Music

World Cafe
3:34 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Gregory Alan Isakov on World Cafe

Gregory Alan Isakov.
Erin Preson Courtesy of the artist

Gregory Alan Isakov made his debut in 2003 and released his fifth album, The Weatherman, last year. Isakov was born in South Africa but lives in Colorado where — with the aid of his degree in organic farming — he grows his own food. Controversy erupted among his fans when one of his songs appeared in a McDonald's ad, and he offers a thoughtful response in this session for World Cafe.

World Cafe
3:26 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Potty Mouth On World Cafe

Potty Mouth.
S.C. Atkinson Coutresy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 10:56 am

Potty Mouth formed in Northampton, Mass., in 2011. The band released a vinyl EP in 2012, and last year put out a full-length record called Hell Bent. With a name inspired by the title of a Bratmobile album, Potty Mouth revels in the sheer volume and eager, youthful enthusiasm of punk.

One of the loudest bands ever to play the World Cafe studios, Potty Mouth performs songs from Hell Bent in this session.

All Songs Considered
11:02 am
Tue January 28, 2014

New Mix: Wye Oak, Ratking, John Lurie, More

Clockwise from upper left: Holly Herndon, Ratking, Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack of Wye Oak, and John Lurie.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 11:19 am

On this week's show, host Bob Boilen has new magical powers. He's not sure what's behind these new powers, but it has something to do with a Romanian brass band and Tuvan throat singing.

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World Cafe
2:59 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

World Cafe Next: The Districts

The Districts.
Caitlin McCann Courtesy of the artist

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.

World Cafe
1:17 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Foxygen On World Cafe

Foxygen.
Angel Ceballos Courtesy of the artist

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.

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Favorite Sessions
6:02 am
Mon January 27, 2014

KEXP Presents: Helmet

Helmet's Page Hamilton peforms live in KEXP's studio in Seattle.
Beth Crook KEXP

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 11:41 am

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.

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First Listen
9:02 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

First Listen: Jeremy Messersmith, 'Heart Murmurs'

Jeremy Messersmith's new album, Heart Murmurs, comes out Feb. 4.
Kyle Dean Reinford Courtesy of the artist

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.

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First Listen
9:02 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

First Listen: Marissa Nadler, 'July'

Marissa Nadler's new album, July, comes out Feb. 4.
Courtney B. Hall Courtesy of the artist

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.

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First Listen
9:02 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

First Listen: CEO, 'Wonderland'

CEO's new album, Wonderland, comes out Feb. 4.
Courtesy of the artist

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.

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The Record
10:03 am
Sun January 26, 2014

The Woman Behind The Curtain, Making Good Songs Sound Great

Mastering engineer Emily Lazar poses with producer Scott Jacoby (top right) and members of the band School is Cool at her Manhattan studio, The Lodge.
The Lodge

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 10:47 am

Mastering engineer Emily Lazar listens back to a section of the song "Envelop Me" by the baroque pop band School is Cool. She's trying to make the main vocals stand out more.

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