World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN


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WXPN's live performance and interview program featuring music and conversation from a variety of important musicians

Episode Date
Jeff Tweedy: Books, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll
"I still can't believe you're including the part about stealing my mom's cancer medication". In his new memoir "Let's Go (So We Can Get Back)", Jeff Tweedy transcribes a conversation he had with his wife Susie about how much of his own struggle with opioid addiction to include in the book. Tweedy shares some of those stories with World Cafe, including the challenges he faced in rehab and recovery, and his complicated relationships with former bandmates Jay Farrar from Uncle Tupelo and Jay Bennett from Wilco.
Dec 14, 2018
Fantastic Negrito Is a Shock to the System
He won NPR Music's first Tiny Desk Contest back in 2015 as well as a Grammy in 2017, and there is nothing subtle about him. He is Fantastic Negrito. On his slatest album, Please Don't Be Dead, he ignites and electrifies the blues to tackle addiction, poverty, racism and gun violence. His own life story involves growing up in the 70s with a strict Muslim father in New England as the 8th of 14 kids. He ran away from home at 12 and snuck into practice rooms at Berkeley to teach himself piano. He also nearly died in a car accident and lost a million-dollar record deal. Hear Fantastic Negrito's gripping life story and live performance at World Cafe.
Dec 11, 2018
Doyle Bramhall II – A Guitarist's Guitarist
Doyle Bramhall II is a lefty who plays his guitar strung upside-down! That's right, guitarists... That means that the high E string is on top. Fear not, playing that way hasn't held Bramhall back. In fact, he's excelled as a guitarist and producer. He's shared the stage alongside guitar gods Eric Clapton and Roger Waters, and as a member of their touring bands. Bramhall is also a successful solo artist who brings his band to World Cafe to perform songs from his latest solo album, Shades.
Dec 10, 2018
Doe Paoro – No Crystals, No Incense, No Service
Soft power is the act of using coercion rather than force to change things. On Doe Paoro's (AKA Sonia Kreitzer) new record of the same name, she delves into the concept of addressing the changes she wanted to make in her life. It's a lush piano driven R&B record that showcases Doe's incredible vocals. In addition to performing, she also talks about being a yogi, and the art of silent meditation.
Dec 06, 2018
Anna St. Louis Warms Up The Cafe
Willie Nelson, Mazzy Star and Neil Young have all inspired today's guest to make inviting music that carries an air of mystery, nostalgia and ease. Anna St. Louis started writing songs when she moved to LA about 5 years ago. Her debut full length album If Only There Was a River came out earlier this year. It was produced by Kyle Thomas and Kevin Morby, who Anna knows from her hometown of Kansas City. Anna performs stripped down solo versions of her songs, with the warmth of wool socks and hot toddies in early December.
Dec 04, 2018
Lori McKenna's Music City Cinderella Story
Lori was 28 and a mother of 3 when she started singing at open mics. Last year, she became the first woman named Songwriter of the Year by the Academy of Country Music. Lori shares the story behind her success in Nashville, including the pivotal early support she got from Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. She also describes her life in the small town of Stoughton, Massachusetts, where she was raised and where she still lives with her husband. Lori married him at 19 and they have 5 children together. Hear Lori perform songs from her latest album The Tree, which showcases her incredible knack for writing moving songs about family, and the small bittersweet details of life.
Nov 30, 2018
Hatchie – Sugar Spice, and Dreampop
Hatchie is Harriette Pilbeam, and when she's not playing in the Australian rock band Babaganouj, she's creating her own dream-pop music. It started last year with her debut single, "Try," which became a huge hit in her home country, and now, she's released her first solo EP, called Sugar & Spice. We'll hear some of those lush soundscapes in a live set today, and Harriette talks with host Stephen Kallao about what it was like to strike out on her own as a solo artist, and why she buries her more personal lyrics in a wall of sound. Hatchie, on the World Cafe.
Nov 26, 2018
Tom Morello Makes America Rage Again
Tom Morello changed the shape of rock n'roll with his guitar playing in Rage Against the Machine. He joins us to talk about his new genre-bending project, The Atlas Underground, featuring collaborations with Marcus Mumford, Portugal the Man, EDM beats, and Morello's signature guitar sound. He'll also tell us how many songs he had to learn to play to join the E-Street Band on tour (hint, it was more than 100). Tom reflects on his former bandmate Chris Cornell, and why the message of Rage is more relevant than ever.
Nov 16, 2018
Young Fathers Make Massive Music in a Tiny Basement
2018's Scottish Album of the Year Award winners Young Fathers welcome World Cafe to their compact studio in Edinburgh, where the three band members share their unique stories. Alloysious Massaquoi left Liberia as a child refugee in the 90s and faced a difficult and lifesaving trip by boat to Ghana before settling in Scotland. Kayus Bankole was born in Edinburgh to Nigerian parents and spent time traveling between the country where he was born, the US and his parents' homeland. Graham Hastings grew up in a predominantly white working-class neighborhood in Scotland where his parents provided a model of love for diversity that was not the norm among his peers. The trio talks about tackling systemic racism in their lives and music, the unique bond that allows them to express their truest creative selves and why their tiny studio is a vital part of Young Fathers' creative process.
Nov 14, 2018
Robyn On Being Your Own Best Friend
Robyn just released Honey, her first new full-length album in 8 years. While making the record Robyn was dealing with two big losses – the end of a relationship and the death of a long-time friend and collaborator. Robyn explains how she used dance to help her cope and to inspire creation on Honey
Nov 13, 2018