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PWR BTTM On World Cafe

PWR BTTM inside the <em>World Cafe</em> performance studio.
Galea McGregor
/
WXPN
PWR BTTM inside the World Cafe performance studio.

Here at the World Cafe studios, we have a bunch of different microphones for artists to use when they come in to perform. The other day, our senior producer, Kimberly Junod, pulled out one that had been used a couple weeks ago — and it was covered in face paint, lipstick and glitter. She showed it to the rest of us and said, "Give you one guess who used this last."

And of course, it was PWR BTTM, a band that leaves an impression in more ways than just makeup on a mic. At the core, the band is Ben Hopkins and Liv Bruce, who describe PWR BTTM as a queer power-punk band. But their music is for everybody: They use rip-roaring punk to expand the conversation around gender identity, sexuality and the blurriness of being non-binary.

Bruce and Hopkins first met, in a very adorable way, at Bard College in New York — they'll tell that story in this session. They'll also talk about touring America as a vocally queer band during election year and dealing with protesters at their shows. Hear the live performance and complete interview in the player above and get a look inside the studio in the VuHaus video below.

Copyright 2021 XPN. To see more, visit XPN.

Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.