This week's pick for World Cafe: Next is Melbourne, Australia's Courtney Barnett. The 25-year-old singer and guitarist has been self-releasing EPs since 2012; two of them were recently combined to form The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas.
This segment, from Jan. 5, 2007, is part of our Vintage Cafe series, in which we revisit some of our best studio performances.
Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, recently returned to the world of popular music with An Other Cup, his first secular studio album in 28 years. The disc contains old songs that were never recorded, songs he wrote in the last couple of years, and songs that he came up with on the spot, once he reached the studio.
Brett Dennen appears on this episode of Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Cultural Center Theater in Charleston, W.V. Capable of cranking out big, beautiful pop songs complete with splashy keyboards, catchy hooks and danceable beats, Dennen can strip the same songs down to just his voice and a guitar with equally captivating results.
When NPR Music started inviting musicians to perform at Bob Boilen's desk back in 2008, we never could have expected that we'd one day host The Dismemberment Plan. For one, the D.C.-area group had long since disbanded; for another, its fleshed-out and periodically funky sound wouldn't seem to lend itself to vastly stripped-down arrangements.