The Swiss-German duo Boy has enjoyed worldwide success with its charming debut album, Mutual Friends. Members Sonya Glass and Valeska Steiner met in 2005 at a six-week song workshop and quickly developed a rapport.
In this installment of World Cafe, the two discuss the nuances of writing in English, and describe how their friendship grew along with their musical success.
Paleface makes his first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. A product of New York City's 1990s "anti-folk" movement, the singer first learned to write songs and record demo tapes from iconic outsider musician (and West Virginia native) Daniel Johnston. Paleface went on to influence many important musicians, including his onetime roommate, Beck.
Moving on to other news in education, last week hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre and music producer Jimmy Iovine announced that they would be giving the University of Southern California $70 million to create a degree that will blend business, marketing, product development, design and liberal arts.
When Igor Stravinsky began composing The Rite of Spring, his ballet for vast symphonic forces, he could hear the music in his head but couldn't quite figure out how to write it down. It was just too complicated.
Each time I see James Blake and his band perform, I feel the extreme rush of hearing something for the very first time. The sound is sharp and visceral; it oddly vibrates the hair on my arms and, at moments of extreme bass, gets me feeling claustrophobic before the inevitable release when Blake sings. It's hopeful, mournful, always thoughtful.
Throughout Kobo Town's new album Jumbie in the Jukebox, frontman Drew Gonsalves declares his love for the past even as his feet are firmly planted in the present. The music of the Toronto band can drift between classic Caribbean pop styles and even verge on hip-hop, but the singer's perspective remains sharply focused, wry and witty. The song "Postcard Poverty," for example, ribs tourists for whom tropical slums become an exotic backdrop to fun-in-the-sun adventures.