Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Every year since 2002, the Library of Congress has unveiled a new list of additions to its National Recording Registry. 2011’s twenty-five selections include the earliest-known commercial sound recording… the psychedelic-rock of the late Arthur Lee and his band Love... and the pioneering hip hop of the Sugarhill Gang. Matthew Barton, the curator of Recorded Sound at the Library, tells us more.
Friday, May 25, 2012
Recently, Radiolab host Jad Abumrad started wondering about the legend of bluesman Robert Johnson. You know, the one where he goes down to the crossroads and sells his soul to the devil in return for unnatural guitar ability. What you don’t know, and what Jad found out, is that the truth is far stranger than the fiction. He’ll join us to share the story.
Friday, May 25, 2012
In 2006, the low-budget indie film “Once” – starring The Frames lead singer Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova – was a surprise success, even picking up the Oscar in 2007 for Best Original Song. Now, the film has been adapted for Broadway - and once again, it’s a hit. The show received 11 Tony nominations earlier this month, and today, we’re joined by some of the cast for a live performance.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode hooked up with Soulsavers, a British music and production duo, for a musical project, the result of which is the album The Light The Dead See. Watch an excerpt of John Schaefer’s interview with Dave Gahan.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
If Chicha Libre does not get you up and dancing, the members of the band will feel as if they have failed. Watch as they perform "La Plata," a song they hope will get you up and moving .
Friday, May 04, 2012
Since forming a decade ago in Austin as a more contemplative offshoot of the indie-rock band Okkervil River, Shearwater has used harps, glockenspiels, and singer Jonathan Meiburg's delicate falsetto to construct expansive concept albums about man's relationship to nature. Now, with their eighth studio album Animal Joy, the band strips down and amps up the energy for a more rock-oriented sound. Shearwater returns to our studio to play live.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
In a German airport, an Israeli pianist and a Malian guitarist crossed paths, changing both of their musical destinies. Idan Raichel, the pianist, had already been a huge fan of Vieux Farka Toure, the guitarist, so it did not take him long to suggest playing together. The resulting album is called The Tel Aviv Sessions. Watch a video of the Toure-Raichel Collective performing "Azawad."
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
The dedication in the liner notes of Trampled By Turtles' new album reads: "Dedicated to the ones we lost, and the ones we gained." The album does have a slightly quieter feel, as captured in the song "Alone." Watch Trampled By Turtles perform "Alone."
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Amy Ray is well-known for being half of the Indigo Girls, but she also has an amazing solo career and a new solo album, Lung of Love. Watch her perform "The Rock Is My Foundation" in WNYC's Soundcheck studios.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Singer and songwriter Amy Ray is best known as one half of the Grammy winning folk duo Indigo Girls. But on her new solo album, “Lung of Love,” she lets it be known, “there’s a little Joe Strummer in my DNA”. We hear more from the Girl gone solo – and a live performance.
Friday, April 13, 2012
"My dad and mom were really into reading us all sorts of mythologies," Dar Williams told Soundcheck's John Schaefer, which might explain why her new album, In the Time of Gods, sets Greek myths in modern times. Watch Williams sing "Crystal Creek," an adaptation of the myth of Artemis and the great hunter Actaeon.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
By Kate Hinds
An off-the-cuff idea about re-tuning subway turnstiles is--pun alert!--striking a chord in New York.
Musical legend David Byrne and LCD Sound System co-founder James Murphy sat down at Yale last month for a moderated discussion on the evolving role of the artist in the digital age, during which Murphy floated the radical notion that the beep attending a MetroCard swipe need not be shrill and grating. Not only that, Murphy suggested turnstiles at a given station could be set to sound with a range of notes to give that station a particular sound, especially at rush hour, when the swipes come as swiftly as the notes in a Beethovian crescendo.
The notion has bounced around the blogoshere, including this post that reports on whether the NY Metropolitan Transit Authority would be interested in making the underground experience more sonorous. (No.)
Meanwhile, you can read about James Murphy's turnstile plans -- and listen the Soundcheck - moderated conversation.
All the subway turnstiles in New York City…make a beep. It’s a really unpleasant sound and the one that’s right next to it is slightly out of key with it. So, it’s like “ehhh….aehhh…uehhh” Unless you get it wrong and it’s like, “No!” Then it’s the sound of your bruised hip as you hit the thing…
So I thought, I love New York and I love its aggression, and I love that it doesn’t make it easier for you to be a member of the city…But, I wanted to change the sound of going through the turnstile to a series of notes - I could do a little program. I could be like, well, the dominant note is the root, this is the fifth, this is the third, have a couple of sevenths, throw a few sixths in there just to be crazy. And during rush hour it would make arpeggiated music. And each subway station could have its own key or tonal set. For me, for a new person going to work, I think it would just be nice. It would be hard not to like that more than “shut up, idiot, you’re walking so slow!”
It would be an interesting way to have people relate to the city and I didn’t think it would be that expensive…if anybody knows anybody?
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Girl In A Coma is a punky, rocky all-girl band from San Antonio that dedicated its first song to two Chihuahuas back in Texas. Watch the band perform "Knocking On Your Door" live in the Soundcheck studio.
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Beth Tacular and Phil Moore, of Bowerbirds, are an on-again, off-again (and now on-again) couple and the drama of that almost broke up the band. Tacular says, "By the time we got together, we had a renewed excitement about things and more appreciation for eachother and patience for each other." Watch Bowerbirds performing "Overcome With Light," live on Soundcheck.
Monday, April 02, 2012
Join host John Schaefer as he welcomes Andrew Bird and Ana Gasteyer to The Greene Space stage.
Andrew Bird's brand of indie rock doesn't sound like anyone else's. The multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer uses digital delay and electronics to blend the sounds of pop and chamber music. Recently, Bird composed his first-ever ...
Monday, April 02, 2012
PLEASE NOTE: Soundcheck's weeklong sneak preview of the "Newsies" cast recording is over. The stream has expired. Thank you for listening!
Disney's new Broadway musical "Newsies" will release an original cast recording on iTunes on April 10 and on CD on May 15. But Soundcheck premiered the album a week early with an exclusive stream.