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The Twist: A True Dance Revolution

Monday, April 30, 2012

The move itself was as simple as drying off with a towel – but the cultural shift that the Twist represented set off shockwaves around the world. Today, we kick off a week-long series on dance crazes as dance historian Sally Sommer joins us for a look back at the hip shaking revolution. Plus: we learn about the role television played in dance-fad history with author and TV producer Jake Austen. And: a live performance from vocalist Kat Edmonson.

Judy Garland: At the End

Friday, April 27, 2012

Broadway's latest British import, "End of the Rainbow,” explores the troubled final months of Judy Garland's life. Today: English actress Tracie Bennett talks about her stark portrayal of a diva in decline. Plus: We continue our Soundcheck Blind Date series. We're setting you up with the band Bright Moments.

Restaurant Radio

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New York City chefs are known for creating truly inspired dishes. Sometimes, the most important ingredient is music. Today: how songs are shaping the food you eat at trendsetting restaurants. Plus: singer LaLa Brooks got her start with ‘60s girl group The Crystals. She joins us to talk about recording songs like "Da Doo Ron Ron," "Then He Kissed Me" and more.

Punch Brothers: Live from the Greene Space

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Today, we’re broadcasting live from the Greene Space with the string band Punch Brothers -- featuring mandolin player Chris Thile...and a musician who made Rolling Stone magazine's list of “new guitar gods": Kaki King.

The Classical Music of Your Dreams

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

For musicians, it takes practice to get to Carnegie Hall. But to get audiences there, it takes programs – the more exciting, the better. Today, Soundcheck looks at how the music for orchestras is selected. And, we want to know: what type of program would inspire you to attend a classical concert? Plus: Composer Frank London talks about his new symphony - inspired by the borough of Queens. He joins us with writer and actor Judith Sloan to talk about their collaboration.

Boogaloo: ¡Que Funky!

Monday, April 23, 2012

In the 1960s and ‘70s, the boogaloo genre grew out of the Latin jazz, soul and R&B traditions in New York. Johnny Colon, the bandleader, pianist and educator behind hits like “Boogaloo Blues,” joins us for a look at boogaloo, past and present. Plus, Brazilian vocalist Paula Morelenbaum spent 10 years in famed songwriter Antonio Carlos Jobim’s band - she performs live. And: Why Broadway is bustling with new shows this month.

Joe Strummer's Rebel Music

Friday, April 20, 2012

The late Joe Strummer was more than a punk rocker. He helped give the punk movement a social conscience – both with the Clash and on his own. Today: a new book and documentary explore the enduring, passionate rebel music of Joe Strummer. Plus, a live performance from flamenco guitarist Pedro Soler and his son, avant-garde cellist Gaspar Claus. And, we remember the late Levon Helm.

Memories Through Music

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The work of the New York-based Music & Memory project has now been seen around the web – thanks to a touching clip from the new documentary “Alive Inside" that's gone viral. Today: The role that music can play in elder care, particularly in the lives of those suffering from dementia. Plus: we remember television host Dick Clark, who died on Wednesday -- and take your calls.

Tribeca Film Fest's Musical Offerings

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Tribeca Film Festival kicks off this week with a number of music-filled selections to choose from. Today: A preview of some of those films, including the documentary “Once in a Lullaby” – about Staten Island’s famous PS 22 chorus. Plus: Mexican guitar virtuosos Rodrigo y Gabriela perform selections from their new album, "Area 52."

Bob Marley's Legend

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

For years, big-name directors have struggled to make a movie about the late reggae legend Bob Marley. Now, a new documentary aims to tell the story behind the superstar. Today: Bob Marley’s eldest son, Ziggy Marley and filmmaker Kevin Macdonald tell us about "Marley." Plus, a live performance from fast-playing Minnesota bluegrass band, Trampled By Turtles. And, our weekly Pick Three.

Bonnie’s Blues

Monday, April 16, 2012

From her blues albums of the 1970s to her rock hits of the ‘90s, Bonnie Raitt has been a powerful presence in the American musical landscape for more than 40 years. Today, she joins us to talk about her latest release, called “Slipstream” – her first new album in seven years. Plus, a visit from another veteran performer: Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls joins us to play songs from her new solo album, "Lung of Love."

Questlove Does the Shuffle

Friday, April 13, 2012

The shuffle setting on iPods and digital music players has changed how we experience recorded music. Today, drummer Questlove of The Roots joins us to talk 'shuffle culture' – and take your calls. Plus: Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Toure and Israeli pianist/composer Idan Raichel perform live in our studio. And: ways that you can mark the Titanic centennial here in New York City.

Dar Williams: Modern Day Mythologist

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dar Williams tackles tough issues like mental health, religion, and gender roles through her music. Today: The singer-songwriter plays songs from “In the Time of Gods” – her forthcoming album pairing Greek mythology with social commentary. And: As the centennial of the Titanic disaster approaches, we listen to songs inspired by the disaster. Plus: We get your reactions to Axl Rose's open letter to the L.A. Times.

Werking It

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Electronic music band Kraftwerk is in the midst of a sold-out residency in New York – inspiring tribute concerts, ticket bidding wars, and spontaneous robotic dance-offs. Today, German singer and composer Theo Bleckmann joins Soundcheck to discuss the legacy of the synthpop pioneers. Plus: A live performance from Gypsy jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel.

Mega-Raves Go Mainstream

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rock icons like Bruce Springsteen still fill arenas. But concert promoters have seen the future of their industry and its name is “dance music.” Today: why mega-raves are going mainstream – and attracting some unusual investors. Plus: a live performance from the Vijay Iyer Trio. And: excerpts from John Schaefer's recent roundtable discussion with James Murphy and David Byrne.

Billboard Déjà Vu

Monday, April 09, 2012

Madonna and Lionel Richie are back at the top of the charts this week with brand new albums, giving us a case of Billboard déjà vu. Today: a sonic trip back to 1986, when the two stars last mingled in the Billboard Top 5. Plus: a visit from seminal '80s songwriters Suzanne Vega and Duncan Sheik, who will be performing together on tour - and live in our studio.

The Ring’s Reach

Friday, April 06, 2012

This weekend, The Metropolitan Opera begins performances of Wagner’s epic “Ring” cycle. Today: a look at how the "Ring" has left its mark on everything from Hollywood… to Bugs Bunny… to environmentalism. And, a reading of “Ring”-inspired haiku from critics, artists…and you. Plus, celebrated sitar player Anoushka Shankar joins us to talk about her new album, "Traveller."

New York is Voguing

Thursday, April 05, 2012

The 1990 documentary "Paris is Burning" chronicled the golden age of drag balls in New York City - and the birth of the dance style known as “voguing." Today, Soundcheck strikes a pose… and looks back at the history of the ballroom scene and its music with the director of the award-winning film. Plus: As we continue to solicit "Ring" cycle haiku, Bowery Poetry Club founder Bob Holman joins us to talk about the history of the 17-syllable poetry form.

Pet Sounds

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Just because you like jazz…doesn’t mean your pet does too. Today: how animals interact with human sound environments – including those that might be harmful. And, gather Fluffy ‘round the radio, for a sampling of music made specifically for cats. Plus, a live acoustic performance from Texan rock trio Girl in a Coma.

Gone Country

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

25 years later, Lionel Richie’s dancing on the ceiling again – but this time, he's in cowboy boots. Today: A Soundcheck Smackdown about the pop star’s new album of his greatest hits gone country, called “Tuskegee.” Plus: A look at other artists, from Bing Crosby to Bon Jovi, who’ve dabbled in twang. And: A new musical production of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” is set in the Wild West. Director Arin Arbus and the cast join us for a live performance.

Newsies on Broadway

Monday, April 02, 2012

The 1992 film 'Newsies' was a flop – but in years since has become a cult hit. Now, the story of scrappy New York street urchins selling newspapers is getting the Broadway treatment. Today: we look back at the real events that inspired the tale. Plus, a conversation with 'Newsies' composer Alan Menken. And, an exclusive stream of the new cast recording. Also on the show: a live performance from singer and songwriter Bhi Bhiman.