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Illinois music and the great alternative, rock, folk, soul, blues, reggae artists you've come to love on 91.9-HD3.  Mid-October launch into the musical universe!

If you listen to music on the radio, chances are you'll hear a lot of lyrics that don't match the ones on the original album recordings. When songs get profanity, obscenity or references to drugs or sex removed for broadcast, it's a process known as clean editing. Joel Mullis is one of the masters of the art.

Betto Arcos — world-music connoisseur and host of the Cosmic Barrio podcast — is a frequent guest of weekends on All Things Considered, where he shares the music he's discovered in his travels.

If you think it's too early for Christmas ads, you're not alone. But the new seasonal spot from British retailer John Lewis is something of a sensation, with nearly 12 million people having watched the tear-jerking video since Thursday.

Ever have a great run of great ideas — one after another?

The Seattle duo Odesza has become known for its lush, even sentimental spin on electronic music. Many of the songs on the group's latest album, In Return, feature vocalists singing wistful lyrics about longing and desire.

"Electronic music can get really weird," says Clayton Knight, one-half of the group. "And I think we've made it, in some way, more accessible. It has a pop element to it that allows people to get involved with it."

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.

Tom Jones says the first time they met, Elvis Presley asked him, "How the hell do you sing like that?" Jones' replied, "Well, you were partly to blame." The exchange marked the beginning of a long friendship and deep, enduring respect between the two famed crooners.

My Bubba is the duo of Sweden's My and Iceland's Bubba, women whose quirky, delicate, sweetly sung folk songs are a delight. The centerpiece of their tunes are the harmonies, but the backing instrumentation is equally intimate, from handclaps to an old table harp and acoustic guitar.

The pair's current album, Goes Abroader, was produced by Noah Georgeson, who's known for his work with Joanna Newsom, Cate Le Bon and Devendra Banhart. As for this Tiny Desk Concert, it's best viewed on a comfy couch, perhaps snuggled up with a friend, your favorite animal or both.

All of Marisa Anderson's music has travelled thousands of miles. This is literally true — the Portland, Ore. guitarist spent her late teens and twenties walking across the United States — and it's one of her gifts as a musician. She revels in the journey, in the process that of getting from point A to point B.

The Brazilians call it saudade. It's an elusive, almost intoxicating mix of emotions suffused with longing, loss and memory, best evoked in music. Perhaps Ukrainians have their own word for it. But if not, it can surely be heard in Valentin Silvestrov's Nostalghia, a solo piano work from 2001 that may just leave you a little lightheaded and yearning for something inexplicable.

The Techno Feminists Next Door

Nov 6, 2015

"We're Discwoman."

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.

LANGUAGE ADVISORY: This song contains explicit language.

Miguel is an L.A. native whose seductive mix of soul and boundary-pushing experimentation has cemented his status as a major young star. He gets personal on his latest album Wildheart — and in this session — which includes this song, "What's Normal Anyway."


  • "What's Normal Anyway"

Watch Miguel's full performance at

About a year ago, trumpeter Marquis Hill, now 28, traveled to Los Angeles, played five tunes for a panel of judges, and won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. You can think of it as a sort of Heisman Trophy for young jazz artists, meaning that a lot more people discovered his talent in a hurry.

Review: Alessia Cara, 'Know It All'

Nov 5, 2015

Note: NPR's audio for First Listens comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's audio for First Listens comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's audio for First Listens comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's audio for First Listens comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

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.

It took a little while to shake-off the sugar crash of Halloween, but we're finally ready to present our October edition of Recommended Dose. This month features Balearic house from Australia, eerie techno from a fashion-minded Russian, Colombian club workouts from Northern England, Detroit-infused funk from London, hard-hitting bass from a young Swede, and a potential anthem that's already earned a co-sign from Skrillex.

Growing up in Miami as the child of a Haitian father and a French mother, singer Cécile McLorin Salvant heard a wide range of music, including that of jazz singer Sarah Vaughan.

I'm happy to have new music from the harmonious and ethereal band Quilt. The Boston quartet's 2014 album, Held in Splendor, is a favorite of mine. Their third album, Plaza, is coming on Feb. 26, and this first new song "Eliot St.," is a pleasant extension of the band's sound.

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.

There's a relentless antagonism to Total Abuse that is so, so satisfying. When it formed in 2006, the Texas band first looked to iconic '80s hardcore punk for its sound. But weirdness soon took hold, crawling into the dank headspace between the Swedish noise-rock band Brainbombs and Black Flag's most deranged output.