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All Things Considered

The Three Kinds Of Posthumous Albums (And Where Michael Jackson Fits In)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Generally, new releases from deceased musicians fall into one of three categories. Michael Jackson's Xscape matches none of them exactly — but as part of his continuing story, it's a perfect fit.

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All Things Considered

Talking Blues With Hozier, A One-Man Irish Invasion

Friday, May 16, 2014

The 24-year-old singer is poised to be the next big music export from across the Atlantic. Hear Hozier speak with NPR's Melissa Block and perform a few songs live in the studio.

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Boy George On World Cafe

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Culture Club icon performs songs from his first solo album in 19 years, This Is What I Do.

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Watch: Jessica Lea Mayfield, Live On Soundcheck

Friday, May 16, 2014

On her latest album, Make My Head Sing..., the longtime alt-country singer-songwriter reveals her explosive side with songs full of gnarled distortion and seething emotion. Watch her perform songs from the album in the Soundcheck studio.

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Animator Ralph Bakshi On Four Decades Of Provocative Films And 'American Pop'

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ralph Bakshi is one of the most innovative animators of the last five decades. Baski, whose work is the subject of a retrospective at BAM, talks about about the future of animation, his love of jazz, and his 1981 film American Pop.

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Tokyo Police Club: Candy Hearts-On-Sleeve Indie Pop

Thursday, May 15, 2014

On its latest album, Forcefield, Tokyo Police Club embraces full-on pop -- brimming with big guitar hooks and sleek production. Hear the Toronto band perform a set live in the Soundcheck studio.

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KCRW Presents: Chromeo

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Watch the electro-funk pop duo perform its latest hit, "Jealous (I Ain't With It)," live for KCRW fans at Apogee Studios in Santa Monica, Calif.

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The Music Of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The founder of the Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, had a late-period creative blossoming that led to his involvement in several obscure musical projects. Writer Nathan Rabin delves into Hubbard's music and non-music contributions.

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The Music Of L. Ron Hubbard; Asgeir Plays Live; Soundcheck's Guide To Brazilian Music

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

In this episode: Many know science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard as the founder and main proponent of the Church of Scientology. Fewer know of his musical career. Nathan Rabin -- who wrote about L. “Rock” Hubbard for Slate recently -- talks about the idiosyncratic musical offerings from the enigmatic icon.

Then: Icelandic songwriter Ásgeir's album, In the Silence, drew raves in his native country and the U.K. -- becoming the best-selling debut in Iceland. Hear the the 22-year-old multi-instrumentalist perform songs from the the English-language version of the record, in the Soundcheck studio.

And: In the run-up to the World Cup, Soundcheck will be exploring the myriad musical sounds coming out of Brazil. Today, WNYC contributor and producer Marlon Bishop shares the sounds of an exciting new scene emerging north of the Amazon, influenced as much by Caribbean rhythms as it is by the urban sounds of Rio and Sao Paolo.

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Watch: Owen Pallett, Live On Soundcheck

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Watch the classically minded pop songwriter and composer formerly known as Final Fantasy perform songs from his superb new album, In Conflict, in the Soundcheck studio.

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How To Ruin Your Band Name

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dan Ozzi's "How To Ruin Your Band Name" throws more gasoline on the perennial debate about band titles. He's the editor for Noisey, VICE's music blog, and he joins John Schaefer in the studio to enumerate the (many, many) ways that a band can botch one of the biggest choices they have to make. 

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All Things Considered

Is The 'Xscape' Deluxe Version Worth It? 3 Words: Michael Jackson Demos

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

For Xscape, Timbaland and other producers flesh out various songs the King of Pop never finished. But the demos included in the expanded edition provide a rare glimpse into Jackson's creative process.

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New Mix: Premieres From Nico Vega, Joe Henry, More

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hear and download a new, insanely catchy Nico Vega pop tune, Joe Henry's stirring ode to aging, a 160-year-old Stephen Foster song that still resonates, and more.

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Why Tori Amos Connects

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tori Amos fans understand her music in elemental terms. To celebrate Unrepentant Geraldines, her excellent new album, we asked five of them to pinpoint the elements that make her so unmistakable.

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Gone But Not Forgotten: Ten Early Electronic Music Classics

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

An especially retro-leaning song from Los Angeles-based electronic duo Room8 has Soundcheck host John Schaefer thinking that the sounds of the 1970s and '80s are having a new moment.
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Soundcheck

Bad Band Names; Apple Eyes Beats Music; Gabriel Kahane Plays Live

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

In this episode: Dan Ozzi, the editor for VICE’s music site, Noisey, talks about his article “How To Ruin Your Band Name;” -- and argues that he shouldn’t have to know the secret history behind a name like SUNN O))) in order to pronounce it.

Then: Last week, it was widely reported that Apple -- the home of iPads, iPhones, and iTunes -- might soon have a new product line under its wing: Beats Electronics, the company known for its Beats by Dre headphones and Beats Music subscription music service. Soundcheck speaks with The New York Times' arts reporter Ben Sisario about the implications of this historic deal. 

And: For his latest album, The Ambassador, Gabriel Kahane turns toward a place that his family has sometimes called home, Los Angeles. Watch the pianist and composer plays some of his L.A.-centric chamber pop songs live in the Soundcheck studio.

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Ásgeir: A Vibrant Icelandic Voice

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

After Ásgeir released his album, In The Silence, in his homeland in 2012, it became the fastest-selling debut ever in Iceland -- surpassing fellow Icelandic stars Bjork and Sigur Rós. Hear the 21-year-old singer-songwriter perform in the Soundcheck studio.

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Gotye On World Cafe

Monday, May 12, 2014

Hear the Australian pop star pay a visit to World Cafe in 2012 to perform songs from his new album, Making Mirrors.

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Now That's What I Call Music! Releases Its 50th Compilation

Monday, May 12, 2014

Jeff Moskow of the Now That's What I Call Music! compilation series talks with Soundcheck about its 50th album release. Then, Billboard writer Jason Lipshutz shares some of the forgotten gems.

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Chvrches: Tiny Desk Concert

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Scottish synth-pop band turns up with a small arsenal of synthesizers to perform highlights from last year's album The Bones of What You Believe.

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