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Meet Stephen Kallao, World Cafe’s new Contributing Host

Stephen Kallao

Meet Stephen Kallao, the new Contributing Host of the World Cafe. He joins Cafe Host Talia Schlanger and contributor David Dye, as the newest member of the WXPN programming team. As Contributing Host, Kallao (pronounced like the band’s name) will assist in producing the program’s radio and digital special features, as well as hosting shows, and conducting interviews. Continue reading →

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Remembering The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie with Talia Schlanger of World Cafe

Gord Downie of Tragically Hip | photo by Andrew Chin | via NPR Music

In May of last year, Gord Downie announced that he had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, and that he was going on tour with his band. Courage. The Tragically Hip played its last show of that tour on August 20, 2016, in Kingston, Ontario. It was broadcast on television and online by CBC, and nearly 12 million people saw it. That’s about 1 out of every 3 Canadians. I was there in person and I’ll never ever forget it. Continue reading →

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Listen to Emily Saliers’ World Cafe session ahead of Thursday’s show

Emily Saliers | photo by Galea McGregor for WXPN

After over three decades creating iconic, memorable music as one half of Indigo Girls, Emily Saliers has struck out on her own with debut solo album Murmuration Nation, out now. Saliers recently stopped by World Cafe to play a few songs from the record; you can stream her full performance and inspiring conversation with Talia Schlanger below via NPR Music, and watch the video of Saliers playing “Fly” right here in the XPN Performance Studio via VuHaus. Continue reading →

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Get to know Slingshot, a new artist-championing collaboration backing Big Thief, Jamila Woods and Lo Moon


Teased this spring at the annual NonCOMM-vention, the new program Slingshot is an artist-championing collaboration between NPR Music and 18 VuHaus member stations — including founding stations WXPN, WFUV, KCRW, KUTX and The Bridge.

Over the summer, programming staff from the member stations each nominated a handful of artists to throw their support behind over the coming year. The submissions were reviewed, and the stations came to a consensus — Big ThiefJamila Woods and Lo Moon would be backed by Slingshot affiliates through interviews, editorial coverage, live performances and more over the next several months.

“Everybody in this room knows the impact of public radio on artist development,”  XPN general manager Roger LaMay told the crowd at NonCOMM this spring. “It’s really been essential with NonCOMMs and public radio writ large to pool our resources and work together to grow our impact.” Continue reading →

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Just Announced: NPR Music and World Cafe bring The National to Philly, performing entire new album LIVE

The National | photo by Graham Macindoe | courtesy of the artist

Over the last two months, excitement for The National’s new album, Sleep Well Beast, has been building as they’ve released three singles and performed a handful of new songs in Paris during a live-streamed Pitchfork concert. Now, WXPN’s World Cafe and NPR Music have just announced a LIVE First Listen performance, happening three days before the album drops, from right here in Philly on September 5th! Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Jade Jackson performs her first (ever) encore

Jade Jackson | Photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

Jade Jackson makes me want to invest in a good pair of cowboy boots and try (for the umpteenth time) to get into country music. The singer-songwriter from California brought her twangy, rocking tunes to World Cafe for XPN’s Free At Noon series today, and from her command of the stage and strong presence I never would have guessed that this was a performer on just her first national tour. Continue reading →

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Dan Auerbach is Everywhere: Dan and Dan Podcast, World Cafe, new album

 Dan Auerbach | photo courtesy of the artist
Dan Auerbach | photo courtesy of the artist

It’s Dan Auerbach Week in this corner of the musicsphere — you’ll be able to hear The Black Keys’ co-founder in the mix on the Dan and Dan Podcast, and he’s the guest of Talia Schlanger on World Cafe.

On Friday, Auerbach released his sophomore solo album Waiting on a Song; it was produced at his own studio, Easy Eye Sound, and released by his new label of the same name. The record is a product of Auerbach’s move to Nashville, where he tells Dan Reed during an interview at this year’s Non-COMM that “I’d lived in Nashville for eight years, and I had never done that songwriting thing that Nashville is known for. So I started doing it and I really fell in love with it. Then I sort of started recording those songs and that’s how this record happened.” Continue reading →

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Listen to our 1967 #TBTXPN Spotify playlist and World Cafe Sgt. Pepper’s special

For the first #TBTXPN Throwback Thursday on June 1st, WXPN celebrated the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and the golden year of music that was 1967. Listen to our Spotify playlist of 171 songs – 10 hours of music – curated by the hosts of WXPN – Kristen Kurtis, Dan Reed, Helen Leicht, Mike Vasilikos and World Cafe host Talia Schlanger. Continue reading →

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Watch PWR BTTM’s World Cafe performance of “Now Now” with Kiley Lotz of Petal

PWR BTTM | photo by Galea McGregor for WXPN
PWR BTTM | photo by Galea McGregor for WXPN

Adorned in rainbow face-paint and glittery makeup, and surrounded by special-guest friends, PWR BTTM shared their forthcoming sophomore effort Pageant with Talia Schlanger and the World Cafe crew in a session that premiered yesterday over on NPR.

In addition to the VuHaus video of “Answer My Text” that accompanied the session, which highlighted just one of the standout singles we’ve gotten to preview ahead of the LP’s May 12th release, the team also captured the short and spunky “Now Now” featuring backing vocals from Petal‘s Kiley Lotz.

Continue reading →