For the first time ever, the United States is deploying a solid-state laser weapon. The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) successfully destroyed a drone in flight during a test run and will head to the Persian Gulf aboard the USS Ponce as part of what the military is calling an "at-sea demonstration."
The World Cafe crew recently traveled to Nashville, Tenn., the sixth destination in our Sense of Place series. We got to spend an entire week getting to know the musicians of this legendary city, including two of our favorite artists Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings. As you'll see, we spent almost as much time eating at amazing local restaurants as we did visiting Nashville's musical hotspots, including the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Buckle up — climate change could make this a bumpy flight.
That's according to a newly published study by two British scientists who say increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will make "clear air turbulence" — which can't be easily spotted by pilots or satellites — more common over the North Atlantic. That means the potential for gut-wrenching flights between the U.S., Europe and points east.
For our Sense of Place: Nashville week, we just had to showcase Luella and the Sun, which has made major fans out of Grimey's Records' Doyle Davis, other bands like Moon Taxi and NPR Music's Ann Powers.
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 7:26 pm
Today's guest, Leagues, provides a perfect start to World Cafe's week-long visit to Nashville, because it perfectly encapsulates the change going on there. A new rock band, Leagues was formed by an amazing singer, Thad Cockrell, who'd been so disenchanted with his alt-country career that he was ready to leave the music business altogether.
Picture a tiny town set along a creek in West Virginia. A mountain rises from the town's eastern edge, overlooking the 1,400 people living below. Then, July comes — and 50,000 people arrive on that mountain for the National Scout Jamboree.
The town is called Mount Hope. I've heard some call it "Mount Hopeless." The town went through the long, downward slump from the boom days of deep-mine coal, when it was a grand, small-town capital of coal mining.
Calexico makes its third appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded in front of a sold-out audience in Charleston, W.Va. Founded by singer-guitarist Joey Burns and percussionist John Convertino, Calexico has spent nearly two decades fusing spaghetti Western themes, surf music and alt-country into evocative desert rock. The band's lineup has expanded to include Jacob Valenzuela and Martin Wenk on trumpet, Sergio Mendoza on keyboards, Ryan Alfred on bass and Paul Neihaus on pedal steel.