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Brian Sella and Mathew Uychich of the New Jersey band The Front Bottoms have been playing together for years. Luckily, they haven't lost a shred of their irreverent and emotional style over the course of their unconventional careers together: Before releasing an official studio album, they toured internationally, sharing the stage with everyone from Vanessa Carlton to Titus Andronicus. Their official, eponymous debut, which came out last September, combines smart comedy with melodically rich songcraft.
As described by the band, The Front Bottoms is rich in hooks and confessions while calling on influences ranging from Joni Mitchell to Green Day. Although containing its fair share of indie folk, punk influences creep through, as well. Filled with poetic imagery and endless humor, the album defies classification, and that's by design.
In this session, Sella and Uychich talk to World Cafe's David Dye about their lifelong friendship, writing songs in their teens and their live shows, and also perform live in the studio.
By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.