Before Guatemalan actor and singer Oscar Isaac auditioned with the Coen Brothers for the title role in their new film, Inside Llewyn Davis, his friends told him that he would love the brothers — and that he wouldn't get the part or ever hear back from them. They were right about him loving the filmmakers, but not so much when it came to Isaac getting a call.
British actress Carey Mulligan plays a tough-skinned woman by the name of Jean Berkey in the new Coen Brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis. In the movie, she sings alongside Justin Timberlake in the duo Jim and Jean, but has issues with the film's title character.
On Friday's episode of World Cafe, Mulligan talks with host David Dye about how playing the part was liberating, and how the challenge to sing live proved to be an enjoyable experience.
Back in 2005, we talked with Elijah Wald about his biography of folksinger Dave Van Ronk, The Mayor of MacDougal Street. Wald was Van Ronk's guitar student and finished the book after the influential musician died in 2002.
Pretty Lights is the stage name of Derek Vincent Smith, who describes his sample-based music as "electro hip-hop soul." Smith, an EDM DJ, has built up a large live following for his music, which he's given away on the Internet.
Mason Jennings appears on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.V. Raised in Hawaii by way of Pittsburgh, Jennings has made his home in Minnesota for the past two decades. During that time, he's built a loyal following throughout the Upper Midwest and beyond.