Mon September 22, 2014
World Cafe

World Cafe Next: Cleopatra Degher

Cleopatra Degher.
Courtesy of the artist

Our World Cafe: Next artist this week, Cleopatra Degher, released her first full-length album, Pacific, earlier this month. Degher joins a rich lineage of folk musicians from the Golden State, but her spot in that history came with a long detour: Though born in San Diego, she grew up in Sweden and didn't return to California until she was 18.

Still, Degher's open, breezy arrangements speak fluent Californian. It's as if she never left.

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Mon September 22, 2014
Tiny Desk Concerts

Tweedy: Tiny Desk Concert

Tiny Desk Concert with Tweedy on September 8, 2014.
Nick Michael NPR

There's something heartwarming about a family making music together. I'm especially sentimental when I see a father with a son, because my son and I made music in contra dance bands and Irish sessions as he grew up.

Years ago, while interviewing Jeff Tweedy before a Wilco concert, I asked him if he'd made music with his kids. He told me about going to his son Spencer's preschool class and writing a tune with all the kids; "Monkey Mess" was their final creation.

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Mon September 22, 2014
Music Interviews

Carl Newman And Neko Case On What Makes a Pop Song Work

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 7:28 am

Neko Case and Carl Newman of The New Pornographers say a great pop song opens your heart up and makes you want to hear it again and again.
Chris Buck Courtesy of the artist

1619 Broadway is one of the most famous addresses in music. Near Times Square, nestled among the glass skyscrapers that have been built in recent years, the Brill Building is left over from a slightly older world. Recognizable by its golden art-deco front doorway, the building was the office for countless pop songwriters.

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Sun September 21, 2014
Music Interviews

A Pianist Hears Chopin From Inside His Instrument

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 9:23 am

Chad Lawson's new album is The Chopin Variations.
Courtesy of the artist

Even if you're not a fan of classical music, you have heard of Frédéric Chopin: His music has appeared in countless movies, TV shows and commercials, even video games. But it's almost certain you haven't heard the Polish composer performed the way Chad Lawson plays him.

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Sat September 20, 2014
Music Interviews

Jennifer Hudson 'Jenniferizes' New Album With Positive Energy

Originally published on Sat September 20, 2014 6:55 pm

Jennifer Hudson's new album is titled JHUD.
Courtesy of the artist

Ten and a half years ago, a 22-year-old Chicagoan stepped in front of a trio of judges to audition for the third season of American Idol.

Jennifer Hudson would finish in just seventh place that season, but she'd go on to win an Academy Award for a supporting role in the movie Dreamgirls and a Grammy for her first album.

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