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:

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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Ask John Schaefer Anything: Can A Musician Be Too Virtuosic?

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Soundcheck host John Schaefer answers questions from readers and listeners about whether technically impressive playing can leave you cold.
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Three Must-Hear New Songs From The Vaselines, Young Buffalo, Jenny Hval And Susanna

Monday, August 18, 2014

Soundcheck host John Schaefer listens to a lot of music over the course of a week. Here's three of his favorite tracks that caught his ear, both for the music and the stories behind them.

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'The Black Album' Puts The Beatles Back Together for New Generation

Monday, August 18, 2014

"The Black Album" reimagines The Beatles, providing a compilation of songs from the solo careers of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Star.

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Remembering The Musical Robin Williams

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Soundcheck host John Schaefer remembers the musician that lurked among the crowded cast of characters in Williams’ mind.

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In The Valley Below's Sunny And Subversive Synth Pop

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

In The Valley Below could probably just do bright synth-pop, but what you get instead is something slightly more subversive. The Los Angeles duo's upcoming album, The Belt, isn't out for a few weeks yet, but the band has already unveiled a handful of songs with killer hooks and edgy guitars.

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John Luther Adams' 'Sila': Finding Music In Urban Noise

Monday, July 28, 2014

This past weekend saw the premiere of Sila, a new immersive work by this year's Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, John Luther Adams. Soundcheck host John Schaefer was there and has these thoughts on the unconventional work, and the siren he heard out on the streets outside Lincoln Center.

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Celebrating Nickel Creek's Triumphant Return In Brooklyn

Friday, July 25, 2014

Last night, after nearly seven years away pursuing other projects, Nickel Creek brought its reunion to Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park. And they wasted no time in showing that they haven't lost their ability to delight with its deep roots in American string band music.

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A 'Moving' New Song From James Is A Matter Of Life And Death, And Yarn

Friday, July 18, 2014

The British band James is returning with La Petite Mort, its first new album in six years. Watch the remarkable and poignant music video for the band's song "Moving On."

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The 2014 World Cup: Some Final Thoughts

Monday, July 14, 2014

This World Cup had it all: A huge haul of goals, but also stunning goalkeeping, stout defense, lots of late drama, overachieving minnows and mighty giants brought low. Soundcheck host John Schaefer says it was also the year soccer/football ascended into the hearts of more Americans than ever.

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Check Ahead: Dave Douglas And Uri Caine, 'Present Joys'

Sunday, July 13, 2014

For years, jazz trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas and keyboardist Uri Caine have collaborated on all sorts of projects. But with Present Joys, they're finally recording as a duo. 

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The World Cup Final: Who Will Rule The World?

Friday, July 11, 2014

With the World Cup final coming up on Sunday, Soundcheck host, and Germany supporter, John Schaefer, runs through the match up of titans, and tries to guess who the Brazilians will root for: the German team that destroyed them earlier this week, or their arch-rivals, Argentina.

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World Cup Lingo, Explained

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

If you’ve been watching the World Cup on ESPN and/or ABC, then you may have noticed that most of the announcers are British. This is quite a comfort to the growing number of American fans of the English Premier League, where we’ve become used to announcers who are knowledgeable but also sound like they've read a book or two in their time. However, in soccer as in so many other things, England and America are two countries separated by a common tongue. The language of soccer uses familiar words that, in this context, have specific and often unfamiliar meanings. So just in time for the semifinals, Soundcheck host John Schaefer presents a little Soccer-English-To-English glossary.

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World Cup Semifinals: A Clash Of Musical Titans

Monday, July 07, 2014

After this weekend's World Cup action, there are now four teams left for the semi-finals. One of these games pits two countries with estimable musical traditions against each other -- Netherlands and Argentina. The other features two of the world's musical giants -- Germany and Brazil. Soundcheck host John Schaefer explores the match-ups and offers up some musical suggestions.

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My World Cup Vacation Ends; America’s Too

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

For two weeks, Soundcheck host John Schaefer went down the rabbit hole that is the World Cup. But as he returns to work, the improbable and courageous run of the U.S. comes to an end as well. Schaefer reflects on the game, Tim Howard's exceptional performance, and what it means for the USMNT's chances going forward.

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My World Cup Vacation: U.S. Loss Feels Like A Win

Friday, June 27, 2014

The United States Men's National Team may have lost 1-0 to Germany, but the Americans are still heading to the knockout round of 16, with a little help from Portugal's win over Ghana in the Group of Death. Soundcheck host John Schaefer breaks down what it all means, and suggests a new, cooler, nickname for the USMNT.

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My World Cup Vacation: A Little Messi Magic Goes A Long Way

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Just when you might have been thinking, "Wow, you must need to be a real jerk to be a top soccer player," along comes Lionel Messi to show everyone how it should be done. All he does is score goals. Soundcheck's John Schaefer weighs in on the Argentina star and his two goals in yesterday's World Cup action.

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My World Cup Vacation: Soccer's Supervillain Bites Again

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Big day in the World Cup yesterday, as yet another highly regarded former champion was sent home (that would be Italy) and another surprise package (Greece) earned a ticket to the next dance. But no one wants to talk about any of that right now. Soundcheck's John Schaefer is all agog that Uruguay's star forward, Luis Suarez, has apparently bitten an opponent.

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My World Cup Vacation: You Can't Watch 'Em All

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Soundcheck host John Schaefer has watched practically every minute of this year's World Cup. Now, with two games running simultaneously, he has to choose which one will get his attention.

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My World Cup Vacation: Keep Calm And Carry On, A Draw Is Just Fine

Monday, June 23, 2014

For Soundcheck host John Schaefer and practically everyone else watching the World Cup this weekend, Sunday was all about U.S.A. and Portugal. Yes, we're all disappointed that Portugal leveled the score on the last play of the game. But Schaefer says, "remember, this is the Group of Death," and he's confident the Americans will still move on to the next round.

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