With the fate of Sonic Youth up in the air, founding guitarist Lee Ranaldo has found steady ground with his group The Dust, featuring fellow SY orphan Steve Shelley on drums, along with guitarist Alan Licht and bassist Tim Lüntzel.
The windowsills were lined with people standing, as every nook between every office desk filled to capacity with NPR employees and their assorted guests. Pixies, after getting misplaced for a time in our parking garage during a moment worthy of This Is Spinal Tap, showed up in time to encounter the largest crowd we've ever assembled for a Tiny Desk Concert. (Our new office space allows for more guests than the old one did, but it's still a mark of this band's significance for so many youthful grownups.)
We made 20 stellar World Cafe in-studio performances available for download during February, but they're all coming down Feb. 28 at midnight. Grab music from Neko Case, Parquet Courts, Jason Isbell and more today, before they're gone tomorrow.
To download each song, click the title in the SoundCloud playlist (the song will begin playing), and then click "download" arrow to the right of the title.
Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 9:18 am
Galore, the first album by the London duo Thumpers, is rooted resolutely in the first-person plural: Temperamentally as well as lyrically, it reaches out as a piecemeal missive both to and from you and me and everyone we know, assembling a steadfast vision of the whole world as a sprawling family in a tiny neighborhood. These are songs whose collective narrative engine is a belief in the power of a passionate few to forge meaningful connections, to keep life's ills at bay or, as "Unkinder (A Tougher Love)" would have it, to move the earth.
Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 9:15 am
It makes cosmic sense that Sun Structures, the debut album from Temples, arrives at the height of the current nostalgia wave associated with the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania and the British Invasion.
Mollie O'Brien and her husband Rich Moore have just released their album 'Love Runner'. On Love Runner, they again enlisted their talented friends, Glenn Taylor (pedal steel), John Magnie (piano and accordion), Eric Moon (piano and organ) and Marc Dalio (drums). When one song called out for a musical saw, they were lucky enough to discover the wondrous Lesley Kernochan. Irish fiddler Jessie Burns put her lyrical stamp on a few folk songs. And, happily for O’Brien and Moore, their daughters Brigid and Lucy were able to make the date for the background vocal session.
For its sixth album, last summer's Chop Chop,Bell X1 simplified its recording process and ended up with some of its strongest songs. The Dublin band formed out of another group led by Damien Rice, but when Rice went solo, Paul Noonan took over songwriting duties and Bell X1 was born — named after the first airplane, Bell X-1, to break the sound barrier. Hear a full live set from the band on World Cafe.
Dumpstaphunk has thrived in the New Orleans funk scene alongside some of the best in the business. The group's new album, Dirty Word, features a number of guest stars, including Ani DiFranco, who lives in New Orleans, and Flea of The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The record hints at gospel, blues, R&B and rock while still preserving Dumpstaphunk's funky musical heritage. Here, the band performs in the studio for World Cafe.