NPR logo David Dye Picks World Cafe's Best Sessions Of 2010

David Dye Picks World Cafe's Best Sessions Of 2010

Beach House (Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally) gave David Dye's favorite World Cafe performance of 2010. Jason Nocito hide caption

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Jason Nocito

Beach House (Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally) gave David Dye's favorite World Cafe performance of 2010.

Jason Nocito

We have a spacious, acoustically near-perfect studio at World Café. It's big enough to have accommodated the full-size incarnation of Lost in the Trees, as well as Herbie Hancock's super-sized live ensemble, earlier this year. So we thought we'd share some of the sessions from our studio that we loved the most in 2010. I am continually grateful that road-weary musicians continue to step up and give their all. Enjoy these — just some of the best of the more than 200 sessions we presented this year.

World Cafe's Best Studio Sessions Of 2010

Beach House

David Dye Picks World Cafe's Best Sessions Of 2010

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Beach House, 'Zebra'

  • from Teen Dream

The Baltimore duo of Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand was one of the first bands to join us this year. Beach House's album Teen Dream was so lush and, yes, dreamlike that we weren't sure what to expect live. "Zebra" is a beautiful song, no doubt, but this performance of it has held up as my favorite of 2010.

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Song
Teen Dream
Album
Teen Dream
Artist
Beach House
Label
Sub Pop Records
Released
2010

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Phosphorescent

David Dye Picks World Cafe's Best Sessions Of 2010

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Phosphorescent, 'It's Hard To Be Humble (When You're From Alabama)'

  • from Here's to Taking It Easy

The shimmering album Here's to Taking It Easy, from Matthew Houck and his band Phosphorescent, has stayed with me throughout the year. As good as that album is, Phosphorescent's live shows have become almost Dead-like in their power and propensity for improvisation. Most of the album is dreamier than "It's Hard to Be Humble," but we got a fine performance in the studio.

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Song
Here's to Taking It Easy
Album
Here's to Taking It Easy
Artist
Phosphorescent
Label
Dead Oceans Records
Released
2010

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Ray LaMontagne

David Dye Picks World Cafe's Best Sessions Of 2010

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Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs, 'Beg, Steal Or Borrow'

  • from God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise

Here's an example of a simple song with a simple message. The song received multiple Grammy nominations for good reason. Ray LaMontagne has an amazing band in The Pariah Dogs (Jay Bellerose, Jennifer Condos, Greg Leisz and Eric Heywood), and their performance on stage at World Café Live surrounds LaMontagne's voice perfectly.

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Song
God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise
Album
God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise
Artist
Ray Lamontagne & The Pariah Dogs
Label
Red Ink
Released
2010

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Villagers

David Dye Picks World Cafe's Best Sessions Of 2010

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Villagers, 'Twenty Seven Strangers'

  • from Becoming A Jackal

Here's an interesting situation. Villagers is Irish singer-songwriter Conor O'Brien, who recorded Becoming a Jackal by himself multitracking the full supportive arrangements. The result is a beautiful record, fully realized. Then he came into the studio alone with a smaller-than-average guitar and blew us away with his minimalist performance. Talk about songs holding up.

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Song
Becoming A Jackal
Album
Becoming A Jackal
Artist
Villagers
Label
Domino
Released
2010

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Minus the Bear

David Dye Picks World Cafe's Best Sessions Of 2010

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Minus The Bear, 'My Time'

  • from Omni

Prog-rock lives! This Seattle band surpassed our high expectations with this performance of "My Time" in our World Café studio space. The intricacies of the arrangements are as near-perfect as on Minus the Bear's album Omni. Yes, the group has chops, but the playing is always in service to the song.

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Song
Omni
Album
Omni
Artist
Minus the Bear
Label
Dangerbird Records
Released
2010

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