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Soundcheck from WNYC

WNYC’s source to hear your favorite bands and discover new ones, with live in-studio performances, interviews, and tips on wading through New York’s ever-vibrant concert scene. Hosted by John Schaefer.

Total Episodes101
06/26/2017
22 minutes
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Portland, Oregon-based Pink Martini whisks listeners away on globetrotting musical journeys, singing in Armenian, Portuguese, Arabic, French & Xhosa, among many other languages - and that's just their latest record, Je Dis Oui!. Their founder, pianist Thomas Lauderdale, recently described the group this way: "If the United Nations had a house band in 1962, we aspire to be that band." The 'little orchestra'- some 12-members strong, takes over our studio.   
06/22/2017
30 minutes
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Galway-raised troubadour Adrian Crowley pens dark and beautiful, immersive and overwhelming songs, which are just the thing for a quiet evening of solitude by candlelight. Haunting and full of promise, Crowley’s eloquent song-stories are delivered in a rich baritone, weighted with pent-up longing; the accompanying textures range in size from the Crash Ensemble, a smaller string section, to solo piano or guitar, or mellotron & electronic treatments. Crowley plays an intimate set of songs live in the Soundcheck studio.   RIYL: The Magnetic Fields, The National, Nick Cave, Nick Drake
06/19/2017
25 minutes
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Full of buzzing energy and ready to burst, guitarist Benjamin Booker is a punk & grit-infused songwriter whose ecstatic and soulful sounds channel vintage soul-rock, gospel and blues. The Tampa-born musician recently took up residence in Mexico for inspiration, then had a crisis of conscience while observing from abroad the news of police shootings and Black Lives Matter protests. His second record, Witness (ATO Records) is an outlet for his examination of self and society, with collaborators ranging from producer Sam Cohen (Resistance Radio: The Man In The High Castle Album, Yellowbirds, Pavo Pavo, Apollo Sunshine), engineer Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes), and the great Mavis Staples. The fiery Benjamin Booker joins us live in the studio.   
06/15/2017
30 minutes
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Led by singer songwriter and man-about-town Adam Schatz, the Brooklyn-based five piece Landlady brings their art/pop sound to our studio along with a string quartet. Drop into the wonderful, ever-experimenting wall-of-sound world of their latest record, The World Is A Loud Place, and watch via Facebook Live. (Note: Adam's last visit to our studios was as the recap duo Previously on Lost.) RIYL: Man Man, Vampire Weekend, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, Randy Newman, music-that-is-good.   
06/15/2017
7 minutes
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Pianist Randy Weston has been exploring the African roots of American music – especially jazz – since the 1950s. Last night, NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston received a Legends of Jazz Award at the Smithsonian Affiliated National Jazz Museum in Harlem.  As a web extra, hear a melting pot of jazz, blues, Chinese, Cuban, West African, and North African music from his visit in the studio this past May with Selieu Suso (kora) Min Xiao-Fen (pipa) & TK Blue (flute).
06/12/2017
30 minutes
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This session has ended. Follow us @soundcheck on Twitter or subscribe to our podcast in iTunes, and we'll let you know when the audio is ready for download & streaming! With a mix of funky horns, the swoon of pedal-steel guitar, and a helping of the blues, the New Orleans-based 7-piece outfit, The Revivalists, dig into all kinds of roots for their soulful rockenroll “with jam band tendencies” (Michael Bialas, HuffPost.) Fresh from their appearance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, they’ll play their hearts out for us in the Soundcheck studio.   
06/08/2017
30 minutes
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The English-born, Brooklyn-based singer and guitarist Tamsin Wilson writes songs that tell stories, but not in the boy-meets-girl, boy-kills-girl, someone-writes-a-song-about-it style of an old folk ballad. Her stories are more elliptical and interior, closer to the type of thing that Nick Drake was doing back in the 70s, and they can be heard on the new album called I Go Missing In My Sleep. Wilson leads the band called Wilsen, whose dream-folk/dream-pop is a combination of finger-picked folk guitar, crisp rhythms, and electronic flourishes, all supporting her silky, soothing voice. The band plays a couple of songs from that album for us in the studio. RIYL: Nick Drake, Arcade Fire, Explosions in the Sky
06/05/2017
35 minutes
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Alan Gilbert, when he took over the New York Philharmonic, in 2009, became the first NY-born Music Director of the ensemble. Gilbert wraps up his tenure with the orchestra this June, and somehow in his farewell time, he was able to visit with Soundcheck. In the podcast, he modestly recounts how he came in hoping to re-establish the personality of the NY Phil, how he challenged the group to achieve a “new normal,” – working with the orchestra as part of any production to make it an event, from balling up pieces up paper and throwing them at Gilbert, having a tea party & dancing during “Petrushka,” and that he made sure to bring back composers-in-residence. Gilbert also lingers on the highlights of his time: mounting György Ligeti's work, “Le grand macabre,” the Contact! Series, and the NY Phil Biennial. Many thanks for the past eight years of creative leadership, Maestro! 
06/01/2017
27 minutes
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George Winston is one of the best-selling pianists of any style, ever. His albums in the 1980s, like December and Winter Into Spring, were platinum sellers and made the Windham Hill label an unexpected music industry success story. He’s also been a champion of Hawaiian slack key guitar music, covered Vince Guaraldi’s music for the Peanuts TV specials, and done an album of songs by The Doors as piano solos. And, he’s a cancer survivor. His new album, Spring Carousel, was written in the hospital where he was recovering from a bone marrow transplant, and will benefit cancer research. George Winston joins us to play songs from the new record. 
05/29/2017
26 minutes
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The Dover Quartet is a gifted young string quartet who were just awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant in March 2017, and have quickly become sought-after interpreters of classical and new music repertoire. They are also all fans of the original series Twin Peaks (thanks to streaming services), and specifically of composer Angelo Badalamenti’s moody score for that David Lynch show. At a previous edition of Chamber Music Northwest, Brooklyn-based composer Daniel Schlossberg discovered that the Dovers were fans, and he set about writing them a new composition drawing on Angelo Badalamenti’s original. The Dover Quartet joins us to play selections from Schlosberg’s “Twin Peaks Fantasy” in our studio.  See the Dover Quartet play the first movement of Schlosberg’s Twin Peaks Fantasy: