World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN WXPN's live performance and interview program featuring music and conversation from a variety of important musicians
World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN

World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN

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WXPN's live performance and interview program featuring music and conversation from a variety of important musiciansMore from World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN »

Most Recent Episodes

Mike Farris – Silver and Stone

Grammy Award winner Mike Farris joins the Café to talk about his latest album, Silver and Stone, a love letter to his wife of many years. Farris also talks about writing a song about Mavis Staples, why he can't listen to U2 or Stevie Wonder when recording, and he performs live – including a dynamite Sam Cooke cover.

Mike Farris – Silver and Stone

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Rip It Up: The Story of Scottish Pop

From Lulu to Annie Lennox. Gerry Rafferty to Frightened Rabbit. The Proclaimers to KT Tunstall. World Cafe visited the National Museum of Scotland in the fall for a wild ride through "Rip It Up: The Story of Scottish Pop." We examine Scotland's role in the birth of indie music, the impact of some of its most famous exports, and we listened to a ton of fun music from Scotland's rich pop canon. Our tour guide is Vic Galloway, a beloved host and DJ for BBC Radio Scotland and veritable encyclopedia of musical knowledge who wrote the book that accompanies this exhibit. Come along as we rip through the museum!

Rip It Up: The Story of Scottish Pop

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Amy Ray Isn't Afraid to Holler

As a gay, left-wing woman living in the South, Indigo Girls' Amy Ray says she's in love with a place that doesn't always love her back. But she draws creative fuel from the differences of opinion, and also expresses gratitude for the village that's helped Amy and her partner raise their child in rural Georgia. On her latest solo album Holler Amy calls out the difference between Southern pride and Southern hate, imagines what Jesus might have thought of a border wall and delivers a smoking live performance with her band.

Amy Ray Isn't Afraid to Holler

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Elephant Sessions Break Floors & Traditions

Known for putting on raucous shows and turning Scottish traditional music on its head, Scotland's Elephant Sessions are festival favorites who have earned praise in Rolling Stone. In 2018, the band won Live Act of the Year from the Scot Trad Music Awards and were shortlisted for Scottish Album of the Year. With 4 out of 5 bandmates hailing from the Scottish Highlands, we talk about Elephant Sessions' role in the wave of young musicians rewriting the rulebook on cool when it comes to traditional sounds. We recorded their performance at GloWorm Recording in Glasgow, as part of World Cafe's Sense of Place series.

Elephant Sessions Break Floors & Traditions

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Rubblebucket Break Up And Don't Break Up

"We started out as romantic partners at the beginning of the album and then we weren't anymore by the end". Kalmia Traver describes the unique circumstances of making Rubblebucket's latest album Sun Machine with Alex Toth, who she met in college over 15 years ago. The two brass musicians and singers perform live and share their story, which includes Kal fighting cancer, Alex getting sober, and a break-up ritual so unique and so deep that we can't stop thinking about it.

Rubblebucket Break Up And Don't Break Up

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Lawrence the Band

Clyde Lawrence's first songwriting contribution was given for the film Miss Congeniality at the age of four. His sister, Gracie Lawrence, stars in a CBS series with Sturgill Simpson and Leslie Odom Jr. Together they front the vocal pop group, Lawrence. They'll talk about their new album, Living Room and perform live on the next World Cafe.

Lawrence the Band

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Johnny Marr – Have Guitar, Will Travel

Johnny Marr's resume includes co-founding The Smiths, playing guitar with The Pretenders, Modest Mouse, Talking Heads and Electronic (among others), and fronting his own solo project. On Marr's latest album, Call The Comet, he envisions a different type of end of the world scenario, one that's uplifting and optimistic. Marr also shares stories about meeting Isaac Brock, writing "How Soon is Now," and why he dismisses being called a hired gun.

Johnny Marr – Have Guitar, Will Travel

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Huffamoose: Don't Call Me "Sir"

One day you're touring in a rock band in your twenties, and then all of a sudden the checkout guy at Trader Joe's calls you "sir". Craig Elkins and Kevin Hanson of Huffamoose drop by the Cafe to talk about making the band's first new album in more than a decade, and to reminisce about their early success in the '90s. Huffamoose played the main stage at Woodstock and signed a deal with Interscope. But it all fell apart, and it took years to recover. The band has reunited with the original lineup, rounded out by Jim Stager and Eric Johnson. Hear Huffamoose perform songs from their new album and reflect on their new outlook on rock/life balance.

Huffamoose: Don't Call Me "Sir"

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Going Back to Graceland: Christmas With Elvis

Priscilla Presley visited the Cafe last year to tell stories about the first gifts she ever exchanged with Elvis, how they spent Christmas as a married couple, how that changed when they became new parents, and what it's like for her to hear Elvis songs now. We also listened to music from the 2017 album - Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, for which Priscilla was the Executive Producer. Since Christmas classics never get old, we're re-gifting this one, er, putting it back in your podcast feed. Merry Christmas!

Going Back to Graceland: Christmas With Elvis

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Old 97's Love the Holidays

It's a mistletoe milestone! After 25 years of bringing cheers to our ears, alt country pioneers Old 97's have just released their first ever album of festive jams. Old 97's Love the Holidays features mostly original and absolutely delightful Christmas songs, including one inspired by The Ramones, one inspired by Rudolph's love life and one with a unique take on the social significance of snow angels. Lead singer Rhett Miller, bassist Murry Hammond, guitarist Ken Bethea, and drummer Philip Peeples all gather round the radio hearth for stories and songs from Old 97s Love the Holidays. They also perform "Total Disaster" from Rhett's recent solo album The Messenger which, as you might glean from the song's title, is not a holiday tune but does come along with a message that might be useful at this time of year.

Old 97's Love the Holidays

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