Billing itself as New Zealand's "fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo a cappella-rap-funk-comedy duo," Flight of the Conchords has already begun to take the U.S. by storm. The duo now has an HBO series by the same name. Hear an interview and in-studio performance.
The National's intricate wordplay, catchy choruses and elegant arrangements have earned the indie-rock band comparisons to groups both stately and unpredictable. The band combines countrified folk and traditional rock, with a doomstruck grace that gets under the skin.
The daughter of a literature professor and blues enthusiast, Williams had been marked to write powerful songs about strong characters right from the beginning. Hear an interview and in-studio performance with the roots-rock songwriter from WFUV's Claudia Marshall.
Alternating between carefree indie-rock and melancholy synth-pop, the North Carolina husband-and-wife duo The Rosebuds writes some of the year's catchiest hooks and sing-along choruses. Hear an interview with the band, as well as an in-studio performance.
When the young members of the Tarantella Quartet aren't rehearsing string quartets, one might find them out on the dance floor. "I've taken classes in jazz, tap and ballet," says violist Celia Hatton, "but Latin dancing was calling my name and I haven't been able to stop!" The group plays two of Ervin Schulhoff's Five Pieces for String Quartet. This segment originally aired on Mar. 21, 2007
She's only 11, but Anna Lee's huge talents and ambition make her one of today's best preteen violinists. Although Lee says she worries about her short stature, she has no doubts about her ability to play the violin. She performs Zapateado, op. 23 by Sarasate.
Pianist Gabriela Montero fields songs sung over the telephone and creates her own improvisations around them. This week, hard work on a sailing team inspired a listener to sing the song "The Weight" by The Band.
At 25, singer-songwriter Devon Sproule has already released four albums, lived on a rural Virginia commune, toured with the Dave Matthews Band and drawn from musical influences as diverse as Frank Zappa and Bikini Kill. Hear an interview and in-studio performance.
Devon Sproule: Easygoing Folk and a Splash of Jazz
Dax Riggs' rollicking "Living Is Suicide" contemplates the futility of existence dressed up as a garage-rock anthem. Prickly and ghostly, occasionally plodding, occasionally amazing and deathly serious, it's one of the year's most delightfully forbidding songs.