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Music

You can hear a sense of wandering, the wistful shuffle of no fixed address, in Bedouine's music. She was born Azniv Korkezian but chose the artist name Bedouine from the Arabic-speaking Bedouin people, who wander the Middle Eastern desert as nomads.

Images of Kentucky are often reduced to coal miners, bourbon, horse-racing and Loretta Lynn. This year, Oxford American magazine has dedicated its annual music issue entirely to Kentucky, and it explores soul jazz, punk rock, rap and more from the Bluegrass State.

It's easy to take David Bazan's music for granted, or to turn away from it. For two decades, first as Pedro the Lion and then under his own name, he's been making songs that quietly pick apart doubts, miscommunications and personal failings in order to expose soft truths about human struggle. He's both singular and reliable, and within a narrow but potent vein of subject matter and style, he's an explorer.

Wrapping up a year of some incredible sessions, this week, World Cafe is digging into the archives for some of its best performances and interviews of 2017.

Ben Shirley's story is one of redemption. He'd been playing bass in bars, clubs and arenas in the Los Angeles area since he was 15 when he fell down a path of drugs and alcohol. Four bottles of vodka and $360 worth of heroin a day brought him down hard on Skid Row.

It was at the non-profit The Midnight Mission where Shirley turned his life around in 2011. Now, at 53, he's an undergrad in The San Francisco Conservatory of Music's program of Technology and Applied Composition. He debuted an original piece, "We Need Darkness to See the Stars," earlier this month.

So many of us have spent Christmas with Elvis' music, but Priscilla Presley actually spent Christmas with Elvis. Priscilla shares heartwarming memories of holidays with the King, from the first time they ever exchanged gifts to their tree-trimming traditions as a married couple living at Graceland, to how that changed when Priscilla gave birth to their daughter, Lisa Marie, and how Priscilla feels when she hears Elvis' music now.

Pere Ubu On Mountain Stage

Dec 21, 2017

The eccentric rock band Pere Ubu made an appearance on Mountain Stage in October of 1991. It returned, 26 years later, with a rejuvenated line-up and songs from a new album, 20 Years In A Montana Missile Silo.

Elbow released a stunning record this year. Throughout Little Fictions, frontman Guy Garvey shares the joy of new love and fatherhood, while the gorgeous track "All Disco" was inspired by a conversation he had with Black Francis of the Pixies.

SET LIST

  • "All Disco"

Photos: Steven Dewall/KCRW.

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