World Cafe

Weeknights 7-9PM

Hosted by radio veteran and music enthusiast Talia Schlanger , World Cafe presents up to ten hours each week of new and significant music and the artists who create it.

Serving up a blend of blues, rock, world, folk, and alternative country, live performances, and intimate interviews, the two-hour daily program is produced by WXPN-FM in Philadelphia.

The XPoNential Music Festival, presented by Subaru, offers an unparalleled experience for music discovery. With a lineup of established and up-and-coming artists (many of whom have recently performed World Cafe sessions), the XPoNential Music Festival has been pleasing audiences of all ages for more than a decade at the Camden Waterfront in Camden, N.J.

The country-music business is show business, whether the bright lights shine at the Grand Ole Opry or at a small dance hall on a lonely Western highway. Mark Wystrach, lead singer for Midland, learned the ropes of that business working at his parents' restaurant and dance hall, the Steak Out, in Sonoita, Ariz. Later he became an actor in Los Angeles, where he met Jess Carson, an Oregon farmer's son, and Cameron Duddy, a Hollywood kid whose love of music had led him to country, too.

Feist On World Cafe

Jul 25, 2017

Leslie Feist's latest album, Pleasure, is gritty, defiant and intimate in a way that's different from anything else we've heard from her. And when she wrote it, she was having a hard time feeling — well, pleasure. She explains in this session that she chose that word as a way to try and talk herself out of the dark feelings at the other extreme.

I'm willing to bet you've never seen a "Best Of" list quite like this one. "Turning The Tables" ranks the 150 greatest albums made by women. It's a partnership between NPR Music and Lincoln Center, led by Lincoln Center's Jill Sternheimer and our Nashville correspondent, Ann Powers.

Ann stopped by World Cafe to share some of the artists that made the list and to talk about the No. 1 album. She'll also reveal surprises, controversial picks and one solid conclusion: "Every single one of these albums, they are all amazing."

Recorded in Music City at RCA's legendary Studio A, Jason Isbell's latest album, The Nashville Sound, tackles issues like race and privilege, anxiety, sobriety, hope and family. (Isbell is married to Amanda Shires, a talented fiddle player and singer-songwriter who is also a member of Isbell's band, The 400 Unit; they have a toddler named Mercy.)

Every month, NPR Music asks our friends from public radio stations across the country — hosts, music directors and writers — for the new songs they simply can't stop listening to. Sometimes they're hot tracks that have dropped just the week before, and sometimes they're songs that have taken a couple months to slow-burn into our memories. Either way, the result is a mix that's perfect for the moment.

This week, World Cafe digs into the archives for some of its best sessions from the last several months — conversations and performances that were so good we decided to bring them back for a second listen. You'll hear sessions with Father John Misty, Alison Krauss, David Crosby and more.

Fleet Foxes' lead singer, Robin Pecknold, says the band's new album, Crack-Up, is the kind of record he's always wanted to make. But it took a minute — six years, actually. The last Fleet Foxes album, Helplessness Blues, came out in 2011 and was a huge success. But after touring that record, at a point where bands traditionally head back to the studio to try and keep the momentum going, Fleet Foxes took a break. And that led to a few changes.

This Sunday, July 16, watch a live stream of Nuevofest 2017, a Latin-music festival hosted by Philadelphia's WXPN and AfroTaíno Productions. You can catch all the action here via VuHaus, public radio's music-discovery video platform.

Find an approximate schedule of performances below; all listings are in Eastern time.

If you stumble into the right basement in Nashville, Tenn., you will hear some of the most inventive and lovely psychedelic rock being made just about anywhere. Sun Seeker is one of Music City's freshest new rock bands. It's inspired by 1960s legends like The Band and '90s rockers like Pavement, creating a unique blend of Southern whimsy and fuzzy, melodic rock.

After 33 years of David Letterman doing the job, it was an honor to get the chance to introduce Paul Shaffer myself. We welcome the former Late Show bandleader to World Cafe to perform with the World's Most Dangerous Band and discuss his life and career.

In this session, Angelica Garcia performs music from her haunting full-length debut, Medicine For Birds. What do we mean by "haunting"? First, the sound: She's got one of those voices that gets under your skin, and a sense of melody that'll make your hairs stand on end. And second, the source: Garcia created the album while living in a 200-year-old Gothic brick home in Virginia she's pretty sure is haunted.

Like to party? Meet Sweet Spirit, a punchy, powerful party band that features up to nine members onstage at any given time. The group's infectious live shows caught the eye of fellow Austinite Britt Daniel from Spoon, who invited Sweet Spirit to open at a bunch of his concerts and championed its full-length debut album, Cokomo, in 2015.

Pixies On World Cafe

Jul 7, 2017

When a band whose biggest hits came out in the mid- to late '80s shows up to play a concert in 2017, the first question you have to ask is: Are they going to sound like the band you know and love? When alt-rock icons Pixies played a show at World Cafe Live in May, the answer was: Absolutely.

Allison Crutchfield has called a lot of bands and collaborations home — but this year, she released her first full-length solo record, Tourist In This Town. As you'll hear in this conversation, putting out music under her own name has been really important to her.

Hippo Campus is a band made up of Minnesota 20-somethings who got swept up in the rock and roll lifestyle directly out of high school. After releasing a pair of EPs in 2015, the band has now put out its debut full-length, Landmark.

Tight, angular, surprising melodies leap from the songs on the new album. Hippo Campus' growth since its earlier work is evident right away; the band now boasts a less frantic sound and more mature songwriting.

In this session, we've got something special. It's a mini-concert by Real Estate recorded at the 2017 NON-COMMvention in Philadelphia. It features songs from its new album, In Mind, released earlier this year, plus a couple of older favorites.

Dispatch On World Cafe

Jun 30, 2017

Daddy Issues formed out of friendship in 2014 and has become one of Nashville's most exciting punk bands. Guitarist Jenna Moynihan, bassist Jenna Mitchell and drummer Emily Maxwell all came to the city to attend Belmont University and met through its thriving DIY scene. Blending a love of noise with powerful melodicism and a knack for capturing the ups and downs of millennial life, Daddy Issues is part of a wave of young women challenging the clichés of both rock music and feminism.

You know how the old adage goes: "What Would Lou Reed Do?" OK, so nobody really says that — except for Kevin Morby, who says that mantra gave him the confidence to experiment more as he worked on his fourth album, City Music.

Ani DiFranco's new album, her 20th, is called Binary. And, as is always the case with this artist, the music and the message are intertwined. The music on Binary is textured and ambitious — you can hear DiFranco's adopted home of New Orleans seeping through the floorboards. There are surprising guests, including Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.

Phoenix's sixth and latest album is called Ti Amo; in case you're rusty on your Italian, that means "I love you." And the record is filled with love. It also evokes Italian discos in the summertime — a surprisingly fun and lighthearted tone, given the tense times in which it emerged.

Every month, NPR Music hits up 10 hosts, music directors and writers from public radio stations across the country for the new songs that just won't let them go. It's always exciting to watch the picks pour in — both to hear the range of music represented and to learn why those songs have been on everyone's minds.

Rev. Sekou is a preacher, pastor and social activist with music in his blood. In this session Sekou is joined by the North Mississippi Allstars — whose members Luther and Cody Dickinson produced his new album, In Times Like These — for a performance recorded onstage at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

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