The Blasters with Dave and Phil Alvin were an integral part of the Los Angeles punk scene in the 1980s, as well as the blues scene and even the cowpunk scene. Their high energy R&B was hard to deny. Phil sang, Dave played guitar and wrote songs. They parted acrimoniously in 1986, and it wasn't until last year's album of Big Bill Broonzy songs, Common Ground, that they recorded together again.
Check out this video of an unusual interview with art director and album cover designer Gary Burden. He takes us up and down Laurel Canyon and discusses his experience living there in the '60's and '70s.
We get the history of the bohemian area of Hollywood known as Laurel Canyon from historian and author Harvey Kubernik. His book Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon describes the musically fertile area that has provided escape for Angelenos since the 1920's.
Jackson Browne is World Cafe's guest for the full hour today. The singer-songwriter and social activist has long resided at the heart of Los Angeles' famed Laurel Canyon sound.
A star for more than 40 years, Browne recently released a new album called Standing In The Breach. In this episode, he performs with his full band at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia and discusses his early days.
All this week, World Cafe is taking a look at Los Angeles as part of its Sense Of Place series. For World Cafe: Next, Kevin Bronson of the website Buzzbands.la calls attention to the band Dorothy, which he describes as "old-school rock without the clichés." Hear and download two of its songs on this page.
Back in 2012, it was an important year for Josh Tillman. That was the year he unleashed his Father John Misty persona on the world, with his debut album Fear Fun. It was also the year he met and fell in love with a photographer and filmmaker; their relationship became the inspiration for the songs on his new album, I Love You, Honeybear.
In hour one of Tuesday's installment of World Cafe, we talk with Elvis Costello and The Roots' powerhouse drummer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson about how they met and came to utilize hip-hop techniques to make a non-hip-hop record. Costello and The Roots unveiled their collaborative album Wise Up Ghost last week — it's a project they'd made in semi-secrecy.
Musically speaking, we travel to Iceland for Monday's installment of World Cafe: Next. Our featured artist is Ásgeir, a 21-year-old singer-songwriter who's on his way to making history. After releasing his debut album (In the Silence) in his homeland last year, the singer has the best-selling and fastest-selling debut album ever in Iceland.