NPR 4 THE DEF: Giving Public Radio Edge Since 2006

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Old friends Mick Jones, former lead guitarist of The Clash, and Tony James, once of the Billy Idol-fronted Generation X, have teamed up in a band called Carbon/Silicon. Carbon/Silicon isn’t yet as well known as the bands the two co-founders came from, or even the bands the other band members once played in. Leo Williams played bass with Jones in Big Audio Dynamite, and Dominic Greensmith was the drummer for British rock group Reef. But the group’s approach to the internet has gained them widespread popularity. James and Jones began making their songs available on their web site as free downloads in the summer of 2004, and encouraged their fans to record them when they played live and pass those around as well. They’ve just put out their first full length CD, called The Last Post, but they pledge to keep giving songs away on the internet as well…ALSO When British musician and record producer Martin Atkins visited Beijing in 2006, he wasn’t sure what kind of music scene he’d find. As it turned out, the sounds emerging from the Chinese underground were surprisingly familiar. Atkins has compiled an anthology of what he found; it’s called Look Directly Into the Sun, and it’s just out on the Bloodshot Records label. Milo Miles has a review.

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Hour 1
Improving US relations abroad. We talk with former Secretary of State MADELEINE ALBRIGHT and author of Memo to the President Elect: How We Can Restore America’s Reputation and Leadership. Prior to her cabinet post, Albright was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Currently a professor at Georgetown University, she is the author of Madam Secretary: A Memoir and The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs. Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3
Hour 2
Meet independent film director, screenwriter and novelist, JOHN SAYLES. Sayles’ films include “Lone Star,” “Passion Fish,” “Eight Men Out,” “Matewan” and his most recent film “Honeydripper.” Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3

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Vampire Weekend has emerged from the fertile New York indie-rock scene: All four of its members met while attending Columbia University. Still, daviddyenpr.jpgthey stick out of the crowd for two reasons. First, their endearingly wordy lyrics make Vampire Weekend’s songs sound collegiate in the best possible way. And second, their unique sound inventively mixes contemporary American indie-rock, Western classical music and South African traditional music. The band strived to capture its Afro-pop fandom in its songwriting, and it did well: Stylish songs such as “A-Punk” blend ska and woodwinds, while “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” invokes African dance music, not to mention lyrics about raging hormones. Vampire Weekend’s highly anticipated self-titled full-length arrives Jan. 29.


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