With two-dozen uniformed members, The Polyphonic Spree is more like a small army than a band. True to its image, the Dallas-based group makes high-energy, symphonic rock with the exuberance of a heavenly choir. Hear the band in concert.
Polyphonic Spree in Concert on All Songs Considered - 06/30/2007
Few bands can rival The Polyphonic Spree's sound — not to mention its size. A whopping two dozen members strong, the group brings its commanding stage presence to a live performance at WXPN and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, along with alt-country singer Mark Olson.
Richard Thompson has been making inspired music for forty years. A guitar virtuoso, early innovator of the British folk-rock movement, and one of the era's finest songwriters, his distinctive style as an artist has influenced two generations of musicians and poets.
Richard Thompson in Concert on All Songs Considered - 06/22/2007
At 68, Hunter continues to create hard-driving, memorable music, but he remains most famous for his guitar heroics and vocals in the '70s glam favorite Mott the Hoople. Hear Hunter perform a concert from WXPN and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.
Ian Hunter in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 06/22/2007
The real-life story of Margaret Garner is a chilling chapter in American history. As a fugitive slave, Garner is willing to kill before allowing her family to return to the plantation. Novelist Toni Morrison teams up with composer Richard Danielpour to bring Garners powerful story to the operatic stage.
The National make thoughtful, melancholy rock in the spirit of Joy Division or Leonard Cohen, with singer Matt Berninger's warm baritone voice set against deftly orchestrated instrumentation that's as epic as it is intimate. Hear the group recorded live in concert on NPR.org.
The National in Concert on All Songs Considered - 06/20/2007
One of the most prolific and talked-about singers in music, Ryan Adams has been crafting heartfelt pop-rock songs with a country twang for nearly two decades. Hear Adams perform a concert from WXPN and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.
Ryan Adams in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 06/15/2007
If ever there were an R-rated opera, it's Puccini's lurid potboiler, Tosca. Perhaps not coincidentally, it's also one of the most popular operas of all time — featured here in a production from Houston Grand Opera starring soprano Maria Guleghina.
Rufus Wainwright makes richly orchestrated, theatrical pop music inspired by the traditions of cabaret, musicals and opera. Hear Wainwright perform selections from his latest CD, Release the Stars, in a full concert recorded live from New York's Gramercy Theater.
Not many 70-year-old sopranos could score a box office hit portraying a teenage heroine, but Mirella Freni did it as Joan of Arc, the title character of Tchaikovsky's The Maid of Orleans, at the Washington National Opera.
Armed with a deep catalog of sweetly rustic, warmly melancholic folk-pop, the Ontario band Great Lake Swimmers has become something of a word-of-mouth sensation. Hear Great Lake Swimmers perform a concert from WXPN and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.
Great Lake Swimmers in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 06/08/2007
Like many rough-voiced singer-songwriters, Forbert has done time as a potential "next Bob Dylan," but he's carved out a distinct niche in an uncompromising career that spans nearly 30 years. Hear Forbert perform a concert from WXPN and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.
Steve Forbert in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 06/01/2007
Joshua Redman nearly became a lawyer, but the pull of jazz was stronger. Redman's father was the famous saxophonist Dewey Redman, and the sounds of jazz inspired him to take up the sax himself at age 10.
Saxophonist Joshua Redman has been the darling of jazz critics for more than a decade. With bassist Reuben Rogers and percussionist Ali Jackson Jr., he performs an improvisational set of bebop, blues and Broadway at Zankel Hall.