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(94)

Rank #180 in Performing Arts category

Arts
Music
Performing Arts
Music Interviews

Soundcheck

Updated 2 days ago

Rank #180 in Performing Arts category

Arts
Music
Performing Arts
Music Interviews
Read more

Live performances and conversations in which artists talk about their work, their process, and themselves. Genre-blind but open-eared. Hosted by John Schaefer.

Read more

Live performances and conversations in which artists talk about their work, their process, and themselves. Genre-blind but open-eared. Hosted by John Schaefer.

iTunes Ratings

94 Ratings
Average Ratings
68
15
3
3
5

Incredible

By bermudajune - Jan 09 2019
Read more
The most interesting podcast on contemporary music.

The best music interview show ...

By Yoko134 - Oct 27 2014
Read more
Soundcheck’s John Schaefer is one of the best interviewers in the business.

iTunes Ratings

94 Ratings
Average Ratings
68
15
3
3
5

Incredible

By bermudajune - Jan 09 2019
Read more
The most interesting podcast on contemporary music.

The best music interview show ...

By Yoko134 - Oct 27 2014
Read more
Soundcheck’s John Schaefer is one of the best interviewers in the business.

Listen to:

Cover image of Soundcheck

Soundcheck

Updated 2 days ago

Read more

Live performances and conversations in which artists talk about their work, their process, and themselves. Genre-blind but open-eared. Hosted by John Schaefer.

Rank #1: The Big Sound of Bayonne's Experimental Electro-Pop

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Bayonne is quite literally a one-man band. That one man is minimalist composer and experimental musician Roger Sellers, who’s based in Austin, TX, not actually Bayonne, NJ. Partly inspired by the big-sounding symphonic pop of the 1960’s, Roger stacks and layers his voice, synths, live instruments, and percussion through his live looping station to achieve his music. His latest album is called Drastic Measures and he’ll play some of these ultra-layered, textured songs, in-studio. -Caryn Havlik

Watch the session here: 

Jul 22 2019

39mins

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Rank #2: Intimate and Patient Atmospheric Pop by Helado Negro

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Miami-born, New York-based songwriter and electronic musician Helado Negro, (artist Roberto Carlos Lange) makes spacey folky electro-pop that is introspective, yet wide-reaching, utterly inviting and open; it pulses with the gentle power and warmth of loving and being loved.

The record, This Is How You Smile, is a collection of delicate and painstakingly-crafted confessionals and affirmations that are designed to work their way into your heart or your mind or your home, which he calls “the most dangerous art” (Interview with Pitchfork). He weaves in all kinds of unexpected sounds, with sonic contributions from Matana Roberts, Sufjian Stevens, Jenn of indie rock duo Wye Oak, and the violinist Jean Cook. Surreal and tender, all-embracing and inclusive, Helado Negro’s friendly croon swoops and flutters in both Spanish and English. He and his band perform music from his latest, This Is How You Smile, in-studio. - Caryn Havlik

Watch the session here: 

Apr 08 2019

33mins

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Rank #3: Baroque-Pop and Folk-Leaning Songs From Henry Jamison

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It would be easy to label the Vermont-based singer/songwriter Henry Jamison as a folk musician. After all, his voice sounds a little like Nick Drake, and he’s covered a song by Canadian folkie Gordon Lightfoot.  His songs are full of vivid and arresting imagery, and on this record, Gloria Duplex, he addresses toxic masculinity, drops in some feminine wisdom, draws on an Irish folk ballad, and distills psychological writings. The record was produced by Thomas Bartlett, aka “Doveman”, and contains bits and bytes of unexpected electronica that give way to sweet, anthemic, and richly textured baroque pop that hearkens to the 1960’s. Henry Jamison and his band play some of these songs, in-studio.

Set list:


    Gloria
    True North
    Reading Days

Jun 13 2019

31mins

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Rank #4: Indian Tabla Master Zakir Hussain's Percussive Wizardry

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Genius Indian tabla player Zakir Hussain, is one of the world’s exceptional percussionists. The son of Ustad Alla Rahka (who would have been 100 years old this year), Zakir is also a composer, improviser, and a great communicator in Persian, Gujarati, German, English, as well as in jazz, Afro-Cuban rhythms, Nigerian talking drums, or Indonesian gamelan. One of the most exciting ways that Zakir Hussain shares this deep and vast knowledge in performance is by way of the Masters of Percussion Tour – which is exactly as stunning as a music fan (especially a drum nerd) might ever imagine.

For this year’s tour, the ensemble includes the sitar virtuoso and instrument inventor Niladri Kumar, along with the extraordinary jazzer Eric Harland (Charles Lloyd, Dave Holland's Prism) on Western drums, and the Kerala Drummers from the Southwestern coast of India.

Zakir Hussain, Niladri Kumar, and Eric Harland join us in-studio for a sample of this astounding musical magic. - (NSAPA and drum nerd Caryn Havlik)

See the Masters of Percussion Tour in New York on Wed., Apr. 24, at Town Hall, 7:30 pm.

Watch the session here: 

Jul 25 2019

29mins

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Rank #5: Australian Bass Virtuoso Tal Wilkenfeld Shines a Light

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Australian-born Tal Wilkenfeld has made her sizable reputation by playing bass for some of the music world’s biggest stars – Prince, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck, the Allman Brothers. In March she released her first album of her own singing and songwriting, Love Remains, and perhaps unsurprisingly, it went right to the top of Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. Tal Wilkenfeld joins us in-studio with her band to play some of these tunes in-studio.

Set list:


    Killing Me
    Love Remains
    Corner Painter

Watch the session here: 

Jun 17 2019

29mins

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Rank #6: Bombay Bicycle Club Finds Solace in Music

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British guitar band Bombay Bicycle Club cites New York bands like LCD Soundsystem, The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs as inspiration. But since they signed to Island as teenagers more than a decade ago, they’ve run the gamut from indie-jangly-folky, then electro-based, and now growly yet melancholy guitar-based pop. Now back together after some time away, there is new hope in their riff-driven hooky sound, which is about finding solace in music. Bombay Bicycle Club joins us in the studio to preview songs from their forthcoming new record, Everything Else Has Gone Wrong. - Caryn Havlik

Watch the session here: 

Oct 24 2019

25mins

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Rank #7: Andrew Bird Creates Beauty and Endures

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On his latest record, cheekily titled My Finest Work Yet, Andrew Bird manages to embrace self-doubt, engages with both beauty and terror, and goes into the depths of the intimacy between adversaries, all the while leaving room to make things personal or escalate them to the international. It is with immense fan reverence and celebration that we welcome Andrew Bird to the studio to perform some new material from My Finest Work Yet-Caryn Havlik

Apr 29 2019

31mins

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Rank #8: L.A. Band La Santa Cecilia Sparks Joy With Salsa-Punk

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Los Angeles-based band La Santa Cecilia named themselves after the patron saint of music when they formed in 2007. Their Grammy-winning sound embraces cumbias, corridos, mambos, rancheros, rockenroll, reggae, and even a bit of New Orleans jazz. With topics ranging from folks’ addiction to social media, ICE keeping kids in cages and the immigration crisis, along with love songs and songs about paying the bills, their smart, vibrant, and timely tunes reflect Los Angeles’s mix of cultures. La Santa Cecilia joins us to play in-studio. - Caryn Havlik

Watch the session here: 

Oct 07 2019

29mins

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Rank #9: The Sweet, Slow Burn of Nakhane's 'Anti-Gospel' Pop

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London-based Xhosa singer, actor, musician, and author Nakhane (born Toure) grew up on a musical diet of Mozart, Handel, and South African choral pieces, along with Marvin Gaye and the O’Jays in South Africa, eventually wrenching himself away from a conservative Christian upbringing to accept, then embrace his sexuality. Now a leading voice among queer musicians, Nakhane seduces, swaggers, and charms with his tender falsetto in his sometimes dance-leaning, grandly orchestrated “anti-gospel” glam-soul-pop. In interviews, he has professed admiration for musicians including Anohni, Busi Mhlongo, David Bowie, Mbongwana Star and Nina Simone. He plays provocative and slow-burning songs from his latest, a collection called You Will Not Die, in-studio. - Caryn Havlik

Watch the session here: 

Jul 04 2019

32mins

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Rank #10: Nick Waterhouse Wants to Make You Boogie

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With his heavy horn section, electric backing vocals and a crack band, California soulful rocker Nick Waterhouse serves up a neo-noir concoction of modern rhythm and blues with surf-rock. Inspired by crate-digging in record stores for 45’s, Waterhouse has embraced the mid-century sound and is looking to make folks boogie. He and his retro-modern band play songs in-studio from his latest record, his fourth, a self-titled affair, Nick Waterhouse.   - Caryn Havlik

Watch the session here: 

May 23 2019

31mins

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Rank #11: Cosmic Funk by The Comet Is Coming

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London-based trio The Comet Is Coming are often described as a jazz band, although this is cosmic funky jazz where young musicians have incorporated elements of electronic music, hip hop, psych, and rock. This apocalyptic dance party jazz features Shabaka Hutchings on sax, Max Hallett on drums, and Dan Leavers on keys. Fresh from inciting rooms of folks to sweat and mosh in Austin, TX, The Comet Is Coming performs new material from their 2019 album, Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery, for us in-studio. -Caryn Havlik

Set list: 


    "Blood of the Past"
    "Birth of Creation" into "Summon the Fire"

Watch the session here: 

Apr 01 2019

37mins

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Rank #12: Saxophonist Matana Roberts Carves Out Her Own Musical Space

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Composer, saxophonist, and mixed media artist Matana Roberts presents her latest in the multi-chapter work Coin Coin project which documents the African-American cultural and historical experience. “Memphis,” which is chapter four, mixes jazz, blues, traditional songs, free improv, and Afro-futurism into a heavy sonic quilt of “21st century liberation music.” (Matana Roberts calls her approach “panoramic sound quilting.”) She "speaks memory," and "sings an American survival" in this chapter of the coin coin bloodline (Tiny Mixtapes), set in Memphis - home of Roberts’s grandmother- and around a story of a "wo(e)man chile named Liddie." Matana Roberts and her new band featuring Hannah Marcus on guitars, fiddle, and accordion; Ryan Sawyer on percussion; and Matt Lavelle on trumpet and bass clarinet, perform in-studio. - Caryn Havlik

Watch the session here: 

Nov 20 2019

41mins

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Rank #13: Singer Alice Merton Writes Songs So We Feel Good

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German-Canadian-English singer and songwriter Alice Merton crafts upbeat dance-pop tunes anchored by punchy-funk basslines, complete with swirling synths and chiming guitars. Growing up in Canada, she was classically trained in piano and voice. Later, her family moved to Germany, where she studied at Popakademie (the University of Popular Music and Music Business), before the family moved to England. With her best friend and manager, she created her own international label, and earlier this year, released her debut album, MINT. Alice Merton and her band join us to play some of those crafty-funk-pop songs. - Caryn Havlik

Set List: 

    Funny Business Learn to Live No Roots

Watch the session Here:

May 09 2019

29mins

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Rank #14: Orchestral Pop Band San Fermin's Enchanting Grandeur

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Brooklyn-based orchestral pop outfit San Fermin has a reputation for grand and enchanting music. Led by songwriter and composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone, and joined by new collaborators Attacca Quartet and harpist Lavinia Meijer, as well as talented vocalists and bandmates who play violin, trumpet, sax, percussion, and guitars, San Fermin's latest, ‘Cormorant I,’ is both a search for the profound and a dose of nostalgic reflection. Although the full record combines the elegance of chamber music and the immediacy of pop songs, they play some stripped-down versions of these tunes in-studio.  - Caryn Havlik

Watch the session here: 

Nov 04 2019

28mins

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Rank #15: Olivia Jean's Unusual Mix of Surf-Infused 'Bubblegum Garage'

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Detroit-born Nashville-based guitarist and songwriter Olivia Jean worked as a hairstylist and makeup artist before she was able to make music full-time (Mariana Timony, Bandcamp Daily.) She first cut her teeth as a Third Man Records studio musician, then with the garage-goth band, The Black Belles. She released her debut solo record of “bubblegum garage” Bathtub Love Killings in 2014, which had some heartache, revenge, and a bit of delightfully dark strangeness to it. Now with her latest, 2019's Night Owl, in which she had the controlling interest as producer, there are unavoidable undercurrents of surf rock dripping from nearly every song. The ‘weird girl …who cut class to play surf guitar alone in her room’ (Bandcamp Daily - and have you seen her ASMR Makeover video?), Olivia Jean, joins us with her mighty band to play songs from this latest record, in-studio. - Caryn Havlik

Watch the session here: 

Nov 18 2019

26mins

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Rank #16: Icelandic Duo Hugar Creates Glacial Soundscapes In-Studio

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The Icelandic duo Hugar is multi-instrumentalists Bergur Þórisson & Pétur Jónsson, who sculpt dreamlike layered soundscapes using keyboards, guitar, and electronics. Occasionally they’ll include other chamber players, including one Ólafur Arnalds. Sometimes the music is an attempt to “put our everyday experiences into sounds” – like “walking to school in a snow blizzard and riding your bike in the calm midnight sun” (Sony Masterworks). Their latest record is Varða, which translates to “cairn” in English. Hugar joins us in-studio to perform some of their music. - Caryn Havlik

Watch the session here: 

Sep 09 2019

33mins

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Rank #17: Cosmo Sheldrake's Eccentric, Strangely Alluring Pop

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London composer Cosmo Sheldrake is also a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. He’s got a knack for refreshingly playful and whimsical pop music that often incorporates natural sounds. On his latest record, The Much Much How How and I, the music gyres and gimbles like circus music meets forest-dwelling faeries in the wabe. There’s also a clever interplay of frolicking rhythms which perhaps reflects Sheldrake's work with young people. Cosmo Sheldrake performs some of his latest music in-studio. -Caryn Havlik

Aug 12 2019

31mins

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Rank #18: Guitarist Sarah Louise's Experiments in Drone-Folk

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North Carolina based composer and guitarist Sarah Louise is also one-half of the duo House and Land. Her music evokes forests and creeks and frogs, and when she’s on a 12-string acoustic guitar, combines both drone and folk (somewhat reminiscent of the fingerpicked styles of “American Primitive” guitar (think John Fahey, Jack Rose, Gwenifer Raymond, or Glenn Jones). She’s also recently released an album, Nighttime Birds and Morning Stars, built around improvisations on electric guitar, which were then processed and edited into gorgeous soundscapes that seem to represent natural environments (perhaps in a way similar to composer Kelly Moran's prepared piano and processing.) Sarah Louise and drummer Thom Nguyen join us to perform some completely new music in-studio.

Set list: 


    The Woods Are Full of Birds Again
    If You Build A Pond The Frogs Will Come
    Brightening Air

Jun 02 2019

36mins

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Rank #19: Anything Goes From Swedish Pop Trio Peter Bjorn & John

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Hear songs about darker days through a largely upbeat pop lens from Swedish trio, Peter, Bjorn and John. The Swedish trio will “probably never live down the whistling in their song “Young Folks”—an earworm if there ever was one.” (-John Schaefer) Their latest record, Darker Days, is an catchy and dancey, yet lyrically somber collection of songs, where the members find themselves digging into the past, taking on relationship issues, breaking their own bones (hence the imagery), to dig deep and work hard to get it together. PB&J play stripped-down songs for us, without John, in-studio. - Caryn Havlik

Jul 29 2019

26mins

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Rank #20: Luther Dickinson and Sisters of the Strawberry Moon

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The band Luther Dickinson and Sisters of the Strawberry Moon is a musical pot-luck with friends put together by Dickinson, the guitarist and co-founder of the North Mississippi Allstars. On their new record, Solstice, the guests at the gathering include singer-songwriter and upright bass player Amy LaVere, the secular gospel duo Birds of Chicago (JT Nero and Allison Russell), fife player Sharde Thomas, singer-songwriter and drummer Amy Helm (daughter of Levon), fiddle-playing singer/songwriter Lillie Mae, and the gospel soul of the The Como Mamas. And, "like a good host, Dickinson manages to put the spotlight on his friends" (New West Records). For this edition of the podcast, Birds of Chicago, Amy Helm, Luther Dickinson, and other folks play some new and traditional music in-studio.

Set list:


    Super Lover
    Kathy 
    Breathing

Apr 04 2019

32mins

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