Soundcheck Soundcheck, hosted by John Schaefer, is WNYCs daily talk show about music. Covering all musical genres, Soundcheck celebrates the musical passions of performers, composers, critics, and the public radio audience. Listeners enjoy intimate conversations with and live performances by leading artists from around New York and around the globe.
soundcheck
WNYC

Soundcheck

From WNJP Radio - FM

Soundcheck, hosted by John Schaefer, is WNYCs daily talk show about music. Covering all musical genres, Soundcheck celebrates the musical passions of performers, composers, critics, and the public radio audience. Listeners enjoy intimate conversations with and live performances by leading artists from around New York and around the globe.

Most Recent Episodes

Elizabeth And The Catapult Takes on Connection and Loneliness

Elizabeth Ziman is a classically-trained pianist, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who leads the long-running indie band Elizabeth And The Catapult. Her new album is sincerely, e – a wry, poignant, affecting response to the pandemic, mostly centered around her home's piano (which happens to belong to Rob Moose, violinist, arranger, and a member of yMusic.) For the podcast, Ziman talks about seeking more human connection, and the double-edged sword of being able to interact with fans or her mom more than ever - yet all of that interaction is through screens held in her hands, and leaves a feeling of emptiness. She walks us through the process of digitally cloning herself as a multi-instrumentalist for another tune, and the need to make the record sound "as human as possible" with a feel "of her home", as well as collaborating from afar with longtime Elizabeth And The Catapult producer Dan Molad. With a raw, rough-around-the-edges feel to certain songs which may bring to mind Fiona Apple's recent Fetch the Bolt Cutters, and with a Parisian café intimacy in others (melodica plus clarinet and it's really not a stretch), Elizabeth Ziman showcases her "effective and affecting songwriting" (John Schaefer) and plays some of her new songs remotely. – Caryn Havlik Set list: "Together, Alone"; "Pop the Placebo"; "The Birds and the Bees"; "The Muse" Watch "Together, Alone": Watch "Pop the Placebo": Watch "The Birds and the Bees":

LNZNDRF (members of The National and Beirut) Is All About The Musical Journey

LNZNDRF is a band composed of Scott and Bryan Devendorf of The National, and Ben Lanz and Aaron Arntz of Beirut. They improvise their CAN-influenced drone-fuzz psych jams, then edit and structure them into long-form songs, with or without vocals. With pieces named for an isolated 1000 year-old tree and the changing climate and topography of the Xeric Steppe, or life partners against the world, the sounds might range from New Order's non-dance floor hits with Krautrock undertones which may be well-suited for long road trips. LNZNDRF plays some of these expansive musical journeys from their latest, LNZNDRF II, remotely, and dreams aloud about playing basements of classical music venues and forests in the after-times. - Caryn Havlik Set list: "The Xeric Steppe", "You Still Rip", "Brace Yourself" "The Xeric Steppe":

LNZNDRF (members of The National and Beirut) Is All About The Musical Journey

The Altin Gün Experience: Turkish-Folk Meets Psych-Funk-Rock

Amsterdam-based Altin Gün plays songs rooted in traditional Turkish folk tunes and Anatolian rock that have fallen down the rabbit hole of psychedelic funk, combining baglama/saz riffs, vocal melodies, fuzzy bass, wah-wah guitars and analogue organs. On their latest, Yol (Road), the band (whose name means "golden day", sort of like a rent party involving gold pieces) has expanded its retro sound world to include dreamy 80's synth-pop instruments like Omnichord, and vintage drum machines that ought to be wearing sequins. Altin Gün plays a set for us with their full sound and light set up.

Rokia Traoré: The Malian Singer Showcases 'Beautiful Africa' (Archives)

It's impossible not to be transported by Rokia Traoré's voice and unique adaptation of rock. The daughter of a diplomat, Traoré spent her childhood traveling to Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, and France, and her travels exposed her to jazz, classical, Indian music and rock. Those early transformative experiences especially translated into her 2013 release, Beautiful Africa. Produced by John Parish (Sparklehorse, PJ Harvey), the guitarist and singer considers this album specifically as rock, with a twist of Malian influence that can be seen in her use of traditional instruments. In addition, Traoré performs primarily in Bambara, a major Malian language, and in French. She plays in-studio, in this 2014 session from the Archives.

Rokia Traoré: The Malian Singer Showcases 'Beautiful Africa' (Archives)

Regal and Moody Brass-Led Songs By CARM

CARM is the work of CJ Camerieri, trumpeter and French horn player of the band yMusic, and the result of a nickname earned in the midwest. On CARM's self-titled debut, his original songs toe and test the boundary lines between jazz, classical, pop, and the timeless sounds of Ennio Morricone. There are both wordless songs focused on the trumpet, and collaborations with vocalists/songwriters Sufjan Stevens, Shara Nova, and Justin Vernon, to name a few. CARM featuring Trever Hagen on electronics and second trumpet, performs remotely with a lot of looping and processing and textures from the Pablo Center in Eau Claire, WI. Set list: "Soft Night," "Nowhere," "Slantwise" "Soft Night": "Nowhere": "Slantwise":

Grandbrothers, Messing Around With Grand Pianos Since 2012

Minimalism, classical music, and electronic dance music all come together in the pulsating music of the German-Swiss duo Grandbrothers. Using live processing of the piano (the insides and all) as its primary source, the duo creates an irresistible groove under the influence of electronic dance music. The Dusseldorf-based duo Grandbrothers' ("Messing around with grand pianos since 2012") latest record is All the Unknown, and they perform some of those songs, remotely. Set list: "Ezra Was Right," "What We See," "All the Unknown" "Ezra Was Right": "What We See": "All the Unknown":

Django Django's Hazy Art-Pop Is of a Modern Vintage

Django Django is a quartet of British art-psych rockers who make hazy jangly electro-art-pop that hearkens to earlier times – say the 1960's 70's, 80's - and the sounds of today. Their songs veer from lo-fi bedroom creations, three-part harmony-driven sweet crooner delights, to space-rock flavored sexy sax solos that tease deep house music bangers. While some tunes may find many uses for vintage drum machines, lots of their songs also seem to head to the dance floor, leading parallel lives as club remixes. Django Django talks vintage gear and plays music from the latest record, Glowing in the Dark, invoking Steely Dan, Hall & Oates, Lee Scratch Perry, and Brian Eno along the way. - Caryn Havlik Set list: "Love's Dart," "Glowing in the Dark," "Asking for More" "Glowing in the Dark": "Asking for More": "Love's Dart:"

Las Palabras Finds The Words In Charming Minimalistic Tunes

Las Palabras is the plural-named solo project of Rafael Cohen, of the dance-punk band !!! (pronounced chk chk chk). Cohen, a Brooklyn-based musician by way of Washington DC (his band El Guapo was on Dischord Records), studied with Anthony Braxton in school, and lived in Mexico City until he was 10. In Las Palabras, (a Spanish phrase for "The Words"), he taps into his earliest musical memories of Guatemalan marimbas, Peruvian waltzes, Brazilian bossa nova, salsa, and reconciles these sonics with the musician he has become (Cohen's statement, Brassland.org). He plays some of these charming and whimsical songs in his native language, remotely for the podcast. Set list: "Condesa," "Juan Pared," "Pescador" "Condesa": "Juan Pared" "Pescador" Web Extra: "Cayendo"

Aaron Lee Tasjan Is What Folk-Glam Might Sound Like

Ohio-born, now Nashville-based Aaron Lee Tasjan makes up songs and plays guitar, mixing up folk, glam rock, psychedelia, and trenchant social commentary on his newest album, Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan! Which may or may not be "autobiographical to a fault." He takes a deep dive into classic pop music and glam rock, deflects comparisons to Marc Bolan and Syd Barrett and Robbie Basho ("But not Elliott Smith?" - Producer's note), and tells tales of opening for American country and blues-rocker Ray Wylie Hubbard. Aaron Lee Tasjan speaks to the missed connections brought about by proximity at in-person shows, and plays some of his new songs remotely for the podcast. -Caryn Havlik Set list: "Up All Night," "Sunday Women," "Don't Overthink It" "Up All Night": "Sunday Women": "Don't Overthink It":

Songwriter Langhorne Slim Re-Discovers Creative Joy To Banish Anxiety, Addiction

After 15 years and 9 albums of roots-rockin' goodness, the songs dried up for Langhorne Slim. But after dealing with addiction and an anxiety disorder, the music returned, and he captures it on the new LP Strawberry Mansion. He joins us to discuss the album and plays some of those songs for us. Set list: Panic Attack, Sugar Plum, Last One Standing, Morning Prayer Panic Attack: Sugar Plum: Last One Standing: Morning Prayer:

Songwriter Langhorne Slim Re-Discovers Creative Joy To Banish Anxiety, Addiction

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