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).

I gotta say I had a bit of a hard time holding it together during this session. Sitting in a room two feet away from Glen Hansard as he plays an acoustic guitar is transcendent. When we were talking, he was this warm, gregarious storyteller, but as soon as he started to sing, Glen summoned so much force and conviction and blood, that I forgot there was anything else in the entire world. And you'll hear that in my reactions.

There is a lot that's disarming about Sunny War. She has that kind of raw, rare talent of a guitarist that stops you in your tracks.

How many relationships do you know of that have lasted for 70 years? If you're coming up short, I'll help you out; Clarence Fountain and Jimmy Carter, the two surviving original members of Blind Boys of Alabama, who began touring together in the 1940's.

You know how some CDs come with a warning label reading "not for kids" or "explicit material"? Ann Powers' latest book Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music should come with its own warning label – "Warning: read this book and you will never hear music the same way again!"

Montreal's The Barr Brothers are an indie folk ensemble with a twist — a big twist! Brad Barr sings and plays guitar, his brother Andrew plays drums, and the twist? That's Sarah Pagé, who plays a harp taller than our 6'2" producer, John Myers. Sarah's instrument is rigged with pickups and effects pedals normally used for electric guitar.

If you've listened to the Cafe for a while, you know and hopefully love today's guests. Calexico is a band whose music is a jangly desert mashup of Western Americana, Latin influence and any other sounds, instruments or collaborators they've picked up along the trail. It's no wonder they're perfectly named after a border town between California and Mexico.

The first time I saw Lo Moon perform live was a year ago. I remember being knocked out by the band's dynamics. They can let a song simmer and build and take its time. And that approach to songs is exactly how Lo Moon is approaching their career: simmer, build, time.

The NPR Slingshot band released their first single, "Loveless," in September of 2016 and are finally set to release their self-titled debut on February 23.

Last Sunday, Philadelphia's own The War on Drugs won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. We consider that a sign. Sure as the National Chicken Council's prediction Americans will consume 1.35 billion chicken wings this weekend, the birds (aka Philadelphia Eagles) are going to take the bowl.

Lee Ann Womack could choose to sing anything in the world. She could sing the periodic table or the label on a can of baked beans or an essay about the various ways paint dries and it would sound thrilling.

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