David Dye

David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafeis produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dye launched his distinguished broadcasting career as host of a progressive music show on WMMR 93.3 FM, a pioneering progressive rock station in Philadelphia. During his four-year tenure, Dye won accolades for his taste and laid back presentation. After a five-year stint programming radio stations in Maine, he returned to Philadelphia where he gained public radio experience at WHYY before being recruited in 1981 by alternative rock station WIOQ 102.1 FM where he made his mark on the music scene for nearly a decade.

In 1989, Dye took his musical quest to WXPN where he hosted the station's Sleepy Hollow radio program. Two years later, Dye was asked to spearhead research on the viability of a new public radio program. The research revealed an audience need for a new kind of musical format - one that was intelligent, diverse and would give musical guests a showcase for their artistic expression. Based on the findings, Dye went to work to create a unique program of musical discovery where listeners would be introduced to an eclectic blend of contemporary sounds from legendary and up-and-coming artists. World Cafewas born.

Since launching World Cafein 1991, Dye has served as the host of this nationally acclaimed show, now syndicated on more than 250 public radio stations across the United States. Every week, Dye brings out the best in interviews with internationally known artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and Joni Mitchell. He has conducted nearly 4,500 interviews during his 20 years with the program. He introduces a half-million listeners each week to newcomers like Vampire Weekend, Mumford & Sons, PJ Harvey, Sheryl Crow, Beck, LCD Soundsystem and Amos Lee.

World Cafe and Dye have received numerous awards including: two NFCB Gold Reel Awards, Album Network's "Best Triple A Air Talent," five Philadelphia Magazine's "Best of Philly Awards," the Philadelphia Chapter of NARAS "Hero Award," the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award and numerous radio industry trade magazine citations. In 2006, Dye was named the "Triple A Air Personality of the Year" by Radio & Records.

American singer-songwriter and producer Matthew E. White and folky English artist Flo Morrissey teamed up for an album of covers called Gentlewoman, Ruby Man.

While preparing for my departure from World Cafe as full-time host, I've been looking back on the last 25 years of the show.

Ryan Adams On World Cafe

Mar 30, 2017

Is Ryan Adams' new album, Prisoner, as heartbreaking as Heartbreaker, his classic 2000 solo debut? In this session, we do talk with Adams about breakup songs, but he says that some of the somber songs on Prisoner came at a different stage in his life. "Strangely, as heavy as the record is for some people, I wrote it when I was very much falling down a rabbit hole of feeling very romantic again in my life," he says.

Sylvan Esso On World Cafe

Mar 29, 2017

Sure, the incredibly intuitive duo Sylvan Esso is releasing its second album, What Now, on April 28, but here's something even better: a chance to hear the new songs before the record's out. Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn — on voice and electronics, respectively — performed a selection live in concert at World Cafe's recent 25th anniversary celebration.

For 30 years, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips has been pulling musical ideas from his giant hamster ball, guiding his merry band through creative ups and downs.

Timothy Showalter is the band called Strand of Oaks. Originally from Indiana, Showalter now lives in Philadelphia, where he's reimagined himself as a rocker after releasing a couple of quieter albums. This latest phase of his career started with his well-received 2014 album Heal; he recently released the follow-up, Hard Love.

The 1970s was an incredibly diverse decade for recorded music: from hippie folk at the start to disco, punk, the rise of reggae and the very first stirrings of hip-hop. At the beginning of the decade, Frank Sinatra had a song on the charts for 122 weeks. There was soft rock, metal and country. Album sales and progressive radio were huge.

All this is true. That's why it is so fascinating to look at the songs that ended up at the very top of Billboard's pop chart for each year of the decade — they certainly don't always represent all the change that was going on.

What's the best way to become the unchallenged expert on a particular genre of music? Invent it. Enter JD Ryznar, Hunter Stair, David B. Lyons and Steve Huey: coiners of the description "yacht rock," creators of a hilarious web series of the same name and now de facto captains of the genre.

Guitarist Harvey Mandel was on the very short list to replace Mick Taylor in The Rolling Stones, but you've probably never heard of him — or even heard him play. Mandel grew up playing in Chicago blues clubs in the early '60s and made a breakthrough record with Charlie Musselwhite called Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite's South Side Band.

Music was a solace for Chris Robinson long before he and his brother Rich formed The Black Crowes. "Being a little weirdo, outsider, dyslexic kid from the Deep South in the early '70s, to me music and art was an oasis away from everybody," he says. When the brothers dissolved their longtime band for good a few years ago, Chris formed the Chris Robinson Brotherhood with guitarist Neal Casal and others.

Cameron Avery may have a day job as the bassist in Tame Impala, but bandmate Kevin Parker, kept encouraging him to make his own album. After relocating from Perth to Los Angeles, he made Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams, an album of romantic songs that's influenced by older favorites like Johnny Hartman and Sarah Vaughan but also nods to Nick Cave and Scott Walker. Producer Jonathan Wilson inspired Avery to explore his baritone voice more, and a sound combining new and old was born.

Jain On World Cafe

Mar 6, 2017

Jain's debut album, Zanaka, is an irresistible, eclectic pop record with a freshness to its songs. At 25 years old, the French singer has traveled and lived all over the world, including childhood stints in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the Republic of the Congo. Along the way, she discovered African percussion and rhythms, which permeate the tracks on her new album and in this one-woman performance. Watch it in the video below and stream the complete session in the player above.

Here's something that shouldn't be news: We love sharing new music with you on World Cafe. And just in case you miss the show, or feel like diving into some after-hours extracurricular discovery, we've assembled a handy-dandy Spotify playlist with some of our favorite new jams just for you.

We'll be updating the playlist as we dig through the never-ending stacks of CDs that populate our desks, and we hope you enjoy these tunes as much as we do.

Dave Hause On World Cafe

Feb 28, 2017

Dave Hause comes from the place where punk and classic rock collide. On his new album, Bury Me In Philly, he's found the sweet spot between his hardcore background and his innate love of Led Zeppelin and the Stones.

When you hear that a band is from Detroit, you might expect clever, loose and melodic pop. But Bonny Doon, built around the songwriting duo of Bill Lennox and Bobby Colombo, isn't descended either from The Stooges' hard rock or from Motown. Instead, the band boasts a mix of hazy pop gems that gather strength from Lennox's sharp lyrics. Bonny Doon released some demos as an EP in 2015 and has a self-titled debut LP coming next month. Hear two songs in the downloadable segment above.

The Infamous Stringdusters' newest album, Laws Of Gravity, admirably demonstrates how these stellar bluegrass players are pushing the music forward.

Nikki Lane On World Cafe

Feb 16, 2017

Nikki Lane's new album, Highway Queen, showcases her husky voice, soaring country twang and killer attitude. She grew up in South Carolina and now calls Nashville home. But it was by no means a direct trip to Music City; Lane's interest in fashion took her to Los Angeles and New York before her music career took over.

Rubblebucket's new EP, If U C My Enemies, is especially significant for bandleaders Alex Toth and Kalmia Traver. The two have been a couple since meeting in the music program at the University of Vermont and forming the band, which released its first album as Rubblebucket Orchestra in 2008.

Melbourne, Australia's The Outdoor Type is the project of songwriter Zack Buchanan. His music draws on his love of some '80s bands who just happen to be Australian as well — bands like The Church, The Go-Betweens and Australian icon Paul Kelly. Those influences are translated into something new on Buchanan's forthcoming album, The Outdoor Type, which follows a great EP released in 2016. Hear two tracks in this segment.

Chuck Prophet has lived the rock 'n' roll lifestyle almost from conception. Originally from Southern California, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area as a teenager and recorded eight revered albums with Green On Red before he was 20 years old. Since then he has recorded over a dozen solo albums that just keep getting better.

Mickey Melchiondo, a.k.a. Dean Ween, met Aaron Freeman, a.k.a. Gene Ween, in junior high. Together they created the band Ween, earning a reputation for musical eclecticism — and more than a little silliness — as well as a rabid cult following. Freeman left the group in 2012, and Melchiondo has since created the Dean Ween Group. The band's debut album, The Deaner Album, is out now.

Ron Gallo On World Cafe

Feb 7, 2017

Ron Gallo, who fronts the garage-rock band RG3, is from Nashville — sort of. Gallo moved to Music City in 2014, shortly after his Philadelphia band, Toy Soldiers, ended an eight-year run. Attracted by the emerging rock scene in Nashville, he picked up and moved south.

North Carolina singer-songwriter Tift Merritt arrived at our session with her new daughter, Jean, in tow. Jean's one of at least three new things in her life: She also has a new album, Stitch Of The World, and a new partner in pedal-steel guitarist Eric Heywood.

In a very short amount of time, 21-year-old singer-songwriter Tash Sultana has gone from busking in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia, to selling out concert venues worldwide. But the bigger challenge has been extracting herself from addiction and drug-induced psychosis, which threatened her mental well-being and her life. She credits doing only what made her happy for her recovery. That meant it was out of school and onto Melbourne's sidewalks, where she used a looping pedal to construct her own backing for her powerful songs.

By the time he was a teenager, Chris Thile was already a bluegrass prodigy on mandolin; he's since evolved into a MacArthur Grant-winning, genre-defying musical genius. Jazz pianist Brad Mehldau is equally revered, as his inventive playing has both the critical establishment and packed concert halls singing his praises.

Courtney Barnett has been one of our most beloved recent musical imports from Australia. Both 2013's double EP A Sea Of Split Peas and 2015's Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit were remarkable works of lyrical dexterity. (The latter earned her a Best New Artist Grammy nomination.)

Melbourne singer-songwriter Jen Cloher has pursued a wide-ranging and flexible career. She originally planned to study acting, but her passion quickly became music. Cloher released her first EP in 2005, formed a band called The Endless Sea and started garnering nominations for awards ranging from the ARIAs to the Australian Music Prize.

Courtney Barnett's record label, Milk! Records, is home to a wide group of Melbourne talent, including the very fun three-piece Loose Tooth. Friends Etta Curry and Nellie Jackson have known each other since the cradle; they added bassist Luc Dawson to complete the band. The trio released Saturn Returns early in 2016. Hear songs from that EP and a conversation above, and get a look at the band's performance as part of World Cafe's Milk!

If you thought that a band named King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard just had to make psychedelic music, you got that right. Out of the mind of leader Stu Mackenzie and the town of Geelong comes this incredibly prolific band that has put out eight albums in the six years it's been together. (That said, Mackenzie vows to never repeat himself.)

After realizing in music school how simpatico their interests were, Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs combined forces as Oh Pep!. The duo's humorous lyrics and off-beat instrumentation make for some very catchy tunes on its debut full-length, Stadium Cake.

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