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).

In this session, we welcome Deer Tick into our studio. This is a band that can go from in-your-face to introspective on a dime – and they do, on their new set of two full-length albums, Deer Tick Volume 1 and Volume 2. The former is folkier with just a little bit of a bite, while the band gets heavy and lets their punk influence rip on Volume 2. And although the music sounds different on both sides, the lyrics share the clever craft that's made Deer Tick beloved purveyors of both humor and heart.

Talk about building a buzz! Slingshot artist Lo Moon wowed us with its first single "Loveless" in September 2016. They let it percolate for a good eight months before unleashing its follow-up single, "This is It" in May. And today, they give us "Thorns" — the third single off a debut album to be released in early 2018. Suffice it to say, this is a new band that's taking time to get it right.

The War on Drugs' A Deeper Understanding is epic. Ambitious. Huge. Case in point: the first single they released, "Thinking of a Place," clocked in at over 11 minutes. But make no mistake – this isn't the work of a noodley jam band. Every sound is deliberate, every dynamic is thoughtful, and the build is brilliant. That's thanks in large part to the way lead singer and songwriter Adam Granduciel works.

In this edition of Latin Roots we've got a session with La Vida Bohème. As our pal Rahsaan Lucas at AfroTaino Productions has said - think The Clash playing disco in Venezuela. La Vida Bohème makes anthemic rock and roll that exudes charisma. But at its center, you'll find political activism and hope in the face of extreme danger.

Deadlines and pressure can sometimes be the enemy of art. Take them away, and you're left with wide open space for creativity. That was the key for today's guest, Grizzly Bear, in making the band's new album called Painted Ruins.

As one half of Indigo Girls, Emily Saliers owns one of the most important voices of a generation. It should come as no surprise to those of us who have spent a lot of time with Saliers' voice that her debut solo album, Murmunation Nation, teems with warm sounds and winding words that oscillate between the urgent and the eternal.

We here at the World Cafe spend fall in Philadelphia — but wherever you're experiencing the season, we've got an all-autumnal playlist for you.

You barely have to listen through a full verse and chorus of a Lilly Hiatt song to feel like you've connected instantly with a new friend — one who's warm and gritty in all the good ways, who welcomes you up to her porch and holds the screen door right open.

Charles Bradley died on Saturday at the age of 68, a mere six years after releasing his debut album, No Time For Dreaming. We were lucky enough to have him perform as a guest on the World Cafe in 2013 and in 2016, and we revisit those sessions today in memory of the beloved "Screaming Eagle of Soul."

In this session of World Cafe, we've got four superstar musicians for the price of one: Carlos Santana, one of the greatest guitarists of all time; Cindy Blackman Santana, a virtuoso jazz and rock drummer who spent decades as the backbone on world tours for artists like Lenny Kravitz, and her now-husband Carlos; and Ron and Ernie Isley, the two main surviving members of the legendary Isley Brothers.

It's always kind of a miracle when two people find each other and fall in love. And that's what happened to my guests, the duo known as Amadou & Mariam. But their story is even more miraculous. They're both from Mali; they both lost their eyesight as kids — Mariam was 5, and Amadou was 16. They met each other at the Bamako Institute for the Young Blind in the '70s, fell in love with each other's musicianship and went on to get married and become global Afropop sensations.

Portland, Ore.'s The Decemberists and British singer-songwriter Olivia Chaney have teamed up to cover traditional English (and Irish and Scottish) folk songs under the name Offa Rex.

On the coattails of releasing his new album Bone on Bone, the Canadian troubadour Bruce Cockburn joins World Cafe for a performance and interview.

In this session, you've got a front row seat at a Latin Roots concert by Colombian ensemble Tribu Baharú. Of course, you're not gonna need that seat — this isn't exactly a band that inspires sitting down.

Tribu Baharú plays its own version of champeta, a style that originated in African communities on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. It's high octane music in motion — you'll hear what I mean in the band's performance at Nuevofest this past July, which you can hear in the player above.

Ride On World Cafe

Sep 12, 2017

Along with contemporaries like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, Oxford's Ride was seen as one of the definitive bands in 1990s shoegaze. The band had success in the '90s with a fervent fanbase and music that crept up the UK charts.

You might remember the band Alvvays for its hooky song "Archie, Marry Me," the breakout single off its 2014 self-titled debut album. The strength of that song turned the unknown band from Toronto into instant indie darlings.

Alvvays didn't try to change its sound too much with its new, second album. As lead singer Molly Rankin and guitarist Alec O'Hanley told me in our chat, they kept the same spirit of jangly jams with dark lyrical undertones, filtered through a summer's haze.

In this session, we welcome Gordi to World Cafe. The Australian singer-songwriter just released her lush full-length debut, which she created while working her way through medical school. In fact, when we spoke in August, she was just a few weeks away from her final exams.

Philadelphia's The Districts is the kind of band you just have to see live — and I'm so happy to share some of the band's explosive energy with you, from a live performance at the World Cafe.

Of course, that's not to say The Districts' recorded music isn't impressive — it is. And the band has been at it for some time: its debut release, Telephone, came out in 2012, when the members were still in high school.

Robyn Hitchcock's latest, self-titled album is slick, surrealist, psychedelic and oh-so-smart. Over the past 40 years, Hitchcock has released more than 20 records between his solo material and his work with The Soft Boys, the psychedelic art-rock band he founded in 1976.

The National is about to release its seventh studio album, Sleep Well Beast, on September 8. But days before it comes out, on September 5, the band is going to play that record in its entirety live for NPR.

So you wanna be an outlaw?

OK, that's not my challenge to you; it's the title of the new album by Steve Earle. His goal with the album was to channel Waylon Jennings, and he brought in some heavy hitters to help — like Willie Nelson and Miranda Lambert, who both sing on the album.

Latin Roots: Balún

Aug 28, 2017

Our Latin Roots series continues with this mini-concert by Balún. The band's style is so textured and musically diverse that it had to come up with its own genre to describe its sound; the members call it "dreambow." It's where shoegaze-pop meets pan-Caribbean identity, with elements of Puerto Rican music and references to the Jamaican dancehall roots of reggaeton.

If you were anywhere near a radio around 1998-99, there's no way you missed these lyrics: "Closing time / I know who I want to take me home!" Those lyrics were sung by our guest Dan Wilson, frontman and songwriter for the band Semisonic. "Closing Time" was a huge hit and career-maker for that band when it came out in 1998.

In this session, I'm bringing a little bit of my hometown of Toronto to you by way of The Wooden Sky. The band first blew me away at a live show about a decade ago. And then I realized the very tall lead singer looked familiar – hey, that guy was a teaching assistant in my radio production class back at University.

Whatever time it is where you're listening right now, let's pretend for a minute that it's the early '90s, 3 a.m. You're somewhere in the New York area, tuned in to WKCR, absolutely glued to your radio because you're hearing explosive live performances by artists you don't know, but who you know are soon to be something big. We're talking Jay-Z, Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes, KRS-One, The Fugees, Fat Joe, DMX, Nas, and Wu-Tang Clan members Ghostface Killa and Method Man.

Moments like that happened weekly on the radio show hosted by my guests Stretch and Bobbito.

In this session, we bring you a live session with Overcoats. The duo's music rests on two voices so perfectly in sync you'd swear they were coming from the same person — or, at least, from people who are related. Or, at least, people who've known each other their whole lives.

Most of us know Chuck Berry as a pioneer, if not the pioneer, who defined rock 'n' roll. My guest today knew him as dad.

Charles Berry Jr. is here to share memories of growing up watching the elder Berry on TV, joining him on tour in his later years and contributing to what would be his final record, an album called Chuck that was released in June.

This July, on a beautiful summer day just after the sun set, Chile's Javiera Mena took the outdoor stage to perform her first show in the city of Philadelphia. Mena is a Latin Grammy and MTV Europe Award nominee whose been cranking out indie electro-pop for the past decade.

In the French Quarter of New Orleans, there's a tiny venue with old wooden floors where on a good night you can cram in around a hundred people. The audience sits right up in front of the band and it's so intimate that the musicians don't need microphones. It's a truly magical place, where the spirit of New Orleans jazz is not only alive but evolving. It's called Preservation Hall. And it's home to our guests – the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

In this session of World Cafe we welcome Brother Ali, a Minneapolis-based artist who's been delivering socially conscious hip-hop for nearly two decades. He's also white, an albino and Muslim.

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