World Cafe welcomes back Oregon duo The Helio Sequence, featuring Brandon Summers on vocals and guitars and Benjamin Weikel on drums and keyboards. They recently released their self-titled sixth album, which contains some of their most refined pop music yet.
This week's World Cafe: Next pick is Sydney's Meg Mac, who was named Triple J radio's Unearthed Artist Of 2014. While Mac's big voice is a major part of the attraction, it's her intense live connection that brings her gospel-tinged soul music home. In this segment, you can hear two songs from the MEGMAC EP — and download World Cafe: Next podcasts at worldcafe.tumblr.com.
For My Morning Jacket, the place in which music is recorded makes a difference in the experience — and the outcome. The band's new album The Waterfall was recorded near Stinson Beach in Northern California, and singer Jim James describes the beautiful vista outside the studio's giant window in this World Cafe interview. James says that waterfalls specifically inspired him, and that he often thinks about being able to stop one with his mind.
Eco Del Sur is a group of Philadelphia-area Latin musicians whose mission is to explore the wide variety of music from South and Central America, with an emphasis on Andean culture. At the audio link above, hear World Cafe's conversation with longtime leader Jorge Gomez and a set from the show's first-ever Latin Roots Live event.
You'd think it would be difficult for Brian Wilson to pick his favorite Beach Boys song, but he's decisive: It's "God Only Knows." In this conversation on World Cafe, he also says that while he loves the new Wilson biopic Love & Mercy (out Friday), there are parts that were hard for him to watch.
Our World Cafe: Next artist this week is a roots band we happened upon during the first weekend at Jazz Fest in their hometown, New Orleans. The Deslondes, named after a local street, grew out of an earlier incarnation of Hurray for the Riff Raff and still sometimes tour with that band's Alynda Lee Segarra, a fellow New Orleanian.
"Latin Roots" meets our "Sense of Place: Philly" series as Philadelphia-based reporter Aaron Levinson plays some local Latin music. First up is the "political and funky" El Malito & the 33rd Century, followed by El Caribefunk, a band that splits its time between Philadelphia and Colombia. We also salute Pupi Legarreta, an important figure in Afro-Cuban music who emigrated to the U.S.