World Cafe

Weeknights at 7pm
David Dye

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

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Composer ID: 
53a984e6e1c83b131245a475|53a984b9e1c83b131245a3ab

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World Cafe
2:55 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Five Essential Icelandic Albums From World Cafe

12 Tónar Records.
John Vettese WXPN

On World Cafe's Sense of Place: Iceland trip, we felt inspired during our visit to Reykjavik's famed 12 Tónar Records. It's a homey, welcoming place where the shelves are filled with Icelandic CDs and vinyl.

Behind the counter, fielding all questions, was Einar Þór Kristjánsson, who has worked at 12 Tónar since it opened 15 years ago. We asked him to make a list of some of his favorite Icelandic music; he obliged, giving us the history of the unique store and picking five bands. (Some you may know well, others not so much.)

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World Cafe
2:39 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Sin Fang On World Cafe

Sin Fang at Iceland's Rás 2 studios.
John Vettese WXPN

Our Sense of Place: Iceland guest today is Sindri Már Sigfússon, who performs under the name Sin Fang for his solo work. He also leads the folk-pop group Seabear; in fact, the first Seabear recordings were released in conjunction with another ursine band, an early version of the American band Grizzly Bear. Sigfússon released his third solo album, Flowers, last year.

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World Cafe
2:31 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Olafur Arnalds On World Cafe

Olafur Arnalds.
Courtesy of the artist

World Cafe's Sense of Place: Iceland guest today is a busy man. Composer and musician Ólafur Arnalds creates beautiful, sweeping neoclassical music, perfect for the soundtracks that have won him high praise. He's been in especially high demand since winning a BAFTA award for his musical contributions to the British TV series Broadchurch.

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World Cafe
2:24 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Bjork On World Cafe

Björk.
Jean-Baptiste Mondino Courtesy of the artist

As part of World Cafe's week-long Sense of Place series, we resurface this 2000 interview with Björk, recorded in conjunction with the release of Selmasongs. At the time, the singer had just starred in the Lars von Trier film Dancer in The Dark, in which she played the character of Selma. The film won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, where Björk also won the award for Best Actress.

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World Cafe
3:02 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Siggtryggur Baldurson On World Cafe

Siggtryggur Baldurson.
John Vettese WXPN

As Sense of Place: Iceland continues on World Cafe, we have a thoughtful interview with Siggtryggur Baldurson; he's head of the Iceland Music Exchange (IMX), which is tasked with expanding the musical footprint of Iceland around the world. Baldurson is also the former drummer of the groundbreaking Icelandic band The Sugarcubes.

Here, he discusses various efforts to spread Icelandic music — including the Iceland Airwaves Festival, which draws visitors to the island every fall to experience more than 300 bands in Reykjavík's clubs.

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World Cafe
2:53 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Árstíðir On World Cafe

Árstíðir performs for a live audience at Reykjavik Public Radio station Rás 2.
John Vettese WXPN

On today's episode, we hear the first of the live sessions World Cafe recorded during its Sense of Place trip to Iceland in June. Árstíðir's performance was recorded in front of an audience of World Cafe Travel Adventurers at Reykjavik Public Radio station Rás 2.

With piano, two guitars, violin and vocals, Árstíðir re-created the richly delicate classical-folk sound that helped the band make it big on Icelandic radio and in mainland Europe. A new album is due out in September.

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World Cafe
1:55 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Óli Palli On World Cafe

David Dye and Óli Palli.
John Vettese WXPN

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 7:46 am

World Cafe's Sense of Place series takes the show to Iceland, where Ólafur Páll Gunnarsson — known by most as Óli Palli — was voted the most important Icelandic radio personality of the 20th century. He can be heard on the Icelandic public radio station Rás 2, on which he hosts the music programs Poppaland and Rokkland.

Here, he joins World Cafe to play new Icelandic pop from newcomer Grísalappalísa, as well as longtime favorite GusGus. He also tackles the question of why so many Icelandic artists sing in English.

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World Cafe
4:40 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

First Aid Kit On World Cafe

First Aid Kit.
Neil Krug Courtesy of the artist

Sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg of First Aid Kit have become an international sensation, thanks in part to the gorgeous harmonies in their sweet folk-pop songs. The Swedish duo's success owes a lot to the Internet: It was a batch of MySpace recordings that got the pair discovered in 2007 by Karin Dreijer Andersson of fellow Swedish band The Knife.

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World Cafe
3:36 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Latin Roots: The 15th Latin Alternative Music Conference

Babasónicos will perform at the Latin Alternative Music Conference this weekend.
Courtesy of the artist

The 15th annual Latin Alternative Music Conference is underway this week in New York City. Free concerts are held in Manhattan and Brooklyn throughout the festival, while sessions and showcases are available only to registered attendees, who come from all over the Spanish-speaking world to find what's next in Latin music.

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World Cafe
2:43 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

King Khan & The Shrines On World Cafe

King Khan & The Shrines.
Tiger Lilly Courtesy of the artist

King Khan & The Shrines, a psychedelic garage/soul band from Berlin, is led by the charismatic Arish Khan. Khan grew up in Montreal, the son of South Asian parents, and first played in punk bands. The group has been recording together since 2000 and released its latest album, Idle No More, last fall.

Khan is fascinating: He's both an over-the-top performer and a far-ranging thinker. In this session, he discusses the new album's title, which comes from a Canadian indigenous people's movement.

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