Talia Schlanger

Talia Schlanger is a host and radio producer at World Cafe, produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. Schlanger joins the World Cafe team straight from CBC, Canada's public broadcaster, where she hosted a triple-A radio show on Saturday and Sunday mornings. She was the on-camera host for two seasons of the CBC television series CBC Music: Backstage Pass, which saw her interview some of Canada's best and brightest artists. Schlanger also hosted several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor featuring Serena Ryder, CBC Music SongCamp and the CBCMusic.ca Festival Special 2015. Schlanger served as the the interim host of CBC Radio 2's Canada Live and was a regular guest host on CBC Radio One's flagship artist and culture show q. She also filled in on Canadian current-affairs radio shows including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Some of her favorite music interviews include St. Vincent, Tanya Tagaq, John Fogerty, Barenaked Ladies and Grimes.

Schlanger's first project at CBC was as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip which won a Canadian Screen Award in 2014. She was also the digital producer for Hockey Night In Canada Song Quest, CBC Music's search for the next great hockey song.

Born and raised in Toronto, Schlanger is a proud alumna of Ryerson's Radio and Television Arts program. She's also a professional actress, singer and voiceover artist. Schlanger spent most of 2012 performing in the first national tour of Green Day's rock opera, American Idiot, at various theatres throughout the United States. (She thought she would be really cool when she met Billie Joe Armstrong after he watched American Idiot. She was not cool at all.) She has also performed on stage with Mirvish Productions' original Canadian company of We Will Rock You, as well as in the ensemble and understudying lead roles in Scaramouche, Oz (Canon Theatre, 2007/2008), and in Mamma Mia! (Royal Alexandra Theatre, 2003/2004).

Robert Randolph has built an entire life and career on the gospel that music is religion. His musical education began in Orange, N.J., at the Pentecostal House of God church, where the walls ring out with a lively, powerful style of music called sacred steel. It's based around the pedal steel guitar — a 13-string instrument that found its way into African-American churches in the 1930s, and has since become an integral part of praise.

Danish songwriter Agnes Obel's session might give you the shivers for more than one reason. Her latest album, Citizen Of Glass, was named for a pretty eerie concept. "I got the idea from the German term gläserner mensch, which is the term you use when an individual in a state has lost all his or her privacy," she says.

Note: The audio version of this interview touches on sensitive topics, including Steve Jones' experiences of drug addiction and sexual abuse.

Think back to your college days and you can probably name at least one band that got together in its members' dorm rooms and played a couple of sweaty late nights at the local campus dive bar, but didn't make it past graduation. If that's the college-bar-band rule, Arkells is the exception. The band formed more than a decade ago in the dorms at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and last week it returned to that same city to headline its first sold-out arena show. It was a full-circle moment for a band that's earned its fans one bead of sweat at a time.

Relationships are hard work. Music is hard work. And somehow, these magical musical couples manage to make both work at the same time. It's beautiful, it's enviable and it deserves celebrating. So happy Valentine's Day from World Cafe to these 10 past guests: lovebirds who are also bandmates.

Hear the Valentine's Day special in the player above and stream the complete sessions from the World Cafe archives below.


Break out the tissues, because Aurora says, "I have always enjoyed watching my songs make people cry."

Ty Segall is never predictable. He's a rock 'n' roll shape-shifter who has dabbled in experimental garage, British-influenced space rock, fuzzed-out acoustic folk and psych-pop. He has performed entire shows wearing a rubber baby mask, he's dressed as a mad scientist while explaining a concept he calls "emotional mugging" and, just for kicks, he's filmed himself smashing a toilet with producer Steve Albini.

If Keith Richards put on a poodle skirt for a production of Grease and you added a 40-piece orchestra, you might have something resembling Foxygen's new record, Hang. Just released today, it marks the follow-up to the band's 2014 album ...And Star Power, and it cements Foxygen's reputation as eccentric and theatrical purveyors of pure fun.

Edna Vazquez grew up in Jalisco, Mexico — the same place that gave birth to mariachi music. Although the style was traditionally reserved for men, in 1998 Vazquez (who now lives in Portland, Ore.) became one of the first female mariachi vocalists and vihuela players in the Pacific Northwest. Since then, she has earned hard-won respect for her spectacular guitar playing and passionate, forceful vocals.

For their debut album, the members of The Shelters got as good a helping hand as it gets: Tom Petty gave the band the keys to his recording studio and an invitation to open up for his band Mudcrutch on tour.

Bobby Rush is one of the last living blues legends of his generation. He toured the South and the chitlin' circuit in the '50s and was often forced to perform music behind a curtain for white audiences. Shortly before the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Rush heard through fellow Chicago bluesman J.B.

In 2014, Angel Olsen reportedly told her publicist that she didn't want to do any more photo shoots in front of trees. That was the year she released her breakout record Burn Your Fire For No Witness, a melancholy heartbreaker that, in some cases, got her pigeonholed as a sad country singer. And lonely photos in front of trees weren't helping.

'Tis right around Christmas and wherever you go
It's "Run Rudolph Run," "Jingle Bells," "Let It Snow"

And while classics are great, and you love them no doubt
You may feel a little bit jingle belled out

But don't fret, for musical Santa is here!
With a playlist that brings you hip holiday cheer!

Hey Rosetta! delights with a sweet, heartfelt jam
Plus Sufjan Stevens with some holiday Ham...mond

There's a bit of magic in everything Regina Spektor touches. In her early days, she captivated New York's East Village crowd by tapping a bench with a drumstick with one hand and exercising her classical piano training with the other — all while speak-singing and belting her way from indie darling to icon.

Prolific guitarist Ryley Walker says his musical aim is "to freak [his] audience out ... in a nice way". He was schooled in what he calls the "weirdo scene" — in Chicago's experimental independent clubs, where the name of the game is improvisation and every song is simply a jumping-off point for endless exploration. Walker's latest record, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, is his third in three years and a stunning follow-up to his 2015 instrumental release, Primrose Green.

Latin Roots: iLe

Dec 14, 2016

Puerto Rico's Ileana Cabra is a bona fide rising star on the Latin scene, and a recent Grammy nominee. For the last decade, she has cut her teeth singing and rapping with her older brothers in Calle 13. Now, she goes by iLe and has released her first solo record, iLevitable.

In 1981 in Osaka, Japan, three young women with a shared love of the Ramones, The Beatles and the Buzzcocks decided to quit their office jobs and start a band. 35 years later, the members of Shonen Knife have cemented their status as cult heroes and pop-punk icons.

Amanda Shires first hit the road when she was 15 years old, as a fiddler with the Texas Playboys. Between releasing four of her own solo records and playing with the Thrift Store Cowboys or with her husband Jason Isbell's ensemble, The 400 Unit, she's been on the road ever since. Until recently, when — at 34 weeks pregnant — she decided it was time to take a break from the road, waddle home and sit down for a minute.

It's a pop-culture phenomenon that's both surprising and enduring: The people of Mexico love Morrissey. A lot. The mopey rock star from Manchester who was the lead singer of The Smiths is basically a god, both in Mexico and among Latinos living in southern California.

On the cover of Aaron Lee Tasjan's new record Silver Tears, he almost looks the perfect picture of an Americana star. He's wearing a cowboy hat, he's got a brooding expression and he's walking thoughtfully under a cloudy sky. And then there's the Bonanza-meets-disco-ball suit. Bejeweled with hand-glued pieces of mirror, it's a fitting outfit for an artist whose avant-garde and often irreverent approach reflects Americana back at itself.

You could call him the King of the Chitlin' Circuit. You could call him the Godfather of Folk-Funk. You could call him the last of his kind, a blues legend who played alongside Muddy Waters and earned the respect of B.B. King, cutting his teeth with the greatest of the great in 1950s and '60s Chicago. He calls himself Bobby Rush — never just Bobby.

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