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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
8:00 am
Mon January 23, 2012

World Cafe Looks Back: '90s Singer-Songwriters

Left to right: Aimee Mann, Sheryl Crow, Suzanne Vega.

Frank Micelotta ImageDirect/Getty Images/Hulton Archive

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 6:54 pm

On today's jam-packed session, host David Dye takes us on a journey through the singer-songwriter movement of the 1990s, with artists who were at the forefront of the World Cafe program in its infancy.

We hear from Suzanne Vega, seen by many as the standard-bearer for this moment in music with her impeccable knack for storytelling in a neo-folk style. She stopped by the studio in 1993, in the wake of "Tom's Diner," one of her most popular hits.

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World Cafe
3:42 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Snow Patrol On World Cafe

Snow Patrol's newest album is titled Fallen Empires.
Courtesy of the artist.

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 10:37 am

Blending melodic, powerful, guitar-driven indie rock with hook-filled pop and Coldplay-style balladry, Scottish band Snow Patrol has become an international sensation with heavy touring, chart-topping albums and beautiful singles. In 2003, Final Straw vaulted the group onto the international music scene.

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World Cafe
10:57 am
Thu January 19, 2012

The Little Willies On World Cafe

The Little Willies.
Courtesy of the artist

The informal nature of The Little Willies speaks to its members' chemistry and love of country-music classics; after all, their moniker is a tribute to country-music legend Willie Nelson.

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World Cafe
3:20 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Crooked Fingers On World Cafe

Matt Yelton, Eric Bachmann and Liz Durrett of Crooked Fingers.
Justin Evans

Eric Bachmann can't seem to stay away from music. The talented singer-songwriter first attracted mainstream and underground attention in the '90s with Archers of Loaf before introducing a new project called Crooked Fingers in 2000.

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World Cafe
1:50 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Ani DiFranco On World Cafe

Ani DiFranco
Courtesy of the artist

Ani DiFranco called on a diverse lineup of guests, including Pete Seeger and Anais Mitchell, for her first new record in three years. Over the course of 21 studio albums in a 21-year career, DiFranco's folk-rock music has broached topics from politics to love, but has never strayed from being, as she would say, "righteous." In every sense of the word

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World Cafe: Next
9:10 am
Mon January 16, 2012

Novalima On 'World Cafe: Next'

Novalima.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 9:41 am

Novalima began in 2001 when four Peruvian friends, all living in different parts of the world, took to the Internet to exchange ideas. Pulling from rock, pop, salsa, reggae, dance and electronic music, they formed a collective that would soon become known worldwide for its inventive form of Afro-Peruvian roots music. Novalima released its self-titled debut in 2002, and its 2005 follow-up won the Independent Music Award for best album in world fusion.

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World Cafe
3:46 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Tori Amos On World Cafe

Tori Amos.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 1:30 pm

For more than 20 years, Tori Amos has been one of the most inventive and distinctive singer-songwriters in contemporary music. With eight Grammy nominations and millions of albums sold worldwide, Amos has become a living legend. Her solo career has evolved unpredictably, from acoustic piano to electronica and orchestral styles.

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World Cafe
6:01 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Chris Isaak On World Cafe

On his new album, Chris Isaak croons his way through classic covers.
Courtesy of the artist

More than 20 years after his hit single, "Wicked Game," appeared in David Lynch's film Wild at Heart, Chris Isaak continues to produce the sort of timelessly yearning music that made him a star. Over the course of his 30-year career, Isaak has composed and crooned his way into the national spotlight with 15 albums and countless TV appearances.

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World Cafe
3:26 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Latin Roots: Salsa With A Twist

Bio Ritmo.
Chris Smith

Today, World Cafe kicks off the new series Latin Roots, with Latin music expert Aaron Luis Levinson. Levinson visits host David Dye in WXPN's studios to share his take on all things salsa: the music, the beat and the culture. Levinson, a member of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, is a Grammy-winning producer, musician, composer and owner of Range Recording Studios in Ardmore, Penn.

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World Cafe
3:48 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Kathryn Calder On World Cafe

Kathryn Calder's charming vocals come alive in Bright and Vivid.
Courtesy of the artist

Canadian singer Kathryn Calder is quickly making her mark in power-pop, both with her contributions to The New Pornographers and with her own masterful solo releases. Calder has matured quickly as a musician, creating a self-described "synth-pop" experience woven together by her unique and charming vocals.

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World Cafe
5:30 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

Laura Veirs On World Cafe

Laura Veirs sings folk songs for children in her 2011 album Tumble Bee.
Alicia Rose Courtesy of the artist

Portland singer-songwriter Laura Veirs has been known to draw inspiration from her immediate family. Early on, memories of summertime camping trips powered her lyrics. More recently, the birth of her son, Tennessee, pushed her to record an album of classic folk songs for children, aptly titled Tumble Bee: Laura Veirs Sings Folk Songs For Children.

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World Cafe
2:24 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

World Cafe Looks Back: Rosanne Cash

World Cafe's 20th-anniversary celebration featured two intimate conversations with Cash. The show includes her emotional, candid response to the loss of her famous father, as well as performances of songs from records she made in his memory.

World Cafe
2:20 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

The Lumineers On 'World Cafe: Next'

The Lumineers.
Mark Sink

The Lumineers' self-titled debut is an illuminating collection of ragged folk-rock.

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World Cafe
3:26 am
Mon January 9, 2012

World Cafe Looks Back: Rosanne Cash

Roseanne Cash.

Stephen Lovekin Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 6:55 pm

World Cafe has been lucky enough to feature Rosanne Cash more than once; in fact, her interview from 2006 is one of our absolute favorites of the past 20 years.

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World Cafe
12:43 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Primus On World Cafe

Primus.
Courtesy of the artist

Formed in 1984, Primus is best known for its irreverent funk-metal style, which came to dominate radio airwaves in the '90s. Since releasing its official debut in 1989, the band has experienced lineup changes over the years, but one important element has remained constant: the spiraling bass lines of lead singer and bassist Les Claypool. Throughout the '90s, Primus grew a cult following, then burst into the mainstream with releases like 1993's Pork Soda. The group also wrote the now-classic opening theme for South Park before going on hiatus in 2000.

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World Cafe
10:56 am
Thu January 5, 2012

The Barr Brothers On World Cafe

The Barr Brothers.
Andre Guerette

The Barr Brothers' self-titled debut is a powerful and moving folk record: It combines delicate harp arrangements with a rock 'n' roll sensibility and richly interwoven instrumentation. It's both a powerful record and a product of the uncanny series of events that led to the band's formation.

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World Cafe
10:55 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Active Child On World Cafe

Active Child.
Courtesy of the artist

Under the name Active Child, Pat Grossi crafts gorgeous arrangements out of harps, synths and electronic drums, each of which complements his own ethereal voice. The elements of church music in his compositions stem from an authentic place: Grossi has been singing since his early days as a choirboy.

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World Cafe
4:16 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Sallie Ford And The Sound Outside On World Cafe

Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside.
Melani Brown

Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside's frontwoman was working as a waitress when she met bandmates Tyler Tornfelt (upright bass), Ford Tennis (drums) and Jeff Munger (guitar). Together, the four quickly built a following in their local music scene for their quirky style and energetic retro sensibility.

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World Cafe
1:36 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Oh! Pears On 'World Cafe: Next'

Oh! Pears' Corey Duncan.
Courtesy of the artist

Oh! Pears is the brainchild of Seattle native Corey Duncan, who started the 13-piece group after a split with his former band Pattern Is Movement. With two violas, a violin, two cellos, four guitars, two drum stations, a flute, a trumpet and plenty of voices, Oh! Pears creates robust layers of instrumentation and vocals on its latest EP, Fill Your Lungs.

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World Cafe
12:57 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

World Cafe Looks Back: Jack White

Jack White of The White Stripes performs during the fourth and final day of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival June 17, 2007 in Manchester, Tennessee.

Jeff Gentner Getty Images

Throughout the month of October, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of World Cafe by revisiting some of the best and most memorable interviews of the past 20 years.

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World Cafe
1:19 pm
Fri December 30, 2011

World Cafe: Looking Ahead To 2012

Heather Browne, who runs the music blog I Am Fuel You Are Friends, stands before her formidable record collection. She and WXPN's Bruce Warren share their picks for artists to watch in 2012.
Courtesy of I Am Fuel You Are Friends

As the last World Cafe before we ring in 2012, today's show looks back at the wonderful year of music that was 2011, and takes a peek at what's ahead.

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World Cafe
1:30 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Adele On World Cafe

Adele recently performed on World Cafe.
Mari Sarii/Courtesy of XL Records

At 22 years old, Adele was inspired by the works of Etta James, Jeff Buckley and Jill Scott when she decided to enroll in the BRIT school. By the time of graduation she had perfected her sound and emerged as a soulful songbird and MySpace sensation in 2007 and 2008.

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World Cafe
8:30 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Dawes On World Cafe

Dawes performs live on today's World Cafe.
Courtesy of the artist

Although Dawes' members have only been together since 2009, the L.A. band's romantic roots rock sounds like the product of an entirely different era.

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World Cafe
1:30 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Bon Iver On World Cafe

Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.
D.L. Anderson

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 1:28 pm

This session, from Sept. 2, 2011, is part of our Vintage Cafe series, in which we revisit some of our best studio performances.

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World Cafe
8:33 am
Mon December 26, 2011

St. Vincent On World Cafe

Annie Clark, a.k.a. St. Vincent.
Courtesy of the artist

Though Annie Clark began as a member of Sufjan Stevens' touring band and The Polyphonic Spree, those experiences do little to explain the incredible things that happen on Strange Mercy, her third album under the moniker St. Vincent. As if unleashed from the constraints of her previous work, Clark straight-up shreds.

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World Cafe
8:30 am
Mon December 26, 2011

The Decemberists On World Cafe

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 7:39 pm

The Decemberists have been on hiatus for quite a while — so long that the non-Colin Meloy members of the band have their own group, Black Prairie. We love these musicians together, and that's why we picked their session from 2011's The King Is Dead to feature on Vintage Cafe.

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World Cafe
10:45 am
Fri December 23, 2011

A Holiday Extravaganza From World Cafe

Carole King's new album is titled A Holiday Carole.
Elissa Kline

On today's special, Christmas-themed episode of World Cafe, we're gathering several big-name artists and their best holiday songs to spread some seasonal cheer.

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World Cafe
10:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

The Chain Gang Of 1974 On World Cafe

The Chain Gang of 1974.
Courtesy of the artist

The Chain Gang of 1974 is the stage name for DJ Kamtin Mohager, a longtime beat master whose penchant for dance-inducing music and reverence for '80s pop pushed him to create this solo project. Mohager points to a childhood of Persian music, then inspiration by Tears for Fears and Talk Talk, as the muse for his inner rhythms and keen sense of melody. After playing bass on tour with 3OH!3 for a few years, Mohager moved to Los Angeles for a change of scenery — and to write Wayward Fire, his second album.

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World Cafe
12:46 pm
Wed December 21, 2011

The Goat Rodeo Sessions On World Cafe

Left to right: Chris Thile, Aoife O'Donovan, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and Stuart Duncan of The Goat Rodeo Sessions.
Jeremy Cowart

Four string virtuosos, each hailing from bluegrass or classical backgrounds, recently came together to bring the world a wonderful mix of the two genres in The Goat Rodeo Sessions.

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World Cafe
2:21 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Garland Jeffreys On World Cafe

Garland Jeffries' latest album is called The King of In Between.
Courtesy of the artist.

The title of Garland Jeffreys' latest album is an apt description of his life's work overall: The King of in Between. A singer-songwriter whose blend of rock 'n' roll, reggae, blues and soul is as edgy as it is full of social commentary, Jeffreys knows what it means to be an outsider, as evidenced by his accessible yet unclassifiable music.

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