April 12, 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.
February 23, 2010 WXPNCheery 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.
February 3, 2010 WXPNThe 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.
November 30, 2009 WXPNAt 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 WXPNWith 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.
August 7, 2009 WXPNMark 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.
August 6, 2009 WXPNRecently 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.
August 5, 2009 WXPNFrom 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.
August 4, 2009 WXPNYoung 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.
August 3, 2009 WXPNFruit 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.
July 28, 2009 WXPNThroughout 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.
November 24, 2008 WXPNIt wasn't the best year for music, but 2008 sure churned out a lot of it: In a marketplace flooded with more music than ever, there's rarely been less of a consensus. Your neighbor's iPod was most likely playing a different tune than yours was. Still, David Dye was able to pinpoint the 10 albums that best kept him interested through multiple listens.
August 4, 2008 The Airborne Toxic Event's self-titled full-length debut has earned the band comparisons to Modest Mouse, Arcade Fire and Interpol, among others. Complementing Mikel Jollett's dry vocals with surf-friendly rock, the group has made more than a few "Bands to Watch" lists, both before and since the release of its debut.