SoundcheckAuthor: WNYC Studios
23 May 2022


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Live performances and conversations in which artists talk about their work, their process, and themselves. Genre-blind but open-eared. Hosted by John Schaefer.

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    Jose Conde's Funk-Tropical Pop Refracts Miami's Musical Landscape

    Singer, songwriter, guitarist, and bandleader Jose Conde (of the tropical Latin dance band Ola Fresca) draws on the musical melting pot of Miami for his latest solo effort, Souls Alive in the 305. With some music inspired by cicadas and frogs, and George Clinton’s “Atomic Dog,” he combines funk, breakbeat, disco rap, rock n roll, Cuban music and salsa into songs that sound like “the Miami musical landscape of my youth.” Jose Conde and his band perform remotely for the Soundcheck Podcast. - Caryn Havlik

    Set list: “Fallen From Eternity”, “Poetry in Motion”

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  • Posted on 23 May 2022

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    Members of British Band Porridge Radio, Live From The Greene Space

    Part art-rock, part post-punk, Porridge Radio is a band from Brighton, UK, led by singer and guitarist Dana Margolin. Her earliest songs were full of imagery of the sea and the seaside town where the band resides, and the latest collection of songs are intense, addressing joy, fear, and endlessness - and full of dry wit. Now that they’ve had a restful 2020, Margolin and bandmate Sam Yardley (keyboards, drums) play stripped-down versions of tunes from their new record, Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky. The session was recorded live (with a real audience!) in The Greene Space, in early May. 

    Set list: “Back to the Radio,” “Trying,” “Birthday Party,” “Jealousy”, “Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky”, "Sweet"

    Watch "Back to the Radio":

    Watch "Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky":

    Watch "Sweet":

    Watch the entire live set from May 2022 in The Greene Space:

  • Posted on 19 May 2022

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    Wardruna: Nordic Folk Music of the Ancients, Rooted in Nature (Archives)

    Norwegian band Wardruna creates music born of Nordic history, Norse runes and nature - and is led by multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Einar Selvik, who composed music for the TV series Vikings. (He was formerly the drummer in the black metal band Gorgoroth under stage name Kvitrafn, for those keeping track.) 

    Hear a captivating combination of old and recreated Norse historical instruments: Tagelharpa (bowed harp-lyre), birchbark lure (a trumpet), goat horns, Kraviklyra, instruments from nature: stones, bones, trees, fire and ice, along with sounds captured in nature, vocal techniques of many kinds, and ancient poetry. The 2018 record, Runaljod – Ragnarok, is the third of a trilogy of musical interpretations of each of the twenty-four old Nordic runes (the word rune can also mean magical song). Wardruna performs some of their unusual, spiritual, ancient sounding-modern ritual music in-studio. (From the Archives, 2018.)  -Caryn Havlik

    Set list: "Wunjo," "Isa," "Helvegen"

    Watch "Helvegen":

  • Posted on 16 May 2022

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    Bette Smith: Muscular Soul at a Fever Pitch (Archives)

    Bette Smith was born and raised in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn – but on her debut LP called Jetlagger she draws on the gospel she sang in the church and the soul music she heard on the block on hot summer nights music growing up on the corner of Nostrand and Fulton.

    On the 2018 record Jetlagger, the tunes range from originals to covers of Staples Singers and Isaac Hayes classics, showcasing Smith’s deep, confident, and powerful voice. Amidst rugged, muscular arrangements that hearken to the timeless sounds of Mississippi and Memphis soul and funk, Bette Smith barely contains a New York aggressiveness and passion, and piles on the sexy. Smith and her band play some of these songs, in-studio. (From the Archives, 2018.)

  • Posted on 12 May 2022

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    Manchester Rock Band elbow Makes Joyful, Emotive, Orchestral Songs (Archives)

    The rock band elbow (small "e") hails from greater Manchester and makes subtle, sensitive, anthemic, joyful music, sometimes augmented with the strings of the Hallé Orchestra, (which they did not bring with them.) Guy Garvey’s vocals and wordplay are perched atop a well-orchestrated but never overwrought blend of melodic bass, guitar and piano riffs, and pulsing percussion, all the while squeezing out a wide range of bottled emotions onto expansive life paintings. They’ve referred to themselves as "prog without the solos" (AllMusic). elbow plays music from their 2017 album, "Little Fictions" in-studio. (From the Archives, 2017.)

  • Posted on 09 May 2022


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