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World Cafe

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Goat Girl's Punk Rock Self-Care

Jun 8, 2021

"Punk" can mean a lot of different things – an attitude, a perspective, a music genre. All three, or none? It's this open-ended interpretation that's given the "genre" such a long life – and now, the South London band Goat Girl is defining its own version.

Like a perennial blooming in the spring, we're witnessing a beautiful, new beginning for Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast. Her new album, Jubilee, is a sonic departure from the darker songwriting themes of earlier records.

Buck Meek's solo music is disarming and intimate. If you're familiar with his work as the guitarist for Big Thief, that might not come as a surprise. His music is saturated with peculiar, beautiful imagery — a motel with a telephone seashell, two tons of turtle doves, a cottonmouth swallowing its tail. They're pictures painted with country-tinged vocals, begging to be deciphered.

Branford Marsalis' 'Ma Rainey' Score Makes 100-Year-Old Blues Sound Relevant Today

May 26, 2021

There has been plenty to discuss since the release of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom last year. It tells the story of August Wilson and other Black Americans in the 20th century who fled the south and headed north. The film was adapted from a play by Wilson, directed by George C.

On 'Leftover Feelings,' John Hiatt And Jerry Douglas Work Their Magic In Unison

May 25, 2021

John Hiatt is one of America's songwriting treasures. His work has been covered by dozens of artists over the years, including Bob Dylan and Bonnie Raitt. Hiatt's 22nd studio album finds him teaming with another legendary musician, Jerry Douglas.

Celebrate Bob Dylan's 80th Birthday With 80 Cover Songs

May 24, 2021

Eighty years ago, in Duluth, Minn., a baby named Robert Allen Zimmerman was born. He'd grow up to become one of the greatest songwriters of all time. You know him now as Bob Dylan. To celebrate his 80th birthday, we've compiled an entire show's worth of Dylan songs, as performed by artists who love him.

As a keepsake of World Cafe's Bob Dylan Octogintennial Extravaganza, we're sharing a Spotify playlist with songs from the show and more.

On 'Surrounded By Time,' Tom Jones Goes Beyond Simply Covering Others' Songs

May 21, 2021

Whatever you do, do not call Tom Jones' latest album a "covers album." More than that, Surrounded By Time is Jones' 41st studio album. It is also the fourth in a string of records produced by Ethan Johns, wherein Jones reinterprets the music of a wide variety of artists. His son, Mark Woodward, also joins as a producer on the new album.

On paper, a collaboration between the multi-generational Haitian band Lakou Mizik and Grammy-winning electronic musician Joseph Ray might be an unlikely coupling. Their forthcoming album, Leave The Bones, is far from that. Through Vodou chants, Rara dance tunes and contemporary protest songs, the album is a mesmerizing, haunting and uplifting journey into the heart of Haitian culture.

Tune-Yards Shares The Inspiration Behind 'Sketchy'

May 10, 2021

When you listen to a song by Tune-Yards, it can be like listening to a beautiful, but abstract painting. There are layers and layers of sound, complex rhythms and melodies, and lots to interpret in the band's often socially conscious lyrics.

NPR's 50 Favorite Songs Of 1971

May 3, 2021

Today, NPR celebrates the 50-year anniversary of our first on-air original show. For five decades, NPR and our member stations have shared the responsibility — and privilege — to serve the individual listener and promote their personal growth. To honor our time spent together, we turned back the clock and reflected on the impeccable sounds of our genesis year.

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