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First Listen: The New Pornographers, 'Whiteout Conditions'

It's hard to imagine a band that abhors a long, throat-clearing windup more than The New Pornographers . Listen to any of the group's seven albums, and each bursts out from the jump with a blast of pure, blissfully irresistible power pop. Take the title track from 2015's Brill Bruisers , which opens the record by racing from zero to a full-blast sing-along hook in a literal fraction of a second. Why wait? Whiteout Conditions doesn't deviate from that precedent. Opening with a string of...

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Brigid Mae Power On World Cafe

Aug 16, 2016

Brigid Mae Power's work, which is rooted in the acoustic world of traditional Irish tunes, creeps up on you like a fog. The Irish singer has recorded her music — most of which she's released on Bandcamp — in unique locations, such as old churches. Power's chosen locale for her new, self-titled album? Portland, Oregon. (American singer and songwriter Peter Broderick, who'd met her at a gig, convinced her to travel all that way to record.)

Be sure to check the VuHaus link each day for great live performances. On Monday, a very special performance with Bonnie Raitt and Amos Lee you won't want to miss.

  Rick Simpson is taking the night off, and instead of Gumbo Variations, we bring you two sets from this year's Newport Folk Festival: The Violent Femmes followed by Ryan Adams and the Incredible String Dusters. Tune in tonight at 6  PM, only on Different Radio. 

Check Out the 2016 Grassroots Lineup

Jun 6, 2016
grassrootsfest.org

Mary Ellen Matthews

In case you missed it, you can hear Paul Simon's World Cafe interview here.

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Jun 6, 2016

At some point in the 1960s, steel drum (a.k.a. pan) music became the Caribbean equivalent of cheesy Vegas lounge tunes: something only an ill-dressed tourist might fancy during a cruise ship port o' call. And true, there's probably a thousand bad pan covers of "Yellow Bird" out there, but the tradition is unfairly maligned.

Carrie Rodriguez has been many things: a classically trained violinist turned American fiddler, a duet partner to veteran songwriter Chip Taylor, a successful and popular solo artist in her own right. On occasion, those roles have allowed her Mexican-American roots to bubble to the surface — perhaps in a line sung in Spanish, or through a reference to a classic mariachi song.

World Cafe Next: Bonnie Bishop

May 30, 2016

Many have discovered Bonnie Bishop through Bonnie Raitt, who recorded Bishop's song "Not Cause I Wanted To" on her latest album, Dig In Deep. But Bishop's own new album, Ain't Who I Was, is a treat in and of itself. Produced by Nashville superproducer Dave Cobb, the album is reminiscent of the sound of Dusty Springfield's classic Dusty In Memphis in the way it straddles the line between soul and country.

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Here's a fun fact about Noname's Tiny Desk Concert: It almost didn't happen. Around the time of their D.C. stop, she (born Fatimah Warner) and her bandmates got their first dose of tour sickness. Thanks to rest, medicine and our mutual excitement, she made her way into the NPR offices the following day. If there ever was a 'Noname' way of doing things, this is definitely her signature method. It's in the way she's able to muster a smile while performing a heartbreaking tale of abortion. It's those sometimes bleak, melancholy lyrics over brilliant, colorful production.

It's hard to imagine a band that abhors a long, throat-clearing windup more than The New Pornographers. Listen to any of the group's seven albums, and each bursts out from the jump with a blast of pure, blissfully irresistible power pop.

Shortly after his 82nd birthday, Leonard Cohen sat down with KCRW's Chris Douridas for an interview. The two talked about Cohen's health, the role of religion in his life, his 14th and final album, You Want It Darker, and much more.

The conversation took place at the Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles on Oct. 13 as part of a special listening session for You Want It Darker. It's the last interview Cohen gave before his death on November 7.

Influential singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82, according to a publicist for his U.S. record label.

Cohen died Monday, but news of his death came out late Thursday. His Facebook page had this announcement:

"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away.
We have lost one of music's most revered and prolific visionaries.

Hi, World Cafe fans! I just moved to the U.S. from Toronto, Canada, to become World Cafe's new contributing host and producer. Yes, I'm from Drake's hometown. And yes, that's the most frequently asked question since I've been here. But if your musical knowledge north of the 49th parallel doesn't extend past Drizzy and The Six, you're in luck. I brought a pile of musical gifts across the border with me.