World Cafe

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Mercury Rev On World Cafe

Nov 17, 2015

Originally formed in Buffalo, N.Y., in the late '80s, Mercury Rev hasn't always had an easy time finding an audience beyond its devoted cult following. But the band did see success in the U.K. with 1998's Deserter's Songs, and breakthrough albums like Yerself Is Steam and See You On The Other Side are still highly regarded.

World Cafe Next: Foxing

Nov 16, 2015

The St. Louis indie-rock band Foxing just released its second album, Dealer, which expands on the sound of its debut, The Albatross. How do these musicians respond to pressure to come up with new material? Foxing has an unofficial motto that helps: "We're a band, and someday we won't be a band." That takes the pressure off.

Hear two songs from Foxing and download the World Cafe: Next segment on this page.

FFS On World Cafe

Nov 13, 2015

FFS is two headliners in one: Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand, whose song "Take Me Out" was a worldwide hit in 2004, plus the American pop-rock group Sparks, which was formed in 1972 by brothers Ron and Russell Mael.

Latin Roots: English Rock In Spanish

Nov 12, 2015

On today's Latin Roots segment, Josh Norek of The Latin Alternative brings World Cafe a couple of Spanish-language versions of well-known rock songs in English. Two groups from Texas, Grupo Fantasma and The Chamanas, cover The Beatles and Portugal The Man, respectively.

EL VY On World Cafe

Nov 12, 2015

EL VY grew out of the writing that Matt Berninger of The National and Brent Knopf of Menomena and Ramona Falls had been working on together for the last few years. Lately, they've dedicated more time to their collaboration, and the result is a new album, Return To The Moon, and a nearly sold-out tour.

Christopher Paul Stelling On World Cafe

Nov 10, 2015

The first time you experience Christopher Paul Stelling singing and playing guitar is eye-opening. Stelling's attack on the nylon-string acoustic guitar is uniquely forceful, and it serves his songwriting well on his new album, Labor Against Waste. Hear him perform some of those new songs live in the studio as part of today's World Cafe session.

World Cafe Next: The Vulgar Boatmen

Nov 9, 2015

The Vulgar Boatmen was an unusual group, to say the least. After starting at the University of Florida, it eventually became two bands: one led by Robert Ray in Florida, the other by Dale Lawrence in Indiana. Ray and Lawrence collaborated long-distance on songwriting.

One of The Vulgar Boatmen's best albums, 1989's You And Your Sister, is being reissued on Nov. 28. On this page, discover (or re-discover) two songs from that album, including a new remix.

Shawn Colvin On World Cafe

Nov 6, 2015

North Dakota singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin released her debut album, Steady On, in 1989. Her breakthrough came in 1996 with the album A Few Small Repairs and its Top 10 song "Sunny Came Home," which won the Grammy for Record and Song Of The Year.

Mac DeMarco On World Cafe

Nov 5, 2015

Canadian jangle-pop singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco is an itinerant: Originally from Edmonton, he's made stops in Vancouver and Montreal on his way to Queens, where he now lives and records.

Destroyer On World Cafe

Nov 4, 2015

Though Destroyer, the project led by Canadian musician Dan Bejar, has been making records since 1996 — even before Bejar became known as one of The New Pornographers — today's session marks Destroyer's World Cafe debut.

Watkins Family Hour On World Cafe

Nov 3, 2015

What time is it? Why, it's the Watkins Family Hour, led by Sean and Sara Watkins of the bluegrass band Nickel Creek.

World Cafe Next: Boogarins

Nov 2, 2015

Boogarins is led by Fernando "Dino" Almeida and Benke Ferraz, who began playing music together as teenagers in the central Brazilian city of Goiânia. The four-piece band's first album of home recordings helped earn it a "best new artist" award from Rolling Stone Brasil.

In today's World Cafe Next segment, hear songs from Boogarins' second album, Manual, recorded during a tour break in Spain.

Rock star Tom Petty is the subject of today's interview with author Warren Zanes, whose new book, Petty: The Biography, is a deep and intimate profile. Zanes, the teenage rocker turned Ph.D. academic and executive director of Little Steven Van Zandt's Rock And Roll Forever Foundation, proved a perfect confidant to get Petty to open up.

Ezra Furman On World Cafe

Oct 28, 2015

For years, Chicago singer-songwriter Ezra Furman had been operating under the idea that meeting the audience's expectations was more important than being true to himself — and it was not working. Nine and a half years into his career, he hit bottom and decided that his 2013 album, Day Of The Dog, would be his last. But then, Furman began to openly embrace and discuss his own gender fluidity, and his career broke open in the U.K. and spread from there.

Alberta Cross On World Cafe

Oct 27, 2015

Given roots-rock band Alberta Cross' apparent influences, like The Band and Neil Young, you might assume that the group is American. In reality, it formed in the U.K., and bandleader Petter Ericson Stakee is originally from Uppsala, Sweden.

Elvis Costello's new memoir, Unfaithful Music And Disappearing Ink, is a 650-page tome in which Costello describes everything from growing up in London and Liverpool to playing the "angry" pop star with The Attractions, to his later collaborations with the Brodsky String Quartet, Allen Toussaint, Paul McCartney and

The Arcs On World Cafe

Oct 23, 2015

When The Black Keys had to take time off as drummer Patrick Carney recovered from a shoulder injury, his bandmate, Dan Auerbach, wasted no time. Auerbach put together a group of musicians with whom he'd toured, recorded and produced. That's how Leon Michels, Nick Movshon, Homer Steinweiss, Richard Swift and Kenny Vaughan — along with Auerbach — became The Arcs.

Latin Roots: Calma Carmona

Oct 22, 2015

Soulful Puerto Rican singer Calma Carmona brought her full band from San Juan to perform live in the World Cafe studio.

Kurt Vile On World Cafe

Oct 22, 2015

Philadelphia's Kurt Vile, formerly a member of The War On Drugs, has been making solo albums since 2008. The process of recording his latest, b'lieve i'm goin down, included an extended stay in California: He went to Los Angeles to record with Warpaint drummer Stella Mozgawa, and to Joshua Tree to soak up its unique vibe.

Titus Andronicus On World Cafe

Oct 21, 2015

Kevin Gordon On World Cafe

Oct 20, 2015

Originally from Monroe, La., Kevin Gordon grew up loving poetry and punk rock. He pursued the former academically, earning a master's degree from the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Still, he kept playing music and eventually moved to Nashville, where he's written songs that have been recorded by Keith Richards and many others.

World Cafe Next: Ben Caplan

Oct 19, 2015

Canadian singer and bandleader Ben Caplan released his first album in 2011 and has been on the road ever since. That might explain why his new record, Birds With Broken Wings, took so long to be recorded and released. Today's World Cafe: Next features two songs from that album, which is due out in November.

Josh Ritter On World Cafe

Oct 16, 2015

Singer-songwriter and author Josh Ritter's new album, Sermon On the Rocks, is out today. It's his eighth studio album since he began recording while at Oberlin College in 1999. Starting with the title, Sermon On The Rocks is filled with biblical references: Classic Bible stories were part of Ritter's upbringing in Moscow, Idaho, and he says those stories provide universal ways to get ideas across.

John Lydon On World Cafe

Oct 15, 2015

John Lydon (once known as Johnny Rotten) formed Public Image Ltd when The Sex Pistols disbanded in 1978. By that time, being in the Pistols had given Lydon, a self-described "shy person," a platform for expression, and he'd become an important cultural figure.

Lianne La Havas On World Cafe

Oct 14, 2015

Lianne La Havas' debut record, Is Your Love Big Enough?, was a critical and popular hit that iTunes named its album of the year in 2012. Today, she joins World Cafe older and wiser in terms of who she is and what she wants from her music.

Albert Hammond Jr. On World Cafe

Oct 13, 2015

Albert Hammond Jr., best known as The Strokes' dapper guitarist and keyboardist, released his first solo record in 2006. Since then, he's continued to put out solo work while remaining with The Strokes.

World Cafe Next: Brooke Annibale

Oct 12, 2015

Originally from Pittsburgh, singer-songwriter Brooke Annibale recently moved back to her hometown after spending some time in Nashville, where she recorded her new album The Simple Fear. It's actually her fourth LP — she made her first at 17. Annibale's songs have been heard on TV shows like One Tree Hill and Vampire Diaries, and it's easy to hear why: Her sometimes dark lyrics form an interesting contrast with what many would describe as a "pretty" voice.

Latin Roots: Barcelona Jazz Festival

Oct 8, 2015

Latin Roots contributor Judy Cantor-Navas joins World Cafe from Barcelona to discuss the variety of music at the Barcelona Jazz Festival, which is running throughout the city from now through November.

Featured in this segment are Txarango and the Sant Andreu Jazz Band — check out this Spotify playlist to hear more of the acts performing at the festival.

Diane Coffee On World Cafe

Oct 7, 2015

Shaun Fleming is many things: He's the drummer for psych-pop band Foxygen, a former Disney voice actor and the irrepressible force behind Diane Coffee, which has just released its second album, Everybody's A Good Dog.

Ashley Monroe On World Cafe

Oct 6, 2015