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World Cafe is a two-hour long, nationally syndicated music radio program that originates from WXPN, a non-commercial station licensed to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. The program began in 1991 and was originally distributed by Public Radio International. Since 2005, the show has been distributed by NPR. Hosted by David Dye, World Cafe features live performances and interviews with established and emerging artists. The program's format covers a wide spectrum of musical genres, including indie rock, folk, hard rock, singer-songwriter, alt-country, and world music. The program produces two weekly podcasts containing interviews and information about musical performers: "World Cafe Words and Music," which features more established singers and bands, and "World Cafe Next," which highlights emerging artists.

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In hour one of Tuesday's installment of World Cafe, we talk with Elvis Costello and The Roots' powerhouse drummer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson about how they met and came to utilize hip-hop techniques to make a non-hip-hop record. Costello and The Roots unveiled their collaborative album Wise Up Ghost last week — it's a project they'd made in semi-secrecy.

Joining us in the studio for hour two of Tuesday's World Cafe is the Los Angeles band He's My Brother, She's My Sister. As the name implies, lead vocalists Robert and Rachel Kolar are indeed siblings.

World Cafe Next: Ásgeir

Sep 23, 2013

Musically speaking, we travel to Iceland for Monday's installment of World Cafe: Next. Our featured artist is Ásgeir, a 21-year-old singer-songwriter who's on his way to making history. After releasing his debut album (In the Silence) in his homeland last year, the singer has the best-selling and fastest-selling debut album ever in Iceland.

Ray LaMontagne On World Cafe

Sep 23, 2013

In this installment of Vintage Cafe, we revisit Ray LaMontagne and The Pariah Dogs' performance from Oct. 8, 2010.

Jack Johnson On World Cafe

Sep 20, 2013

Singer-songwriter Jack Johnson recently released his sixth album of breezy, easygoing songs: From Here to Now to You finds him returning to more acoustic arrangements after 2010's To the Sea, which featured more instrumental variations, including electric guitars.

In this World Cafe session, Johnson credits much of his success to his wife, and dedicates a couple of songs to their relationship. The singer also discusses his Hawaiian home and the influence of the indigenous slack-key guitar culture on his style.

Latin Roots: The Evolution Of Balada

Sep 19, 2013

On Thursday's installment of World Cafe's Latin Roots series, Ernesto Lechner — co-host of the radio show The Latin Alternative — dives into balada, a romantic style of Latin music. Lechner starts by playing a couple of examples of the style from the late 1960s, when authentic balada drew from jazz and even the Brazilian genre of bossa nova. We'll also hear a modern rendition of the style from Babasónicos of Argentina.

Jason Isbell On World Cafe

Sep 19, 2013

Soulful roots-rock singer Jason Isbell has been writing revealing, introspective songs since his days in the Southern rock band Drive-By Truckers. After leaving the group in 2007, Isbell went on to record a string of studio albums with and without his new band, The 400 Unit. His hit "Alabama Pines" won Song of the Year honors at the 2012 Americana Music Awards.

Neko Case On World Cafe

Sep 18, 2013

This segment, from Sept. 18, is part of our Best Of 2013 series, in which we revisit some of our most memorable interviews and performances of the year.

She & Him On World Cafe

Sep 17, 2013

When actress Zooey Deschanel started recording with producer M. Ward as She & Him in 2006, it was easy to see it as a passing thing. With the duo releasing the third album-length installment of its ongoing collaboration this year — in addition to a holiday record titled A Very She & Him Christmas — it's now pretty clearly a long-haul project.

World Cafe Next: Wildcat! Wildcat!

Sep 16, 2013

The punchy L.A. indie-pop band Wildcat! Wildcat! is made up of three members who've been friends since middle school. They've released a couple of singles — including the latest, "Mr. Quiche" — and recently compiled them on a new EP. Hear a couple of the band's songs on this installment of World Cafe: Next.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band On World Cafe

Sep 13, 2013

New Orleans' Preservation Hall, the dirt-floor space off Bourbon Street, was founded in 1961 as a place for the elders of Crescent City jazz to play nightly. Today, World Cafe talks with Ben Jaffe; like his father Alan, who ran the space initially, Jaffe is a tuba player who guides the world-renowned band today.

The Greyboy Allstars On World Cafe

Sep 12, 2013

Almost 20 years ago, the members of the Greyboy Allstars got together to play a record release party for DJ Greyboy and discovered a perfect fusion. Call it rare groove, acid jazz or Electric Boogaloo (as they named their 1995 debut album), guitarist Elgin Park, keyboardist Robert Walter, saxophonist Karl Denson and the rhythm section of Chris Stillwell and Aaron Redfield have a special sound. These Allstars still draw from '60s boogaloo on their new album, Inland Emperor.

Treetop Flyers On World Cafe

Sep 11, 2013

We welcome British band Treetop Flyers to the World Cafe. They are a folk-rock five-piece that initially turned heads on the main stage of the 2011 Glastonbury Festival. They won the spot through an "emerging artist" competition. From there, they were signed to Loose Music in the U.K. and to Partisan Records in the U.S. and put out their debut full-length record, The Mountain Moves, in June of this year. Their music is very much inspired by California in the '70s, so it was not much of a stretch to decamp to Malibu to record their debut.

Mark Mulcahy On World Cafe

Sep 10, 2013

If you were an indie-rock fan in the mid-1980s, then you undoubtedly stumbled upon Miracle Legion. In the post R.E.M. jangle-rock landscape, they called it "college rock" and the Connecticut-based Miracle Legion ruled. It happened again with his work on Nickelodeon's Adventures of Pete & Pete with the fake-band Polaris made up of Miracle Legion musicians.

World Cafe Next: Royal Bangs

Sep 10, 2013

Our World Cafe: Next artist this week is Royal Bangs, a band originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. The band formed in 2001 and had their first album released by The Black Keys' Patrick Carney on his own Audio Eagle Records in 2008. He actually discovered the band on MySpace.

The band is fronted by Ryan Schaefer and their new album, Brass, was produced by Carney. It's scheduled to be released on September 17, but you can hear two tracks from it on the World Cafe: Next podcast.

Franz Ferdinand On World Cafe

Sep 6, 2013

Scottish dance-rock band Franz Ferdinand are back with its fourth album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. A year-and-a-half in the making, the record includes collaborations with members of Hot Chip and Peter Bjorn and John. In this episode of World Cafe, we speak with lead singer Alex Kapranos and drummer Paul Thomson, and the band treats us to a live set.

Latin Roots: Joe Arroyo

Sep 5, 2013

In this installment of our Latin Roots series, The Latin Alternative co-host Ernesto Lechner discusses his favorite singer, an influential Colombian musician named Joe Arroyo.

Arroyo began singing at age 10 in the whorehouses of Cartagena. He was discovered by Fruko (a.k.a. Julio Ernesto Estrada) when he was a teenager and soon joined the salsa player's band, Fruko Y Sus Tesos.

James Cotton On World Cafe

Sep 5, 2013

Harmonica master James Cotton is a giant of the blues. Born in 1935 on a cotton plantation in Tunica, Miss., he learned the instrument from Sonny Boy Williamson, who had a radio program right across the river in West Helena, Ark. After listening to the show and imitating him on a harmonica, Cotton met Williamson, who took him under his wing.

At 15, Cotton met and played with Howlin' Wolf, who took him to record at Sun Studios in Memphis. Later, while on tour, Muddy Waters asked Cotton to replace Junior Wells in his band; Cotton stayed on the road with Waters for a dozen years.

Natalia Clavier On World Cafe

Sep 4, 2013

There was never any doubt that Argentine vocalist Natalia Clavier could sing. She's been proving that for years, performing jazz and serving as the anonymous voice on hundreds of techno and dance songs, most recorded when she lived in Barcelona after moving there from Buenos Aires. For years, she's also been the go-to live voice for Thievery Corporation, and she remains part of its live act.

Youth Lagoon On World Cafe

Sep 4, 2013

Youth Lagoon is the work of Boise, Idaho's Trevor Powers. The title of his first album, 2011's The Year of Hibernation, captures what was going on: a solo bedroom project that explored the theme of emerging from isolation. It sounded great, and the positive response got Powers out of the bedroom and on the road for a year.

Houndmouth On World Cafe

Sep 3, 2013

Houndmouth is a rootsy rock band from New Albany, Ind., right across the river from Louisville. In an age of loops, samples and all things digital, Houndmouth is a refreshingly straightforward rock band with guitars, B-3 and all members singing in harmony.

The group recently released its debut album, From the Hills Below the City. Hear Houndmouth perform four of its songs on this installment of World Cafe.

World Cafe Next: Caroline Rose

Sep 3, 2013

Singer-songwriter Caroline Rose grew up in Vermont the daughter of two artists, so it was never a far stretch to imagine she would become a performer herself. What is a little surprising is the grit in this young woman's performance. Turns out her mother is from the South, and there were many trips and exposures to Southern culture along the way. She started writing songs in her early teens hasn't stopped since, and most of her debut full-length, America Religious, was conceived on the road. It's a tough-sounding record from an artist to watch.

Buddy Guy On World Cafe

Aug 23, 2013

We recorded this interview with blues guitarist and singer Buddy Guy the day after he turned 77 — and he turned up early for our 9 a.m. start.

In this edition of Latin Roots, we look at the music of Colombia's Caribbean coast. Our guest, Beat Latino host Catalina Maria Johnson, selected some older music from Petrona Martinez and her family, as well as a more modern example from Lido Pimienta, who is part of the large Colombian population based in Toronto. Pimienta uses traditional elements in her music, yet records on her laptop.

Smith Westerns On World Cafe

Aug 22, 2013

The wonderful half-garage, half-glam band Smith Westerns recently released its third album, Soft Will. In this installment of World Cafe, the group's members tell us that a lot of the record was written as a reaction to returning home to Chicago after touring for five years during their late teens and twenties. And, of course, they perform some of their songs live in the studio.

Sarah Lee Guthrie is the granddaughter of Woody Guthrie, while Johnny Irion is the grand-nephew of author John Steinbeck. Since marrying in 1999, Guthrie and Irion have released five albums together, including this year's Wassaic Way.

The duo recorded its latest LP with help from Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and Pat Sansone in the band's loft. In this edition of World Cafe, Guthrie and Irion perform songs from Wassaic Way and chat with host David Dye about Wilco's many connections to the Guthrie family.

Elastic Bond On World Cafe

Aug 20, 2013

When Venezuelan producer Andres Ponce met Honduran singer Sofy Encanto in Miami, musical sparks flew. What began as a recording project became a full-fledged band that draws from a range of influences, including tropical, funk, electronic and hip-hop.

Real, the group's first album, has it all, with songs in both English and Spanish. After playing around Miami for a couple of years, Elastic Bond signed with the influential Nacional label, which put out the band's debut earlier this summer.

This week's World Cafe: Next artist is the Kansas band Moreland & Arbuckle, whose members play blues-drenched roots-rock. On their fifth album, 7 Cities, they've adopted the loose theme of the explorer Coronado's search for the seven cities of gold — which, not so coincidentally, took the conquistador right into their home territory.

Camera Obscura On World Cafe

Aug 16, 2013

Heartbreak has long resided at the center of Tracyanne Campbell's songs for Camera Obscura. Remember, she's the one who wrote a song responding to Lloyd Cole's "Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken?" — naturally, it's titled "Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken."

Mikal Cronin On World Cafe

Aug 15, 2013

Mikal Cronin's second solo album, MCII, contains more of his delightful, frequently dazzling, guitar-drenched pop-rock. Originally from Southern California, Cronin wrote his first record in response to making the post-college move to San Francisco. The new album is more about what happened when he got there and started playing in Ty Segall's band.

On this episode of World Cafe, Cronin sits down to chat with host David Dye and play a few songs with his band live in the studio.

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