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Music

KEXP Presents: The Bats

Sep 16, 2013

"Everyone's jumping on the hipster hippie train," one commenter said of KEXP's recent session with The Bats. The irony, of course, is that the New Zealand band has been on that train, if not leading it, for more than 30 years. It's no surprise that Brooklyn's Captured Tracks label is reissuing LPs from The Bats' label, Flying Nun, as many of today's acts have borrowed heavily from its jangly pop sound.

World Cafe Next: Wildcat! Wildcat!

Sep 16, 2013

The punchy L.A. indie-pop band Wildcat! Wildcat! is made up of three members who've been friends since middle school. They've released a couple of singles — including the latest, "Mr. Quiche" — and recently compiled them on a new EP. Hear a couple of the band's songs on this installment of World Cafe: Next.

This session, from Sept. 2, 2011, is part of our Vintage Cafe series, in which we revisit some of our best studio performances.

Mike Doughty spent the 1990s as the gravel-voiced frontman for Soul Coughing. Fusing elements of pop, jazz, hip-hop and house music, the band had a sound all its own — but Doughty says he was never satisfied with it.

KCRW Presents: Majical Cloudz

Sep 12, 2013

Devon Welsh has an unmistakable presence as the singer for the Montreal duo Majical Cloudz, but producer Matthew Otto is just as vital to their live sound. When the two performed a set for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, they played off one another seamlessly, and often without eye contact. This gives their unique synth-pop sound an intense quality evident in songs like "Childhood's End," which they perform here.

Treetop Flyers On World Cafe

Sep 11, 2013

We welcome British band Treetop Flyers to the World Cafe. They are a folk-rock five-piece that initially turned heads on the main stage of the 2011 Glastonbury Festival. They won the spot through an "emerging artist" competition. From there, they were signed to Loose Music in the U.K. and to Partisan Records in the U.S. and put out their debut full-length record, The Mountain Moves, in June of this year. Their music is very much inspired by California in the '70s, so it was not much of a stretch to decamp to Malibu to record their debut.

When we first approached Bill Callahan to do a Field Recording in New York City, we asked him if he had any special place in mind. His reply surprised me: "A community garden." I guess I'd stereotyped him in my head, because after all those years of dark, thoughtful songwriting — first as Smog and then on the pensive records he's made under his own name — I'd imagined a library, someplace quiet and dark.

Mark Mulcahy On World Cafe

Sep 10, 2013

If you were an indie-rock fan in the mid-1980s, then you undoubtedly stumbled upon Miracle Legion. In the post R.E.M. jangle-rock landscape, they called it "college rock" and the Connecticut-based Miracle Legion ruled. It happened again with his work on Nickelodeon's Adventures of Pete & Pete with the fake-band Polaris made up of Miracle Legion musicians.

As lead singer of the youthful Manchester band The 1975, Matthew Healy has cranked out a batch of enjoyably wiry songs, most notably the singles "Chocolate" and "Sex" — each of which has attracted more than a million YouTube plays. The group has been bubbling up, here and in the U.K., for the last year or two, as it's toured with Muse and released an album and four EPs full of brash-but-winsome, electronics-tinged pop-rock.

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