Music

World Cafe Next: The Marcus King Band

Aug 1, 2016

From the first note of The Marcus King Band's self-titled Fantasy Records debut, you can hear that this guy is an old soul. It might be a surprise, then, to learn that the singer and guitarist is only 22 years old. King grew up in South Carolina, where he played sideman to blues musicians and honed his formidable talent.

Violent Femmes On World Cafe

Aug 1, 2016

Violent Femmes' self-titled debut album spoke to hordes of teenagers and college kids when it came out in 1983. The record's acoustic-rock sound, lead singer and songwriter Gordon Gano's brash yet vulnerable teenage snark and his delightfully shocking language made it an album to embrace as if only a few knew about it. Four years after its release, Violent Femmes went gold without ever having appeared on the Billboard album charts — and after 10 years, it went platinum.

Moreland & Arbuckle On World Cafe

Jul 29, 2016

When harmonica ace Dustin Arbuckle met guitarist Aaron Moreland at an open mic in their hometown of Wichita, Kan., the two immediately decided that they'd better combine talents. That was in 2001, and they've been playing roadhouse blues together ever since.

What if you could see your favorite band in a living room, without all the background noise and cellphones you get at a live show? That's the question Rafe Offer, founder of Sofar Sounds, asked himself and a few friends after they'd seen a show where he couldn't even hear the band. Sofar Sounds operates around a simple idea: You gather together a few bands, a house in which they can perform, and an eager audience. However, the lineup isn't announced, which means the audience has no idea who's scheduled to perform until they arrive.

Elvis Costello might be best known for early-career songs like "Alison" and "Every Day I Write The Book" — literary pop masterpieces he wrote and recorded either solo or with his longtime band, The Attractions. But in more recent years, Costello has become a serial collaborator.

First Watch: Slingshot Dakota, 'Paycheck'

Jul 28, 2016

Agalloch taught metal not only how to wander but how to wonder. Over two decades, the Portland, Ore., band released five albums and several demos and EPs that didn't treat black metal, post-rock and neo-folk so much as distinct genres but as a sonic continuum. There was a pioneering spirit to Agalloch's music, uniquely American in how it found communion in nature and pride in its city and culture.

The term "coming of age" typically applies to a teenager's passage into adulthood; to the heady stretch of months and years when a child becomes something resembling a fully formed person, with all the growth and responsibility that entails. But there are inherent faults to the premise, starting with the fact that we never really stop coming of age, at least as long as we remain notionally open to our own evolution. We learn from our mistakes, or at least we hope to, and sometimes we backslide as our priorities, dreams and desires shift and settle.

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