Thursday, May 15, 2014
In this episode: Anna Sale, the host of WNYC's new podcast Death, Sex & Money, joins Soundcheck to discuss her recent conversation with Grammy Award-winning singer Bill Withers, including Bill's thoughts on the Kardashians, his creative process and more.
Then: Animator Ralph Bakshi famously earned the first “X” rating for his 1971 debut feature, Fritz The Cat. Since then, his raunchy, unlikely takes on race, sex, religion, war, and, of course, rock ’n’ roll have made him a celebrated figure in the world of animation. Bakshi reflects on his career, why he dedicated a whole film to the history of American pop music, and a current retrospective of his work at BAM Cinema.
And: Violinist Owen Pallett started his career recording music under the name Final Fantasy; these days, Pallett releases albums under his own name – and has become a key contributor to the band Arcade Fire. Hear Pallett perform music from his newest album, In Conflict, live in the Soundcheck studio.
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Kelis Rogers is nothing if not versatile. A trained chef and singer best known for her 2003 hit, "Milkshake," Kelis combines her two loves in a new album called "Food". Hear her perform in the studio and talk jerk ribs with Dan Pashman, host of WNYC's Sporkful podcast.
Thursday, April 24, 2014
In this episode: Boy George became a global pop music and fashion icon in the 1980's as the frontman of the English band Culture Club, known for hits like “Karma Chameleon,” “I’ll Tumble For Ya” and “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?” Hear Boy George talk about his latest album, This Is What I Do, which has been hailed as "the comeback album of the year."
And: Singer-songwriter Kelis Rogers, who's also a trained chef, is best known for her 2003 hit "Milkshake." But on her new album, Food, the R&B artist combines her two loves to make a delicious reinvention. Hear Kelis perform in the Soundcheck studio, and talk with Dan Pashman, host of The Sporkful podcast.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
In this episode: New York librarian Sarah O’Holla is on a mission: to listen to each album in her husband’s vinyl record collection -- all 1500 of them. She’s chronicling her journey on the blog My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection, and even though it’s only a few months old, it has divided some readers.
Then: After releasing an unsuccessful first album, R&B singer Liv Warfield was ready to leave the music world behind. And then, Prince called. Now a member of his backing band The New Power Generation, she performs songs from her new Prince-produced album in the Soundcheck studio.
And: Calle 13 co-founder Rene Perez Joglar, (a.k.a. Residente) talks about Multi Viral -- the group’s latest album which includes vocals from Uruguayan poet Eduardo Galeano and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
In this latest installment of Soundcheck's Pick Three series, Mesfin Fekadu, a music reporter for Associated Press, highlights some favorite songwriters who have found great success as singers themselves -- including one of the most ubiquitous names in pop music right now, Pharrell.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
In this episode: As a franchise player for Murder Inc. Records in the early 2000s, R&B singer Ashanti was the voice behind Top 10 hits like "What's Luv" and "Always on Time." Now independent, she just released her first solo album in more than five years. She talks about her new songs, growing up on "Strong Island" and her upcoming gig at Manny Pacquiao’s next fight.
Then: Ralph Ellison, author of the acclaimed novel Invisible Man, left behind a huge record collection after his death in 1994. Now, the collection is on display at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Artistic director Loren Schoenberg talks about what we can glean about the man from his LPs.
And: British trio Bear’s Den built up a cult following for their three-part harmonies and their DIY approach - right down to hand-stamped CDs. They play an acoustic set in the Soundcheck studio.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Pharrell Williams dominated 2013 with appearances on Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and his own track "Happy," the Soundcheck team put on their Pharrell hats and took the record for a spin, and have these first impressions.
Friday, January 24, 2014
In this episode: Pauline Black, frontwoman for the influential British band The Selecter, discusses growing up multi-racial and adopted -- and talks about the socially conscious music movement known as 2 Tone ska.
Then, MiWi La Lupa, a sideman who's played with David Byrne and Red Baraat turns to songwriting on his latest solo album. Hear him and his band play songs from New Way Home, in the Soundcheck studio.
And, Salaam Remi -- the producer best known for his work with Grammy-winning R&B singer Amy Winehouse -- talks about why he decided to step out of the studio and into the spotlight on his debut solo album, One: In The Chamber.
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
In 2013, not one black artist scored a No. 1 single, while white artists even sat atop the R&B chart for most of the year. Pop chart analyst Chris Molanphy and Daily Beast columnist Keli Goff help us understand how and why 2013 was so unprecedented.
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
In this episode: Over his long and legendary career, soul singer, songwriter and guitarist Bobby Womack has been responsible for countless timeless songs. Last year's superb album, his 11th, The Bravest Man In The Universe, was co-produced by Damon Albarn and Richard Russell and it's considered one of his best and most inventive efforts yet. In a lengthy interview with Soundcheck host John Schaefer, Womack reflects on making the new album, playing with and writing for countless icons in music, and much more.
Plus: Since the 1970's, the Fender Rhodes has become a staple of jazz, rock, pop and R&B. Gerald McCauley, the author of the comprehensive new book Down The Rhodes: The Fender Rhodes Story, talks about how the instrument was invented and why artists -- like Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Ray Manzarek and more -- embraced it.
Friday, December 13, 2013
For those who went to bed at a sensible hour last night, you likely awoke this Friday morning to discover Beyoncé dropped an entire new album overnight. From the Soundcheck team, reactions range from "it's a visual delight!" to "I’m not hearing many up-tempo playlist contenders."