Stephen Kallao

Jukebox the Ghost is the type of band you want to play your party. Why? For one, Because they're talented, but that's just table stakes. The second reason gets us a little closer. The band members are excellent entertainers, but even that doesn't really capture it. What I think is that singer/piano player Ben Thornewill, guitarist Tommy Siegel, drummer Jesse Kristin, enjoy each other's company. And when three friends are good at what they do, and having a lot of fun with each other doing it, we're in for a good time.

If you don't know who Nick Lowe is, there's a very good chance you know at least one of his songs — perhaps "Cruel to Be Kind" or "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass," or his song that longtime friend and collaborator Elvis Costello made famous, "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding."

Jim Lauderdale is rightfully considered one of the kings of Americana music. He's a songwriter's songwriter, having written for George Strait, Patti Loveless, Vince Gill, George Jones and countless others.

It's easy to throw the word legend around when you talk to musicians who regularly appear on World Cafe. So when a real legend shows up, you've run out of superlatives.

Low Cut Connie is a lot of fun. Sure, it's developed a healthy reputation as a party band, but there's a lot more to discover underneath the sweaty sheen of its intense live shows. Speaking of which, I wish you could see the way lead singer Adam Weiner attacks the piano. At some points, he plays it the same way Superman flies, his body parallel to the ground. It's a sight to see!

Are you up for having a good time today? Trick question — it's impossible not to have a good time with The Suffers, as Kam Franklin explains in the opening lines of "Do Whatever": "Full on disclosure, I'm not here for exposure / I came to have a good time, so let me shine."

For over 50 years, Paul Simon has shared his amazing talents with us: first, as a part of Simon & Garfunkel, one of the most important musical duos, and later as a solo artist. Few musicians have had as a critically-acclaimed and beloved career as Simon. He's won 16 Grammys, three of those for album of the year.

Rare Essence has been waving the flag for go-go music for four decades. So, what is go-go music? Not to be confused with go-go dancing or go-go boots, go-go music is an offshoot of funk that combines elements of R&B, hip-hop and blues. It's built live thanks to the audience and the band feeding off one another's energy. Fans frequently sing lines back during the show.

Spinal Tap made its mark as one of England's loudest bands, releasing slightly above average records like Shark Sandwich. Now, Derek Smalls, the band's legendary bassist, is making waves of his on his own with a new reflective solo record in the vain of David Bowie's Blackstar and Leonard Cohen's You Want It Darker.

Welles has the look, the voice, the licks, the hooks and the attitude of a real rock star. His classic rock-meets-grunge debut  Red Trees and White Trashes  alternates between being big, chunky, bombastic and driving and also intimate, sensitive, quiet and reserved. There's no shortage of ballads and barn-burners.

Peter Hook's first bass rig when he was a child was "no good," as he puts it. The low notes sounded terrible, so instead, he worked his way up the fretboard. Few musicians have more of a signature sound, or personality, than Peter Hook. He was one of the founding members of Joy Division, pioneers of the post-punk genre. When the band's lead singer, Ian Curtis, died on the eve of its first American tour, the remaining members didn't mourn.

Described by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys as the "greatest soul singer alive," Robert Finley joined us for a live session. His story is a quintessential American one of perseverance. He's loved music and performing his whole life, and now finally released his first album in his early 60s.

Rock's not dead. They say this every few years — or months, or days — but really, the state of rock is quite strong.

Here's a hypothetical: Would you drop out of a prestigious school to pursue a music career? What if there was a huge buzz around your high school bedroom recordings — lush atmospheric pop with some of the most incisive lyrics about love and loss — that you never expected anyone to hear, but when people did hear it, they loved it?

The first thing you notice about George Ezra, besides his incredible voice, is his demeanor. He's warm, friendly and engaging to talk to. There's a similar charm in his songwriting. Ezra pulls you in as a storyteller. You want to root for him. His 2014 debut LP includes the breakout smashes "Budapest" and "Blame It on Me," which showcase his voice and charm in spades.

Caroline Rose has arrived. I know this sounds a little unusual to say considering her new record LONER is her third studio album. But for a point of reference, if you listen to a moment of "Red Bikini Waltz" from her 2014 album, I Will Not Be Afraid, to her new album, LONER ... Yeah, it's a little different. But this is who Rose is.

In 2011, Alejando Rose-Garcia burst onto the scene armed with a guitar and suitcase kick drum and released his first album as Shakey Graves. Seven years later, he's about to release his latest studio album, Can't Wake Up, out on May 4. It's a record that explores themes of death and dying, sleep and sleeplessness, and it has the most interesting sonic landscape to match the lyrical content.

After the 2016 election, how did you feel? What did you want to do? Mac McCaughan asked himself these questions, and pounded out the lyrics to 11 new Superchunk songs in a matter of months. The result? The band's most focused and aggressive albums in years, entitled What a Time to Be Alive.

In 2013, roots musician Ben Harper teamed up with legendary harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite for a blues record called Get Up! The album went on to win a Grammy for best blues album — not a bad way to start a partnership.

One does not simply "start a band" in your garage or basement in the 21st century. Our buzzed-about guest today, Superorganism, prove that point, stretching the notion of a craigslist connection to completely new heights.

Field Report's new album, Summertime Songs, was recorded before 2016's election, but frontman Chris Porterfield says he's still thought a lot between then and now about how his work fits into the current social and political atmosphere in the U.S. "In the lead-up to putting this record out, I struggled with whether the world needed another white man's record right now," he says.

There's few people who enjoy telling a story as much as Kyle Craft, and boy, does he have plenty of inventory to keep you engaged. There was that one time he was stranded while working on an illegal pot farm. Then there was the moment he contemplated a different career path other than music — working in herpetology, the study of amphibians and reptiles, because he was really good at catching and identifying snakes as a kid. There's also the story about his good female friend who breaks men's hearts for fun.

Jonathan Wilson is an incredibly talented and in-demand producer. He's worked with loads of folks, including Father John Misty, Dawes, Conor Oberst and Karen Elson — and that just scratches the surface.

Since the early aughts, The Decemberists have been making a unique blend of lyrically dense indie-folk rock. But on the band's latest record, I'll Be Your Girl, the members deliberately switched up their sound, notably in their word economy and use of keyboards — Depeche Mode keyboards!

Moby On World Cafe

Mar 30, 2018

You might know Moby as being one of the few faces of electronic music in America long before it entered the mainstream. And still, others might know Moby for his activism, especially his tireless work on behalf of animals. There is also the outspoken Moby: the guy who will preach Christianity and selflessness while being a self-professed party monster in New York's club scene.

Jessica Lea Mayfield has a story to tell and definitely wants you to hear it. Her most recent album, Sorry Is Gone, is a deeply personal record. It's also very loud and distorted.

There are a billion and a half bands from Brooklyn, but the group joining us today are poised to be breakout stars. This band has already been crowned by many as the hardest working band in New York. They're Sunflower Bean.

On their sophomore album Twentytwo in Blue, out today, the band incorporates its love of 70's British glam rock like T. Rex and Slade to the sound.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has that quintessential rock and roll swagger. The band is celebrating its 20th anniversary, but to say that the members celebrate things seems inaccurate. They're fighters. They're defiant, even a bit skeptical. All the pomp and circumstance of a 20th anniversary would be overly indulgent.

The first thing people notice about Marlon Williams is his voice. It's powerful and deep. There are the obvious comparisons to people like Roy Orbison, but it's clear Williams has more to offer than just a sound. His self-titled debut album made people realize, 'Hey, this guy can clearly write some songs.'

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