Music

Youth, energy, angst and bravado — that's the stuff of punk music. But it turns out youth may be the least critical part of the equation.

For 38 years, Milo Aukerman and Bill Stevenson have been pounding out punk music as Descendents, along with their fellow bandmembers Karl Alvarez and Stephen Egerton. They started their band in high school, and now they're in their early fifties. Their new album, Hypercaffium Spazzinate, gets its name from Aukerman's days working in the field of molecular biology.

John Doe of X was World Cafe's guest earlier this week, as he played live with a rock band that included original X drummer DJ Bonebrake. You can hear it again in the World Cafe archive. Doe also discussed the early days of the L.A. punk scene to which X belonged.

Esmé Patterson On World Cafe

Jul 22, 2016

Originally from Colorado and part of the same singer-songwriter scene that gave us Nathaniel Rateliff, Esmé Patterson was initially part of the folk band Paper Bird with her sister. Patterson has increasingly let loose her inner rocker on each new solo album — particularly on her third record, released this past June, titled We Were Wild.

First Watch: River Whyless, 'All Day All Night'

Jul 21, 2016

First Watch: Jaala, 'Ticket'

Jul 21, 2016

First Listen: Descendents, 'Hypercaffium Spazzinate'

Jul 21, 2016

Anyone who's seen the recent Descendents documentary Filmage knows how tumultuous and poignant the band's 39-year, on-and-off existence has been. After forming in 1977, the Southern California group helped craft the template for what would become known as American pop-punk — a warp-speed amalgam of adolescent angst, snotty attitude and championship melody. It also began, in just a slightly tongue-in-cheek way, to advocate excessive caffeine consumption as a method of playing faster and living better.

Robert Elllis On World Cafe

Jul 20, 2016

Singer-songwriter Robert Ellis released his self-titled fourth album earlier this year. A gorgeous, stylistically diverse roots-country record whose songs are made more real by the human characters in his lyrics, the album was chosen by the NPR Music staff as one of 2016's best so far.

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