WUIS Xponential

WUIS Xponential

Waka Flocka Flame Is Hiring

Apr 24, 2015

They say you can't overestimate the power of a good handshake. If that's the case, my job interview with Waka Flocka Flame was doomed from the start.

I went in for the sort of greeting I'm familiar with -– a clasp that pivots up into a grip and pulls in for a hug — but it unexpectedly continued. He raised our wrists to shoulder level, pointed his fingers out, locked them with mine ... but by that point I was long since lost. He looked at me and smiled sympathetically. First impressions, I thought, resigned, are everything.

What goes on in your brain when you hear a new song? Is there a formula for what makes a perfect pop song? What's better, something brand new, or something familiar? It's nearly impossible to completely explain or understand why we like the music we like. But Susan Rogers, a music cognition expert and associate professor of music production and engineering at the Berklee College of Music, gets closer to making sense of it than we've heard before.

After relocating to Portland, Oregon, from their native Stillwater, Oklahoma, Other Lives used the new surroundings for a different perspective on their new album. The result is their third studio release, Rituals, which marries an orchestral rock sound with a classic singer-songwriter sensibility. New songs like "Easy Way" were standouts in their latest visit to KCRW.

SET LIST

  • "Easy Way"

My Brightest Diamond, 'This Is My Hand'

Apr 24, 2015

Life changed a lot after that day in 1877 when Thomas Edison spoke "Mary had a little lamb" into a contraption he called a phonograph and discovered he could reproduce sound. Back then, tinfoil cylinders captured just a few flickering moments. Today Wagner's entire Ring cycle fits on a 16GB flash drive.

Latin Roots: Essential Cumbia

Apr 23, 2015

Of all the styles of Latin music we've been exploring on our Latin Roots Essential series, there are few that are more essential than cumbia. Catalina Maria Johnson from Chicago's Beat Latino is up to the task of exploring this wide-ranging genre. She brings some great musical picks — and she made this extended Spotify playlist for your further enjoyment.

Judah & The Lion On World Cafe

Apr 23, 2015

Judah & the Lion join us live today. They're a three-piece band from Nashville consisting of of Judah Akers (vocals and guitar), Brian Macdonald (mandolin) and Nate Zuercher (banjo).

In 2011, like many new young bands from Music City, they met at Belmont University. After a couple of EPs, they released their debut full length, Kids These Days, in September of last year.

One thing you will note is how upbeat these guys are lyrically. There is no way you can leave a concert with Judah & the Lion without feeling better than when you arrived.

Queens-via-Uruguay songwriter Juan Wauters rose to internet acclaim as a member of the obstreperous rock band The Beets, one of New York City's most beloved DIY acts of the 21st century. In the time since The Beets' initial breakup in 2012, Wauters has pursued a more introspective, subdued sound, writing songs that explore who he is and how "he" came to be.

For a solid decade, Washington, D.C. was firmly on the map as the punk capital of the nation. During the 1980s, you could see Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Government Issue, Scream, Fugazi and Mission Impossible (featuring a 16-year-old Dave Grohl) in DIY spaces all over town. And what made it vital and game changing was that do-it-yourself ethos: no corporate anything, no major labels, just kids burning with energy, rage and creativity.

Every Thursday this year we're celebrating All Songs Considered's 15th birthday with personal memories and highlights from the show's decade and a half online and on the air. If you have a story about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

Ta-ku is that dude on SoundCloud. Over the past few years, the Australian producer has established himself as one of the frontrunners in the musical playground of remix kings and percussive trap. Days after dropping a Flume re-remix that fits neatly into that universe, he flips the script with "Love Again," the first single from his upcoming EP, Songs To Make Up To.

Crafting dance tracks around snippets of catchy R&B vocals is a longstanding tradition in the electronic music game. Some might even call it cliché at this point. But when it's done well, it can imbue otherwise anonymous music with real emotional heft that speaks to a much wider audience.

The tragic story of Cambodia in the '60s and '70s is well-known: It became engulfed in the Vietnam War, then more than a million Cambodians died under the Khmer Rouge regime. Doctors, lawyers, teachers — educated people — were targeted in the communist takeover. So were artists and singers.

Metropolitan Opera Chorus Master Donald Palumbo knows voices, and how to instruct singers to protect them.

Palumbo says that all singers have to monitor their voices while rehearsing during the day. The goal, he says, is to insure singers are at their "freshest" and "most solid" for the evening performance.

I love this band. For its chaotic, full-throttle rock. For its world view — a mix of sweet idealism and brooding cynicism — and for its self-deprecating sense of humor. You can hear it all in the NEEDS song, "We Forgot The Records To Our Record Release Show," from the Vancouver band's self-titled debut.

Feufollet On World Cafe

Apr 22, 2015

Feufollet are from Lafayette, Louisiana and have been together since the late '90s, when the members were just kids. At that point, thanks to time spent in French immersion school, the band played the French Cajun music repertoire.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Heading South

Apr 22, 2015

By exploring the music of the Southern mountains, Fiona celebrates the musical connections that captured her attention when she first traveled through the U.S. in the early 1980s. Hear music from Tim O'Brien, Norman and Nancy Blake, Emmylou Harris and more.

Now that the weather, at least in much of the country, has turned from polar to pollen vortex, it's time to start mapping out musical road trips. This year bodes well for exploring contemporary work. There are new-music meccas like California's Cabrillo, where all the music is current. At other festivals, like New York's Mostly Mozart, the classics mingle with the contemporary — this year spotlights 55-year-old British composer George Benjamin. And still others, like the Bard Festival, offer rare glimpses into forward-thinking composers from the mid-20th century.

It's not as if there were ever clear paths for cello players beyond the European classical tradition, but Akua Dixon made one for herself. The New York City native found work in the pit band of the Apollo Theater, the multi-racial Symphony of the New World, and the bands of many jazz musicians — including drummer Max Roach's Double Quartet. As she developed her jazz chops, she also started her own string quartet, featured prominently on her new self-titled album. Akua Dixon also features her crafty arranging for strings over jazz standards and Afro-Latin grooves.

Passion Pit is a band made up of one man: 27-year-old Michael Angelakos. When he signed with Columbia Records in 2009, Angelakos went from playing house parties in Boston to touring the world. Passion Pit's third album, Kindred, is out Tuesday, and there's more behind its sound than upbeat music.

Richard Thompson On Mountain Stage

Apr 21, 2015

Richard Thompson headlines this archival Mountain Stage performance, recorded in May 1999. One of England's best-loved singer-songwriters and guitarists, Thompson has had his songs recorded by R.E.M., Bonnie Raitt, David Gilmour, Elvis Costello, Greg Brown, Dinosaur Jr. and Del McCoury, among others.

On today's All Songs Considered, we're hitting you with several premieres, beginning a heavy cut from My Morning Jacket's latest studio album, The Waterfall. On "Believe (Nobody Knows)," front man Jim James seeks meaning and truth in an uncertain world, while hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton consider a life of possibilities.

Delta Rae On World Cafe

Apr 21, 2015

The Hölljes family has churned out some impressive musicians: Siblings Brittany, Ian and Eric Hölljes are at the heart of the North Carolina band Delta Rae. Brittany Hölljes and Elizabeth Hopkins share lead vocals in the group, while Ian and Eric Hölljes write the songs.

Delta Rae's first album, which included a cameo from Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham, came out in 2012, and the band just released a new one called After It All. Here, Delta Rae performs some of its new songs onstage at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

KEN mode has always been a noise-rock band that could hang with the metal crowd. The Winnipeg trio often bolsters its heavy, angular riffs with burly bass lines and muscular drumming, and knows when to bring the grind. But with its sixth album, Success, KEN mode scales back its metallic tendencies to bring it all back home to the sort of treble-heavy freakouts found on albums by Cop Shoot Cop, Drive Like Jehu and Big Black.

In 2012, the musicians who formed The Suffers started jamming on ska tunes — the name comes from the 1978 reggae film Rockers/ital — and evolved into the tight, inventive "Gulf Coast soul" band it is today. Kam Franklin is a ball of energy out front, but she's only part of why so many are shouting The Suffers' praises these days. Come join the chorus.

Julia Wolfe, a composer associated with the New York music collective Bang on a Can, has won the Pulitzer Prize for music for Anthracite Fields.

Arguably New York's loudest band, A Place To Bury Strangers was ahead of its peers in its unabashed '80s revival back in the early 2000s. Since then, its members have grown as songwriters — not quite softening their intensity, but aptly refining an approach in which post-punk meets industrial psych-rock.

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