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Adele's Pioneering Vocal Surgeon; Cody ChesnuTT; That Was a Hit!?!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cody ChesnuTT performs live on Soundcheck in the Greene Space at WNYC. Cody ChesnuTT performs live on Soundcheck in the Greene Space at WNYC. (Michael Katzif / WNYC)

In This Episode: John Colapinto, staff writer for The New Yorker, tells us about how a Boston-based surgeon saved Adele's career -- and how he's helped to treat other singers famous and not-so-famous.

And: Ten years ago, R&B singer-songwriter Cody ChesnuTT broke loose with a stunning debut -- and a song that was covered by The Roots. He plays from a new album called Landing on a Hundred.

Plus: Another installment of our series That Was A Hit!?!

 

Guests:

Cody ChesnuTT and John Colapinto

The Savior Of Lost Voices: A Vocal Surgeon's Story

Back in 2011, things looked murky for British singer Adele, even though she was selling millions of copies of her album 21. A benign polyp on a vocal cord had reduced her voice to a raspy whisper, and it was uncertain whether her singing career could continue. Pioneering vocal surgeon Steven Zeitels gets profiled by The New Yorker.

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Cody ChesnuTT Lands On A Hundred

Singer-songwriter Cody ChesnuTT released his debut album, The Headphone Masterpiece, in 2002 -- a bedroom-produced outpouring that earned him critical accolades and a nomination for the Shortlist Music Prize. A song from that album, "The Seed," even ended up being re-recorded on The Roots’ album Phrenology.

It took ten years, but in 2012 ChesnuTT returned with his long-awaited follow-up full-length, Landing On A Hundred. ChesnuTT joins Soundcheck in The Greene Space to play some of his latest material, accompanying himself on piano and guitar.

He also talked with us us about how much of his new music is autobiographical, particularly the confessional song "Everybody's Brother" which includes lyrics like "I used to smoke crack back in the day" and "I used to walk out on my family."

"It's a good mashup of my own personal stories and stories that I've experienced through family members and community," he said. "But doggin' the nice ladies, or shifting the blame, or rejecting accountability -- I'm guilty of those things." 

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That Was A Hit?!?: Will To Power, 'Baby, I Love Your Way / Freebird Medley'

In our occasional series That Was A Hit!?!, we look at songs that snuck onto the pop charts and achieved improbable success. This week, Paul Ford -- contributor to online magazine The Morning News and writer of his own blog F-Train -- dug out this gem "Baby, I Love Your Way / Freebird Medley" by Will To Power.

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A street banner from Austin, Texas during South By Southwest 2011.

Binge-Listening Before South By Southwest

In just two weeks, roughly 2000 acts will descend upon Austin, Texas as part of the annual South By Southwest Music Festival. To prepare, producer Michael Katzif is listening to some-1000 mp3s to hunt down new bands to check out. Listen to an ongoing Spotify playlist of bands performing at SXSW.

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Check Ahead: The Kingsbury Manx, 'Bronze Age'

Over the course of six full-length albums, the long-running psych-folk foursome from Chapel Hill, N.C. has eschewed trends, and instead refined the craft they know: Their chamber pop has spark and crackle, the kind of warmth that is full of familiarity without formula. Hear the band's latest album Bronze Age in its entirety.

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Desaparecidos

Gig Alert: Desaparecidos

Long-dormant Omaha punk group Desaparecidos returns to New York at Webster Hall Tuesday night. Download "Greater Omaha"

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