World Cafe

Weeknights 7-9PM

Hosted by radio veteran and music enthusiast David Dye, 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.

Parquet Courts On World Cafe

3 hours ago

It turns out that Parquet Courts' most recent two albums were actually recorded at the same time. As guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Andrew Savage explains, the band's 2015 EP, Monastic Living, was a mostly instrumental "palate cleanser" that prepared him and songwriting partner Austin Brown to record this year's Human Performance.

Each month, we ask music curators at public radio stations across the country to introduce us to one new song they can't stop spinning. In April, these denizens of the left side of the dial loved songs by Brooklyn electric-folk band Big Thief, Philadelphia power-pop quintet Sheer Mag, Louisiana garage-rock outfit Seratones and more. Hear all 10 selections below.

Latin Roots: Daymé Arocena

Apr 28, 2016

World Cafe's latest Latin Roots artist, Cuban singer Daymé Arocena, has a warm, dynamic voice and a personality to match. The 23-year-old laughs easily in this session, as she sings songs from her debut album, Nueva Era, and discusses the opportunities available to her at home and around the world.

Andrew Bird On World Cafe

Apr 28, 2016

Andrew Bird is back with a new album called Are You Serious? — and he's once again approaching his music in a different way.

DMA's On World Cafe

Apr 27, 2016

Tommy O'Dell, Johnny Took and Matt Mason, who make up the Australian trio DMA's, were on World Cafe in 2015 when they released their self-titled EP. Now, just a year later, they've released their first full-length, a guitar-driven garage-pop record called Hills End. Hear DMA's perform four songs from the album in this special mini-concert for World Cafe.

Paul Burch On World Cafe

Apr 26, 2016

Country singer-songwriter Paul Burch has been making roots records — often with his band, The WPA Ballclub — for two decades, ever since he first arrived in Nashville and started playing covers at Tootsies Orchid Lounge on Lower Broadway. He's released 10 albums, and has contributed music to both PBS' The Appalachians and HBO's True Blood.

World Cafe Next: Karl Blau

Apr 25, 2016

Producer Tucker Martine was familiar with Pacific Northwest singer-songwriter Karl Blau through Blau's work on Laura Veirs' records; Martine is Veirs' husband and has produced her latest work. Martine had a vision of setting Blau's voice against lush, dreamy, string-drenched arrangements, and Introducing Karl Blau took shape.

Sense Of Place North Carolina: Mitch Easter

Apr 22, 2016

Mitch Easter has been a significant presence in the North Carolina music scene for decades — beginning in 1980, when he opened his Drive-In Studio in his parents' garage in Winston-Salem. Easter is best known for his band Let's Active and as a producer for the first R.E.M. albums in the early '80s.

Shirlette Ammons is a multidisciplinary hip-hop artist from Durham, N.C., who specializes in making musical connections. Her latest album, Language Barrier, is a tour de force that includes contributions from many of the artists World Cafe spoke with during our Sense Of Place visit to North Carolina — including Heather McEntire from Mount Moriah, M.C.

One of the major highlights of World Cafe's Sense Of Place trip to the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area was a one-time event that M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger put together just for us.

On World Cafe's Sense Of Place trip to North Carolina, we discussed the DIY beginnings and subsequent growth of Durham, N.C.'s Merge Records with co-founders Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan. Founded in 1989 as a way to release their band Superchunk's music — and, later, albums by their friends — the label has become a powerhouse thanks in part to artists like Spoon and Arcade Fire.

Whether he's playing in bands like Superchunk (or his former solo project, Portastatic) or co-heading Merge Records, Mac McCaughan keeps plenty busy. Last year, he released his first solo album under his own name, Non-Believers.

Singer-songwriter David Childers was new to World Cafe when the show took its Sense Of Place visit to North Carolina, even though his recordings date back almost 20 years. Childers' folk-rock/country songs often have religious themes that reflect his personal journey — especially on his latest album, Serpents Of Reformation, which was recorded by his son, Robert.

Music is only one part of that journey; Childers is also a painter and a practicing lawyer who shepherds clients through mazes of bureaucracy.

A swing-revival band formed in 1993, Squirrel Nut Zippers got together in Chapel Hill, N.C. Best known for its breakthrough single, "Hell," the group visited the World Cafe studio in 1996 to perform four songs, discuss how Squirrel Nut Zippers formed, and explain how they took a different approach to recording Hot, their latest record at the time.

Sense Of Place North Carolina: Whiskeytown

Apr 19, 2016

In the spirit of Sense Of Place: North Carolina, this week World Cafe digs deep into the archives to bring you vintage sessions with artists from the Cardinal State.

World Cafe Next: Car Seat Headrest

Apr 18, 2016

Will Toledo, the 23-year-old who records as Car Seat Headrest, isn't really a new artist. His last album, Teens Of Style, compiled songs from the 11 albums he'd already recorded and made available on Bandcamp. Teens Of Denial, which comes out May 20, contains new songs recorded with power and presence. The music puts a more polished edge on Toledo's self-deprecation, cynicism and honesty. Rarely does teen angst sound so fun.

Sense Of Place North Carolina: Mount Moriah

Apr 18, 2016

World Cafe kicks off its "Sense Of Place" trip to North Carolina with a visit to Mount Moriah's practice space, which is also lead singer and songwriter Heather McEntire's home outside of Raleigh, N.C.

The Lumineers On World Cafe

Apr 15, 2016

Fueled by the ubiquitous stomp-along "Ho Hey," The Lumineers' self-titled 2012 debut album went to No. 2, and "Ho Hey" itself sold more than two million copies. The Lumineers released a follow-up, Cleopatra, last week. In today's session, the band performs some of the new music on stage at World Cafe Live.

Hear The Soundtrack To 'International Pop'

Apr 15, 2016

Through May 15, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is housing "International Pop," an exhibit that showcases a global collection of pop art from 1956 to 1972. If you visit, you'll find well-known names like Warhol and Lichtenstein, but also many others from Argentina, Japan and elsewhere, including a large number of female artists.

Lucinda Williams On World Cafe

Apr 14, 2016

Singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams' new album, The Ghosts Of Highway 20, is her second double album in a row — she's most certainly been prolific in recent years. The titular stretch of highway passes through resonant places in Williams' life and provides perfect context for songs about the people and events she's encountered along the way.

Shearwater On World Cafe

Apr 13, 2016

Jet Plane And Oxbow, released earlier this year, is Austin rock band Shearwater's ninth album. In this session, lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Meiburg says Shearwater made a conscious effort to make sure each song on the record made you want to see and hear it performed live, adding that the band pulled many sonic choices straight out of the '80s.

In the player above, hear Shearwater perform three songs from Jet Plane And Oxbow, recorded live in the World Cafe studio.

Nada Surf On World Cafe

Apr 12, 2016

Last month, Nada Surf released a new full-length album, You Know Who You Are, after a four-year break. The New York band consists of Matthew Caws (guitar, vocals), Doug Gillard (guitar), Ira Elliot (drums) and Daniel Lorca (bass, backing vocals), who've been playing together for two decades.

Nada Surf has always had a knack for propulsive, guitar-driven rock, which you'll hear in this session as the band performs three songs from You Know Who You Are.

World Cafe Next: Margaret Glaspy

Apr 11, 2016

Margaret Glaspy, a singer-songwriter originally from California, is about to release her debut full-length, Emotions And Math. After high school, Glaspy received a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music for one semester. Once that scholarship ran out, she hung around Boston for a while, soaking up master classes and workshops, before moving to New York City to refine her songwriting.

Mayer Hawthorne On World Cafe

Apr 8, 2016

Mayer Hawthorne may live in Southern California now, but you can't miss the influences of his hometown of Detroit in his music. He's a fan of hip-hop, Motown, old soul and even Steely Dan, and it all comes out in his slick R&B.

Latin Roots: Boogaloo

Apr 7, 2016

Producer Aaron Levinson joins World Cafe for a Latin Roots discussion of boogaloo, the Latin music and dance craze that burst out of New York City in the mid-1960s. The elders might have been threatened by this new sound, which boasted English-language lyrics, but the kids didn't care. Levinson spins a couple of crossover hits in the segment above; check out his Spotify playlist for further boogaloo favorites.

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down joins World Cafe for a set recorded live from lead singer Thao Nguyen's home in the San Francisco Bay Area. The band recently released its fourth album, A Man Alive, which was produced by Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs. Nguyen says the title alludes to her ongoing estrangement from her father.

Hear the full conversation and performance in the player above.

The world of country music has lost a man who has influenced practically every country artist making music today. The legendary Merle Haggard, born in 1937, died Wednesday morning on his 79th birthday.

Josh Rosenthal is a music fan who has worn many hats over the years. He's been a DJ and a major-label promotion man; today, he's the owner and guiding light behind Tompkins Square, a label that primarily releases reissues. Rosenthal's new memoir, The Record Store Of The Mind, explores the music he discovers, falls in love with and reissues, plus much more from his years of crate-digging.

Sunflower Bean On World Cafe

Apr 6, 2016

Ray LaMontagne On World Cafe

Apr 5, 2016

Originally from Maine, Ray LaMontagne began his career in 2004; his first album, Trouble, was a widely beloved success. Since then, LaMontagne has worked with an assortment of producers and bands, challenging them — and himself — to something different each time.

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