The first time I saw Haley Bonar in concert, she and her band were performing at the base of a 54-foot Doritos vending machine — a dehumanizing corporate venue of the variety that occasionally surfaces at SXSW. Somehow, though, her wry, spiky spark found a way to shine through.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.


There's a panel of volunteer doctors whose decisions affect nearly everyone who has health insurance. They review scientific literature and pass judgment on preventive medical services. The panel is called the Preventive Services Task Force.

World Cafe Next: Henry Jamison

Oct 10, 2016

Henry Jamison is a New Englander who is about to release his first EP, The Rains. There are a slew of singer-songwriters out there, all trying to turn their words into emotions that resonate. The Rains is not Jamison's first stab at this — he's previously worked with a band and with another producer — but when he finally went on his own, using his ancient Korg 8-track, the songs just worked. Jamison's descriptions of places ring true and his subtle production touches stand out. Hear two songs from the EP in the player above.

Brian Eno. David Bowie. Kraftwerk. Radiohead. Aphex Twin. The National. These are just some of the contemporary artists and bands who have looked up to American composer Steve Reich.

If there's one thing Rick Astley hasn't given up, it's music. The British singer, who is perhaps best known for his 1987 single, "Never Gonna Give You Up" — and the common Internet gag, "rickrolling," inspired by it — is back with a new album. 50 is already topping the charts in the United Kingdom, and it just went on sale in North America this week.

"It's been a crazy few months, to be honest," Astley says. "I don't think anybody around me or anybody who knows me was expecting that, to have a No. 1 album in the U. K. again. That was pretty freaky."

For 20 years, Robert Goldstein was NPR's music librarian. He went on to become a manager in our research and archives division, and shared his love of music with our audience in stories he wrote for broadcast and online. He was also an accomplished guitarist, whose work made an impression on a young Bob Boilen decades ago, sparking a friendship that continued when they began working together.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


The famed Stax recording studio in Memphis is long gone, but Melissa Etheridge conjures up the place in her new CD, a collection of covers by Stax R&B legends like Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas and Sam and Dave.

KT Tunstall On World Cafe

Oct 7, 2016

Originally from St. Andrews in Scotland, KT Tunstall became an overnight sensation in 2006 with her album Eye To The Telescope. But, like many overnight sensations, she'd been at it for more than a decade.

In its first U.S. live radio performance in 20 years, the U.K. indie-pop band Lush reminded listeners why we've been pining for its return. The band called it quits in 1998 after four albums, but returned this year with a new EP that hearkens back to Lush's classic, poppy-yet-edgy sound — as heard in this gem titled "Out Of Control."

Set List

  • "Out Of Control"

Watch Lush's full session on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic.

Latin Roots: The Chamanas

Oct 6, 2016

World Cafe's latest Latin Roots segment features music and conversation with The Chamanas, a "frontereza" band from the border-spanning cities of El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The members we talk to today, Manuel Calderon and Hector Carreon, are the band's founders, who recently brought on a new lead singer, Paulina Reza.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


Dirty Projectors guitarist and singer Amber Coffman's long-anticipated solo album is finally about to see the light of day. It's called City Of No Reply, and the first single from it is a gorgeous, soulful — if slightly bent — ballad called "All To Myself." A video for the song shows Coffman strolling along the seaside, looking somewhat forlorn, while singing to herself. Later she's buried up to her neck in sand. "I've got to sing it out," Coffman sings. "Sing it all to myself, there's no one to run to.

Dance Like Animals In Wynton Marsalis' 'Spaces'

Oct 6, 2016

In Spaces, Wynton Marsalis' new dance suite for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, each movement corresponds to a different animal — a chicken, a lion, a frog and more.

He enlisted tap dancer Jared Grimes and "jooker" (street dancer) Lil Buck to embody the animals in their performances. In this piece, Marsalis also describes his fascination with the animal kingdom, his process of writing, and the way he attempts to draw on the spaces that all creatures inhabit.

What does a new album from The Rolling Stones sound like in 2016? If "Just A Fool" is any indication, it's a lot like the band's earliest recordings from more than 50 years ago. This cover of a Buddy Johnson and His Orchestra tune is the kind of harmonica-honked, barroom piano-plonked, dirty blues that introduced the world to the Stones, when the British band made a name for itself by interpreting American blues songs.

Listen to songs by Slothrust, and you'll hear aggressive sounds that hearken back to early-'90s rock bands like Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr. Listen more closely, and you'll also hear elements of the blues that the band's members learned when they met in their college's jazz program.

Slothrust's new song, "Like A Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone," shows vividly how the band blends those influences. Leah Wellbaum sings with a Pavement-esque slacker drawl. Her bluesy voice slides easily from a seductive purr over lightly driven guitars to a full-throated roar as she begins to shred.

Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez met as a songwriting team in Nashville, only to move to L.A., get married and have a baby. Those may scan as simple biographical details, but every one of them is reflected in the music the two make together under the name Johnnyswim. Their sparkly pop songs exude L.A.

Philadelphia's Purling Hiss is now eight idiosyncratic albums into a remarkable career, and the new High Bias moves freely in tandem with the psychedelic, jam-oriented early works of bandleader Mike Polizze — as well as the unwashed, long-haired pop strum of 2009's Public Service Announcement and 2014's Weirdon. It also doubles down on the grungy, mainstream aspirations of 2013's Water On Mars, taking that album's cleaned-up aesthetics and pushing them into prismatic near-detachment.

When Beyoncé included the country-dipped song "Daddy Issues" on Lemonade, some seemed surprised — which was weird. Queen Bey is from Houston, where (as in most of the South) the word "country" is sometimes thrown around as an insult meaning "unsophisticated." And her song, with its street-corner beat and hot guitar, reminded listeners that rootsy music has its own kind of elegance.

Rod Temperton has been called pop music's "Invisible Man" because few knew his name. But his songs were megahits in the 1970s and 80s. Along with big hair, wide lapels and bell bottoms, his music helped define the disco era. Temperton died of cancer last week in London, according to a statement from his publisher. He was 66.

The East River Ferry is one of the more whimsical ways for New Yorkers to commute, but it retains its claim to practicality with one key characteristic: It is a very fast boat. So it was that Local Natives came hurtling toward our crew up the river one overcast evening this summer, shouting three-part harmonies over roaring engines for a surprised clutch of fans. When the ferry docked, three of the band's members hurried over to our pier off WNYC Transmitter Park to play this Field Recording.

Weaves On World Cafe

Oct 5, 2016

The Toronto art-rock quartet Weaves released its self-titled debut album this past summer. It's filled with quirky, angular melodies; lead singer Jasmyn Burke's rhythmic, deadpan delivery; and an enervating sense that things could fall apart at any moment. Along with Burke, the band includes guitarist Morgan Waters, drummer Spencer Cole and bassist Zach Bines.

Grimes surprised fans today with seven new videos, including four songs from her most recent album, Art Angels, and three tracks from her friend and collaborator HANA's self-titled EP. In a series of Tweets, Grimes says she, HANA and Grimes' brother Mac Boucher shot the videos guerrilla-style over a two-week period while traveling through Europe. "There was no crew, makeup, cameras, lights," Grimes says.

In this concert, filmed at OPB in Portland, Ore., the long-running rock band Drive-By Truckers performs its timely and politically charged new record, American Band, in its entirety.

The latest video from Radiohead is a field recording of Jonny Greenwood and Thom Yorke performing "The Numbers," from the band's latest album A Moon Shaped Pool. It's remarkable what they can do with two guitars and a drum machine; the duo basically strip away the song's original studio effects, percussion and piano.

Do you ever want to hear another rock guitar solo again? That's where the fight began. Robin played a song with a lot of guitar wankery by the band Major Stars. He loved it and I frankly couldn't wait for it to end. It got me wondering: Is this sort of music even relevant in 2016?

You will know her by the golden fishes she wears in her ears. You know will know him by the elephant ring on his finger. Both are covered in blood, attached by a length of string that's only to be broken by one last dance. In a new video, Khruangbin's soulful, breezy "Two Fish And An Elephant" becomes a wordless short film inspired by the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Hayao Miyazaki.

Soul singer Charles Bradley is battling stomach cancer and has canceled several tour dates, according to a statement posted on his official Facebook page Tuesday.

The 67-year-old singer issued a statement saying he's determined to come back stronger:

"I'm getting the best medical care and we are all extremely optimistic. I will fight through this like I've fought through the many other obstacles in my life.

Wayne Henderson is a renowned acoustic guitarist who has played at Carnegie Hall, been honored at the White House and toured internationally. He's also an acclaimed instrument maker who has built guitars for the likes of Eric Clapton and his own close friend, the late Doc Watson. For the past five years, Henderson has shared his studio — and his trade — with an up-and-coming luthier: his daughter, Jayne.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit