Music

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Robert Elllis On World Cafe

Jul 20, 2016

Singer-songwriter Robert Ellis released his self-titled fourth album earlier this year. A gorgeous, stylistically diverse roots-country record whose songs are made more real by the human characters in his lyrics, the album was chosen by the NPR Music staff as one of 2016's best so far.

Zdzisław Beksiński, a Polish artist who was brutally murdered in 2005, surreally captured the darkness of humanity with hellish landscapes and nightmarish figures. His work adorns the cover of Mizmor's second album, Yodh: Two grim creatures float over a fading grey horizon, one with mouth agape, as if to swallow the earth whole. It's a fitting image for the existential dread in Mizmor's looming, blackened doom metal, which is both sublime and mesmerizing.

Birds Of Chicago On World Cafe

Jul 19, 2016

Birds Of Chicago's JT Nero and Allison Russell have been making what they call "secular gospel" records together since 2012. Before that, the now-married couple had worked with other bands — including, in Russell's case, the Canadian roots-music group Po' Girl. The duo's new album, Real Midnight, was produced by Joe Henry.

In this session for World Cafe, Russell and Nero perform songs from the new record and discuss touring as a young family.

John Doe On World Cafe

Jul 18, 2016

John Doe has been a founding member of the L.A. punk band X, a solo artist, an actor, a member of the folk-rock band The Knitters, and now the author of a new memoir about the early days of L.A. punk, titled Under The Big Black Sun. Doe also has a new album out, titled The Westerner, on which he performs a song with his former wife and fellow X founder, Exene Cervenka.

When I first heard You Got Me Singing, a new record by Amanda Palmer and her father Jack, I thought, "How sweet. They probably sang many of these songs together long ago." Then I discovered how wrong I was.

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