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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!

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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.

Rhiannon Giddens On Mountain Stage

Oct 27, 2015

Rhiannon Giddens performs on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Augusta Heritage Festival on the campus of Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, W.Va. Giddens is best known as the lead singer of the Grammy-winning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, but has recently embarked on a successful venture as a solo artist.

Le Volume Courbe is the music of Charlotte Marionneau and her friends. On her second album those friends include names you'll know, like Kevin Shields from My Bloody Valentine, and names you'll want to know, like Melanie Draisey, Chris Mackin, Lascelle Gordon and more.

The first time I saw 10-piece Houston big band The Suffers, it was at a small venue in Washington, D.C., called DC9. The club was barely big enough to contain all the horns, guitars and percussion, not to mention the undeniable force of the music.

Guitarist and singer Carrie Brownstein is known for her defiant, kinetic performances in the band Sleater-Kinney. But she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that it was vulnerability that initially drew her to the music world.

Drake's song "Hotline Bling" — and its related memes — reached an artistic culmination over the weekend, in a video mashup that pairs the catchy song with scenes of a gung-ho drama teacher performing a suite of interpretive dances for his class.

We'll discuss the video more below, but you should just go ahead and watch it for yourself.

"Hotline Bling" quickly became a cultural force last week, inspiring memes, jokes, and conversations with its off-kilter video.

Getting "Hotline Bling" to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 was something that Drake really, really wanted. He said so, very publicly, last week on Instagram:

The "Hotline Bling" video, which was originally only posted on Apple Music, proved to be endlessly remixable, with Drake seeming to be in on the joke — or at the very least, more or less cheerfully resigned to its destiny.

"You're only human, a human like me. You're not so special after all."

Same-sex marriage has been very much in the news lately, with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing it and a Kentucky clerk's much-publicized refusal to abide by that ruling. Earlier this year, the traditionally Catholic nation of Ireland became the first country in the world to vote to legalize marriage equality for its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.

Metropolis: 10/24/2015

Oct 26, 2015

This Week's Playlist

  • Disclosure, "Superego" [feat. Nao] (Capitol)
  • RAC, "One House" [feat. Speak] (Self-Released)
  • Porter Robinson, "Fresh Static Snow [Last Island Remix]" (Astralwerks)
  • Moon Boots, "Red Sky"
  • Cut Snake, "Time" (Three Six Zero Music/Warner Bros.)
  • ZHU & AlunaGeorge, "Automatic"
  • Rufus Du Sol, "Like An Animal" (Sweat It Out)
  • Mulder, "Colours" (Promo)

KEXP Presents: Destroyer

Oct 26, 2015

Though a man of few words in person, singer-songwriter Dan Bejar finds his voice through music. That voice rang out loud and clear when his band Destroyer stopped by the KEXP studios.

Back in 2009, the devil walked up on Audobon Ave in New York. She wore beer cans as hair rollers and red leather shorts, and was mocking hot Caribbean boys who asked for her phone number. The devil's name was Natalie Yepez, or Maluca, which means "bad girl" in Caribbean Spanish.

In the beginning, there was the blues. A while later, there was hip-hop. And then, in the early 1990s, the musical melting pot of G. Love and Special Sauce served up something called hip-hop blues.

Now, 10 albums in, G. Love and Special Sauce are still cooking with help from artists including DJ Logic, Citizen Cope, Ozomatli and David Hidalgo from Los Lobos. The band's new album is called Love Saves The Day, and frontman G. Love joined NPR's Rachel Martin from the studios of WBGH in Boston to talk about it. Hear their conversation at the audio link.

Harris J: Pop Music Meets Islam

Oct 24, 2015

A new James Bond movie tends to mean a few things: a new villain, two new Bond girls (one of whom may or may not be painted gold), and — perhaps most dependably — a new song playing behind the opening credits. Fifty years of Bond films has left much music to be analyzed, and the Oxford University Press does just that in a new book called The James Bond Songs: Pop Anthems of Late Capitalism.

Jamie Cullum, musician and BBC Radio 2 host, is constantly searching for the freshest sounds in jazz music. A frequent guest on Weekend Edition, he recently visited the program to share new music from Matthew Halsall & the Gondwana Orchestra, Daymé Arocena and Sons of Kemet. The sounds range from Coltrane-influenced spiritual jazz to acoustic club music informed by the traditional sounds of Ethiopia and West Africa.

Every October, when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces the nominees for next year's inductions, there's a phrase that seems to come up organically in discussions of the shortlist.

Drake is not meme-worthy: He's a living, breathing, dancing meme. Ever since social media got a hold of the album cover for 2011's Take Care, the rapper's every move has been a subject for scrutiny, parody, think pieces, GIFs.

In 1989, the New York Times wrote this about a 21-year-old up-and-comer from New Orleans: "Harry Connick, Jr. may have what it takes to inject the world of traditional jazz with a shot of Hollywood glamour."

Pharrell Williams, In Conversation

Oct 23, 2015

Dateline: December 1999. The turn of a new century. On the cusp of the new millennium. While some of us were madly drowning in Y2K fears that our clocks would wind down, our computers would stop, our banking institutions would cease to function, and life on earth as we know it would come to a grinding halt, a young African-American producer from Virginia Beach and his Asian-American partner were not grinding down at all — they were just getting started.

Listen to this conversation and you'll feel like you're sitting in an airport lounge eavesdropping on two smart, funny, mutually-admiring musicians.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Today, Patti Smith.


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.