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 WNYC Radio

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

New Chamber Music by Kinan Azmeh and The Knights

The flexible chamber collective, The Knights, together with the groundbreaking Syrian clarinetist, Kinan Azmeh play Azmeh's Concertino Grosso, commissioned in part by Carnegie Hall's 125 Commissions Project. It's a work that allows for maximum freedom and flexibility in the approach to the score, as well as chances for solo sections. Also, The Knights perform a short work by Antonio Vivaldi – one of his "most personal and searching musical statements", according to Colin Jacobsen's program notes for the piece. - Caryn Havlik

Matmos Finds "Audio Gold" in Plastics, In-Studio

Only the Baltimore-based electronic duo Matmos (M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel) might be able to make an entire record from the sounds of a washing machine, or for their latest - only from plastic. They've sampled the percussive qualities of a police riot shield (purchased on Ebay from the Albuquerque police department), made patterns, saved, repeated, and voila! Electronic music that is fun to be unsettled to. There's a squeaky "crying pill" made of plastic, a PVC pipe as percussion and pseudo digeridoo, along with breaking vinyl records, attaching a contact microphone and quickly making a kalimba-like instrument. There is so much "audio gold", as the duo terms it, on their latest record, Plastic Anniversary, and they'll perform some of these pieces in-studio. – Caryn Havlik Watch the session here:

American Troubadour Steve Earle Covers Texan Great Guy Clark

Watch the session here: Steve Earle has been many things – a Grammy-winning musician, a political activist, a writer, an actor. He's also, a music fan. Specifically, he's a fan of two late, great Texas songwriters, Townes Van Zandt, and Guy Clark. Ten years ago, he released an album called Townes, where he covered that singer's work. Now it's Guy Clark's turn. Steve Earle and The Dukes have recorded a whole album of Clark's songs – the record is called Guy, and it brings Steve Earle back to our studio.

Dreamy Dance Pop by Savoir Adore

The Brooklyn-based band Savoir Adore, French for "to know love" consists of songwriting team Paul Hammer (Yes! Son of composer/producer/keyboardist Jan Hammer) and Lauren Zettler. Lately, they have crafted mostly electro-pop songs intent on dispensing magic and dreams, showcased in a two-part album, First Bloom, released last year, and most recently, Full Bloom. Savoir Adore and guests join us in the studio to play sunny music from these records. The band plays Thursday night, April 11, at Elsewhere in Brooklyn. - Caryn Havlik Set List: When the Summer Ends Bloom Black and Blue Here's the video for "Bloom" from their most recent EP, Full Bloom:

Intimate and Patient Atmospheric Pop by Helado Negro

Miami-born, New York-based songwriter and electronic musician Helado Negro, (artist Roberto Carlos Lange) makes spacey folky electro-pop that is introspective, yet wide-reaching, utterly inviting and open; it pulses with the gentle power and warmth of loving and being loved. The record, This Is How You Smile, is a collection of delicate and painstakingly-crafted confessionals and affirmations that are designed to work their way into your heart or your mind or your home, which he calls "the most dangerous art" (Interview with Pitchfork). He weaves in all kinds of unexpected sounds, with sonic contributions from Matana Roberts, Sufjian Stevens, Jenn of indie rock duo Wye Oak, and the violinist Jean Cook. Surreal and tender, all-embracing and inclusive, Helado Negro's friendly croon swoops and flutters in both Spanish and English. He and his band perform music from his latest, This Is How You Smile, in-studio. - Caryn Havlik Watch the session here:

Luther Dickinson and Sisters of the Strawberry Moon

The band Luther Dickinson and Sisters of the Strawberry Moon is a musical pot-luck with friends put together by Dickinson, the guitarist and co-founder of the North Mississippi Allstars. On their new record, Solstice, the guests at the gathering include singer-songwriter and upright bass player Amy LaVere, the secular gospel duo Birds of Chicago (JT Nero and Allison Russell), fife player Sharde Thomas, singer-songwriter and drummer Amy Helm (daughter of Levon), fiddle-playing singer/songwriter Lillie Mae, and the gospel soul of the The Como Mamas. And, "like a good host, Dickinson manages to put the spotlight on his friends" (New West Records). For this edition of the podcast, Birds of Chicago, Amy Helm, Luther Dickinson, and other folks play some new and traditional music in-studio. Set list: Super Lover Kathy Breathing

Cosmic Funk by The Comet Is Coming

London-based trio The Comet Is Coming are often described as a jazz band, although this is cosmic funky jazz where young musicians have incorporated elements of electronic music, hip hop, psych, and rock. This apocalyptic dance party jazz features Shabaka Hutchings on sax, Max Hallett on drums, and Dan Leavers on keys. Fresh from inciting rooms of folks to sweat and mosh in Austin, TX, The Comet Is Coming performs new material from their 2019 album, Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery, for us in-studio. -Caryn Havlik Set list: "Blood of the Past" "Birth of Creation" into "Summon the Fire" Watch the session here:

Inuk Folk-Pop Artist Elisapie Finds Her Center In The Far North

Montreal-based Inuk folk-pop singer and songwriter, Elisapie, is from the Far North, and her music draws from and takes pride in her Inuit and First Nations origins – while also journeying through some heavy emotional territory. The JUNO-nominated Elisapie (Élisapie Isaac) is originally from Salluit, Nunavik, but has lived in Montreal for 20 years. On her most recent record, The Ballad of the Runaway Girl, Elisapie reaffirms her connections to her sonic roots in Inuit and Native folk music. She sings in her native Inuktitut, as well as in English and French; there's a song in touch with Inuit animism, and an ode to missing and murdered aboriginal girls and women, along with a song in defense of the territory - "Call of the Moose." All that pls, a heartfelt reconciliation song asking her biological mother what it felt like to give her up for adoption. Elisapie plays songs from her recent record, The Ballad of the Runaway Girl in-studio. - Caryn Havlik Watch the session here: Listen to music from the album: The Ballad of the Runaway Girl by Elisapie

47SOUL Brings the Shamstep Party With a Message

"Shamstep" band, 47SOUL, take their name from the Arabic name for the Levant region – Bilad al-Sham, with members from Jordan, Washington DC, and Israel - spanning the divides of the Palestinian Diaspora. The music is a mix of dubstep, hip-hop and electro-Arabic dabke with lyrics in both Arabic and English, which are intensely political in their call for celebration and freedom in the struggle for equality. The quartet 47SOUL performs their smart dance music in-studio. - Caryn Havlik Watch the session here:

The Timeless, Endless Love of Classic Soul Singer Lee Fields

The classic sound of soul – the bright horns, the snappy hi-hat in the grooves, and expressive, heartfelt vocals – has never really gone out of fashion. There are singers like Lee Fields, who has been at it since 1969, when he released his first single. This April, he's about to put out a new album called It Rains Love – with tender melodies and deep funk beats, and one which draws from Lee's own rock-steady love in his 40+ year- marriage. The soul legend Lee Fields joins us in-studio to perform some of this music full of warmth, wisdom, and kindness. - Caryn Havlik

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