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Debo Band: Ethiopian Funk, Reinvented

Aug 13, 2012

Boston's Debo Band takes inspiration from a golden era of popular music in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the late '60s and early '70s. During a brief period of cultural freedom in Ethiopia, funk and soul music fused spectacularly with local traditions. Debo Band's debut album both honors and updates the sound of "swinging Addis."

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For the L.A. band Lord Huron, there's far more to music than merely playing sweetly summery, rhythmically inventive pop. There's also an air of mystery: a desire to tell stories, play with identities and craft visuals to complement its sounds. The bouncy "Time to Run" is a tremendously ingratiating song, but the band's video piles on new dimensions to make it that much richer.

Alejandro Escovedo On World Cafe

Aug 9, 2012

Alejandro Escovedo has played virtually every kind of rock 'n' roll there is to play, from punk to orchestral to country, during a career dating back to the 1970s.

Hollywood is often at its best when it's making fun of itself, and few movies are funnier or more fun than Singin' in the Rain, the broadly satirical musical comedy about the transition from silent movies to sound.

Gene Kelly, who co-directed the film with Stanley Donen, stars as the stuntman turned matinee idol who falls in love with adorable Debbie Reynolds. He even gets to parody his own swashbuckling in MGM's Technicolor Three Musketeers.

It's gotten to that point in the dog days of August where the air is stale and nothing seems to be moving. But sometimes all it takes to snap me out of a late-summer heat coma is the sound of a new and electrifying voice — like that of Lianne La Havas.

Dan Auerbach, one of two founders of The Black Keys, also maintains an active side business as a producer for other bands that share his love for blues- and country-influenced rock. Auerbach's production work can be heard on two new records: Hacienda's third album, Shakedown, and the major-label debut of JEFF The Brotherhood, titled Hypnotic Nights.

Even if you've never heard of Billy Edd Wheeler, you might recognize "Jackson," a song he wrote with the help of songwriting heavyweights Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller back in 1963. It was a Top 20 pop hit for Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra in 1967, and got to No. 2 on the country charts that same year in a version by Johnny Cash and June Carter.

" 'Jackson' is a fun song," Wheeler says. "It's been my most famous and most lucrative song. It helped build our house."

Yesterday my husband and I had the same thought at the same time. It's not an uncommon occurrence for two writers who've spent decades arguing and enthusing about pop music. I mention it, in part, to stave off accusations that I'm plagiarizing from a nearby source, but also because I think what we reflected upon in light of the writer Jonah Lehrer's fatal mistake was probably in the minds of many music obsessives.

Today's show has been canceled due to severe storm alerts. We're so sorry and will see you back at the park next Sunday with Mary Adam 12. Details...

The Drop: Four Tet Remixes Hot Chip

Aug 1, 2012

As a radio producer, I've been trained to never let a piece begin with the sound of a person's breath; it's sloppy. So when I first heard the remix of Hot Chip's "Look At Where We Are" by Four Tet, the tape-cutter in me dove for the delete button. Right before the music starts, you can clearly hear a sharp intake of air from singer Alexis Taylor.

Sigur Rós could be forgiven for sounding better on record than in concert. The Icelandic band's songs either billow out deliberately or stomp majestically, and in every case entail the building of layers upon intricate sonic layers. Plus, singer Jónsi — he of the otherworldly voice, singing mostly in a ghostly language of his own devising — is no Mick Jagger when it comes to calling attention to himself.

The high-tech pop intro to The Very Best's song "Kondaine" suggests a carefree summer party. There's Afropop uplift to the sound and Top 40 melodiousness to the vocal.

On this week's All Songs Considered: funny concert memories, one album with a wacky cover and a surprisingly great sound, a bittersweet goodbye and (of course) lots of new music.

Everything I've ever written about Sam Phillips has been a cheat.

Having already found success as the singer of the Irish band The Frames and as half of the folk-pop duo The Swell Season, singer-songwriter Glen Hansard is venturing out as a solo artist.

Indie folk rockers, River City Extension, the eight piece band out of New Jersey, will play a few songs live from Studio A in the 2pm hour on The Global Village!

J.D. McPherson: Live from Studio A REPLAY

Jul 29, 2012

J.D. McPherson performed live from WCBE's Studio A on July 28th, 2012! Check out the amazing performances of "Your Love, All I'm Missing", "Country Boy", and "North Side Gal"! Enjoy! 

Do you like what you hear? Let us know what you think about our online Live from Studio A REPLAY series!

 

Big Easy Express
www.bigeasyexpress.com

Join WCBE as we climb on board for a vibrant, raucous, musical railway adventure on Monday, August 13, 2012 for WCBE + Big Easy Express.

Doors open at 5pm, with a screening of our opening film, Festival Express, at 6pm. Join us for these two films and your chance to win tickets for the Mumford & Sons sold-out show.

SMOD will perform on The Global Village in the 2PM hour with your host Maggie Brennan.

Reggae band Rebelution will perform Live From Studio A on Tues. July 24th in the 2PM hour on The  Global Village with Maggie Brennan!

The concept of the compilation Out of Many: 50 Years of Reggae Music is simple. 50 years ago, Jamaica won independence from the British-ruled West Indies Federation. Around that same time, popular music in Jamaica began solidifying into some of the many sounds we now think of as reggae. Out of Many tells those two stories in parallel, with one song selected to represent the sound of each year from 1962 to 2012.

Newport Folk 2012: The Preview Mix

Jul 23, 2012

The Newport Folk Festival has always championed a range of American music. From Muddy Waters to Pete Seeger, Joan Baez to Jimmy Buffett and a famously electrified Bob Dylan, the festival's curators have a knack for casting a wide net in their definition of folk.

The Werks: Live from Studio A REPLAY

Jul 19, 2012

The Werks performed live from WCBE's Studio A on July 19th, 2012! Check out their performances of "Carry Me Back Home", "Guido", and "Golden Shore"! Enjoy!

Do you like what you hear? Let us know what you think about our online Live from Studio A REPLAY series!

 

The word "uneven" gets tossed around in critical parlance to signify artists whose fingers stray from the quality-control button — to suggest that they don't know their own genius when they hear it.

Pop music in the 21st century has been flush with precise re-creations of '60s and '70s American R&B — think of Sharon Jones, Adele, Raphael Saadiq and the late Amy Winehouse. Meanwhile, I've been waiting for a similar revival of Jamaica's R&B: ska, rocksteady, roots-reggae.

Sir Elton John is constantly remembering his life as a drug addict, whether he wants to or not.

"I still dream, twice a week at least, that I've taken cocaine and I have it up my nose," John tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "And it's very vivid and it's very upsetting, but at least it's a wake-up call."

The Werks will bring their psychedelic dance rock sounds to Studio A on Thursday July 19th!

They'll play a few songs live in the 2PM hour on The Global Village to get you ready for the All Good Music Festival!

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