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The dreamy cover image of The Smashing Pumpkins' landmark 1995 album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is the work of illustrator John Craig.

Read 'Mellon Collie' Mystery Girl

December 7, 2012 – The visual icon of the Smashing Pumpkins' landmark 1995 album is a woman of multiple personalities.

Laetitia Sadier performs on KCRW.

Watch KCRW Presents: Laetitia Sadier KCRW

December 6, 2012 – Watch the former Stereolab singer perform "Find Me the Pulse of the Universe" live in the studio. KCRW

Los Straitjackets' members rehearse in NPR's Studio 4A.

Read For One Day, NPR Gets A House Band: Los Straitjackets

December 5, 2012 – The surf-rock band spends a day hanging out at NPR and providing All Things Considered's soundtrack.

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Jovanotti.

Read Jovanotti On World Cafe WXPN

December 5, 2012 – The Italian star plays pop and hip-hop songs — and talks about his recent "pilgrimage" to America. WXPN

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Singer-songwriter Frank Ocean.

Read The Year In Music, 2012

December 5, 2012 – The All Songs Considered gang gabs about the year's biggest surprises, best new artists and more.

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Stars

Read Stars On World Cafe WXPN

December 4, 2012 – The band plays songs from its new album and discusses the recording process with host David Dye. WXPN

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The Numero Group's Eccentric Soul: Omnibus includes 45 seven-inch singles highlighting local soul scenes from around the country.

Watch Saviors Of Local Soul: The Archival Science Of The Numero Group

December 4, 2012 – Reissue labels generally fly below the radar, but the Numero Group has made a name for itself.

Metz performs live on KEXP in Seattle.

Watch Metz: A Royal 'Headache' KEXP

December 4, 2012 – In 2012, the punk trio has made some of the loudest noise in music. Watch Metz perform "Headache." KEXP

The $100 guitar proves once again that it's not just the instrument, it's what you do with it.

Watch A $100 Guitar Makes A 30,000-Mile Odyssey

December 4, 2012 – Nels Cline, Fred Frith and Elliott Sharp are among the 65 guitarists who recorded for the project.

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Jakob Dylan and his Wallflowers sat down with David Dye on World Cafe.

Read The Wallflowers On World Cafe WXPN

December 3, 2012 – Listen to an interview with David Dye and excerpts from the band's recent set at World Cafe Live. WXPN

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Guards.

Read Next: Guards WXPN

December 3, 2012 – Hear songs from the hazy and hooky Brooklyn pop band's forthcoming album, In Guards We Trust. WXPN

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Dave Alvin.

Listen Dave Alvin On Mountain Stage

December 3, 2012 – Alvin returns to his fiery electric roots with songs from his latest record, Eleven Eleven.

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Ian MacKaye, co-founder of Dischord Records and the bands Fugazi and Minor Threat, and Amy Farina, formerly of The Warmers, form The Evens. Their third album together is called The Odds.

Read The Evens: The Power Of Turning Down The Volume

December 2, 2012 – Ian MacKaye and Amy Farina, punk veterans and a married couple, discuss their new album, The Odds.

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Photographer Ken Regan with the Rolling Stones, 1977

Read Remembering A Rock Star: Photographer Ken Regan

December 2, 2012 – Regan was a big deal: How often does Mick Jagger write book introductions for photographers?

In 1994, a cover by the late Jeff Buckley helped save "Hallelujah" from musical obscurity.

Watch Dozens Of Covers Later, 'Hallelujah' Endures

December 2, 2012 – Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" is a popular power anthem now, but almost never saw light of day.

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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

November 30, 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.

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