World Cafe is a cutting edge, two-hour program of alternative contemporary music. It offers a broad range of innovative sounds drawn from American as well as international music. It includes music that is familiar but also showcases works by new and emerging artists.
Though Annie Clark began as a member of Sufjan Stevens' touring band and The Polyphonic Spree, those experiences do little to explain the incredible things that happen on Strange Mercy, her third album under the moniker St. Vincent. As if unleashed from the constraints of her previous work, Clark straight-up shreds.
Ditching the prog-folk of their previous two albums, The Decemberists have taken a more cut-and-dried approach with The King Is Dead. Recorded in a barn outside of Portland, the album has strong ties to R.E.M. in sound and production — Peter Buck, guitarist for R.E.M., decided to climb on board for three songs.
The Chain Gang of 1974 is the stage name for DJ Kamtin Mohager, a longtime beat master whose penchant for dance-inducing music and reverence for '80s pop pushed him to create this solo project. Mohager points to a childhood of Persian music, then inspiration by Tears for Fears and Talk Talk, as the muse for his inner rhythms and keen sense of melody. After playing bass on tour with 3OH!3 for a few years, Mohager moved to Los Angeles for a change of scenery — and to write Wayward Fire, his second album.