World Cafe on WXPR

Monday through Thursday 9-11 PM

The premier public radio showcase for contemporary music serving up an eclectic blend that includes blues, rock, world, folk, and alternative country. 

Lissie On World Cafe

Aug 1, 2013

When Lissie stopped by World Cafe for her session about a month ago, she still didn't have a name for her new album. Now titled Back to Forever, the singer's second record is due out Sept. 10; it comes three years after the release of her debut, Catching a Tiger. Lissie's new songs emphasize her observations of the world around her. "Shameless," for example, focuses on what people will do for stardom.

Rhye On World Cafe

Jul 31, 2013

Though Rhye's debut album, Woman, was released this past March, many first encountered the duo of Mike Milosh and Robin Hannibal in a series of evocative videos released in 2012. There was little to no accompanying information and — as Milosh says — that was exactly the point. The idea was to keep listeners focused on the music and not the personality of the singer.

La Santa Cecilia got its start playing a mix of rancheras, norteno music and other Mexican-influenced rhythms for tourists and passers-by on Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles. The group developed a strong following as it started writing original songs and playing in clubs and other venues.

Alt-psychedelic quintet Coke Weed is from picturesque Bar Harbor, well up the Maine coast. The band just released its third album, Back To Soft, which took nine months to make and is — despite the title — its heaviest release so far.

Lead by songwriter Milan McAlevey, the band has immersed itself in '60s psych-rock, pledging allegiance to the likes of Jefferson Airplane. So that makes singer Nina Donghia the group's Signe Toly Anderson.

Steve Martin is a true Renaissance man, having run the gamut of accomplishments from acting to writing to art collecting. He's also an award-winning banjo player, offering easy, lilting banjo melodies alongside former New Bohemian Edie Brickell's lyrics on the duo's latest album, Love Has Come For You.

In this installment of Latin Roots, the World Cafe team travels to Fidel Nadal's home studio in Buenos Aires for a session with a reggae performer who truly owns his genre. Nadal has 15 solo records to his name, and his album Forever Together was nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2011.

Before fully going solo, Nadal spent a lot of time as a member of the punk-reggae band Todos Tus Muertos, which made six albums between 1988 and 2010. Hear three songs in this World Cafe session, recorded live in Buenos Aires.

Jeff Lynne isn't quite at the forefront of '70s and '80s classic rock, but he was responsible for some formidable records with Electric Light Orchestra and Traveling Wilburys; later, he produced releases for Wilbury collaborators Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and George Harrison.

Bombino On World Cafe

Jul 24, 2013

Nomad is an appropriate title for Bombino's new album; a member of the Tuareg tribe in Saharan Africa, the guitar was first relocated to a refugee camp in Algeria, where he learned to play his instrument. In 2011, he went into exile in Burkina Faso, which led to the making of his first album, Agadez.

Brett and Rennie Sparks have inhabited a unique musical world together since the '90s. As The Handsome Family, husband Brett sings and writes the melodies while wife Rennie focuses on the lyrics; the resulting ghost stories and murder ballads have won the band an intense cult following. After years spent in Chicago, where Wilco helped boost its profile, The Handsome Family now resides in Albuquerque, N.M.

Aisha Burns is best known as the violinist in the chamber-folk band Balmorhea. But in the last few years, Burns has left her comfort zone to write her own songs and play them on guitar. On her debut album, Life in the Midwater, there's a delicate intimacy to her approach. Hear two songs from the new album, which is due out in September.

Kassin On World Cafe

Jul 19, 2013

Kassin is an artist as well as an in-demand producer who works out of his own studio in Brazil with people like Marisa Monte and Arto Lindsay.

Bebel Gilberto may be the daughter of Joao Gilberto, one of the first bossa nova composers, but that's hardly her only claim to fame. Her album Tanto Tempo, produced by the electronic artist Suba, was a best-seller in Brazil throughout the 2000s.

As part of this week's Sense of Place: Rio series, World Cafe revisits a 2004 session with Brazilian singer Vinicius Cantuária. At the time, he was in the midst of a string of highly praised albums, beginning with 1996's Sol Na Cara.

In this interview, Cantuária discusses his love of Tom Jobim, moving to New York City in 1994 and how he feels somehow "more Brazilian" here in the U.S.

Latin Roots: A Brief History Of Tropicália

Jul 18, 2013

In this segment of World Cafe's Latin Roots, Alt.Latino host Jasmine Garsd discusses how the Brazilian artistic movement of Tropicália, also known as Tropicalismo, emerged and became a prominent force in Latin American music. Tropicália is a unique style which conflates traditional Brazilian music with elements from other genres, ranging from avant-garde to rock 'n' roll. The movement developed in the 1960s, as widespread corruption and oppression spread throughout Brazil.

The four members of Do Amor have been playing together since they were 15, when they first bonded over their love of cheap vinyl records. They recently released their second album, Piracema, even though they haven't had much time to play together; the band shares a rhythm section with Brazilian superstar Caetano Veloso.

Listen to Do Amor's special performance for World Cafe, recorded live in Rio de Janeiro.