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.
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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

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

The Quartet ETHEL Champions New Music, At a Distance

The New York string quartet ETHEL has been championing new music from often surprising corners of the music world for years. For this edition of the podcast, ETHEL plays new works by Lebanese violinist and composer Layale Chaker, joyful and eyeball-singeing electronic music by composer Dan Friel, and a piece by and with rock star Todd Rundgren. Also, members of the quartet share an inside view of quartet life, and the challenges of making music and advancing creative projects while at a distance. The video performances and chat were part of a program presented by our ground floor performance studio, The Greene Space.Set list: Dan Friel: "Valedictorian," Layale Chaker: "Vigil IV," Todd Rundgren: "I Saw the Light" Watch the entire show:

Scottish Songwriter James Yorkston: Having Fun and Trying New Things

Scottish singer, songwriter, and occasional novelist James Yorkston is a natural storyteller and a member of the Yorkston/Thorne/Khan group, a power trio of sarangi, double bass, and guitar. His latest album is a spontaneous collaborative record with The Second Hand Orchestra, a group led by Swedish music producer and bandleader, Karl-Jonas Winqvist. Yorkston joins us remotely, along with members of the orchestra, to play songs from "The Wide Wide River."

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