Sometimes the best moment of an in-studio performance is the soundcheck. To warm up, Calexico riffed on a Pavement cover for 15 spooky minutes before offering up two very different versions of songs from the Tucson band's new album, Carried to Dust.
Calling Stephin Merritt a reluctant performer is putting it lightly. Nevertheless, the Magnetic Fields leader bellied up to a microphone by himself in a KEXP session. Here, he surveys his expansive catalog and answers questions in the deadpan style that makes his songs so great.
Joseph Arthur is a versatile and prolific rocker. In addition to playing music, his humanitarian efforts have helped bring art, music and more to children in Northern Uganda refugee camps. For all his sterling credentials, Arthur remains easygoing and casual in this session on WFUV.
Cellist Alisa Weilerstein was born into a musical family with a love for chamber music. Her passionate performance of Chopin's Cello Sonata at WGBH is the sign of a young musician well on her way to a major career.
Frightened Rabbit's lyrical themes of heartbreak, disease, death and suicide might seem overbearing, but as evident in this session from KEXP, there's a cathartic quality to the band's songs. Frontman Scott Hutchinson also talks about the band's reflective side.
The band formerly known as Alabama 3 strips down its roots-meets-dance sound with just two acoustic guitars and voices. The trio plays and talks about its Sopranos success song and plays a country death ballad version of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart."
When Bill Callahan (a.k.a. Smog) came to KUT to promote the release of 2007's Woke on a Whaleheart, he brought members of Shearwater to back him up. His performance was hopeful, big and explicitly in touch with his influences.
Haimovitz's idea of the "classics" includes Bach, Beethoven and, yes, classic rock. He talks to Performance Today host Fred Child about taking musical risks, and offers up a passionate studio performance of music by Bach.
Telepathique is one heck of a sexy band. For 20 minutes, the Sao Paulo-based group turned the intimate space of a KEXP studio into a late-night dance club. The band's combination of electronic beats and rhythms with thrashing drums and live guitar sounds both unique and familiar.
On the eve of the release of its latest album, Stay Positive, The Hold Steady stopped by the WFUV studios for a performance and interview. The group blasted through four new songs with the confidence and urgency of a band at its best.