WUIS Xponential

WUIS Xponential

In his 33 years on earth, rock critic Lester Bangs left behind tens of thousands of pages of writing. He died of a drug overdose in 1982 — but this month, at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, Calif., Bangs and his ideas are coming to life on stage in the new one-man play How to Be a Rock Critic.

Composer Terry Riley turns 80 Wednesday. He's been called the father of minimalism for his groundbreaking 1964 work In C. But his influence has spread far beyond, sparking the imaginations of many artists, from cutting-edge electronic musicians to rock gods.

Strand Of Oaks' music is filled with bite and sometimes regret, but also a good deal of warmth. Neil Young is an obvious touchstone when the loud guitar solos kick in, but so is Jason Molina.

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Latin Roots: Women In Salsa

Jun 18, 2015

For this episode of Latin Roots from World Cafe, producer Aaron Levinson joins the show to discuss women in salsa. As he readily acknowledges, women have had a tough time in the genre's male-dominated world, Celia Cruz being the exception — she's arguably the most beloved figure in salsa, regardless of gender. He discusses other artists, too, including an all-female salsa band that started in the 1930s.

Buffy Sainte-Marie On World Cafe

Jun 18, 2015

At 74, Buffy Sainte-Marie still has the passion of her youth on her new album Power In The Blood. The Cree songwriter wrote hits like "Universal Soldier" and "Until It's Time For You To Go" in the 1960s, but that was before she was blacklisted from American radio in the 1970s. Sainte-Marie also won a Grammy and an Oscar for her part in writing "Up Where We Belong," recorded by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes for the 1982 film An Officer And A Gentleman.

James Taylor On World Cafe

Jun 18, 2015

James Taylor put out his first album on Apple Records in 1968. He wrote wistfully about halcyon days in North Carolina, but he also addressed darker subjects like a mental hospital and heroin addiction. Those songs, and the ones on the eponymous 1970 album that followed, solidified a generational love affair with Taylor's music.

Adult Mom's Steph Knipe says "Told Ya So" is a "happy queer" song, as "it's a song that acts as a space of self-validation." Adult Mom's music deals deeply and thoughtfully with queerness and identity, a directive made even more impressive by the upbeat, electronic-tinged folk pop the band — which is Knipe solo on recordings and a quartet live — uses to achieve it.

Heartless Bastards On World Cafe

Jun 17, 2015

Singer-guitarist Erika Wennerstrom performs with elegance and power, and she's been doing so with Heartless Bastards for a good long time now. The band recently performed songs from its new album Restless Ones live on stage at Philadelphia's Non-COMMvention. Wennerstrom says she and the band got to take their time with the new album — enough time to let happy accidents happen along the way.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Brian And Julee

Jun 17, 2015

Join The Thistle & Shamrock host Fiona Ritchie at The Swannanoa Gathering in the mountains of North Carolina for a conversational, musical encounter with Brían Ó hAirt and Julee Glaub. Each followed a separate path to Ireland to discover the roots of their musical passions. Hear live performances from Ó hAirt and Glaub — along with recordings of their respective bands, Bua and Little Windows.

There's something particularly delicious about fightin' words sung sugar sweet. Fairground Saints, a newly formed Los Angeles trio, strikes the balance delectably on their latest song, "Turn This Car Around," an argument between lovers sung in call-and-response, then meeting in high folk-pop harmony.

opbmusic Presents: Lonnie Holley

Jun 17, 2015

When Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he's running for president, the soundtrack at the Trump Tower event was Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World," which was played loudly and repeatedly. But afterward, Young said Trump had used the song without permission — and that he's a Bernie Sanders guy, anyway.

Young's manager released a statement saying:

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And now this; Donald Trump is in.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DONALD TRUMP: I am officially running...

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: For president of the United States, and we are going to make our country great again.

Metropolis: 6/13/15

Jun 16, 2015

This Week's Playlist

  • Disclosure, "Holding On [feat. Gregory Porter]" (Capitol)
  • Spada, "Catch Fire (Sun Sun Sun) [Davidian Remix]" (Hysterical)
  • Andhim, "Boy Boy Boy [MK Remix]" (Get Physical Music)
  • Mansions On The Moon, "The Truth [Eric Sharp & Tenova Remix]"
  • Eelke Kleijn, "In My Head" (Spinnin' Deep)
  • Underworld, "Two Months Off [John Ciafone Remix]" (JBO/V2)
  • LO'99, "My Mind"
  • Catz 'n Dogz, "Bring Me That Water" (Dirtybird)

Best Coast On World Cafe

Jun 16, 2015

Best Coast just returned with a new album called California Nights, which expands on the band's soaring beach-rock sound. In fact, expansion seems to be the point of California Nights: Members Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno allow themselves to head into uncharted areas, both sonically and lyrically.

World Cafe Next: Summer Fiction

Jun 16, 2015

World Cafe first got to know Bill Ricchini in Philadelphia, where he produced his first record as Summer Fiction, then didn't hear from him for a while. Four years later, he calls Brooklyn home and has a new Summer Fiction album out called Himalaya. Ricchini traveled to a small U.K. studio to record his latest batch of guitar-driven pop with producer Brian Christinzio (BC Camplight).

Montreal singer-songwriter Patrick Watson has been thrilling audiences with his lush arrangements and gorgeous vocals for more than a decade. He combines his love of music composition and science fiction on his new album, Love Songs For Robots. "Hearts" is one of the highlights of his layered and atmospheric live set for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic.

SET LIST

  • "Hearts"

My Alt.Latino co-host, Jasmine Garsd, accurately describes this track by the Peruvian band Novalima as a three-layer cake of time. Consider the ingredients: It's based on an iPhone recording of a 1950s-era vocalist; it's propelled by an Afro-Peruvian cajon, a percussion instrument that dates back to the slave trade in Peru; and it's peppered with keyboard blips and beeps from today's technology.

Los Angeles trio Superhumanoids have only been together since 2010, but their latest single, "Anxious In Venice," sounds like they've matured 20 years since their last release, 2013's Exhibitionists. Playful, '80s-referencing synth lines have given way to darker, seething electronics built from the band's realization that their sound hadn't been reaching audiences as they wanted.

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