World Cafe is a cutting edge, two-hour program of alternative contemporary music. It offers a broad range of innovative sounds drawn from American as well as international music. It includes music that is familiar but also showcases works by new and emerging artists.
The Magnetic Fields' music provides one of several outlets for frontman Stephin Merritt's inspired songwriting. The band began recording a string of eclectic albums in 1993, and finally found mainstream recognition with 1999's three-disc 69 Love Songs.
The music of multi-instrumentalist Yann Tiersen breaks the constraints of form, yet each track is built around poignant, emotional melodies. Tiersen quickly abandoned the academy training of his early childhood, smashing his violin and adopting the electric guitar instead. He began recording in the summer of 1993, and first found commercial success in his native France with 1998's Le Phare, recorded in two months on the island of Ouessant.
Self-described as "hot, raucous, retro swing for two," Two Man Gentlemen Band lives up to its claim. But, as the name suggests, there's a subtle ridiculousness to the group's sound. Andy Bean and Fuller Condon have made a career of recording old-school, '60s-style folk on vintage equipment, only to pack their songs with parodies, anachronisms and absurdities.
Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 5:11 pm
Becoming a rock star has major implications — just ask John Mayer. The singer-songwriter's personal history and relationships are all public knowledge, thanks to the enormous media attention that the 34-year-old attracts. The attention in turn attracts trouble, but Mayer, who has just released his fifth solo studio album, tries to take it all in stride.