First Listen: AJ Davila, 'Terror Amor'

Feb 9, 2014

On Alt.Latino, the show I co-host with Felix Contreras, we talk a lot about crossing over: who goes from the Latin world into the U.S. "mainstream," and under what cultural terms and conditions. For those of us who live and breathe Latin music, it can be frustrating that in U.S. pop culture, Latin music is often associated with Shakira and Ricky Martin. Don't get me wrong: I'm a sucker for Latin pop, especially back when Shakira was headbanging. But what irks us a bit is that so much of what makes it from Latin America onto the U.S. pop-culture radar lacks teeth; it has no edge.

About a year ago, I saw St. Paul and the Broken Bones perform at a tiny club in Tuscaloosa, Ala., called the Green Bar. The Birmingham band's six members squeezed onto the stage, looking like ragtag school kids. Singer Paul Janeway, nerd-tastic in spectacles and a Sunday suit, unfurled a handkerchief. He started to croon, then shout and wail.

    Since their start 15 years ago, the Irish quintet, Lunasa, has earned critical acclaim for their blend of acoustic and improvisational music forms. Gathering some of the top musical talents in Ireland, Lunasa's distinctive use of intricate jazz, blues and Irish rhythms have made this group the single most influential and innovative band performing Irish music today.

Purcahse tickets here!

John Butler Trio On World Cafe

Feb 7, 2014

Don't call the John Butler Trio a "jam band." As Butler himself says on this episode of World Cafe, the jams are part of the songs, not a springboard to more improvising. Butler, who was born in the U.S. but has lived in Australia since he was 11, discusses his love for the land he now calls home, songwriting and much more.

And, of course, Butler and his band — who've been together since 1998 — perform songs from a new album called Flesh and Blood.

Fifty years ago, on Feb. 7, 1964, The Beatles touched down at JFK airport. Two days later they broke TV viewing records and changed music, fashion, history — and basically an entire generation — when they appeared live on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Warpaint On World Cafe

Feb 6, 2014

Four years ago, the women of Warpaint — Jenny Lee Lindberg on bass, Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman on vocals and guitar, and Stella Mozgawa on drums — released their successful debut album, The Fool. Considering it took them five years after forming in 2004 to release their debut, they're right on schedule.

Every year around this time, the All Songs Considered team begins the process of listening to nearly 2,000 MP3s by bands playing the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. We acquire them from any number of sources, as bands willing to circulate their songs for consideration make them available online. But every year, we wind up missing something. In pursuit of music by thousands of bands, hundreds slip past our radar altogether.