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The Helio Sequence On World Cafe

Feb 4, 2013

Hailing from Beavertown, Ore., singer-guitarist Brandon Summers and drummer-keyboardist Benjamin Weikel started playing together in 1996. Three years later, the duo self-produced its first EP and officially formed The Helio Sequence.

Patty Andrews, the last surviving member of the Andrews Sisters trio, died of natural causes at her home in Los Angeles on Wednesday, according to her management. She was 94. The group's career spanned more than five decades and resulted in 90 million records and 46 top 10 hits.

The youngest of the sisters, Patricia Marie Andrews was just 19 when the trio became an overnight sensation crooning "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen," a tune originally written for the Yiddish theater. Patty not only sang lead; she was clearly the star of the group.

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Aaron Embry On World Cafe

Jan 29, 2013

If Aaron Embry's name doesn't sound familiar, his previous collaborators will. Embry was recently the touring pianist with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and has worked with the likes of Elliott Smith, Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris.

Next: Hey Marseilles

Jan 29, 2013

The Seattle septet Hey Marseilles integrates symphonic cello, drumbourine, accordion and viola into a standard lineup of guitar, bass and drums for a warm, distinctive sound.

Nick Ward and Matt Bishop formed Hey Marseilles while students at the University of Washington, and independently released their first album, To Travels & Trunks, at the end of 2008. The band has since given the album a nationwide reissue and performed at festivals like SXSW and Bumbershoot.

Forro in the Dark gets its name from the Forro, a type of dance and music that's been popular in northeastern Brazil for more than 100 years. The style's traditional incarnation involves a three-piece band with a triangle, an accordion and a bass-like drum called a zabumba.

A love of the ocean has given Donavon Frankenreiter ample inspiration for his laid-back acoustic music. Drawn to simple pleasures — surfing, music, family — Frankenreiter has maintained careers as both a surfer and a musician, using the latter to dispense a positive, feel-good message.

Mates of State's Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel leave little to the imagination: They use the intimate details of their relationship as fodder for songwriting, and once filmed a video wearing only their underwear. Since moving from Lawrence, Kansas, to San Francisco, they've released four full-length albums and two EPs — and gotten married in 2001. The offbeat pop duo lives by the motto "Play anywhere, anytime," and, along with their daughter, have toured North America and Europe relentlessly since the release of their first album, 2000's My Solo Project.

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