Music

Music

Spiritualized, a neo-psychedelic outfit with Jason Pierce (a.k.a. J. Spaceman) at its center, formed out of the ashes of Pierce's previous group, Spaceman 3. The newer band's seven albums of panoramic space-rock are deeply influenced by soul, gospel and all things Velvet Underground.

In the mid-1990s, the moody rock song "Only Happy When It Rains" was all over radio and MTV. Now, after a hiatus, Garbage returns with a new album, Not Your Kind of People.

Warning: This post, about a song by Balthrop, Alabama (a 10-piece Brooklyn band, not a extremely musical township), includes numerous instances of coordinated jazz hands and chorus line kicks. The band's new song "You've Gotta Be Gay," is filled with theatrical sounds from all different places and times: stomps, grunts and rattles from a 1930s chain gang, a tinny player-piano from an old-timey saloon and an accordion out of every stereotypical Parisian boulevard scene.

The Mastersons

Husband and wife, singing and playing together.  Each deft instrumentalists, they’ve spent years playing in others’ bands before coming together as a unit. They’re bound by music and an uncommon depth of companionship, they’re good enough to make Steve Earle swoon, and all of that sounds quite nice. 

The Polyphonic Spree In Concert

May 21, 2012

The Polyphonic Spree is exactly what its name suggests: a chorus of voices with little restraint. The group is led by Tim DeLaughter and, though the line-up changes constantly, it typically involves some 20-odd individuals who provide talents from singing to piccolo. The Polyphonic Spree came about after DeLaughter's previous band, Tripping Daisy, broke up following member Wes Berggren's death in 1999.

French singer, multi-instrumentalist and film composer Yann Tiersen isn't massively well-known, but he did craft the score for the beloved 2001 film Amelie, about which virtually everything is held in massively high regard. Since then, Tiersen has built a name for himself as a solo artist who gently stretches the boundaries of pop music.

Deep Sea Diver: Density And Depth

May 21, 2012

Jessica Dobson plays guitar in the newest incarnation of The Shins, James Mercer's well-known outlet for supremely precious, sweetly self-effacing indie-pop. With her band Deep Sea Diver and its first album History Speaks, Dobson assembles a complex, precisely arranged and lyrically pensive suite of songs about heartbreak and yearning. The result is no less fun or toe-tappable than the product of her more famous day job, but it also achieves tremendous density and depth in its own right.

YACHT, 'Beam Me Up': A Laser Tag Apocalypse

May 18, 2012

Maybe YACHT wouldn't be that sad if the complete and total annihilation of the human race happened tomorrow. The video for their song "Beam Me Up," off their recent album Shangri-La, finds the band playing around with the upsides of doomsday in a laser tag arena. Think of a future where cyber-soldiers fight each other in the smouldering metallic ruins of society, except with children shooting fake lasers.

JD McPherson: When A Punk Goes Vintage

May 18, 2012

How does a former punk rocker raised on an Oklahoma cattle ranch end up sounding like a classic rockabilly singer? JD McPherson found his groove in the style of 1950s rhythm and blues, rock and rockabilly. To help create that vintage sound on his debut album, Signs and Signifers, he used vintage mics, old amplifiers and a Berlant reel-to-reel recorder from the '60s — all analog. McPherson's love for this classic sound all goes back to a record store in McAlester, Okla.

Zeus On World Cafe

May 17, 2012

Zeus' music sounds as if it's being beamed straight out of the '70s, but a shared interest in making music that recalls The Band isn't what brought the Canadian group together. Most of Zeus' members were brought into Jason Collett's backing band, and from there decided to play together outside of their work with Collett.

Selection for Friday, May 18 - Sara Watkins,  Sun Midnight Sun, the second solo album from acclaimed singer, songwriter, and fiddle player Sara Watkins on Nonesuch Records. Produced by guitarist, singer, and songwriter Blake Mills, co-founder of the band Simon Dawes, the album features special guest appearances by Fiona AppleJackson BrowneTaylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Benmont Tench, and Sean Watkins.

Remembering Go-Go Legend Chuck Brown

May 16, 2012

Lisa Marie Presley is a curiosity. Famous from birth, she is rock's only real princess. Her face is a stunning combination of her parents' best features. Her marriages have been, well, unusual. Who could forget her awkward television kiss with then-husband Michael Jackson? Or the few months of wedded bliss to actor and Elvis fanatic Nicolas Cage? She has led a colorful life — one that overshadowed her music career when she started making records in 2003.

Polica On World Cafe

May 10, 2012

Despite the slow, twisting, synth-looping style of Polica, the group's album came together in only a few recording sessions. Recovering from the breakup of her folk rock band Roma di Luna and the breakup of her marriage to one of her bandmates, Channy Leaneagh turned to friend and collaborator Ryan Olson, founder of Gayngs. The two worked together on Gayngs' album Relayted in 2010 and they were interested in working together again.

'Miles Davis And Gil Evans: Still Ahead' On JazzSet

May 10, 2012

Gil Evans was born on May 13, 1912. In three collaborations in the late 1950s, he and his friend and Miles Davis steered their projects into a new era for jazz.

Their first album was Miles Ahead. This Monterey Jazz Festival concert is called "Still Ahead," with music from the pair's second and third records, Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain.

Today's show features live performances from some of our favorite World Cafe artists, straight from our 20th-anniversary celebration concerts.

T-Bone Burnett On World Cafe

Oct 31, 2011

Legendary singer-songwriter and folk-rock pioneer T-Bone Burnett is known for his captivating solo material, but also for his role as a legendary producer of records by everyone from Roy Orbison to actor Jeff Bridges. In a new interview on World Cafe, Burnett sits down with host David Dye to reflect on some of his most famous projects.

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