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Soundcheck

WNYC

Soundcheck is WNYC’s daily talk show about music. Covering all musical genres, Soundcheck celebrates the musical passions of performers, composers, and critics as well as the public radio audience. Hosted by John Schaefer, listeners enjoy intimate conversations with and live performances by leading artists from around New York and around the globe.

Soundcheck is WNYC’s daily talk show about music. Covering all musical genres, Soundcheck celebrates the musical passions of performers, composers, and critics as well as the public radio audience. Hosted by John Schaefer, listeners enjoy intimate conversations with and live performances by leading artists from around New York and around the globe.
More Information

Location:

New York, NY

Networks:

WNYC

Description:

Soundcheck is WNYC’s daily talk show about music. Covering all musical genres, Soundcheck celebrates the musical passions of performers, composers, and critics as well as the public radio audience. Hosted by John Schaefer, listeners enjoy intimate conversations with and live performances by leading artists from around New York and around the globe.

Twitter:

@soundcheck

Language:

English

Contact:

WNYC Radio 160 Varick St. New York, NY 10013 (212) 433-9692


Episodes

The Timeless, Endless Love of Classic Soul Singer Lee Fields

3/21/2019
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The classic sound of soul – the bright horns, the snappy hi-hat in the grooves, and expressive, heartfelt vocals – has never really gone out of fashion. There are singers like Lee Fields, who has been at it since 1969, when he released his first single. This April, he’s about to put out a new album called It Rains Love – with tender melodies and deep funk beats, and one which draws from Lee's own rock-steady love in his 40+ year- marriage. The soul legend Lee Fields joins us in-studio to...

Duration:00:31:49

Heartbreaking and Dark Songs by Amanda Palmer

3/18/2019
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Singer, writer, pianist, and activist Amanda Palmer is also a listener, a “love-lover, rule-hater and co-founder of the Brechtian punk cabaret duo, The Dresden Dolls” (Bandcamp). She has a way of connecting with people and directly asking for what she needs, as well as giving back to her fans. Her latest record, There Will Be No Intermission, is a “five hanky” record, full of dark songs on abortion, miscarriages, cancer and grief, all the while in a way that hints at hope and delivers...

Duration:00:51:27

Captivating Chamber-Electro-Pop by Emily Wells with Metropolis Ensemble

3/14/2019
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Composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Emily Wells works in the space between art-pop and neoclassical chamber music using electronic and acoustic instruments: synths, strings, and hip-hop production in elegant layers to support her singular and dramatic vocals. For her latest, This World Is Too _____ For You she has expanded her sonic palate to include a string quintet and French horn for a collection of swirling and dramatic chamber-pop showpieces. Together with the Grammy-nominated...

Duration:00:34:28

Crafty, Charismatic Chamber Jazz of Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom

3/11/2019
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New York-based drummer Allison Miller is also a composer, teacher, and the leader of the band Boom Tic Boom, a group featuring violinist Jenny Scheinman, cornetist Kirk Knuffke, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, bassist Todd Sickafoose and pianist Myra Melford, who celebrate ten years of working together this year. Miller's experience in leading this specific group of improvising collaborators, along with the openness in her compositions, gives each member of the band space to shine. And shine they...

Duration:00:37:04

Adia Victoria Carries The Legacy of the Blues

3/7/2019
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Nashville-based singer-songwriter, guitarist, and poet Adia Victoria crafts Southern Gothic pop deeply rooted in the blues. On her new record, Silences, produced by The National's Aaron Dessner, she clothes her plaintive melodies with a velvet-robed ferocity, like a self-dubbed “Dope Queen”; the fully fleshed, orchestral-pop arrangements of woodwinds, brass, strings, and electronics are simply majestic. Adia Victoria and her band perform these new songs, more “in touch with her...

Duration:00:29:50

J.S. Ondara Says Hello To The 'American Dream'

3/4/2019
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J.S. Ondara is a Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter whose love for Bob Dylan spurred him to move to Minnesota from Nairobi, Kenya in 2013. Since he won a Green Card lottery that allowed the move, he learned to play guitar and has lived the so-called “American Dream.” He learned English both in school and because he wanted to understand the lyrics in music by Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Nirvana, Death Cab for Cutie Neil Young, and Dylan. Ondara, in an interview with Rolling Stone, describes his...

Duration:00:33:33

Excruciatingly Beautiful Future-Soul Music From Jacob Banks

2/27/2019
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British singer Jacob Banks was born in Nigeria before moving to Birmingham, England. There he has developed a large following for his remarkable voice and his equally impressive storytelling gifts – stories he tells in songs and in a series of videos – short films really. His debut LP, called Village, features electro-enhanced R&B with deep powerful grooves spread across a smartly-arranged full spectrum of sound. Jacob Banks is here with his band to play some songs for us today. Watch the...

Duration:00:34:14

Cherry Glazerr’s Soft and Sharp Power Pop

2/25/2019
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Los Angeles trio Cherry Glazerr, led by singer/guitarist/founder Clementine Creevy, is fierce, furious, but also weary. Creevy has found some inspiration by looking inward, and just hanging out with the demons of self-doubt instead of fighting in some of the songs from the new record, Stuffed & Ready. Creevy is self-deprecating, but at the same time, trying not to beat herself up, as she lets out her rage. As Creevy looks outward, she's come into some world-weary wisdom too. “Being a...

Duration:00:27:47

Nilüfer Yanya's Twisted Pop Embraces Imperfection

2/21/2019
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Guitarist and songwriter Nilüfer Yanya writes songs that, while dark and a bit twisted, yet direct and elegant, ultimately embrace imperfection. Her music might easily flow between Nina Simone, pop punk, crisp jazzy chords, and the dynamic, sweaty explosiveness of The Pixes. Nilüfer deploys her impressive voice in all kinds of styles - falsetto crooning, growls and yelps, speak-sing indie, and smooth soul - as she spins out songs inspired by tube ads bombarding us with self-improvement or...

Duration:00:27:36

Mandolin Orange's Bittersweet Pickin' Tunes

2/18/2019
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Mandolin Orange is the folk duo of North Carolinians Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz, who blend traditional Americana roots music – folk, country, bluegrass – in their warm and intimate, bittersweet acoustic songs. They met at a bluegrass jam, and have been known to wield mandolin, guitar, banjo and violin between them, with Marlin mostly doing lead vocals and Frantz, who thinks of herself as a harmony singer. Mandolin Orange sometimes expands to five instrumentalists for the live shows, but...

Duration:00:31:17

Hypnotic Brass Leads The Way

2/14/2019
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The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is a musically free-ranging band of seven brothers from the south side of Chicago. Their music draws from funk, funky jazz, Afrobeat, hip hop, rock, reggae, and R&B, and they’ve performed with Tony Allen, Wu Tang Clan, De La Soul, Prince, Femi Kuti, Gorillaz, Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), and the B52's, to name a few. Growing up, the members of HBE were raised with music as a constant, as they are the sons of the late jazz trumpeter Phil Cohran (Earth, Wind, and Fire,...

Duration:00:31:06

The Custom-Built Pop Experiments of Buke and Gase

2/11/2019
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Buke and Gase is an experimental pop duo that’s collaborated with everyone from The National to the Blue Man Group. The band is named after two of the instruments they’ve invented, a baritone ukulele and hybrid guitar-bass. Their songs are tasty slices of angular melodies and problem-solving off-kilter percussion that are creatively stacked like a magical, warped, and playful sandwich of aural goodness. And on their new album, Scholars, Buke and Gase offers a sound more rooted in electronics...

Duration:00:31:41

Rubblebucket Parties Like Their Hearts Hurt

2/7/2019
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Dancey and dreamy, Brooklyn-based Rubblebucket makes psychedelic and jazz-conscious pop swimming in a strange and lovely mix of celebration and melancholy. Their latest record, Sun Machine, is a celebration of the connection between trumpeter Alex Toth, and saxophone player Kalmia Traver, The two have survived momentous life-challenges like cancer and alcoholism, and their romantic uncoupling, and still managed to transform their musical partnership in a positive way. The expanded version of...

Duration:00:29:10

India.Arie Spreads Love and Music

2/4/2019
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Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/producer India.Arie has returned to spread love and joy through music and words. Her latest album, due out in February, is a collection of enchanting and soulful electro-acoustic pop songs, full of smart observations, sensuality, spirituality, and yes, empowerment. On one tune, “That Magic,” she lovingly describes the connection between two people that we can all hope for. Her latest single, “What If,” begins with the memorable lines, “what if Martin didn’t...

Duration:00:35:55

RaaDie's Trumpet and E-Zither Make Loops and Waves

1/31/2019
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Meet RaaDie, which is the latest musical project of Vienna-based trumpeter Lorenz Raab (Volksoper Vienna, XY-Band, Bleu) and the composer, bassoonist, and zither player Christof Dienz (Die Knoedel, Quadrat:sch, XY-Band). With a balance of composition and improvisation, the duo crafts music using trumpet and e-zither with electronic effects and looping station, at times spacey, funky, contemplative, and eerie. Besides Prokofiev, Ravel and Schubert, Dienz also names Prince, AC/DC, Björk and...

Duration:00:32:15

Alejandro Escovedo Searches for the American Dream

1/28/2019
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Mexican-American rock musician, songwriter, and singer Alejandro Escovedo draws from DIY punk, Tex-Mex country, and Americana rock for his latest record, The Crossing, a growly and crunchy guitar-filled, instrumentally cinematic, and in-your-face loud search for the American dream. In a cool twist, Escovedo has co-written the album with an Italian instrumental band, Don Antonio, and uses avatars, a young boy from southern Italy named Salvo, and a young boy from Mexico named Diego, who meet...

Duration:00:31:37

London's Groove-Based Ezra Collective

1/24/2019
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London-based quintet Ezra Collective makes music with an irresistible blend of groove that includes Afrobeat, hip-hop, grime, reggae, and jazz. Led by drummer Femi Koleoso, and anchored by his brother TJ Koleoso on bass with keyboardist Joe Armon-Jones, and featuring what looks like a hard bop frontline of Dylan Jones on trumpet and James Mollison on tenor sax, the group’s members are all skilled improvisers who can easily incite packed crowds into a sweaty dance party with their infectious...

Duration:00:31:50

Guster, More Alive Than Live

1/21/2019
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Coming from jangle-pop garage rock origins in the 1990’s in the Boston area, the band Guster is a group of talented songwriters, down to the last harmony. With electronic augmentation beyond just guitar amps, Guster long ago dropped its acoustic guitars and bongos in favor of arena rock with electrified-pysch-pop leanings. Their live shows are known for their quirky humor and legions of devoted fans singing along, and their latest batch of sing-along anthems from their record, Look Alive, is...

Duration:00:28:47

Banjo-Wielding Kaia Kater Is 'Swimming in Her Own Shadow'

1/16/2019
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Montreal-born folk singer, songwriter, banjo player, and guitarist Kaia Kater grew up surrounded by her family’s ties to folk music and Appalachian music in West Virginia. Her music often touches on social issues, and her latest album ranges even wider, including her family’s Grenadian-Canadian background, while still drawing upon old-time banjo music. In her liner notes to her latest record, Grenades (Smithsonian Folkways), she writes, “Here’s to swimming in your own shadow.” She then...

Duration:00:32:41

Leyla McCalla Plays the 'Capitalist Blues'

1/14/2019
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A New York–born Haitian-American living in New Orleans, the multi-instrumentalist Leyla McCalla draws from traditional Creole, Cajun, and Haitian music, as well as American jazz and folk. McCalla is a former member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, but her latest record, Capitalist Blues, contains very little of her signature instrument, the cello. While the tunes range from blues to calypso, and folk with some Haitian Creole, she explores connections between New Orleans and Haiti and tries...

Duration:00:32:41