Podcast

Soundcheck

Live performances and conversations in which artists talk about their work, their process, and themselves. Genre-blind but open-eared. Hosted by John Schaefer.

Episodes

  • Quiet and Sharp Story-Songs by Laura Gibson

    Dec 13 2018

    Singer-songwriter and producer Laura Gibson was born and raised in the small Oregon logging town of Coquille but now splits her time between Oregon & NYC. She recently completed an MFA in fiction writing (Hunter College) and her sharp story-songs quietly and gracefully explore darkness on her latest, Goners. Gibson’s storytelling is both raw and bold in its exploration of the depths of grief and other hidden feelings; the music hearkens toward folk traditions with unexpected arrangements, wi...more

  • Algiers' Postpunk Soul Music for Disrupting

    Dec 10 2018

    Algiers is a mesmerizing band of musicians born in Atlanta, Georgia and now splitting time between London and New York. Their urgent, genre-resistant, chill-inducing, and fist-shaking music taps into and channels the frustration of locally-informed global citizens in these dark times - with a soulful and compelling roar. Their live sets feel spiritual and cathartic, but also might be for dancing. Then again - they also put out a music/zine series of somewhat more experimental sounds. 1st Novembe...more

  • Piano Manipulator and Producer Kelly Moran

    Dec 07 2018

    Pianist, composer, engineer, and producer, Kelly Moran takes pride in trying to “obfuscate exactly what the piano sounds like. The whole point is to make it sound different.” (Tiny Mix Tapes) Moran, on her latest record, Ultraviolet (Warp Records), has also found a delicate balance of improvisation and structure in her expansive compositions. It'd be a reductionist approach to label her work merely minimalist or ambient music because it's also melodic cascades of these studiously prepared acoust...more

  • The Welcoming Intensity of Incoming Met Opera Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin

    Dec 03 2018

    Canadian conductor and pianist Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the incoming Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera, is taking over two years earlier than initially planned. In this interview with John Schaefer for the Soundcheck Podcast, he outlines his plans to welcome more folks to the opera and to make sure that routine does not become the norm. Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s intensity is fueled by his boundless energy and his understanding of the legacy and the history of the Metropolitan Opera. He's the f...more

  • Emily King Supplies Warmth Via Retro Disco-Soul

    Nov 29 2018

    Grammy-nominated chanteuse Emily King went into the family business via a different route, that of an R&B-influenced singer-songwriter. (She’s the daughter of New York jazz vocalists who has moved to the Catskills.) Her latest record, Scenery, due in February of 2019 (on ATO Records), promises to be a clever mix of R&B, pop, and perhaps a little retro disco. A bicoastal preview tour brings Emily King and her band to our studio to perform some of her brand-new “retro-cinematic” tunes (NPR...more

  • Noise-Fuzz-Pop from Upper Wilds

    Nov 26 2018

    With screaming and blistering guitars, power-chord-like vocal harmonies (both clean and processed through an array of guitar pedals), and a rock-solid pummeling of drums, Brooklyn trio Upper Wilds, [Dan Friel (Parts & Labor), Zach Lehroff (Ex Models) and Jeff Ottenbacher], exploits all kinds of sonic textures for a cathartic, electric explosion of melodic and riff-driven noise-fuzz-pop. Expect distortion-filled, high-intensity songs with the “raw hopeful energy of DIY spaces” (Thrill Jockey)...more

  • Exuberant Psych-Pop From Australia's Pond

    Nov 19 2018

    The band Pond hails from Perth, the Western Australian city referred to “as the most remote city on earth.” They blend blissful and mind-bending psychedelic rock, with subversive strains of funk, synth-pop, falsetto, somehow both of the moment, and informed by the past. To illustrate, in a recent video, the band went shopping at Amoeba Music in Los Angeles, and showed off their haul: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Young Thug, Tokyo Psychedelic music of the 1990’s, Tom Waits, Neil Young, 1980’s dub from ...more

  • Art-Indie-Rock Band Cloud Cult, In-Studio

    Nov 15 2018

    The cinematic Minnesota band Cloud Cult is a creative collective who continually celebrates life and love, and catharsis through music and multimedia performances, usually involving painting from stage, and lately, film. Cloud Cult’s emotive, melodic, orchestral indie rock is perfectly suited to the movies. Singer/instrumentalist Craig Minowa and his crew have scored shorts and documentary films, The Seeker, The Great Alone, and lately, Minowa has been working on a score for a National Geographi...more

  • Zen Ritual Groove Music by Nik Bärtsch's Ronin

    Nov 12 2018

    Swiss pianist and composer Nik Bärtsch creates playful and carefully balanced works containing both space and riffs. There might be as much listening going on as there is playing, which points to a spiritual focus, trust, and discipline that comes from Bärtsch's avid practice of the Japanese martial art Aikido. In his electric group, Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin (after the freelance Japanese warriors who served no master), there is slow-building, ever-shifting, sensual groove reductionism. With newfound ...more

  • Glimmery Electro Art-Pop by Arthur Moon

    Nov 08 2018

    Arthur Moon is the moniker of composer/singer/multi-instrumentalist Lora-Faye Åshuvud. As Arthur Moon, she is the anchor who has gathered collaborators- including Cale Hawkins (Quincy Jones, Bilal, Wyclef Jean) and Martin D. Fowler (a composer for This American Life) and other folks. They trade demos and build on musical perspectives, which she then arranges and composes by way of experimentation and improvisation. The result is dazzling music that feels beautiful, affecting, and strange. Arthur...more

  • Michael Feinstein on Oscar Levant

    Nov 05 2018

    In the mid-20th century, pianist Oscar Levant (1906 –1972) was a pre-digital version of a social media star – a ubiquitous, witty presence on American TV and radio, and films. He was also a bestselling author, radio game show panelist, and a talk show host. As a concert pianist, his Gershwin performances, especially a 1945 version of the “Rhapsody in Blue”, were the best-selling classical records in America. But, Levant was a troubled figure off-camera and out of the limelight. He’s the subject ...more

  • Composer and Drummer Tyshawn Sorey Explores Time

    Nov 01 2018

    Newark-born composer, multi-instrumentalist, collaborator, and 2017 MacArthur Fellow Tyshawn Sorey, is also the Assistant Professor of Composition and Creative Music at Wesleyan University. A recent Instagram post (Sept. 2018) of the day’s listening ranges from Nigerian King Sunny Adé and a record by legendary drummer Tony Allen to Frank Zappa with Joseph Jarman (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Art Ensemble of Chicago), Steve Reich, and Karlheinz Stockhausen in between. On...more

  • Richard Reed Parry's 'Quiet River of Dust'

    Oct 29 2018

    Richard Reed Parry is perhaps best known as the really tall, really redheaded guy playing half a dozen instruments in the Grammy-winning band Arcade Fire. But he’s also a founder of the instrumental group Bell Orchestre, and a composer of contemporary classical music. His latest project is called Quiet River of Dust, and it was at least partly inspired by the psychedelic folk/rock scene in Britain in the late 1960's. He and Quiet River of Dust perform some of the musical meditations live in-stud...more

  • Guitarist Jorma Kaukonen Is In No Hurry

    Oct 25 2018

    Jorma Kaukonen is a founding member of Jefferson Airplane, co-founder of Hot Tuna, a teacher, and a top-notch  guitarist. But though he will always be associated with the rock music of the 1960's, he’s had a much longer and more enduring relationship with American blues and folk music, as anyone who’s heard his duo Hot Tuna or his own solo performances will know. Together with his wife, Vanessa, he owns and operates Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp, a center in Ohio for studying guitar and other inst...more

  • Matthew Dear's Sticky and Decadent Electro-Thump

    Oct 22 2018

    The composer, singer, and tinkerer, Matthew Dear, is a DJ, dance-music producer, experimental pop artist, and bandleader. He keeps four music-making aliases and has released five albums and two dozen EPs, along with multiple commissioned remixes. On this latest record, Bunny, his weird, wild, gothic, body-shaking, bouncy electronica seems sinister, yet soft; a mix of charming villain and heroic basement nerd. Matthew Dear displays his enhanced baritone as he performs some of this new music, in-s...more

  • Songwriter/Guitarist Jill Sobule Keeps Moving on 'Nostalgic' New Record

    Oct 18 2018

    Denver-born songwriter, guitarist, singer, activist, and performer Jill Sobule, is possibly best-known because of her breakthrough hit of “I Kissed a Girl” (pre-dating Katy Perry by more a decade), and “Supermodel,” the anthem from the film Clueless. In her over seven albums, troubadour Jill has "mused on topics such as the death penalty, anorexia, shoplifting, reproduction, the French resistance movement, adolescence and the Christian right." She has also written music for TV and theater, been ...more

  • Meredith Monk's 'Cellular Songs'

    Oct 15 2018

    Vocalist and composer Meredith Monk is a multi-disciplinary artist, whose work involves music, dance, film, theatre, and now: biology meets anthropology. In her most recent large-scale work, Cellular Songs, musical forms evoke biological processes as layering, replication, division, and mutation in a “deeply affecting meditation on the nature of the biological cell as a metaphor for human society” (Financial Times). Through this work, Monk takes the microscopic unit of the cell, then projects an...more

  • Inventive Art-Rock by Ohmme

    Oct 11 2018

    Chicago-based duo OHMME serves up fuzz and melodies, along with vocal hockets and harmonies, oh - and lots of time and feel changes. Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart, the songwriters and multi-instrumentalists of Ohmme, are both trained classical pianists with ties to the collaborative Chicago improvising scene. They made a decision to stretch their comfort levels and go with the guitar for their noise-making, and have composed a hard-to-categorize batch of songs that lean toward the experiment...more

  • Sons of Kemet Make Jubiliant Magic

    Oct 08 2018

    The Mercury Prize-nominated quartet Sons of Kemet is a super-group led by London-based Barbados-born saxophonist and composer Shabaka Hutchings, and propelled by tuba player Theon Cross, and two drummers - Tom Skinner and Eddie Hick. (Kemet - the black land, is one of the ancient Egyptian names for Egypt.) The music is a dance party which may or may not touch upon techno, hip hop, grime, psychedelia, Caribbean music, and social commentary using jazz vocabulary. Their latest album, Your Queen Is ...more

  • Mountain Man Looks for Peace and Joy Through Vocal Harmonies

    Oct 04 2018

    Mountain Man, the Appalachian a cappella trio, features the timeless sound of three voices singing in harmony, with an occasional strum of the guitar. They released an album in 2010, a trio of college friends who’d gotten used to singing together, but then went their separate ways after college. All three of them toured for a long time as Feist’s backup singers, and lately Amelia Meath, one third of the trio, has been keeping busy as half of Sylvan Esso. Meath, along with Alexandra Sauser-Monnig...more

  • Surreal Art-Rock By Saxophonist Donny McCaslin

    Oct 01 2018

    Sax player and bandleader Donny McCaslin, who collaborated with David Bowie on Blackstar, freely mixes pop, jazz, electronica, and art-rock on his striking new album, Blow., which sees the band moving into sonic terrain that shows even more of Bowie’s impact. It’s some daring sax-led badassery - a blast of concentrated, powerful, and wonderful pop that rocks, with jazz tendencies - with lyrics and guest vocalists. He and his band play some of the new tunes in-studio. - Caryn Havlik Watch the ful...more

  • A Kind of Nordic Blues From Tord Gustavsen Trio

    Sep 27 2018

    Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen and his trio, featuring new bassist Sigurd Hole and long-time collaborator, drummer Jarle Vespestad, combine together folk influences and church music for unhurried embraces of melody. Expressive and reflective, Gustavsen’s ‘Nordic blues’ slowly unfurls passages of delicate lyricism, with enough space for contemplation, and only the notes that are needed from all players in the trio. On the latest record, The Other Side, the trio effortlessly injects old Norwegia...more

  • Marissa Nadler Sharpens Her Elegant and Eerie Dream-Folk

    Sep 24 2018

    Boston-based Marissa Nadler writes intimate, sweeping dreamy and eerie songs, that shimmer with gothic melancholy. On her latest record, For My Crimes, she’s enlisted accomplished musicians: harpist Mary Lattimore, drummer Patty Schemel (Hole), experimental multi-instrumentalist Janel Leppin, and Eva Gardner plays additional bass. Guest vocals come from Angel Olsen, Kristin Kontrol (Dum Dum Girls), and Sharon Van Etten, and there is but one non-female collaborator - saxophonist Dana Colley (Morp...more

  • Havana Pianist Harold López-Nussa's Exciting Cuban Jazz

    Sep 20 2018

    Havana pianist, composer and bandleader Harold López-Nussa delivers a range of drama and the irresistible rhythms of Cuban music, fully integrating his conservatory training and love of the jazz continuum with his Cuban roots and soul.   His wide mastery of styles includes a jazz album and documentary film with David Sánchez, Christian Scott and Stefon Harris, an album of compositions by revered Cuban classical guitarist, composer and conductor Leo Brouwer, and three years spent in the touring b...more

  • 'Mutant Chamber Jazz' From Robbie Lee and Mary Halvorson

    Sep 17 2018

    Mary Halvorson has established herself as one of the finest guitarists of her generation; Robbie Lee has established himself as a versatile flutist, sax player, and keyboardist. But if they’re not careful, they could wind up being known as the weird instrument team, because their new album together sports such oddities as a 19th-century harp guitar with 18 strings, the world’s smallest saxophone, and a Renaissance reed instrument called the chalumeau. The music of edited improvisations covers a ...more

  • Richard Thompson OBE Is Still the Shreddingest

    Sep 13 2018

    British singer, songwriter and guitarist Richard Thompson OBE was part of the groundbreaking folk rock band Fairport Convention in the 1960's, made records with his then-wife, Linda Thompson, and has many fan-favourite solo records as well. Rolling Stone lists him as one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time and the LA Times called him the greatest living songwriter after Bob Dylan. His new album is called 13 Rivers and it is largely an electric, band record. The folk-shredder and troubadou...more

  • Singer/Songwriter Blaze Foley Burns Brightly From Beyond in Film

    Sep 10 2018

    The Texas singer/songwriter/poet Blaze Foley never hit it big, although his song “If I Could Only Fly,” would later be covered by the great Merle Haggard. Actually, several of his songs have been covered by John Prine, Willie Nelson, Nanci Griffith, Lyle Lovett, and others. But if you’ve never heard of him, don’t worry – the new film called Blaze will change that. The film recounts Foley’s stormy career – a career that ended when he was shot and killed in Austin at the age of 39. The film was di...more

  • Aukai's Electroacoustic Music for a Timeless State

    Sep 04 2018

    German producer & multi-instrumentalist Aukai, aka Markus Sieber, grew up in the former East Germany, but his travels have taken him through Latin America, and he is now based in Colorado. "Aukai" is a Hawaiian term for a seafaring traveler, and on his second record, Branches of Sun, he has captured a certain nomadic wanderlust which might connect a listener to a certain peace of being in nature, high in the mountains. With an ensemble that centers on the South American ronroco, a kind of ma...more

  • Dark Dance-Pop Duo Bob Moses Confronts the Battles Within

    Sep 03 2018

    Canadian electronic outfit Bob Moses is actually two guys: Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance, who are originally from Vancouver, British Columbia. Named after master builder and urban planner Robert Moses, their thinking went something like - choose a New York icon because the aim was to be kings of the New York club scene, but keep it a bit irreverent, with “Bob.” The guys also think that it might be the gloomy northwest climate they grew up in that keeps their dance-floor ready yet moody pop songs ...more

  • Remembering Randy Weston, the Afro-Centric Jazz Pioneer

    Sep 01 2018

    Randy Weston, who died today at 92, was a jazz pianist. There, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me tell you why he was so much more than a "jazz pianist." Well before World Music became a trend, and then a marketing term, Weston was creating a personal, deeply spiritual style of music that assimilated West African, Moroccan, and later Egyptian and East Asian elements. Although he was a Brooklyn boy through and through, he did live in Morocco for a few formative years and over the cour...more

  • Songwriter Gabriel Kahane Rides the Rails, Sings with Strangers

    Aug 29 2018

    Singer-songwriter, pianist, and composer Gabriel Kahane writes music between classical art song and pop song. His best-known work is probably Craigslistlieder (2006) – a song cycle of personal ads set to music -which made it clear that this songwriter could make music from the most unlikely of source material. The day after the 2016 Presidential election, he unplugged from the internet and slowed down time; he spent two weeks traveling the country on Amtrak. He logged 8980 miles and lots of conv...more

  • Rule-Breaking Punchy Americana by String Band The Devil Makes Three

    Aug 27 2018

    The trio The Devil Makes Three has always had a punk rock approach to string band music with their two guitars and upright bass and narrative-driven tunes. Musically, they draw from the deep roots of Delta blues, folk, and rock, along with slow metal, experimental music and drone. (Their list of influences ranges from The Reverend Gary Davis to Django Reinhardt and Steve Earle, as well as from the heavy side- Iron Maiden and Sleep.) They got a little crazy on their latest record, Chains Are Brok...more

  • Stirring, Epic, and Intimate Cinematic Songs of DeVotchKa

    Aug 22 2018

    Having made their way through Eastern European gypsy cabaret leanings, mariachi horns, and Bollywood string stylings, the multi-instrumentalist band DeVotchKa— Nick Urata (vocals, guitars, Theremin, trumpet, piano), Jeanie Schroder (acoustic bass, sousaphone), Shawn King (drums, percussion, trumpet), and Tom Hagerman (violin, viola, accordion, piano)— returns with grand, pop-leaning, cinematic indie rock, full of swells and turns. Their new record, the first in seven years -This Night Falls Fore...more

  • Italian Pianist Ludovico Einaudi, In-Studio

    Aug 20 2018

    Prolific Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi has been commissioned by prestigious orchestras and festivals, scored music for films and TV, and headlined festivals alongside Kendrick Lamar and Lady Gaga. He has also done collaborations with Malian kora virtuoso Ballaké Sissoko, Armenian duduk master Djivan Gasparijan (the duduk sounds like an oboe, and is made of apricot wood), and with the brothers Lippok as a post-rock trio called Whitetree. Born in Turin, Einaudi trained at the Conse...more

  • NYC-Based Spanglish Fly Leads the Boogaloo Revival

    Aug 16 2018

    New York-based band Spanglish Fly are part band and part celebration with their brasstastic mix of Latin dance-funk and soul in homage to Boogaloo - that fusion of soul music, Rhythm & Blues, and Afro-Caribbean rhythms that was born in New York City in the 1960s. [See this excellent article from The Guardian for more history, and a bit of background on the documentary in which Spanglish Fly appears.] On their latest record, Ay Que Boogaloo!, Spanglish Fly both tips a cap to boogaloo and take...more

  • Ava Rocha's Forward-Looking Brazilian Pop

    Aug 13 2018

    Brazilian musician Ava Rocha has quickly become a leading figure in Brazil’s post-Tropicalia movement and is blazing ahead making inventive Brazilian pop. Her new album Trança means Braid, and it weaves together strands of rock, funk, post-punk abrasiveness, fuzzy and playful electronica, Afro and Amazonian grooves, and Brazilian styles like percussion-heavy samba, smooth bossa nova, and tropicália. She and her husband, the Brazilian guitarist and songwriter Negro Leo, often write and play toget...more

  • Trixie Whitley, with Marc Ribot, from the New York Guitar Festival

    Aug 09 2018

    Hear the Belgian-born guitarist/songwriter Trixie Whitley, from the 2017 New York Guitar Festival, presented in The Greene Space. Her songs draw from her favorite styles – punk, electronica, R & B, and feel something like quietly watching the sun rise after a long, adventure-filled night. She was joined onstage by Marc Ribot for many of these tunes. -Caryn Havlik Set list: "Oh the Joy" "Fear for Permanence""Long Time Coming" "Fourth Corner" "Hotter | Burn"

  • Fantastic Negrito's Fiery Blues with a Punk Attitude

    Aug 06 2018

    Self-described “lifelong hustler,” Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz, is better known by his stage name Fantastic Negrito, and makes “black roots music for everyone” - blues with a giant undercurrent of punkass. Fantastic Negrito’s songs tell of a hard life with some complete do-overs and a few near-death experiences. Coming from a crossroads with optional deals, his music might be informed just as much by California funk-punk (Bad Brains and Fishbone), hip hop, thrash metal, punk, Prince and his self-ta...more

  • The Folk-Rock of Passenger, from Busking to 'Runaway" Hit-Maker

    Aug 02 2018

    English singer-songwriter and folk-rocker Mike Rosenberg, formerly of the band Passenger, might be best known for his song “Let Her Go.” Originally from Brighton & Hove,  Rosenberg busked his way through England and Australia in the early 2000’s and worked with a five-piece band until 2009, when he decided to continue under that name as a solo artist. He’s played giant stages and summer festivals in Europe, opening for old friend Ed Sheeran. Mike Rosenberg, aka Passenger, joins us to play ne...more

  • Tropical Electronica 'DreamBow' by Balún

    Jul 30 2018

    Brooklyn-based via San Juan band Balún came from DIY electrified bedroom pop that embraced punk on the island of Puerto Rico. Now, with an even wider range of influences, (please see their ethnomusicological, technological, punk, hardcore, and New York Philharmonic credentials) their "dreambow" tropical electronica harnesses Caribbean rhythms, grime/jungle/IDM, Puerto Rican folk music, shoegaze and is a playfully-informed take on global pop music. Balún joins us in the studio to play music from ...more

  • Jupiter & Okwess Spread Positivity Via Funk and Dance Grooves

    Jul 26 2018

    From the Democratic Republic of the Congo comes Jupiter & Okwess, percussion-driven socially-conscious funky guitar-buoyed dance music. Led by “Jupiter” Bokondji, the self-dubbed “rebel general”, incites partying but with positive messaging for the long-term, to work towards Congo’s recovery from the kleptocracy of previous generations, to respect and protect women, combat injustice, and embrace unity. The highly danceable tunes represent not only Congolese pop but also other regional and lo...more

  • Junun Featuring Shye Ben Tzur and The Rajasthan Express

    Jul 23 2018

    Junun is a musical collaboration between India-based Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur, a group of Indian musicians called The Rajasthan Express, and composer (and Radiohead’s guitarist) Jonny Greenwood. The music is in the ecstatic Sufi music style known as qawwali (made famous by the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan), and it's devotional music—sometimes in Urdu, Hebrew, and Hindi, and is built on a percussion-dense and brass enriched groove with everything to love. The band has been opening for Radiohe...more

  • Fluid, Borderless Solo Guitar by Marisa Anderson

    Jul 19 2018

    Portland, Oregon-based Marisa Anderson channels the history of the guitar and stretches the boundaries of tradition. From spacious melancholic laments to transcendent minimalism, Anderson is coming from a place between country, blues, and drone. On her latest record, Cloud Corner, she touches on Tuareg scales from "desert blues," the finger-style picking of so-called “American Primitive,” and chiming sad cowboy chords, while continuously moving and traveling on her guitar. She joins us in the st...more

  • Orquesta Akokán Channels Golden Era of Cuban Mambo

    Jul 16 2018

    Orquesta Akokán bursts and flows with the spirit of dance orchestras of the 1940’s and 1950’s of Havana on their debut record of nine tunes - all sparkling, blazing, soulful, and meticulously arranged and composed mambo originals. Together, singer José "Pepito" Gómez, producer Jacob Plasse, and arranger Michael Eckroth, along with Cuba’s finest players, young and old, recorded the record live to tape in a three-day session at the legendary and revered Estudios Areito in Cuba – where percussion a...more

  • Powerhouse Singer-Producer Ebony Bones Live In-Studio

    Jul 05 2018

    Singer-songwriter and producer Ebony Bones is a powerhouse performer with seemingly no limits. She creates energetic and driving songs with twinges of pop, punk, afrobeat, and dance music, all wrapped up into a compelling display of raw emotion and stunning degree of detail and intricacy. She has already worked with Yoko Ono, CeeLo Green, the New London Children's Choir and more. Her latest single, "Nephilim," is the title track of her upcoming album and features a dramatic performance from the ...more

  • La Luz Dreams a Floating World of Surreal Surf-Noir

    Jul 02 2018

    The now L.A.-based band La Luz recently moved to California from Seattle and their surf-noir refracts that weird golden paradise. Awash in reverb, the surf guitar and fuzzy vocal harmonies from singer/guitarist Shana Cleveland, drummer Marian Li Pino, keyboardist Alice Sandahl, and bassist Lena Simon are like a dreamy B movie, surreal, and kitschy, but definitely fun. The band joins us to play songs from their latest record, Floating Features, in-studio. Watch the session here:  Also, this vide...more

  • Art-Rock for a Good Time with the Band Bodega

    Jun 28 2018

    NYC-based art rock quintet Bodega (previously known as Bodega Bay) are the model of modern tongue-in-cheeky post-punk band. With politically-minded personal commentaries on masculinity, consumerism, the hustle of capitalism, and female pleasure, their staccato guitars and shouty gang vocals make for a potent delivery vehicle. Dance party with them as they play salty new tunes in-studio. Watch the full session here:  Watch the individual songs below:

  • Natalie Prass Serves Up Groove, Romance and Sparkle

    Jun 23 2018

    Richmond-based musician Natalie Prass is a fighter. Her forthcoming record, The Future And The Past, has transformed resistance and personal heartache into defiant, groove-laden romantic anthems. With a little dash of disco, and a little bit of soul, this record might look to Janelle Monae & Prince but also further back to Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye for its sound. That said, hear tender, big-hearted, shake-your-groove-thing songs by Natalie Prass, in-studio. Watch the session here:

  • Red Baraat Spreads Defiantly Joyful Bhangra Music

    Jun 21 2018

    On the face of it, Red Baraat is a dhol-driven big band full of brass instruments and drums (both the dhol and drumset keep the groove going), rooted in Bhangra music (Punjabi dance music), who bring a party with them wherever they go. On their latest record, Sound the People, they combine the sounds of South Asian diaspora, along with jazz, hip-hop, psychedelia, and a bit of Caribbean music, to draw attention to issues of migration, colonialism, and our current political climate. The record ble...more

  • Single-Minded and Direct Songs by Joan Armatrading

    Jun 16 2018

    The British guitarist and singer, Joan Armatrading, has had a long and award-winning relationship with the British folk scene, has had a strong jazz influence in a lot of her early hits, topped the American charts with a new wave song in 1980, and just a few years ago became the first British woman to debut at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart.  Joan Armatrading has just released her 21st album, called Not Too Far Away, and she’s here in the studio to play some of it for us.  Watch the full sessio...more