WUIS Xponential

WUIS Xponential

Sleater-Kinney On World Cafe

May 13, 2015

Sleater-Kinney's triumphant 2015 began with the January release of No Cities To Love, the newly reunited band's first album since 2005's The Woods. On this episode of World Cafe, we'll hear excepts from a recent Sleater-Kinney concert in Paris and sit down with Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss to discuss their remarkable careers.

Toronto songwriter Hayden Desser, who performs and records under his first name, has a lengthy history of hard-hitting sad songs. He rose to (college radio) fame in the late 1990s along with Elliott Smith, Low and Red House Painters as part of a brooding style dubbed "sadcore."

Mumford & Sons recently returned to WFUV to perform songs from the band's new third album, Wilder Mind. A solid year working in studios on both sides of the Atlantic brought opportunities for experimentation and a more collaborative songwriting process.

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



This is FRESH AIR. Fifty years ago today in a Washington nightclub, Chicago's Ramsey Lewis Trio recorded "The 'In' Crowd," the rare jazz single that landed on the pop charts. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says the audience was half the show.

One of the most musical countries on the planet, Brazil is awash in folk-music traditions, as well as a rich history in jazz and bossa nova. It seems as if Brazilian musicians can make beautiful sounds with everything and anything they touch.

The band Apanhador Só demonstrates that point, and then some: In this video, shot during SXSW in Austin this past spring, its members coax rhythms and beats from a trunkload of found items, including a children's bicycle and other playthings. The resulting performance of "Prédio" is the stuff of hip-swaying joy.

Vinyl's Comeback Keeps Record Pressers Busy

May 13, 2015
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.




"Just another day, in another life / I'm a satellite, watching the world watch people / as they do what they do to people," sings a bewildered and audibly affected Bilal. After taking a trip to the surreal side of soul on 2013's aptly titled A Love Surreal the Philadelphia-bred singer has come back down to earth on his new song, "Satellites."

The Earls Of Leicester On Mountain Stage

May 12, 2015

The Earls Of Leicester appear on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Under the direction of dobro master Jerry Douglas, the Earls conjure images of bluegrass legends Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs — and, in the process, have created one of music's great band-name puns. Conjuring the sounds of bluegrass giants is serious business, though, and it paid off when the group took home a 2015 Grammy for its efforts.

Rhett Miller On World Cafe

May 12, 2015

Rhett Miller has kept a solo career going concurrently with his day job as lead singer of the Old 97's. Miller's new album, The Traveler, was recorded with the help of Black Prairie, a band largely made up of moonlighting Decemberists members.

On our show this week, bigger is better. We start with a pop anthem and feature a set of artists all leaning into or newly discovering their boldest, most attention-grabbing music yet. Some, as in the case of a frontman gone solo and a bilingual saxophone-heavy punk band, deliver precisely the momentous sounds we'd expect. Others used the pull of memory, a desperate four-month stretch of insomnia, or a single shared microphone and two minutes of trippy ambience to level up their sonic ambitions.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Fresh Takes

May 12, 2015

This week on The Thistle & Shamrock, established artists and old friends — including Damien Connolly, Ályth McCormack, Altan and more — bring new music to the show.

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

I've been a fan of Laura Burhenn since we met at NPR's studios with her band Georgie James eight years ago. Her pop wisdom and desire to push her limits have produced some great music, especially the past two Mynabirds records.

The following should not be construed as legal advice — just good advice. We asked Julian Petty, who represents Ali, Earl Sweatshirt, Vince Staples and the estate of Biggie Smalls — and at one time worked with Michael Jackson, Prince and Stevie Wonder — to come see us at Microphone Check as part of our continued effort to put ever more people on game.

Twenty years ago, pianist András Schiff did not hide his disdain for the fortepiano — the smaller, quieter precursor to the modern grand piano. In the liner notes of five separate Schubert albums Schiff released in the early 1990s, he wrote: "Schubert's piano music has luckily not been discovered yet by specialists playing copies of Graf fortepianos."

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



GRATEFUL DEAD: (Singing) I set out running, but I'll take my time. A friend of the devil is a friend of mine.


In his new memoir, Deal, drummer Bill Kreutzmann tells a story about the Grateful Dead's tour of Egypt. Instead of filling hookahs with "black, gooey tobacco," the band "filled the entire hookah with hash. No tobacco!" In the midst of Middle East trouble, the Grateful Dead's members were unwitting ambassadors of American culture.

"Everybody had fun," Kreutzmann tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "Yes, indeed."

Metropolis: 5/9/15

May 11, 2015

Set List

  • Roosevelt, "Night Moves" (Greco-Roman)
  • Zeds Dead, "Lost You (feat. Twin Shadow & D'Angelo Lacy)" (Kove Remix)
  • Azari & III, "Reckless (With Your Love) (Steve Lawler Remix)" (Dim Mak)
  • Disclosure, "Bang That" (Cherry Tree/Interscope)
  • Gorgon City, "Unmissable (DJ Anna Remix)" (Black Butter/Virgin)
  • NERVO, "Haute Mess (Anna Remix)" (Ultra)
  • Lo'99 & Marshall, "Take Me Back"

World Cafe Next: The Weather Station

May 11, 2015

The Weather Station is the work of Tamara Lindeman, a Toronto-based singer-songwriter and actress in TV and film. Her third album, Loyalty, examines the many meanings behind its title; it was recorded in a decaying 19th-century mansion in France, where Lindeman played guitar, banjo, keys and vibes.

In this episode of World Cafe: Next, you can hear two songs from Loyalty — and download them as part of a podcast here.

Death Cab For Cutie On World Cafe

May 11, 2015

The title of Death Cab For Cutie's new album, Kintsugi, refers to the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery using precious metals — the idea being that broken items can be made more valuable than they ever were before. It's an apt metaphor for what's gone on in the band's recent history, and in the life of singer-songwriter Ben Gibbard.

Buckwheat Zydeco On Mountain Stage

May 11, 2015

Buckwheat Zydeco returns to Mountain Stage, recorded live at West Virginia's Culture Center Theater. The artist, born Stanley Dural Jr., has spent more than 30 years as the chief ambassador for one of Louisiana's most distinctive musical products.

Bellows' debut album, Blue Breath, was among my Top 20 records of last year. What sets Bellows apart from thousands of other guitar-bass-drums bands out there is its heart. Oliver Kalb sings about things that matter to him in ways that matter to me. His sing-song, matter-of-fact phrasing and guitar melodies are memorable, and the harmonies are lovely, with the staying power to drift in my head for days on end.

On the heels of her unamplified Pin Drop Tour, Northwest roots-rock singer Brandi Carlile has just released her fifth and and most rocking album. On The Firewatcher's Daughter, Carlile trades sheen for grit by recording deeply emotive songs in single takes. In this live studio performance at KEXP, she and her band blaze through the defiant barn-burner "Mainstream Kid."


  • "Mainstream Kid"
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

"United we stand, divided we shall fall."

Ladysmith Black Mambazo's latest song, with Malian singer Salif Keita, is a plea for peace in South Africa, which has been grappling with the fallout from deadly violence against immigrants from other parts of Africa.

J*Davey knows what it's like to be early to the party. The L.A. duo of producer Brook D'Leau and singer-songwriter Jack Davey made its debut a decade ago with a sound that drew from electro and new wave as much as it did hip-hop and pop. Back in the days of MySpace music discovery, the duo developed a cult following online and later signed a deal with Warner Bros. that would prove fruitless. After putting out a handful self-released EPs and a full-length, the duo stepped out of the spotlight.

If we're always listening, we're always changing. Last year was a time of transformation for Circuit des Yeux's Haley Fohr, as she toured to support the self-released Overdue.

First Listen: Jim O'Rourke, 'Simple Songs'

May 10, 2015

Throughout a long and varied career, Jim O'Rourke has approached music the way a watchmaker might approach complications, the catch-all term for parts of a timepiece that go beyond simply telling the time.