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The Meat Puppets; BOY Plays Live; Ginger Baker On Film

Monday, October 07, 2013

In this episode: Before Soundcheck co-presents the Meat Puppets in concert as part of this week's CBGB Music and Film Festival, the founders of the alt-rock band talk about its punk roots, collaborations with Nirvana and the drug-fueled ten-year hiatus that almost broke up the band for good.

Then, the delightful indie pop duo BOY perform its big hit "Little Numbers" and more in the Soundcheck studio.

And we revisit a conversation with the director of the documentary film Beware Of Mr. Baker -- about famed and unpredictable Cream and Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker.

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Bo Burnham: What's Funny In Musical Comedy

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Comedian, songwriter and actor Bo Burnham talks about his new book of musical and funny poetry, and shares a Pick Three of his favorite songs.

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Jenny Hval: Ethereal And Provocative Art Pop

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Watch the provocative and experimental Norwegian pop musician Jenny Hval perform songs from her latest album Innocence Is Kinky in the Soundcheck studio.

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Massive Attack's Movie Collaboration; A Look Back At The Runaways; Tired Pony Plays Live

Monday, September 30, 2013

In this episode: Documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis and Robert Del Naja, of electronic act Massive Attack, discuss their unsettling collaboration underway at the Park Avenue Armory.

Music writer Evelyn McDonnell talks about her new biography, Queens of Noise: The Real Story of the Runaways, about the influential 1970's punk band that sparked the careers of Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, Lita Ford and others.

And Tired Pony, the supergroup featuring members of R.E.M., Snow Patrol, The Minus 5, and Belle And Sebastian, perform live in the Soundcheck studio.

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Gig Alert: Typhoon

Monday, September 30, 2013

The chamber rock band Typhoon performs at Le Poisson Rouge Monday. Download "Young Fathers."

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James Murphy On Broadway; Nicholson Baker’s Musical Novel; Sarah Jarosz Plays Live

Thursday, September 26, 2013

In this episode: Former LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy discusses his latest project: composing music for the Broadway revival of Harold Pinter's drama "Betrayal."

Plus: Nicholson Baker’s new novel, Traveling Sprinkler, is about a man who is having a hard time writing a new book — so he picks up a guitar instead. Baker discusses the book and the real-life companion album he recorded.

And: Sarah Jarosz is just 22, but she’s already made a mark on the folk and bluegrass scene thanks to her deep bluegrass knowledge and exceptional instrumental skills. The Grammy nominated singer-songwriter from Texas plays live.  

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Yoko Ono At 80; Rachel Kushner Picks Three; Golden Suits In The Studio

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

In this episode: The legendary artist, musician, and activist Yoko Ono discusses her new album, Take Me To The Land Of Hell.

Plus: Rachel Kushner, author of the critically-acclaimed novel The Flamethrowers, shares a Pick Three of some of her favorite music.

And: Golden Suits is the solo project from Fred Nicolaus of Department of Eagles, though "solo" is a weird way to describe a record that includes half of Grizzly Bear as well as members of Milagres and Ava Luna. Nicolaus joins us with his band to play live.

 

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Modern Madonna: A Look At The Pop Icon Post-2000

Friday, September 20, 2013

Soundcheck wraps up Madonna Week with a look at a more modern side of Madonna's career with Billboard editor Joe Levy.

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Alex Winston: Dark Choral Pop On '101 Vultures'

Friday, September 20, 2013

Alex Winston's voice may provokes inevitable comparisons to Kate Bush, but her songwriting is distinctly her own. Hear "101 Vultures," a brand new song from Winston that hints at what to expect on her next album.

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'Ray Of Light' Was Madonna's 'Mid-Life Enlightenment' Record

Thursday, September 19, 2013

NPR Music’Ann Powers calls Ray of Light Madonna's “mid-life enlightenment” record — and she walks us through this interesting chapter in the star’s career.

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Test Your Fandom With Soundcheck's Madonna Quiz

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Test your Madonna knowledge with this quiz.

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Madonna Week: 'Ray Of Light' Revisited; Madonna In Detroit; Dessa Plays Live

Thursday, September 19, 2013

In this episode: NPR Music’s Ann Powers joins us for a deep dive into Madonna’s 1998 album Ray of Light.

Plus: In 1984, Detroit News reporter Susan Whitall interviewed Madonna about growing up in Michigan. Thirty years later, Whitall -- who still works for the Detroit News as a music, features, and entertainment writer -- reflects on that interview with Madonna early on in her career.

And: Minneapolis rapper and singer Dessa — of the independent hip hop collective Doomtree — embraces a melodic side on her latest album Parts Of Speech. Hear her perform in the Soundcheck studio.

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My Madonna Moment: On The Cover Of Spin Magazine

Monday, September 16, 2013

All this week, Soundcheck is marking the 30th anniversary of the Material Girl’s first album, and we’re asking listeners and readers to share their "Madonna Moment." Soundcheck host John Schaefer shares his, which involves Spin Magazine's first cover.

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'It's My Party': The Song That Won't Go Away

Friday, September 13, 2013

Icona Pop's new single "My Party," may sound familiar: The song is an updated version of the classic 1963 song “It’s My Party” by Lesley Gore. Strangely enough, this is hardly the first time that the classic hit has showed up in recent pop songs. Jody Rosen, pop music critic for New York Magazine, discusses the song that just keeps showing up. 

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Hitmaker Butch Walker Comes Into Focus

Friday, September 13, 2013

Singer, songwriter, and producer Butch Walker has worked with some of the biggest hit-makers of the last decade. Now, he's the subject of a documentary, Butch Walker: Out of Focus.

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Butch Walker In Focus; Pop Stars Love Lesley Gore; Ebony Bones Plays Live

Friday, September 13, 2013

In this episode: The musician, songwriter, and record producer Butch Walker is the subject of a new documentary called Out of Focus. He’s also in focus, and on the charts right now, with Fall Out Boy’s “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)," (which he co-wrote), and the Taylor Swift/Ed Sheeran duet, “Everything Has Changed,” (which he produced). He joins us to talk about his life in music.

And: New York Magazine’s Jody Rosen discusses why pop stars love Lesley Gore’s 1963 hit “It’s My Party.”

    Plus: The British electro-pop artist and producer known as Ebony Bones has a flair for larger-than-life musical performances. Her tendency toward the flamboyant earned her a spot opening for Cee Lo Green a few years back. Hear -- and see -- why when she performs live in the Soundcheck studio.

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      Rethinking 'What It Means To Be Popular'

      Wednesday, September 11, 2013

      Adam Sternbergh's recent New York Times Magazine cover story explored how we determine what is popular — and the new and slippery definitions of what popularity means.

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      Remix The Mayor; The Return of Arsenio Hall; Haim In Studio

      Monday, September 09, 2013

      In this episode: We introduce our latest remix challenge: Remix The Mayor. The race for New York City’s next mayor is nearing the home stretch -- and we’re asking you to turn the voices of our most famous politicians (past and present) into song. John Schaefer and producer Gretta Cohn share their remixes, and explain how you can participate

      Plus: TV critic Eric Deggans meditates on the return of Arsenio Hall to late night, and we revisit classic musical moments from the original Arsenio Hall Show with comedian and “ArScheerio Paul Show” Web series creator Paul Scheer.

        And: Haim, the up-and-coming L.A. pop outfit led by three sisters, joins us to perform songs from their upcoming debut album.

        Barry Manilow On 'Song Travels'

        Friday, September 06, 2013

        The singer-songwriter explains his unexpected transition from background pianist to star vocalist.

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        Sandra Boynton Goes Country; Emmylou Harris And Rodney Crowell; Anna Von Hausswolff Plays In A Church

        Friday, September 06, 2013

        In this episode: Popular children's author and illustrator Sanda Boynton recently added "songwriter" to her resume. Her latest project, Frog Trouble, is a book and album of country songs sung by some of the biggest names in the business: from Alison Krauss to Brad Paisley to Ryan Adams.

        Then, we revisit one of our favorite sessions from the past few months, country legends Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, who played songs from their collaborative album Old Yellow Moon live from the Greene Space at WNYC.

        And Swedish musician and singer Anna von Hausswolff performs her song "Funeral For My Future Children" on an enormous pipe organ in a New York City church.

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