The town of Hoboken, New Jersey is small – but mighty. It’s given birth to baseball, the music venue Maxwell's…and the rock band Yo La Tengo. Today: an indie rock history, told through one of its hardest working bands – and the place they’ve called home for thirty years. Plus: the New York band Outernational plays live.
Over the course of her career, singer and pianist Regina Spektor has gone from a cult figure in New York’s “anti-folk” scene to a major recording artist. With a new album out today called “What We Saw From the Cheap Seats,” she returns to our studio for a live perfomance. Plus: A look at the 25 new works added to the National Recording Registry, from the earliest-known commercial sound recording to Prince's "Purple Rain."
From Broadway...to Brooklyn. Today we revisit a favorite show from earlier this year, when Audra McDonald and Sharon Van Etten joined us in the Greene Space -- with two different takes on American popular song. You can watch the entire Greene Space performance below.
This is an encore presentation of Soundcheck.
As the story goes, bluesman Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil at Mississippi crossroads in exchange for his uncanny guitar abilities. Today, we're joined by Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad – who recently found that the truth behind the enduring rock myth is far stranger than the fiction. Plus: cast members from the Tony-nominated musical "Once" join us to perform live in our studio.
From Skrillex to Jam Master Jay, Spin's new list of 100 greatest guitarists of all time has plenty of names you might not expect. Today: a look at who’s in this new crop of guitar heroes, and -- who was left out. Plus, we ask you to nominate your favorite shredders. And, The Spinto Band joins us to play live.
Has food become the new rebel rock? Following last weekend's Great GoogaMooga food and music festival in Brooklyn, we host a Soundcheck Smackdown debate about the growing influence of foodie culture in music. Plus: New York City rapper Jean Grae previews her forthcoming album, Cake or Death, with a live in studio performance.
Dave Gahan is best known as the frontman of Depeche Mode - but these days, he's moonlighting with an entirely different project. Today on the show, Gahan talks about his new gig as the lead singer for the British music and production duo Soulsavers. Plus: They're an internet sensation - Project Trio’s cellist, bassist and beatboxing flutist play live.
We all have that one song that we just can’t stop listening to – just check out your iTunes "plays" column for proof. Today: we talk with a writer and neuroscientist about musical fixation - and ask you to share your "most-played" song. Plus, violist Garth Knox brings his trio in for a live performance.
Chuck Brown, the cherished innovator of Washington D.C.’s funky go-go sound, died on Wednesday, leaving a city in mourning. Today, we talk about the past, present, and uncertain future of go-go. Plus, Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds joins us in studio for a live performance.
The 78 Project is on a mission to record today’s musicians with yesterday’s technology - a 1930s PRESTO direct-to-disc recorder. We'll hear about the project and give it a go, as the project records our musical guest, Justin Townes Earle, live on the air.
Today, we look at the role that hazing can play in marching bands - following 11 felony arrests in the death of a Florida A&M drum major. Plus, songs inspired by Nicolas Slonimsky's 1947 book, “Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns.” And, a live performance from New York musician Cat Martino.
For most, concerts are for listening to music. But for some, concerts are for dancing to music – whether that means rocking out with an air guitar, suggestively maneuvering a hula hoop or diving into the mosh pit. As the outdoor concert season approaches, our Soundcheck Smackdown series continues with a fierce debate about concert dancing. Plus: A live performance from a band wants to make you dance - Brooklyn's Chicha Libre.
Tennis champion Serena Williams is the latest athlete to moonlight as a recording artist, joining the ranks of boxer Manny Pacquiao, basketball great Shaquille O’Neal and even the ‘86 Mets. Today: when jocks make music. Plus, a live performance from Icelandic singer and songwriter Ólöf Arnalds.
The ‘60s Gothic soap opera 'Dark Shadows' has returned via the big screen – and in new film, beloved vampire Barnabas Collins finds himself in 1972. Today, Soundcheck examines this memorable year in music with the film’s music supervisor and Rolling Stone senior editor David Fricke. Plus: A live performance from "Nice Work If You Can Get It" Broadway star Kelli O'Hara.
For almost 40 years, the late BBC radio host John Peel spun cutting-edge tracks and launched entire careers with his legendary “Peel Sessions.” Along the way, he amassed an enormous, meticulously organized record collection. Today, we look into John Peel’s archives - and the online museum that has become its home. Plus: Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo has a new solo record. He joins us with his band to play live.
Musician M. Ward has become quite the collaborator, as part of the supergroup Monsters of Folk and one half of the duo She & Him. Today: M. Ward shows off his solo side, with a performance of songs from his new album, “A Wasteland Companion.” Plus: Aaron Freeman, aka "Gene Ween," talks about his solo debut - based on the work of best-selling poet and balladeer Rod McKuen. And: We turn to the "Copy Cat" for a look at recent copyright capers.
Today: singer, songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright joins us for a live performance of songs from his new pop-tinged album "Out of the Game." And: five months ago, New York DJ Jonathan Toubin was left in critical condition after taxi cab crashed into his hotel room. He joins us to talk about his recovery - and a return to spinning records.
Glenn Frey is best known as a founding member of the Eagles. Now, the Grammy winner is releasing his first solo album in 17 years – a collection of classic love songs and vintage pop. Today, Frey talks about recording the music of his childhood. And, a live performance from Montreal singer/songwriter Patrick Watson and his band.
Today, we conclude our dance craze series with a look at what’s hot on the dance floor right now, with help from choreographer Joey Dowling and YouTube's hip-hop dance instructor, Brice Johnson, a.k.a. Professor Lock. Plus, the band Shearwater returns to our studio to play live. And, we take a moment to remember Adam "MCA" Yauch of the Beastie Boys.
Today, our dance craze series continues with a look back at the mambo wave that swept through New York in the mid-20th century. Plus: we hear about the nineties megahit that just wouldn’t stop – the Macarena. And, songwriter and producer Santi White, aka Santigold, talks about her new album "Master of My Make-Believe."
In the early 80s audiences at hardcore punk shows began pushing, shoving, and slamming into each other…in the friendliest of ways, of course. Today, our dance craze series heads into the mosh pit for a look at slam dancing. Plus, bassist Mike Watt of the punk band Minutemen joins us with a photo memoir. And, we get a preview of the new "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" music festival. Guests include guitarist Bryce Dessner, of The National.
Since Cab Calloway recorded the “Call of the Jitterbug” in 1935, the term has been closely tied to acrobatic dances like Lindy Hop and swing. Today, Soundcheck’s dance craze series continues with Chris Calloway Brooks - the grandson of the hep cat himself. Plus, we examine the deep African-American roots of American social dances. And, a live performance from a group that blends klezmer, hip hop and funk: Abraham Inc.