joins us in the studio to perform live and talk with World Cafe's Michaela Majoun.