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Joe Smith poses with Rod Stewart, circa 1974. The former record executive conducted informal interviews with dozens of musicians in the mid-1980s.

Read A Trove Of Chats With Music Icons, Now Online

December 1, 2012 – As a record executive in the 1980s, Joe Smith recorded dozens of informal interviews with musicians.

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Freelance Whales.

Read Freelance Whales On World Cafe WXPN

November 30, 2012 – The band makes huge tiny music, employing delicate instruments that add up to something majestic. WXPN

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Joe Hill Louis, B.B. King and Rufus Thomas appear on a new multi-disc compilation of electric blues, Plug It In! Turn It Up!

Read Turning Up The Volume On The Electric Blues

November 29, 2012 – A new compilation traces the history of electric blues from its rocky start through its heyday.

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Screenshot from the Mr. Gnome video "House Of Circles"

Watch See What $2,000 And An Epic Imagination Will Get You

November 29, 2012 – The Cleveland-based duo's new video is a dark and stylish fantasy about a battle to save the world.

Yeasayer

Read Yeasayer On World Cafe WXPN

November 29, 2012 – On Fragrant World, the band adopts a sparser sound. Hear Yeasayer perform live in the studio. WXPN

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Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

Read Jon Spencer Blues Explosion On World Cafe WXPN

November 28, 2012 – The rowdy blues-rock revivalist joins host David Dye in the studio to play songs from Meat and Bone. WXPN

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Clockwise from upper left: Acid Pauli, Kendrick Lamar, Samuel Yirga, Kelan Philip Cohran, Waxahatchee, Pallbearer, Matthew Dear

Read The Albums We Missed This Year

November 27, 2012 – The All Songs hosts can't hear it all, so they caught up on great 2012 records with NPR colleagues.

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Electric Guest.

Read Electric Guest on World Cafe WXPN

November 27, 2012 – Hear this Danger Mouse-approved songwriter perform four songs in the World Cafe studio. WXPN

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San Cisco performs on The Current.

Watch San Cisco: An 'Awkward' Upstart From Down Under KCMP

November 27, 2012 – Watch the irresistible Australian band perform its hit "Awkward," live at The Current in Minnesota. KCMP

Le Tigre.

Watch Bedroom Dancing: Le Tigre By Accident

November 27, 2012 – A new fan recalls first hearing the band in high school, on a mixtape meant for someone else.

Elephant Stone.

Read Next: Elephant Stone WXPN

November 26, 2012 – The metallic, resonant drones of a sitar twist the band's pop songs into something unexpected. WXPN

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Sufjan Stevens released Silver & Gold Nov. 13.

Read First Listen: Sufjan Stevens, 'Silver & Gold'

November 25, 2012 – In nearly three hours of music, impeccable grace never strays far from playful ridiculousness.

Tracey Thorn's album Tinsel and Lights was released Oct. 30.

Read First Listen: Tracey Thorn, 'Tinsel And Lights'

November 25, 2012 – The Everything but the Girl singer's holiday album is as warmly rendered as it is bittersweet.

(From left) Robert Sledge, Ben Folds and Darren Jessee of Ben Folds Five.

Read Ben Folds Five On World Cafe WXPN

November 23, 2012 – Hear a four-song set from the wildly popular pianist and his re-formed band. WXPN

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What do you want for the holidays?

Read The NPR Music Holiday Gift Wish List

November 23, 2012 – Our staff picks out a lavish holiday wish list, from the practical to the fantastical.

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