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Music

A brickbat is something to wield: a rock, or a biting remark. It's also the name of the debut album by the British band Piroshka. Led by Miki Berenyi of British shoegazers Lush, the band comprises musicians from a handful of acts that made their mark in the 1990s British indie-pop scene, including Berenyi's partner K.J. McKillop of Moose, Elastica's Justin Welch and Modern English's Mick Conroy.

Our list of the best albums out this week includes the first new music from funk and R&B legend Chaka Khan in 12 years, the cinematic, transporting sounds of Yann Tiersen, bubblegum punk from Sir Babygirl and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Lauren Onkey and Stephen Thompson as they share their top picks for Feb. 15.

Featured Albums:

  1. Chaka Khan: Hello Happiness
    Featured Songs: "Like Sugar" and "Too Hot"
  2. RY X: Unfurl
    Featured Song: "Untold"

Ryan Adams, a prolific singer-songwriter and producer who first rose to prominence in the early 2000s, has been accused by seven women of using his professional influence to lure them into sexual relationships, including one when the woman was a minor. The women's stories were first reported by the New York Times in an article published Wednesday evening; each claims that Adams, as a well-known musician, would suggest artistic collaborations as a way to pursue or preserve the relationships.

LA's Cherry Glazerr celebrated the release of its latest album, Stuffed & Ready, with a live performance on Morning Becomes Eclectic. The band's seamless blend of dreamy rock and punk was performed with fun, raucous energy.

In rare moments, it's possible to emerge from chaos with absolute focus. It could be on a battlefield, in a sports arena or at a hospital, but in reality, it can happen virtually anywhere. Julia Jacklin had her big moment on a tarmac in Sydney. That's where her second album Crushing begins, with one of the most chilling breakup songs you'll ever hear.

The Women Behind The Songs: Holly Knight

Feb 12, 2019

Holly Knight helped define the sound of '80s pop music. Though you may not know her name, the three-time Grammy winner's music has appeared on more than half a billion records sold.

Born in New York City, Knight started playing piano at age 4 and studied classical music for more than a decade. But as a teenager in the 1970s, Manhattan's downtown rock scene beckoned.

This week's show is made possible by a generous amount of existential anxiety. This includes the ego-destroying rock anthem "I Don't Matter At All," from the Toronto band Pkew Pkew Pkew, and an epic life manifesto from Amanda Palmer called "The Ride" – a ten-minute oration about the crippling effects of unbridled and rampant fear.

Winners of this year's Grammy Awards will be announced Sunday, Feb. 10. It's been a year since outrage erupted in the music business after Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy, the organization which gives out the Grammys, said in an interview that women should "step up" if they wanted to be recognized in the music industry.

After a year in New York, the 61st Annual Grammy Awards return to Los Angeles, taking place at the Staples Center this weekend on Sunday, Feb. 10. Over the years, World Cafe has had numerous visits from those nominated and those who've won, and last year we were fortunate to have some extraordinary musicians on the show.

Our list of the best albums out this week includes delicate piano pieces from Hauschka, the brilliantly burning rock of Bob Mould, songs inspired by the film Roma, Mercury Rev's remake of Bobbie Gentry's country opera The Delta Sweete, and much more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Felix Contreras, Tom Huizenga and Stephen Thompson as they sprint through their top picks for Feb. 8.

Featured Albums:

  1. Bob Mould: Sunshine Rock
    Featured Song: "Sunshine Rock"

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