The Joy Formidable, seen here at NPR Music's South by Southwest party, gave one of the best World Cafe performances of 2011.
Katie Hayes Luke
December 28, 2011 Dozens of new bands stopped by WXPN's Philadelphia studios in 2011, and World Cafe host David Dye witnessed them all. Hear the host's top five performances by emerging artists and download a song from each session.
Beach House (Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally) gave David Dye's favorite World Cafe performance of 2010.
December 3, 2010 WXPN's World Cafe presented more than 200 studio sessions this year. For his year-end list, host David Dye combed through the tape and selected his five favorite songs from the many performances. Listen to the best of the best, and even download them for good measure.
May 11, 2010 Mae's style exudes compelling natural sweetness that simply calls for attention. The great-grand-niece of Judy Garland, she found that music always seemed to come naturally to her. In a session from WXPN, Mae performs songs from The Happiest Lamb.
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courtesy of the artist
April 9, 2010 With a newfound sense of inspiration and vigor, the Unthank sisters have released their third album, Here's the Tender Coming. The record's mix of traditional folk songs and modern arrangements set it apart from their previous works, as do its warm vocals.
courtesy of the artist
February 23, 2010 Cheery melodies, colorful lyrics and acoustic arrangements have earned the folk-rock band favorable comparisons to Modest Mouse and The Shins. Led by guitarist, pianist and singer Eric Johnson, Fruit Bats' members have developed a reputation for forward-thinking music.
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Photo courtesy of artist
February 3, 2010 The quirky and charismatic leader of the punk-cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls, Palmer has spent recent years building her reputation as a solo artist. Her first solo album was produced by Ben Folds. Titled Who Killed Amanda Palmer, it came out in 2008. Here, she appears on World Cafe.
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November 30, 2009 At any given point in 2009, World Cafe host David Dye's Top 10 list would inevitably look different. So consider this a snapshot — and otherwise subject to change at any time. Some picks won't be new to most readers, but others qualify as left-field musical discoveries.
September 7, 2009 With 98 songs, the Memphis group's new box set (Keep an Eye on the Sky) is a definitive collection of Big Star's early-'70s recordings. It sets the record straight about a massively influential group that inspired some of rock's biggest stars. From now until its release on Sept. 15, you can stream the box set's remarkable first disc (26 songs) in its entirety.
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August 7, 2009 Mark Oliver Everett, known on stage as E, is the lynchpin behind Eels' long and eclectic career. A self-taught musician, Everett has used songwriting as a creative and emotional outlet to cope with deaths in his family. Eels' new album, Hombre Lobo, explores primal instinct, isolation and desire through the voice of an outcast character.
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August 7, 2009 Two wildly different approaches to roots music are on display here, as outlaw-country singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle opens for the 10-piece L.A. band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, live in concert from WXPN and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.
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August 6, 2009 Recently separated from his breakthrough blues band Back Door Slam, Knowles has carried on with a new lineup, rechristening his group Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam. Their first release, Coming Up for Air, was produced by Peter Frampton and features the World Cafe favorite "Taste of Danger," a duet with Jonatha Brooke.
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August 5, 2009 From his haunted guitar to his hobo history to his lighthearted outlook, Seasick Steve is the real deal. This episode of World Cafe offers a close look at one of America's dyed-in-the-wool bluesmen, though he prefers to be called a "song-and-dance man" instead.
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August 4, 2009 Young Kevin Barry Moore relocated to the U.S. after years of playing as the support act to his influential sibling, Christy Moore. He then built his own distinguished folk career under the pseudonym Luka Bloom. Over the years, Bloom has transformed songs by a diverse array of songwriters. His new record, however, features all original material.
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August 3, 2009 Fruit Bats started out in the mid-'90s as a low-fidelity bedroom project for singer-songwriter Eric Johnson, but has grown from there. The group's most recent album, The Ruminant Band, showcases a vintage rock feel, with dusty melodies and beautiful harmonies laid out over a gravelly layer of electric guitar.
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July 28, 2009 Throughout Hicks' 40-year career, his eclectic persona, wily wit and quirky combination of cowboy-folk and country-swing music have endeared him to many, including legends such as as Elvis Costello and Willie Nelson. Now, after an eight-year absence, Hicks has released a new album, Tangled Tales.
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