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The Growlers: Your Best-Kept Secret Favorite Band

The Growlers
Taylor Bonin
Courtesy of the artist
The Growlers

Some bands feel like your own best-kept secret. Take The Growlers: The California group got its start when asked to play a house party. For more than a decade since, the band's managed to keep that underground feeling, where every show feels like you're seeing something special, like you're part of an in-the-know community. The group's music blends lo-fi surf-rock, garage rock, Americana and psychedelic into something so unique its members needed to come up with their own genre for it – hence "beach goth." But while The Growlers holds tight to its DIY ethos, the group's grown a dedicated fanbase, including people like Dan Auerbach, Julian Casablancas and Ellen DeGeneres.

The Growlers released Natural Affair, the band's 6th studio album, back in October, just before playing three sold out shows at the band's own Beach Goth Festival in Hollywood. Today, frontman Brooks Nielsen joins me to talk about that album, that festival, what big-name attention has meant for the band and how the group has stayed true to its vision, even when it meant turning down big names. Hear that story, and the rest of my conversation with The Growlers, all in the player above.

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Raina Douris, an award-winning radio personality from Toronto, Ontario, comes to World Cafe from the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), where she was host and writer for the daily live, national morning program Mornings on CBC Music. She was also involved with Canada's highest music honors: hosting the Polaris Music Prize Gala from 2017 to 2019, as well as serving on the jury for both that award and the Juno Awards. Douris has also served as guest host and interviewer for various CBC Music and CBC Radio programs, and red carpet host and interviewer for the Juno Awards and Canadian Country Music Association Awards, as well as a panelist for such renowned CBC programs as Metro Morning, q and CBC News.
Since 2017, John Myers has been the producer of NPR's World Cafe, which is produced by WXPN at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Previously he spent about eight years working on the other side of Philly at WHYY as a producer on the staff of Fresh Air with Terry Gross. John was also a member of the team of public radio veterans recruited to develop original programming for Audible and has worked extensively as a freelance producer. His portfolio includes work for the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, The Association for Public Art and the radio documentary, Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio. He's taught radio production to preschoolers and college students and, in the late 90's, spent a couple of years traveling around the country as a roadie for the rock band Huffamoose.