Kimberly Junod

Things are very different in 2020, and maybe David Longstreth had a hunch when he started work on the new project from the Dirty Projectors, a band with a lineup that has consistently rotated around him over the last 20 years. They jettisoned the traditional album format for a series of five EPs.

Are you someone who believes that people can fundamentally change, or do you think we just are who we are? If you chose the former, you've got something in common with my guest today. Perfume Genius is led by artist Mike Hadreas, and today you will hear him talk about his belief that everyone has the ability to profoundly change who they are and how he himself has experienced change over the last couple of years.

Outlaw country is kind of tricky to define. It's a subgenre that really picked up steam back in the 1970s when artists like Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson wanted to go in a different direction from the polished mainstream country world.

Today we're sharing an incredible story that Mikel Jollett, the lead singer of The Airborne Toxic Event, has chronicled both in the written word and in song. Jollett had a pretty dramatic childhood: He was born into a cult called Synanon and had to go on the run with biological mother.

If you've watched any livestreamed shows or concerts during self-isolation or done any video chatting at all, you know that there can be challenges: when someone's stuck on mute, or there's a bad connection, or there are awkward pauses, or if people talk over each other.

You might not be able to pack your bag, get on an airplane and jet off to some new exciting place right now, but don't worry, you can still travel and explore here with World Cafe Sense of Place. In this series, we take you deep into one city's music scene, and today, we're kicking off our sessions from Los Angeles, with more to come every Friday in May.

Growing up, my parents would make the drive from Chicago to my grandmother's house in Waukon, Iowa (population: just over 3,000) for visit. While in town, I distinctly remember the only sounds we'd hear in that tiny house: The only radio station played all classic country, all day long.

Think back to who you were a decade ago. What was that person like? What do you do differently now? And would you ever want to be that version of yourself again?

In this session, we're joined by Soccer Mommy – that's the performing name of artist Sophie Allison. Despite her youthfulness, when you talk to Allison, it's immediately clear that she's an artist who is in control. Allison has a keen understanding of how music works – not just the technical intricacies, but how it all fits together, too. And above all else, she's unafraid to share her very personal vision.

Aubrie Sellers has always been surrounded by music. She grew up in Nashville, the daughter of two famed country artists: Lee Ann Womack and Jason Sellers. But Sellers isn't looking to cash in on that pedigree or rest on family reputation. Instead she's forging her own way by finding her voice.

Nathaniel Rateliff has a really big heart and when you're in a room with him, you can feel it right away. He came to be known for his gruff, tattooed, bearded look and his foot-stomping, hand-clapping, sing-along songs with his band the Night Sweats.

All this week, World Cafe has been taking you on a tour of the Charlottesville, Va., music scene with our Sense Of Place series. Next month we'll continue our musical tour of Virginia with Sense Of Place: Richmond.

All this week we're joining you on the road from Charlottesville, Va., for our Sense Of Place series, where we bring you a deep dive into one community's music scene. And today, it doesn't get more Charlottesville than the Hackensaw Boys, who have been performing together for nearly 20 years.

Kate Bollinger writes smart, melodic indie pop music. It makes for easy listening, but there's real insight in her lyrics. Dig deeper and you'll discover a thoughtful songwriter coming into her own.

The Lone Bellow makes music that feels like it's welcoming you in — like the band members are opening their arms wide and inviting you to join their family with sing-along choruses, the hand-clapping rhythms and melodies that somehow sound familiar even on a first listen.

About three years ago, Leif Vollebekk was set to release Twin Solitude, an album he thought might end up being his last. He felt like he wasn't having fun or finding an audience. But once the album came out, that all changed. Twin Solitude was critically lauded, and his shows started filling up. The record was shortlisted for his home country's prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

Nothing about the music Samantha Fish makes suggests that she's ever been shy. Bold and expressive, it shows off her considerable talent – but it took a bit of a push for Fish to get on stage for the first time.

Sometimes you have to strike when the iron is hot, and sometimes you have to be patient. For today's guest Jeremy Ivey, that meant recording his first solo album at the age of 41.

North Carolina's M.C. Taylor, also known as Hiss Golden Messenger, is a seeker. He's someone who is looking for truth – truth from the world, and truth from himself. You can hear that in the songs on his latest album, Terms of Surrender, an album so full of truth he originally wasn't sure if he should release it at all.

Already one of the biggest bands in the world, The Lumineers did something adventurous on the group's third album, III: The Denver-based group created a record divided into three chapters, telling the story of a family across three generations and how addiction touched those lives.

Who doesn't love a good breakup record? Well, maybe not the person going through it. On Forever Turned Around, Whitney flips the notion of the breakup record on its head. Instead of focusing on the demise, the Chicago duo's record is all about commitment.

You might know that song, called "Cold Little Heart" as the opening credits to the HBO show Big Little Lies, starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.

Over the last half century, Jeff Lynne has left an indelible mark on popular music.

Chrissie Hynde has wanted to release her latest album, Valve Bone Woe, for a very long time. It all started about 20 years ago, when she teamed up with film composer and music producer Marius de Vries to work on music for the movie Eye Of The Beholder.

Our guest, Azniv Korkejian, records as Bedouine. The name reflects the many moves Azniv has made in her life — born Syria, Azniv grew up in Saudi Arabia before coming to the United States. Here, she lived in Boston and Houston, as well as several other Southern cities, before she settled in Los Angeles' Echo Park neighborhood.

There are 8,000 stories in Music City from folks who arrive here with a dream in their hearts for a music career. But how exactly do you get there? There are just as many paths to success.

Pete Townshend: Not only is he the major creative force behind The Who, but he's also released several of his own solo records, prompted the first-known use of the term "rock opera" (for 1969's Tommy) and he's even credited with being the first person to smash a guitar on stage.

It took some convincing, but Jessy Wilson's new album was produced by Patrick Carney of The Black Keys; little did he know that was her plan all along. When Wilson's former band, the Americana act Muddy Magnolias, broke up, she reached out to Carney to explore rock 'n' roll sounds on her next record. The result is her debut solo album, Phase.

There are charismatic people, and then there's Michael Mwenso. The leader of Mwenso & the Shakes is full of energy, charm and most importantly, joy. That joy is ever-present when he's telling stories about growing up in Ghana and Nigeria and spending four years trying to impress James Brown.

Jonatha Brooke has released a number of albums over the three decades that she has been making music, but when it came to her latest batch of songs she decided to keep it short and sweet.

Pages