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First Listen: Public Service Broadcasting, 'Inform - Educate - Entertain'

Public Service Broadcasting's new album, <em>Inform - Educate - Entertain</em>, comes out Nov. 19.
Courtesy of the artist
Public Service Broadcasting's new album, Inform - Educate - Entertain, comes out Nov. 19.

The goal is stated right there in the title (Inform - Educate - Entertain), and that's just what Public Service Broadcasting does. Not to be confused with the Public Broadcasting Service, the British duo makes music using clips from old British government propaganda and information films as narratives for songs engineered to inspire dancing and general chaos. On stage, J. Willgoose Esq. is as likely to play a banjo as he is to manipulate sound and sequences and MIDI controllers. Known for wearing a dapper bow-tie and corduroy sports jacket, he never says a word.

Then there's Wrigglesworth on drums; he's key to keeping this music fun, danceable and enduring. Together, the duo explores the past as it looks into the future, with music meant for clubs that doesn't fit neatly into some EDM subgenre or nightlife cliche. It doesn't force you to dance; it isn't incessant so much as bouncy. it's more Kraftwerk than Disclosure, reminiscent of The Books in its detailed crafting of collages from found sounds. Still, it all sounds fresh, if old footage can sound fresh. Be ready to be informed and educated, sure, but above all entertained.

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In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.
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