Marisa Anderson knows where American guitar music has been and where it is now, and probably possesses an inkling of where it can go. She's studied the history and musical nuance of blues, country and folk music through and through, and ingests it all in a style that's as raw as it true. But mostly, Anderson just wants to kick up some dirt — which isn't easy here, given that the NPR Music offices are relatively clean. (Mind the towering stacks of CDs, though. They could topple over at any time.)
World Cafe's week-long series Sense of Place: Iceland draws to a close with an unexpected treat. We'd been in Reykjavik for a few days when we learned that June 17 would mark a daylong celebration of Icelandic National Day, the anniversary of Iceland's independence from Denmark in 1944. Events planned for the holiday ranged from outdoor chess matches to accordion concerts, culminating in a free outdoor show for an audience expected to hit 10,000.
This week's puzzler for careful listeners has a little something for everyone, from jazz and classic rock, to punk and thrashing metal. It also features several fills listeners suggested from previous puzzlers. So, as always, if you know a fill (or intro) or drummer you'd love to see featured in this game, let us know in the comments section, or via Twitter @allsongs, #drumfillfriday. Good luck, heroes!
On World Cafe's Sense of Place: Iceland trip, we felt inspired during our visit to Reykjavik's famed 12 Tónar Records. It's a homey, welcoming place where the shelves are filled with Icelandic CDs and vinyl.
Behind the counter, fielding all questions, was Einar Þór Kristjánsson, who has worked at 12 Tónar since it opened 15 years ago. We asked him to make a list of some of his favorite Icelandic music; he obliged, giving us the history of the unique store and picking five bands. (Some you may know well, others not so much.)
Our Sense of Place: Iceland guest today is Sindri Már Sigfússon, who performs under the name Sin Fang for his solo work. He also leads the folk-pop group Seabear; in fact, the first Seabear recordings were released in conjunction with another ursine band, an early version of the American band Grizzly Bear. Sigfússon released his third solo album, Flowers, last year.
This week's feature CD is the latest studio album from Phish, "Fuego" - a fun, spirited, rocking record. Hear the album in its entirety at noon Friday and, if you correctly answer our trivia question at around 12:30, you could win lunch at Zia Taqueria.
As part of World Cafe's week-long Sense of Place series, we resurface this 2000 interview with Björk, recorded in conjunction with the release of Selmasongs. At the time, the singer had just starred in the Lars von Trier film Dancer in The Dark, in which she played the character of Selma. The film won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, where Björk also won the award for Best Actress.
As Sense of Place: Iceland continues on World Cafe, we have a thoughtful interview with Siggtryggur Baldurson; he's head of the Iceland Music Exchange (IMX), which is tasked with expanding the musical footprint of Iceland around the world. Baldurson is also the former drummer of the groundbreaking Icelandic band The Sugarcubes.
Here, he discusses various efforts to spread Icelandic music — including the Iceland Airwaves Festival, which draws visitors to the island every fall to experience more than 300 bands in Reykjavík's clubs.