WUIS Xponential

WUIS Xponential

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It was streamed on Spotify 4.2 million times in just a single day this week. Last week it streamed a total of nearly 22 million times.


KCRW Presents: Ride

Apr 16, 2015

The pioneering Oxford shoegaze band Ride had been on a 20-year break before reuniting for a world tour, which kicked off in earnest at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival this month. Before heading to the desert, the group chose KCRW for its first U.S. appearance since getting back together. During its set, Ride soared through classic songs like 1992's "Leave Them All Behind," which would come to help define the shoegaze sound.


  • "Leave Them All Behind"

When singer Bruno Mars and producer Mark Ronson first landed on the instrumental track and a few lines of what would become the hit song "Uptown Funk," Ronson says the room was filled with electricity.

"There's nothing more exciting than that period of the song, because the potential is unlimited," Ronson tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

On the surface, Boogie's got the kind of backstory often told in hip-hop: The child of a single mom and an absent father, a high-school dropout, a former gang member. He's from Compton, Calif., home to N.W.A, The Game and Kendrick Lamar. It's the birthplace of gangsta rap, but for Boogie, "It's about me showing my friends and homies that we can honestly make a change."

The North London rock group Wolf Alice has been picking up steam this year with a potent mix of vintage '90s rock, electronics and moody atmospherics. It's a sound that both shimmers and glowers — part The Sundays, part Smashing Pumpkins.

Wolf Alice dances along this line memorably on "Bros," the latest cut from the band's upcoming full length debut My Love Is Cool. Propelled by lead singer Ellie Rowsell's stirring voice, the song is a celebratory but wistful reflection on the waning years of youth.

'I Could Fall In Love': Selena's Legacy, 20 Years Later

Apr 16, 2015

When Bon Iver's Justin Vernon saw Norway's Highasakite perform at the 2012 Oya Festival in Oslo, he fell in love. Soon the two bands were touring together. Now the only band I know that tours with a flugabone has taken one of Vernon's songs and made it even more majestic than the original.

Nora Jane Struthers On World Cafe

Apr 16, 2015

Nora Jane Struthers might never have become a professional musician were it not for a moment of euphoria at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Struthers had gone to school to study education — and was actually working as a teacher in Brooklyn — when she turned around to face away from the stage at Telluride. When she saw the crowd and the mountains, she decided to follow her heart and head to Nashville to make music.

Allen Toussaint On Mountain Stage

Apr 16, 2015

Allen Toussaint appears on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the historic Keith Albee Theater in Huntington, W.Va. A New Orleans R&B institution, Toussaint has worn every musical hat there is to wear — and, along the way, is as responsible as any one person for that classic Crescent City sound.

After two decades in punk rock, Jeff Burke still writes songs with the ecstatic energy of a kid picking up a guitar for the first time. Among the Denton, Texas, guitarist and singer's several bands, the most beloved is the currently dormant The Marked Men, which is why the similar sensibility of Radioactivity's self-titled 2013 album was such a welcome surprise. With guitarist/vocalist Mark Ryan (Mind Spiders) in tow, it was essentially The Marked Men 2.0.

Review: Razia Said, 'Akory'

Apr 15, 2015

Imagine a country where most of the people are under 14 years old. Madagascar singer Razia Said lives in the U.S., but her songs tackle the challenges the African island nation faces. Music critic Banning Eyre says her latest album Akory prods the nation's leaders with bold questions.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Time To Dance

Apr 15, 2015

The rhythms of Celtic music will always reach your feet, and then you're dancing. Limber up and tune in for music by Alasdair Fraser, Trian and a pair of traditional dance bands from Ireland and Scotland.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Greg Holden On World Cafe

Apr 15, 2015

Greg Holden isn't a name everyone knows — at least not yet — but his work has reached a massive audience. His song "Home" was a massive hit for American Idol winner Phillip Phillips a few years ago.

A U.K. singer-songwriter, Holden put out his own crowd-financed album in 2012, and is now making his major-label debut with Chase The Sun. On this episode of World Cafe, he performs a few songs and tells the story of how he took the money he made from "Home" to finance a backpacking trip to India.

If I had to pick one new band that you should absolutely listen to, it's Algiers, three young men who grew up in Atlanta. Sonically, they make really eerie gospel music that's a rock-inspired amalgamation of all different stuff. In "Black Eunuch," you can hear the sounds of both black and white churches of the South and great guitars. Though they now live in London and New York, their roots are definitely southern based and their lyrics deal with the conservative politics of where they grew up. I've never seen them before and they're completely new to me.

The Alabama Shakes performed a First Listen Live of the band's new album, Sound & Color, on the eve of the album's release at Apogee Studio in Los Angeles, and you can watch the entire concert in HD thanks to our partner KCRW and its flagship show, Morning Becomes Eclectic.

Brittany Howard and her crew played 10 of the 12 songs on Sound & Color, and threw in a few hits from their 2012 LP, Boys & Girls.

Set List

  • "Miss You"
  • "Rise To The Sun"
  • "Dunes"

Shamir is best known for his buoyant, elastic electro-pop-rap song "On The Regular," but his live shows careen in altogether different directions. For one, the 20-year-old Las Vegas native sings far more often than he raps, with a high but rich voice versatile enough to accommodate Sylvester-esque disco, sleekly modern pop and robust funk.

Soul singer Percy Sledge epitomized Southern soul in ballads like "When A Man Loves A Woman," which became a massive international hit when it came out in 1966. Sledge died Tuesday morning of natural causes in East Baton Rouge, La. He was 74.

Tobias Jesso Jr. On World Cafe

Apr 14, 2015

Piano-playing singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. has seen his fortunes in the music business improve dramatically. The singer-songwriter recently put out his first album, Goon, which has received rave reviews and even been tweeted by Adele. But his career didn't take off until after he'd given up: In 2012, while recovering from a breakup in L.A., he was hit by a car, which impaled his hand on its hood ornament. While lying there, he saw a thief abscond with his bike. The next morning, he learned that his mother had been diagnosed with cancer.

Metropolis: 4/11/15

Apr 14, 2015

This Week's Playlist

  • Chris Malinchak, "So Good To Me" (Ultra/Sony)
  • Porsches, "Horses" (Sweat It Out)
  • SAJE, "Lost Tonight"
  • Lapsley, "Falling Short" (XL)
  • Drake, "Too Much (Unlikely Futures Remix)" (Cash Money)
  • Zero 7, "400 Blows" (Make)
  • Andhim, "Domplatte" (Get Physical)
  • Gorgon City, "Go All Night (Booka Shade Remix)" (Black Butter/Virgin)
  • Hot Since 82, "Time Out" (Ultra)

Idaho's Built to Spill were one of the most beloved rock acts of the '90s and now the indie rock pioneers are back with a new rhythm section and the band's first album since 2009. This week on All Songs Considered, we bring you a new track from upcoming album Untethered Moon, which you can hear in its entirety on First Listen.

World Cafe Next: Hop Along

Apr 14, 2015

This week's World Cafe: Next artist is Philadelphia's Hop Along, a band that evolved from the solo freak-folk recordings singer Frances Quinlan made while still in high school. The music on Painted Shut, Hop Along's first album for a national label, is no one's folk music — it's brash and powerful, led by Frances' intense, almost abrasive vocals.

When Amebix returned after two decades with 2011's Sonic Mass, it was an adventurous take on the crust-punk legacy the English band had left behind. Unfortunately, it was the only album to come out of the reunion, but that lush, brooding, melodic sound continues and evolves with Tau Cross, bassist/vocalist Rob Miller's new band featuring members of Voivod, Misery and War//Plague. Case in point, here's "Fire In The Sky" from Tau Cross' self-titled debut.

On his most recent album, Vestiges & Claws, José González treads a familiar musical path, offering listeners the same subdued-but-powerful austerity of his unobtrusive tenor paired with minimal instrumentation that's come to define his remarkable sound since his full-length debut with 2003's Veneer. While those compositional tendencies have thankfully remained undisturbed, Vestiges & Claws is a divergence in theme for González.

Singer Percy Sledge, perhaps best known for his hit "When A Man Loves A Woman," has died, Artists International Management Inc., his talent agency, said.

Sledge died of natural causes a little after midnight at a hospice in East Baton Rouge, La., according to a coroner. The coroner said Sledge was 74, though the Encyclopedia of Music as well as his talent agency says Sledge was 73.