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Podcast Soundcheck
Podcast Soundcheck



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  • Arabic Poetry-Infused Chamber Jazz by Layale Chaker and Sarafand (Archives)
    Violinist and composer Layale Chaker has done something exquisite in her music with the Ensemble Sarafand from the record, Inner Rhyme: she has gone about capturing the “shape and essence of epic testimonials on life, death, war and love that make the heart of Arabic poetry,” (Layale Chaker.) It’s an alchemical wedding of music derived from the form, rhythm and structure of Arabic sung poetry using chamber music instruments: her violin, along with piano, cello, double-bass, and hand percussion. Chaker and Sarafand perform some of these Arabic-poetry inspired, jazz-embracing chamber music works, in-studio. (From the Archives, 2019.) Watch the session here:    
  • Robyn Hitchcock's Playful and Poignant Songs, In-Studio
    Who wants to know what The Shuffle Man knows? The playful and surreal British musician and songwriter Robyn Hitchcock does. His latest batch of songs, 'Shufflemania!', is primed for the sub-personalities within - feathery serpent god, the shuffle man, vampire, scorpio tv detective. Robyn’s love of trams and Raymond Chandler are steady, as is his ability to balance the inane and the poignant in lyrics musing about inner lives, vegan casserole, crawling fish, hemlock-drinking, and the inevitability of death. Robyn Hitchcock plays songs from his latest, and a tune from his vast back catalogue, in-studio. - Caryn Havlik  Set: "The Shuffle Man", "Noirer than Noir", "The Man Who Loves the Rain", "Glass Hotel" Watch "The Shuffle Man": Watch "Noirer Then Noir":  Watch "The Man Who Loves the Rain": Watch "Glass Hotel":
  • British Singer-Songwriter Beth Orton Collaborates With Herself On 'Weather Alive'
    British singer and songwriter Beth Orton has found distinctive ways to blend her folky acoustic guitar-playing with the sounds of the electronic music world. But her latest record, Weather Alive, settles in a distinctly personal space where genres don’t so much collide as fade away, and the basis for the album wasn't guitar, but tracks she recorded on a beat-up, questionably-tuned upright piano she bought at a street market. Orton also says that she got to collaborate with herself - as she produced the record - and with that old piano, which "really spoke to me," (Pitchfork.) Additionally, in keeping with her wide ranging musical circle (she's worked with Chemical Brothers, William Orbit, Nick Cave, Emmylou Harris, Four Tet, to drop a few names), she collaborated remotely on Weather Alive with multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily, the Smile drummer Tom Skinner (Sons of Kemet), and guitarist Grey McMurray, and other folks during lockdown.  Beth Orton and her band play some of these tunes in-studio.  Set list: "Friday Night", "Fractals", "Arms Around a Memory" Weather Alive by Beth Orton
  • Discodelic Soul From Say She She
    The three singers who lead the group Say She She all like different things: 70s style New York dance music, classic soul and R&B, the swirling psychedelia of Turkish pop or Hindi film music. The resulting global pop is something close to ‘discodelic soul’ and revolves around the sweet harmonies of the three singers. Say She She has just put out a debut album called Prism, a post-disco confection built around the eclectic and thrilling harmonies of their three singers, Piya Malik, Nya Gazelle Brown, and Sabrina Cunningham. The full 7-piece band plays in-studio. Set list: "Fortune Teller", "Blow My Mind", "Prism", "Forget Me Not" Bonus Dance Moves in this operatic song, "Forget Me Not":
  • U.K. Punk Trio Big Joanie Makes Space, Takes Space
    Black Feminist Punk trio Big Joanie formed in London, but are now based over various cities in the U.K. Their sound is “punk” and… also looks to Riot Grrrl jaggedness and DIY sensibilities, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and girl group harmonies. Their 2022 album, Back Home, sees the band ruminating on the ideas of home, whether that’s in the U.K., back in Africa or the Caribbean, and considering how second and third generation communities of Black & Brown folks define themselves as British people. Borne of guitarist/vocalist Stephanie Phillips’s desire for a space “where I could be Black and be into punk and it wouldn’t be seen as a conflict”, Big Joanie began as a post on social media, (Kerry Cardoza, Bandcamp), and is named for Phillips’ mom. Stephanie Phillips of Big Joanie talks DIY and making one’s own culture, and the band plays remotely from their London recording studio. On a literary note, Phillips is also a writer and journalist, whose own book Why Solange Matters is out now, via University of Texas Press. Drummer/vocalist Chardine Taylor-Stone’s book, Sold Out: How Black Feminism Lost Its Soul, via Cassava Republic Press, is due out in late November of 2022. - Caryn Havlik Set list: “Your Words”, “Cactus Tree”, “Today” Watch "Your Words":

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