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).

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?"

Goldfrapp's new album, Silver Eye, is visceral dance music — an album you feel in your body before you process in your brain. The band is Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory, who've been musical partners for the better part of two decades. Their debut, Felt Mountain, came out in 2000. It's lush and well-loved, and it was a real breakout for the U.K. duo. In the years since, Goldfrapp has put out a handful of records, and each one sounds a little different.

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.

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