Chrissie Hynde has been seeking inspiration ever since she left her hometown of Akron, Ohio, in the '70s for London, where she ended up founding The Pretenders. The band's 1980 debut was cutting-edge, sexually direct and a major hit.

On weekends, I love to cook and listen to records. It's a ritual that began out of a necessity for meditation from the week — minding a pot of grits and sipping tea while Neil Young or Leon Thomas LPs spin in the background.

Thirty years ago, the beloved Texas guitarist Eric Johnson made his general-release debut, Tones. Since then, he's made platinum albums and won a Grammy award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. In this session, he tells us why he does it: "I just like to try to have it have substance or quality or give some kind of emotion to people ... Really, it's more about that than it is the gymnastics or the 'look at me' effect."

 The artist Xandrah was born Alexandra Thomson, a Nakoda woman from Carry the Kettle First Nation, Treaty 4 Territory. Her debut EP Vinyl Secrets takes pop music and blends it with jazz and soul influences. Xandrah and her instrumentalist JFP, or Justin Frank Pelan, are inspired by artists such as Sade and Erykah Badu. With Xandrah’s sultry vocals and JFP’s hip-hop beats, the two performed together as University of Saskatchewan students at events such as the Regina Jazz Festival and the U of S Aboriginal Arts Festival.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is back with an incredibly infectious new song called "Fireproof." It's the first single from the band's upcoming full-length, The Tourist, due out Feb. 24.

"Fireproof" is a thumping, synth-heavy look at how naive people can be. "I know it's hard to win," sings frontman Alec Ounsworth. "But how could I have thought that we'd ever lose."

Blue Rodeo On World Cafe

Dec 12, 2016

It's been more than 30 years since the Canadian songwriters Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor formed Blue Rodeo. Back then, Blue Rodeo's music was described as country-rock, though today we might call it "North Americana." The band hit its stride in the early '90s with albums like Casino and Five Days In July.

Worn down by life on the road, Irish indie-pop stars Two Door Cinema Club took a three-year break before coming back together to record their third full-length album, Gameshow. The trio, which originally made its U.S. live radio debut on KCRW in 2010, recently made a triumphant return to our studios. "Bad Decisions" is a new favorite.


  • "Bad Decisions"

Photo: Davis Bell/KCRW.