The World Cafe

Mon - Thu, 8pm - 10pm

Every day, The World Cafe with host David Dye serves up an eclectic mix of music from blues, rock, and world, to folk, and alternative country. Each show features live performances and interviews with celebrated & emerging artists. The Cafe also presents segments on books, movies, TV and plays related to music.

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Music News
2:14 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Bang On A Pan: Steel-Drum Orchestras Ready For Battle

Every year at the Panorama Competition in Brooklyn, massive steel-pan orchestras perform virtuosic arrangements of calypso songs.
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 7:40 pm

Despers USA practices on a big parking lot off Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, N.Y. Band members start wandering in around 6 or 7 p.m. and slowly take their places behind racks of steel drums. Like a symphony orchestra, they're organized by section — the thin tenors ringed around the outside; the big, deep, oil-drum basses toward the center; the midrange "guitars," as they're called, nearby.

Their section leader counts them in. He stops them, and then stops them again, saying the opening needs to be stronger. Eventually, they get it.

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First Listen
2:09 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

First Listen: Astro, 'Astro'

Astro's self-titled debut album is out now.
Camilo Bustos Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 11:50 am

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

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First Listen
2:07 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

First Listen: David Byrne & St. Vincent, 'Love This Giant'

David Byrne and St. Vincent's new album, Love This Giant, comes out Sept. 11.
Andreas Laszlo Konrath Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 11:47 am

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

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World Cafe
11:30 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Next: Jordan Hull

Jordan Hull.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 10:34 am

  • Hear two new songs from Jordan Hull

Jordan Hull has always been a creative type. Growing up in Dayton, Ohio, Hull explored theater, writing and painting, and eventually got into music as an escape during his rebellious high-school years. Now in Nashville, the 23-year-old singer-songwriter writes lyrics that draw inspiration from great troubadours of yesteryear, including Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie.

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First Listen
1:21 pm
Sun September 2, 2012

First Listen: The Avett Brothers, 'The Carpenter'

The Avett Brothers' new album, The Carpenter, will be released on Sept. 11.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 11:43 am

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

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Music Interviews
1:15 pm
Sun September 2, 2012

Cat Power: 'I'm Not Ashamed To Hear My Voice'

Chan Marshall's new album as Cat Power, her first set of new songs in more than six years, is called Sun.
Austin Conroy Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 10:20 am

The musician known as Cat Power has a penchant for goofing around. That might come as a surprise to those familiar with her music, which is always at least a little bit mournful.

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World Cafe
2:46 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Cassandra Wilson On World Cafe

Cassandra Wilson.
Courtesy of the artist

A pioneer who muddies the waters separating jazz, blues, country, soul and rock, Cassandra Wilson possesses a beautiful voice and more than three decades of musical experience. The two-time Grammy winner began her career with the M-base collective, but found success as a solo jazz singer.

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World Cafe
1:54 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Family Band On World Cafe

Family Band.
Courtesy of Caleb Seppala

The Brooklyn-based ambient-folk duo Family Band is a collaboration between visual artist turned frontwoman Kim Krans and her husband, former heavy-metal guitarist Jonny Ollsin. Together, they craft beautifully dark, folk-influenced songs, which they fittingly describe as "heavy mellow."

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World Cafe
2:11 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

THEESatisfaction On World Cafe

THEESatisfaction.
David Belisle

Working in a subgenre somewhere between soul and rap, Stasia "Stas" Irons and Catherine "Cat" Harris-White form the avant-garde hip-hop duo THEESatisfaction. Based in Seattle, the young duo released its first album, awE naturalE, back in March.

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First Listen
3:18 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

First Listen: Cat Power, 'Sun'

Cat Power's new album, Sun, comes out Sept. 4.
Stefano Giovannini Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:55 pm

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

Chan Marshall, the creative force behind Cat Power, has long been indie rock's standard-bearer for melancholy navel gazing. In a career spanning nearly two decades, she's produced a large catalog of mostly moody confessionals, mixing blues, folk and arty punk with a swoon-inducing, transcendent voice. She could sing random figures from her tax returns and convey more heartache and angst than many other artists could match in their deepest moments.

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World Cafe
2:05 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Diamond Rugs On World Cafe

Diamond Rugs.
Amie Ledford

Muddying the waters separating indie rock, country and Southern blues, Diamond Rugs formed in Nashville as an all-star music collective assembled by John McCauley of Deer Tick.

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First Listen
11:33 am
Tue August 28, 2012

First Listen: Stars, 'The North'

Stars new album, The North, comes out Sept. 4.
Norman Wong Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:48 pm

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

The Montreal pop band Stars has always kept several sensibilities in rotation: Its arsenal includes fizzy pop, melancholy dance music, boy-girl ballads that flesh out the painful realities of modern romantic life, and anthems that address war, politics, gender dynamics and even the meaning of life. As such, Stars' albums tend to jump around a bit — rarely more so than on The North, the group's sixth full-length record, out Sept. 4.

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First Listen
9:29 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

First Listen: Sean Rowe, 'The Salesman And The Shark'

Sean Rowe's new album, The Salesman and the Shark, comes out August 28.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:50 pm

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

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All Songs Considered Blog
9:27 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Song Premiere: Bob Dylan, 'Duquesne Whistle'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 8:35 pm

"Duquesne Whistle," begins in the middle of a scene, like the fade-in in a classic Western. It's the first song we get to hear from Bob Dylan's Tempest, the album he will release on September 11, 50 years and six months after the commencement of his recoding career.

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World Cafe
12:53 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Next: Matthew E. White

Matthew E. White.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 10:34 am

  • Hear two new songs by Matthew E. White

Matthew E. White is an old soul conversant in music's past. On the cover of his debut album, Big Inner, his aesthetic is reminiscent of 1970 John Lennon on the cover of Abbey Road. The Manila-born, Virginia-raised musician was heavily influenced by the early works of Randy Newman — specifically Newman's 1972 album Sail Away.

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Music Interviews
1:19 pm
Sun August 26, 2012

The Avett Brothers: Matters Of Life And Death

The Avett Brothers are real-life siblings Scott (left) and Seth Avett (right), and bass player Bob Crawford. The band's newest album is The Carpenter.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 6:15 pm

In 2009, The Avett Brothers became one of the surprise hits of the year. Paste Magazine considered their I and Love and You the best album of that year, calling it "an overpowering acoustic album brimming with sadness and soul."

That sadness took on new meaning recently. Bassist Bob Crawford took a temporary leave from the band to tend to his infant daughter, Hallie, after she developed a brain tumor.

Next month, The Avett Brothers release a new album, The Carpenter, which explores the delicate balance between life and death.

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World Cafe
1:04 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

The Tallest Man On Earth On World Cafe Monday At 8pm.

The Tallest Man on Earth.
Melody Chiang

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 8:03 am

Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson is a modern-day troubadour whose crooning voice and acoustic folk songs often get him compared to Bob Dylan. Matsson recently released his third full-length solo album, There's No Leaving Now, under the moniker The Tallest Man on Earth.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
12:25 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Beth Orton: Tiny Desk Concert

Michael Katzif NPR

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 2:26 pm

English singer-songwriter Beth Orton is one of the best-known practitioners of a subgenre in which folk songs are set to electronic beats — it's a sound she employed to popular and powerful effect throughout the late '90s and early '00s, on hit albums such as Trailer Park, Central Reservation and Daybreaker.

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World Cafe
4:27 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Latin Roots: From Africa To Brazil, The Story Of Samba

Brazilian samba musician Jorge Ben.
Fernanda Calfat Getty Images

Grammy-winning Latin-music producer Aaron Levinson joins WXPN's David Dye for this, the 17th segment of World Cafe's Latin Roots series. Levinson, a Philadelphia native, started his music career at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. With a background as a musician and composer, he's a former governor of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Levinson has gone on to start his own record label, Range Recording Studios, and has produced and released more than a dozen albums along the way.

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World Cafe
2:42 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Van Hunt On World Cafe

Van Hunt.
Hannah Mattix

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 4:27 pm

Van Hunt is something like a cross between Thelonious Monk and Prince: throaty and suave yet artistic, bold and a little weird. His inventive style speaks to his strong will, a trait that propelled the college dropout to move from his home in Ohio to the music hub of Atlanta.

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