Streams

John Schaefer

John Schaefer has hosted Soundcheck since the show’s inception in 2002. He has also hosted and produced WNYC’s radio series New Sounds since 1982 (“The No. 1 radio show for the Global Village” – Billboard) and the New Sounds Live concert series since 1986.

Schaefer has written extensively about music, including the book New Sounds: A Listener’s Guide to New Music (Harper & Row, NY, 1987; Virgin Books, London, 1990); The Cambridge Companion to Singing: World Music (Cambridge University Press, U.K., 2000); and the TV program Bravo Profile: Bobby McFerrin (Bravo Television, 2003). He was contributing editor for Spin and Ear magazines, and his liner notes appear on more than 100 recordings, ranging from “The Music of Cambodia” to recordings by Yo-Yo Ma and Terry Riley. 

In 2003, Schaefer was honored with the American Music Center's prestigious Letter of Distinction for his "substantial contributions to advancing the field of contemporary American music in the United States and abroad." In May 2006, New York magazine cited Schaefer as one of "the people whose ideas, power, and sheer will are changing New York" in its Influentials issue.  He began blogging for WNYC when accompanying the New York Philharmonic on its historic (and apparently very weird) trip to North Korea in 2008 and continues to blog at soundcheck.org.

He is a regular contributor to the World Science Festival and the White Light Festival at Lincoln Center; he has also written about horse racing (Bloodlines: A Horse Racing Anthology, Vintage NY 2006) and was a regular panelist on the BBC’s soccer-based program Sports World.  

Shows:

John Schaefer appears in the following:

The Best 5 Versions of 'Silent Night'

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Silent Night has been recorded at least 733 times over the past 36 years. The Takeaway looks at one of the world's favorite Christmas songs.

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The Year's Best Music

Monday, December 15, 2014

WNYC
From a scorching breakthrough performance on Letterman to the Scandinavian explosion, Soundcheck host John Schaefer shares his favorite musical moments of 2014.
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Ready or Not, Listeners Hear John Cage Composition Over WNYC in 1945

Thursday, December 11, 2014

One of the earliest known broadcast recordings of a John Cage work.
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The Only 'Silent Nights' You Need

Thursday, December 11, 2014

"Silent Night" is not just a great Christmas song. It's a great song. Period. Here are the five best versions of the most-recorded holiday tune of all time.
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Young Fathers: The Surprise Winners Of The Mercury Prize Offer A Surprise Track

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

The surprise winners of the U.K.'s prestigious Mercury Prize offer a surprise track that may or may not hint at the sound of new music to come.
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Are These the Best Album Covers of All Time?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

For many rock music fans in the '70s, the design team known as Hipgnosis were the pinnacle of album cover art. Has anyone since ever come close?
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A Guide to All These Box Sets The Music Industry Keeps Churning Out

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The holidays are supposed to be a happy time, so let’s talk for the moment about the life preserver the record labels are currently clinging to: The box set.

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Emmy The Great Lives Up To Her Name With 'Swimming Pool'

Thursday, November 20, 2014

In January, Emmy The Great is set to release an EP simple titled S. But why wait til 2015, when you can watch the video for her new single, "Swimming Pool."
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Sugarhill Gang's Big Bank Hank Cooked Up The Sound Of East Coast Rap

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Henry Jackson, better know as Big Bank Hank, died Tuesday. Soundcheck's John Schaefer reflects on the lasting influence of Hank's voice and the classic track "Rapper's Delight."
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On-Demand Audio: Julia Wolfe's Steel Hammer with Bang on a Can All-Stars

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

October 14, Bang on a Can All-Stars took the stage at Brookfield Place for a performance of Julia Wolfe's Steel Hammer. Stream the entire show, hosted by WNYC's John Schaefer.

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First Listen: Bryan Ferry, 'Avonmore'

Sunday, November 09, 2014

The Roxy Music singer channels his classic work while still sounding fresh. Ferry's sound remains full, clear and direct, with intricate layers of instruments shifting in and out of focus.

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Check Ahead: Bryan Ferry, 'Avonmore'

Sunday, November 09, 2014

The Roxy Music singer channels his classic work while still sounding fresh. Ferry's sound remains full, clear and direct, with layers of instruments shifting in and out of focus.
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Parkay Quarts: A Dark Tale From Parquet Courts' Alter Ego

Friday, November 07, 2014

The not-much-altered-ego of Brooklyn punk band Parquet Courts, Parkay Quarts unleashes a dark tale with the song "Uncast Shadow Of A Southern Myth." Hear the song and entire album.
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Five Songs For Dylan Thomas

Monday, October 27, 2014

In honor of the 100th anniversary of Dylan Thomas' birthday, Soundcheck host John Schaefer reflects on five songs inspired by the Welsh poet.
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A Subway Symphony, Thanks To WiFi

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Composer Ljova conducted 11 subway musicians spread across New York via WiFi.
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Space Is The Place: Twelve Cosmic Songs For Sci-Fi Fans

Thursday, October 09, 2014

With New York Comic Con kicking off today, the city is full of even more aliens and space cadets than usual. Soundcheck's John Schaefer welcomes them with his favorite sci-fi songs.
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Hear A New Song From Agnes Obel's Deluxe 'Aventine'

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Danish singer-songwriter's deluxe edition of her 2014 album, Aventine, features unreleased songs, remixes and live performances. Hear a brand new song, "Arches."
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Beyond 'Fame': Ten Deep Cuts That Reveal The True Genius Of David Bowie

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Beneath big hits like “Changes” and “Let’s Dance” lies the real genius of David Bowie. Soundcheck host John Schaefer offers up his favorite essential lesser-known masterpiece songs.
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Review: The 'David Bowie Is' Documentary

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Today, David Bowie Is opened at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. Soundcheck's John Schaefer reviews a documentary film, also called David Bowie Is, which debuted tonight.

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How To Be Smarter About... Kate Bush

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The English art-rocker has returned to the stage after 35 years and set a new U.K. charts record. Soundcheck's John Schaefer rounds up ten of Bush's must-hear songs.

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