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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
11:40 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Pearl And The Beard On 'World Cafe: Next'

Pearl and the Beard's most recent album is titled Killing The Darlings.
Courtesy of the artist

With endless three-part harmonies at its disposal, Pearl and the Beard is a folksy pop trio with a flair for lovely acoustic Americana. Members Jocelyn MacKenzie, Emily Hope Price and Jeremy Styles each convey a unique vocal style, influence and vision, with the help of cello, glockenspiel, non-traditional drums, accordion and guitar.

Pearl and the Beard's 2011 album Killing the Darlings has been charming fans and critics since last spring. Given the trio's tremendous chemistry and charm, it looks primed to build on that buzz in 2012.

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World Cafe
3:58 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

The Black Keys On World Cafe

The Black Keys.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of Warner Bros.

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

Welcome to the first in our weekly Vintage Cafe series of interviews from the archive. Each week we are going to be re-visiting significant session with major artists. For this installment, we bring back our Black Keys session, recorded in December 2011 right before the release of El Camino.

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World Cafe
3:51 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Gary Numan On World Cafe

Gary Numan's new album of rethought demos, Dead Son Rising, came out in September.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 3:52 pm

Considered one of the fathers of electronic music, British new-wave auteur Gary Numan has been releasing studio albums since the '70s. The man behind the classic hit "Cars" has influenced scores of musicians over the years, including Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie, Beck and many others.

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World Cafe
1:58 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Tinariwen On World Cafe

Tinariwen.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 14, 2011 1:59 pm

The only aspect of Tinariwen more urgent and heartbreakingly human than its unique blend of electric rock and North African traditional music is its story. Tinariwen's members fought as rebels in Mali to protect their land and the Tuareg people, and out of the rebel camps formed a counterculture — and a rock band.

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World Cafe
10:57 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Shelby Lynne On World Cafe

Shelby Lynne.
Courtesy of the artist

Shelby Lynne has been recording for more than two decades, but has never stopped evolving. Her music is powerful because it feels heartfelt and entirely hers; she's moved from label to label, style to style, but has always kept her individuality. The first decade of her career has been all about that movement, and now she's in a great rhythm.

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World Cafe
11:02 am
Mon December 12, 2011

Hiss Golden Messenger On 'World Cafe Next'

Hiss Golden Messenger.
Terri Loewenthal

In "Poor Moon," his recent release under the moniker Hiss Golden Messenger, MC Taylor revels in the classic simplicity of old-school folk. His waltz-y ballad "Blue Country Mystic" is a prime example of how Taylor blends the tried-and-true methods of home-grown bluegrass with the catchiness of contemporary indie folk. "Super Blue (Two Days Clean)" is a country-infused dance number that showcases his understanding of the folk tradition as history that lives, grows and moves its audience in deep, unpredictable ways.

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World Cafe
8:30 am
Mon December 12, 2011

The Head And The Heart On World Cafe

Seattle's The Head and the Heart recently performed on World Cafe.
Josh Principe The Billions Corporation

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

This session, from Dec. 12, 2011, is the second in our Vintage Cafe series, where we revisit some of our best studio performances.

The Head and the Heart was formed after five twentysomethings met at an open mic night in Seattle.

"None of us knew each other beforehand," recalls singer Josiah Johnson. "I just happened to go to the same open mic. [Jonathan Russell] played some songs and I played some songs, then we started talking and hanging out."

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World Cafe
2:46 pm
Fri December 9, 2011

Mayer Hawthorne On World Cafe

Mayer Hawthorne.
Courtesy of the artist

Looking at Andrew Mayer Cohen in his Buddy Holly glasses, styled like Michael Buble's little brother, he could easily be construed as another poppy heart-breaker. But this young soul man from Detroit is actually a rising hip-hop and R&B artist. Known as Mayer Hawthorne in the music world, he's built an impressive reputation for himself.

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World Cafe
3:21 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Blind Pilot On World Cafe

Blind Pilot.
Jay Blakesberg

Friends since college, guitarist and vocalist Israel Nebeker and drummer Ryan Dobrowski are the essence of Portland's Blind Pilot. From the beginning, their minimalist folk-rock sound has revolved around simple melodies, sparse drumming and warm vocals.

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World Cafe
2:27 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Blitzen Trapper On World Cafe

Blitzen Trapper on World Cafe.
Tyler Kolhoff

Blitzen Trapper's rise to fame has been nontraditional, to say the least. According to frontman Eric Earley, who writes most of its music, the band was homeless up through the 2008 tour for its breakout fourth album, Furr. This was a year after the "reluctant success," as Earley called it, of Wild Mountain Nation.

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World Cafe
2:24 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Tony Bennett On World Cafe

Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 2:25 pm

With more than 70 albums and 15 Grammys to his name, Tony Bennett is not just a staple of contemporary jazz music — he's a legend. His signature sound has evolved into just the right mix of jazz and pop, influenced by greats such as Al Jolson and Louis Armstrong.

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World Cafe
3:22 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Sense Of Place: Come For The Beer, Stay For The Music

Welcome to Guinness, where the hallowed beer flows freely.
John Bartol WXPN

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 12:34 pm

Throughout the week, World Cafe travels to Dublin, Ireland — the first stop in a quarterly series called Sense of Place. We hope to give you an idea of the past and present of the city's local music scene and provide tips from musicians and music lovers for those hoping to visit this culturally rich town.

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World Cafe
3:15 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Feist On World Cafe

Feist's fifth album, Metals, is out now.
Courtesy of the artist

Celebrated Canadian singer-songwriter Leslie Feist released her fourth studio album, Metals, earlier this year. Metals is a bit more chaotic, and a bit more liberating, than her 2007 commercial breakthrough, The Reminder. Feist describes the new record as being "about un-simplifying things and leaning on these masterful minds I have so much respect for." The record is about people — and, she explains, was created by "the movement of a lot of humans."

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World Cafe
4:12 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Sense Of Place: Of Bards and Balladeers

Glen Hansard sits in with a group of traditional Irish musicians at the Dublin pub O'Donoghues.
WXPN John Bartol

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 12:35 pm

Throughout the week, World Cafe travels to Dublin, Ireland — the first stop in a quarterly series called Sense of Place. We hope to give you an idea of the past and present of the city's local music scene and provide tips from musicians and music lovers for those hoping to visit this culturally rich town.

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World Cafe
2:04 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. On World Cafe

Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
Jeff Snow

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 3:41 pm

The Detroit dream-pop duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. released its Horse Power EP in July 2010, and followed it with a set of remixes, including one of Junip's "In Every Direction." Easily capturing the sunny warmth of surf pop, the EP takes traditional pop structures and fills them with lush melodies that melt together with upbeat guitar maneuvers and dashes of electronic soundplay.

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