This week's pick for World Cafe: Next is Phèdre, a Canadian band that also serves as a highlight for this month's Sense of Place: Toronto series. The group was named by singer Daniel Lee and bassist April Aliermo after Nancy Sinatra's alter ego in "Some Velvet Morning," the classic duet with Lee Hazlewood.
The band released its second album — the synth-laden, oozy and outrageous Golden Age — in October. Listeners can hear and download two songs from the record with today's podcast.
This segment from Nov. 19, 2010, is part of our Vintage Cafe series, in which we revisit some of our best studio performances.
Originally formed in Toronto in 1998, the indie-pop band Stars features singer Torquil Campbell, keyboardist Chris Seligman, singer-guitarist Amy Millan and bassist Evan Cranley. After the release of 2004's Set Yourself on Fire in the U.S., Stars became a huge buzz band for songs like "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead" and "Ageless Beauty."
Divided & United is the name of a new, two-disc collection of songs from the Civil War. The selections tell tales of fear, loneliness, exhaustion and triumph. All recordings featured on the album, which was produced by Randall Poster, are new takes on old songs; historian Sean Wilentz wrote the liner notes for the record.
The collection features lesser-known songs of the Civil War, some by a songwriter named Henry Clay Work. According to Wilentz, Work was a key member of a group of composers that wrote the history of the era through song.
"I always claim I that like to improvise, so I need to prove it," says Nils Frahm as he sits down before a setup completely new to him and cobbled together for this in-studio performance at KEXP. Lately, the young German minimalist composer has been exploring the spaces between things, between the extemporaneous and the rehearsed, between live and recorded, between intimate and public — and most definitely between classical music, electronica and pop.