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).

Rev. Sekou is a preacher, pastor and social activist with music in his blood. In this session Sekou is joined by the North Mississippi Allstars — whose members Luther and Cody Dickinson produced his new album, In Times Like These — for a performance recorded onstage at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

There are as many ways to celebrate summer as there are cover versions of George Gershwin's "Summertime." Maybe you're looking forward to hot fun in the summertime or slathering on sunscreen so you can soak up the sun.

Girlpool was formed by musicians Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker a few years ago after they met at a DIY space in Los Angeles. In 2015 Tividad and Tucker released their debut record, Before The World Was Big, as a duo — just two voices, two instruments (bass and guitar) and a whole lot of radical honesty.

(Sandy) Alex G has been making music since he was a teen — mostly in his Philadelphia bedroom. But he ventured downstairs in 2016 to contribute guitar stylings to Frank Ocean's albums Blonde and Endless. (Sandy) Alex G's latest album, Rocket, is his eighth, and we thought that was a mighty impressive output given that he's still in his early 20s. But he sees it a little differently, as he explains in this session. He also performs warm, heartfelt music with a homegrown touch.

We're almost halfway through the year, so we here at World Cafe decided the time was ripe to look back on the best of 2017 so far. In case you haven't noticed, it's been a pretty stellar year for new music.

Our guest in this session is The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, whose new solo album is called Waiting On A Song. The record is a product of Auerbach's move to Nashville, where he met some of the heavy collaborators who appear on it — including John Prine, who co-wrote the title song.

When it comes to today's guests, mystery is the name of the game. The band's name is the symbol of a triangle. It's pronounced alt-J. You won't find pictures of the three stars of the band very many places — certainly not on the cover of its new record, which features a drawing of an anonymous red body on the side of a highway. And not in the music video for the album's first single, which stars a scurrying wood mouse.

Forty years in, Blondie has a new record called Pollinator. The band's 11th studio album, it features original members Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Clem Burke.

Pokey LaFarge joins World Cafe to perform new songs from his latest album, Manic Revelations. LaFarge lives in St. Louis, right near Ferguson, Mo., which he says inspired his song "Riot In The Streets." He puts it this way:

Listening to Pinegrove's music gives you that warm feeling of spending time with old friends — familiar, nostalgic and endearingly rough around the edges. And although its 2016 album Cardinal got a lot of love from critics, Pinegrove is a young band that still practices in the basement of one member's parents' house in Montclair, N.J.

World Cafe has a pair of brothers and a pair of cousins — plus one — in the studio today. Together, they're Melbourne's Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. In this session, we chat about the band's Cinderella story: It went from late-night bedroom jams to signing a record deal with its dream label, Sub Pop.

Joshua James' new album is called My Spirit Sister. Released a little over a decade into his career, it features staggering honesty — the kind of stuff that's difficult to say out loud, let alone sing. For example, James wrote the song "Millie" when his wife was pregnant with their second child and he was having severe doubts. "I really just had no idea how to cope with it," James says. "Should I just leave this gal with her mom and just depart and try to start again? What am I to do?"

Josh Tillman, a.k.a. Father John Misty, joins World Cafe to chat and to perform songs from his new album, Pure Comedy. In this session we talk about Tillman's childhood: He spent his formative years at a Pentecostal school, where he was regularly told there were demons inside of him that needed to be exorcised — a process Tillman says is strangely relaxing.

You hear a lot of different types of music on World Cafe, but you may not have ever heard anything like Tanya Tagaq, who has collaborated with Björk and won Canada's prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

As the old adage goes, "you never get a second chance to make a first impression." Fifty years ago — May 12, 1967 — the Jimi Hendrix Experience made about as tremendous a first impression as it gets. The band's first full-length record, Are You Experienced?, is widely considered one of the greatest debuts in rock and roll. It introduced audiences to pyrotechnic psychedelia, amps that were at once incendiary and melodic and an artist that would define the dreams of nearly anyone who picked up a guitar for years to come.

You might have seen Maggie Rogers wowing Pharrell Williams in a viral video that captures the time she played him her song "Alaska" during a master class at NYU. In the video, as "Alaska" plays, you can see Pharrell is feeling it — and when the song ends, he gives Rogers his feedback: "Wow. I have zero, zero, zero notes for that. And I'll tell you why.

Jesse Hale Moore is based in Philadelphia, where he got a leg up on his debut solo record from two members of local favorite sons The War on Drugs — bass player Dave Hartley did some producing early on, and drummer Charlie Hall plays in this session.

At this moment in the music industry, the regular model for releasing a record has been pretty much blown apart. Artists can release singles or EPs online at any time, in whatever format. That can have some pretty interesting results, as it did for Hanni El Khatib.

The New Pornographers just released its seventh album, Whiteout Conditions -- and it's power-pop harmony heaven. This is music that moves your body and your brain, a hybrid that chief songwriter AC Newman says he envisioned from the beginning:

Here at the World Cafe studios, we have a bunch of different microphones for artists to use when they come in to perform. The other day, our senior producer, Kimberly Junod, pulled out one that had been used a couple weeks ago — and it was covered in face paint, lipstick and glitter. She showed it to the rest of us and said, "Give you one guess who used this last."

Hip-hop-flavored indie-rock band Portugal. The Man joins us in this session. And for a danceable band of low-key, really nice dudes from Alaska, Portugal. The Man has stirred up some controversy. It all has to do with the super-catchy, danceable radio hit "Feel It Still".

The musical mastermind and human frontman of Gorillaz, Damon Albarn, started writing Humanz more than a year ago, before Donald Trump was the Republican nominee for President.

Andy Shauf's latest album, The Party, landed on last year's short list for Canada's prestigious Polaris Music Prize. It's filled with songs that chronicle the awkward moments and juicy encounters that can happen at a house party in a small town: the half-wit spilling his guts after a bottle of wine, the friend making late-night confessions to his crush while her boyfriend stands oblivious and stoned in the corner, what it feels like to be the first person to show up at the party.

Happy April 20, or — in certain circles — 420 day. The history around April 20's unofficial designation as Weed Day around the world is a little hazy. Some say it started with the Grateful Dead. Others say 420 is police code for "pot smoking in progress." Still other stories start with "The Waldos," a group of five friends who say they coined the term 420 in 1971 to refer to a certain hour of the afternoon. There are probably as many stories about 420 day's origins as there are strains of the herb.

Gabriel Garzón-Montano's latest record, Jardín, is liquid-smooth, intricate and organic. It's the sum of Garzón-Montano's many influences: the slick pop of New York City, the cumbia flair of his Colombian dad and even hanging out with famed minimalist composer Philip Glass when he was 5 years old:

You wanna talk about stories? Kristin Hersh has stories. You might know Hersh as the frontwoman for the innovative late '80s-early '90s alt-rock band Throwing Muses or the hard-rocking power trio 50 Foot Wave. She's also an author — her 2010 memoir Rat Girl was named No. 8 on Rolling Stone's "25 Greatest Rock Memoirs of All Time" list.

Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman's new record is called Life Will See You Now. It feels sort of like going to a tropical roller disco with your therapist — and it comes after a period of colossal frustration that led Lekman to dump an entire truckload of his records in a landfill. As he tells it: "I felt like ... I need to find my way back to finding how to take something bad and make something beautiful, how to pour manure into a espresso machine and have a cappuccino come out."

In this session, we bring you a performance from Tame Impala's touring bassist, Cameron Avery. His debut solo record sounds nothing like what you're used to hearing from him with the band. Instead, picture Dean Martin swooping down to light a cigarette in the back alley behind some lover-laced boudoir, and you've sort of got the idea.

In this session, we're shining a spotlight on two elements that never seem to take center stage: backing musicians and music without words. But trust me, they deserve the limelight. Steelism is a Nashville duo made up of ace guitarist Jeremy Fetzer and pedal-steel player Spencer Cullum Jr.

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