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:

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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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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