World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN
WXPN's live performance and interview program featuring music and conversation from a variety of important musicians
Look At Emily King Now
"I'm feeling things! This is awesome!" Emily King describes the moment she stood outside with tears in her eyes, and sang aloud the lyrics to the first song she wrote for her new album. That song is called "Remind Me" and it captures the renewed inspiration King found after packing up her New York City life, learning to drive and moving to a small town in the Catskills. King's entire new album 'Scenery' rings out with joy and hope. The production is a stunning combination of jazz-inflected R&B and '80s pop that's precise but not fussy, textured but never overdone. King and her musical partner/producer/all-around studio wizard genius, J. Most, made the album during winter in a freezing cold garage studio. They survived thanks to a combination of space heaters and winter hats over headphones. In this session, King shares stories from the making of 'Scenery' and some of her experiences in the music business. She was signed at a young age and nominated for a Grammy for her 2007 debut. King and her exceptional band perform new music and treat us to the fan-favorite "Georgia" from her 2011 EP.
Andrew Bird's-eye View
On his last album, 'Are You Serious', the always inventive Andrew Bird drew inspiration from monumental moments in his own personal life, including getting married and having a son. And now, on 'My Finest Work Yet', Bird zooms way out on humanity across history's timeline, seeking insight about our current age, in a way he hopes "stays above the news feed noise." On "Manifest," Bird traces the evolution of life from single celled organisms through vapor and beyond. On "Archipelago," he introduces the idea that "our enemies are what make us whole," and elsewhere he addresses futility, fate and responsibility. There are songs that draw on Greek mythology, from Sisyphus to the Olympians, and one inspired by The Spanish Civil War. And in the most Bird-ian way, Andrew somehow turns these high concepts into amazingly fun and appealing pop songs that aren't on the nose, aren't prescriptive or patronizing. Just offerings of some important stuff to think about or whistle along to. I spoke to...
Popping In For a Pint And Tune At The Cobblestone In Dublin
Ask anyone in Dublin to recommend a pub with traditional Irish music, and you're likely to hear about The Cobblestone. For our last World Cafe dispatch from Ireland, we pop into the cozy spot in Smithfield and can immediately see why this place is beloved by locals, tourists and musicians from far and wide. It's warm and welcoming with a big, long bar filled with people leaning over each other and laughing and clinking glasses. And at the front of the room there are about a dozen musicians packed into this little nook — it's a jigsaw puzzle of fiddles and guitars and pints resting precariously between elbows on tables. Tom Mulligan, who has owned the pub for 30 years, says,"Conversation is the greatest thing that was ever invented." Mulligan hopes people talk to each other as much as they listen to the music at The Cobblestone. He also tells the story of that time Steve Martin popped by to play some banjo and left on his private jet. Come along for a pint, in the player.
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