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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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World Cafe
4:08 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Franz Ferdinand On World Cafe

Scottish band Franz Ferdinand.
Andy Knowles Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 1:29 pm

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.

World Cafe
3:27 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Latin Roots: Joe Arroyo

Colombian singer Joe Arroyo (left) arrives at the Latin Grammy awards in 2008.
Michael Buckner Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 11:35 am

  • Latin Roots On World Cafe

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.

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World Cafe
2:08 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

James Cotton On World Cafe

James Cotton
Christopher Durst Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 1:30 pm

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.

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World Cafe
2:01 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Natalia Clavier On World Cafe

Natalia Clavier.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 1:30 pm

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.

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World Cafe
1:43 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Youth Lagoon On World Cafe

Youth Lagoon performs live at NPR Music's SXSW showcase in March 2013.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 1:30 pm

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.

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World Cafe
1:11 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Houndmouth On World Cafe

Houndmouth.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 1:31 pm

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.

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World Cafe
9:27 am
Tue September 3, 2013

World Cafe Next: Caroline Rose

Caroline Rose.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 1:31 pm

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.

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World Cafe
12:05 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Buddy Guy On World Cafe

Buddy Guy's new double album is titled Rhythm & Blues.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:17 pm

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.

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World Cafe
5:37 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Latin Roots: The Caribbean Coast Of Colombia

Petrona Martinez.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 11:34 am

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.

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World Cafe
5:37 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Smith Westerns On World Cafe

Smith Westerns.
Sandy Kim Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:17 pm

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.

World Cafe
3:14 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Sarah Lee Guthrie And Johnny Irion On World Cafe

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion.
Joanna Chattman

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:18 pm

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.

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World Cafe
4:04 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Elastic Bond On World Cafe

Elastic Bond.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:20 pm

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.

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World Cafe
11:03 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Next: Moreland And Arbuckle

Moreland & Arbuckle.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 1:32 pm

  • Hear Two Songs From Moreland & Arbuckle

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.

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World Cafe
12:12 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Camera Obscura On World Cafe

Camera Obscura.
Anna Isola Crolla Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:22 pm

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."

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World Cafe
4:08 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Mikal Cronin On World Cafe

Mikal Cronin.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:23 pm

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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