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Juana Molina, La Mecánica Popular, Labyrinth Theater Company, Live From The Greene Space

Friday, July 25, 2014

In this episode: Recently Soundcheck and NPR’s Latino USA teamed up during the Latin American Music Conference for a special night of music and conversation at WNYC's Greene Space. Hosted by John Schaefer and Maria Hinojosa, the bill showcased two fantastic acts who re-imagine Latin roots sounds in extraordinary ways: the Brooklyn psychedelic salsa band La Mecánica Popular and the sonically adventurous Argentinian songwriter Juana Molina.

Hear highlights from those performances – as well as hear from the ambitious and renowned Labyrinth Theater Company.

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Gig Alert: Sun Kil Moon

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hyper-personal songwriter is at Town Hall tonight. Download 'Ben's My Friend.'

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Summer '94: Jeff Buckley's 'Grace' Still Endures At 20

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Professor and author of the 33 1/3 book on Grace, Daphne A. Brooks talks about her favorite tracks from Jeff Buckley's alternative rock masterpiece from 1994, his early days performing in the Lower East Side, and his tragic death in 1997.

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Gig Alert: Lage Lund

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Intricate jazz guitarist plays at Smalls tonight and tomorrow. Download 'Foolhardy.'

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Summer '94: Jeff Buckley's 'Grace'; The Ascent Of 'Hallelujah'; Phox Plays Live

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

In this episode: In August 1994, 27-year-old Jeff Buckley quietly released Grace, the only full-length studio album the singer-songwriter would put out before his death three years later. Twenty years later, it’s one of the greatest records of all time. Daphne Brooks, professor of African-American Studies, Theater, and American Studies at Yale University, who wrote about Grace for the 33 1/3 book series, shares her favorite tracks.

Then: Music journalist and author Alan Light explains the enduring popularity of "Hallelujah" -- the Leonard Cohen song given new life by Jeff Buckley. It's the subject of his book, The Holy Or The Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley & The Unlikely Ascent Of Hallelujah.

And: Hear Wisconsin sextet Phox, led by singer Monica Martin, perform its understated folk pop songs in the Soundcheck studio.

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Pick Three: WDET's Ann Delisi Shares Three Songs From '94

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

WDET's Ann Delisi shares her three favorite songs from the summer of 1994. 

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Gig Alert: Arto Lindsay

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

ARTIST: Arto Lindsay

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Arto Lindsay, 'Personagem'

 

GIG: Tonight at 8pm at Le Poisson Rouge.

During a long career, the musician and producer Arto Lindsay has worked in so many different styles, it was perfectly reasonable to call his new CD retrospective The Encyclopedia of Arto. A member of New York’s so-called “No Wave” scene of the 1970's, Lindsay is a pioneer of modern experimental music, while embracing jazz, funk and the sounds of his Brazilian homeland. Here’s the song “Personagem.”

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Watch: PHOX, Live On Soundcheck

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Watch the Wisconsin indie pop sextet perform songs from its charismatic and soaring debut album.

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Sharon Jones On Fighting Cancer And Her Latest Album; Summer '94 Pick Three; Bell X1 Plays Live

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

In this episode: Sharon Jones is one of soul music’s most magnetic and energetic stars. But last year, she was diagnosed with cancer – and it almost took her life. Now, seven months after it was announced that her cancer was in remission, she’s back and on the road again with her band, The Dap-Kings. She talks her about her treatment and her upcoming VH1 special, and listen to some of her most recent album Give The People What They Want.

Then: Ann Delisi of WDET in Detroit shares a Summer ’94-themed playlist of three of her favorite songs from Jeff Buckley, Massive Attack and Beck.

And: Irish band Bell X1 performs songs from its latest album, Chop Chop, in the Soundcheck studio.

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That Was A Hit?!?: Warren G, 'Regulate'

Monday, July 21, 2014

In our occasional series That Was A Hit?!? pop chart analyst and contributor to NPR Music and Slate Chris Molanphy returns to our studio to tell the story of 1994's summer smash "Regulate" by Warren G and Nate Dogg.

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Weezer's Going 'Back To The Shack' Like It's '94

Monday, July 21, 2014

For longtime fans who felt a little burned by a string of not-so-good efforts, news of a new Weezer record always comes attached with some trepidation. But the band's new single "Back To The Shack" from the forthcoming album, Everything Will Be Alright In The End, seems to point towards a return to its beloved early years.

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Relive Summer '94: Weezer And 'Regulate'

Monday, July 21, 2014

In this episode: Soundcheck's Summer ‘94 retrospective continues: Comedian Hari Kondabolu looks back on an album so near and dear to his heart that it that inspired his very first AOL screen name – Weezer’s self-titled debut, known to most as the "Blue Album."

Then: Also that summer: hip hop met yacht rock, when Warren G and Nate Dogg sampled Michael McDonald’s hit slow jam “I Keep Forgettin’” on their song “Regulate.” It was a match made in heaven. We feature the song in our occasional series “That Was A Hit?!?”

And: Hear Dum Dum Girls perform music from its latest album, Too True, in the Soundcheck studio.

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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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Keren Ann: Songwriter, Composer, Pop Music Chameleon

Friday, July 18, 2014

It's been nearly three years since her last album, 101, but Keren Ann seems to have shown no signs of slowing. Hear the diverse songwriter and composer perform in the Soundcheck studio.

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The Soundcheck Guide To Bassist Charlie Haden; Marco Benevento Sings; Keren Ann Plays Live

Friday, July 18, 2014

In this episode: Last week, the jazz world lost Charlie Haden, who died at the age of 76. One of the most influential bassists of all time, Haden played with luminaries like Ornette Colman, Pat Metheny, and Keith Jarrett -- with whom he recorded the fittingly titled album, Last Dance, released about a month ago. But he also sometimes stepped outside of the jazz realm, revisiting the country music of his childhood spent touring with his family’s band. Nate Chinen, the jazz and pop critic for the New York Times reflects on Charlie Haden's diverse musical career and shares a couple of his must-hear recordings.

Then: You may know Marco Benevento from his winding, sonically rich instrumentals -- or from the Soundcheck theme song, which he wrote. But now, with help of producer Richard Swift, Benevento's forthcoming album, Swift, features the longtime keyboardist singing. Get a taste with his new song "At The Show" -- and watch the music video.

And: Singer and guitarist Keren Ann wowed fans three years ago with a collection of smoky pop songs. Hear her perform live in the Soundcheck studio.

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Music And Dementia In 'Alive Inside'; Camera Obscura Plays Live; The Fictional History Of The Theremin

Thursday, July 17, 2014

In this episode: The documentary Alive Inside is about the powerful impact that music can have on senior citizens with severe dementia. The film focuses on the work of one social worker, Dan Cohen, who joined us in 2012 to talk about his work. He returns to Soundcheck with the director of Alive Inside, Michael Rossato-Bennet.

Then: The latest album from the Scottish band Camera Obscura features cutting lyrics paired with soothing melodies. Hear Camera Obscura perform songs from their album, Desire Lines, in the Soundcheck studio, and reflects on coming backafter a hiatus and health struggles, and on Scotland's upcoming referendum on independence.

And: The theremin is an instrument that seems to be from the future. It’s played by waving your hands between two antennas -- without actually touching anything. But in fact, the theremin was invented almost a century ago, peaking in popularity in the 1950s, when its eerie sound appeared in film scores like The Thing and The Day The Earth Stood Still. And in 1966, the Beach Boys used an instrument called the Electro-Theremin, also known as the Tannerin, on their classic hit “Good Vibrations.” Now the theremin and its creator, Leon Theremin, are the subject of the new book by Sean Michaels, Us Conductors, a fictionalized take on the life of the instrument’s inventor.

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With Music, Alzheimer's Patients Are 'Alive Inside'

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The documentary Alive Inside shows the powerful impact music can have on seniors with severe dementia — sometimes waking them from years of non-communication.

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La Mecánica Popular, Live In The Greene Space

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Watch the psychedelic salsa band perform on a special Soundcheck and Latino USA showcase, recorded live from WNYC's Greene Space.

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Summer '94: The Music Of 'Forrest Gump'; Bebel Gilberto Plays Live; Nas' 'Illmatic' At 20

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

In this episode: "Rock, Forrest, Rock!" Kristen Meinzer and Rafer Guzman from The Takeaway’s Movie Date podcast look back 20 years to a huge blockbuster from 1994, Forrest Gump, and its overstuffed soundtrack of classic rock hits. They explain where the movie does justice to the music, and where the soundtrack falls into the trap of cliche. 

Then: We're in the thick of summer now, which means there's no better time to find a reprieve from the heat with a cold drink and the breezy, intoxicating sounds of Bebel Gilberto. As part of the first family of Brazilian music (she's the daughter of the acclaimed and influential João Gilberto), Bebel Gilberto has taken on traditional bossa nova rhythms and infused it with her trademark alluring vocals to create a hypnotic new sound. Hear the world renowned, multi-Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter perform from her latest record, Tudo! in the Soundcheck studio.

And: You can call him an entrepreneur, a mogul and an actor. But Nasir Jones -- the hugely successful and influential rap emcee Nas -- is best known as one of the greatest musical voices to emerge from New York City. In a conversation with Soundcheck host John Schaefer, Nas reflects on his 1994 debut album Illmatic -- which now being reissued to commemorate its 20th anniversary -- and a documentary film.

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Summer '94: How 'Forrest Gump' Captured The Sounds Of The Sixties

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Kristen Meinzer and Rafer Guzman from The Takeaway’s Movie Date podcast look back 20 years to a huge blockbuster from 1994, Forrest Gump, and its overstuffed soundtrack of classic rock hits. They explain where the movie does justice to the music, and where the soundtrack falls into the trap of cliche. 

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