WUIS Xponential

WUIS Xponential

Though his presence is felt every time we see those ubiquitous Beats-branded headphones and hear stars he ushered into the mainstream, like Kendrick Lamar and Eminem, Dr. Dre the musician, the creator has recently been absent from the music world.

Think back to the 1990s — to movies like Boyz n the Hood or Menace II Society.

Now, imagine one of those movies shot in black and white, with prayer beads and scenes from a mosque. And imagine it all in French.

A machine with superhuman intelligence is a staple of science fiction. But what about a machine with just ordinary human intelligence? A machine that's so humanlike in its behavior that you can't tell if it's a computer acting like a human, or a real human?

Marilyn Maye On Song Travels

Aug 7, 2015

Actress and singer Marilyn Maye is a lifelong performer with a career spanning nearly eight decades. Her big break came in the 1950s, and she went on to become a staple of the New York and West Coast cabaret scenes.

On this edition of Song Travels, Maye discusses her ongoing performing and teaching career, her 76 appearances on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson and her many runs in Hello, Dolly! And she and host Michael Feinstein duet in a medley of "Big Time" and "Open A New Window."

Look, we all have work to do. But it's Friday, and this drum fill puzzler isn't going to quiz itself. So put down whatever you're doing, put on your headphones and see how many of these fills you can match to the right song. I'd give this week's Drum Fill Friday three out of five for difficulty.

Good luck, careful listeners, and as always, if you have a drummer or a fill you'd like to see featured in these weekly puzzlers, let us know in the comments section or via Twitter @allsongs, #drumfillfriday.

Brooklyn disco house group Escort always sounds like a party, and that's only partially because they have up to 17 musicians onstage at once. More vital to the vibe is the band's seamless blending of deep house beats and disco glitter, the product of co-founders and producers Eugene Cho and Dan Balis, plus buttery R&B singing by Adeline Michèle. This song, "Animal Nature," is sexy and fun — a perfect marriage of homage and invention.

London DJs Conrad McDonnell and Dan Tyler formed Idjut Boys in the early 1990s during a particularly exciting time in dance music history. Acid house and breakbeat had infiltrated the British mainstream, and new scenes were blossoming to fill the void in the underground. One London party that McDonnell and Tyler considered especially influential was Space, a Soho weekly co-founded by house fanatic Kenny Hawkes.

In the isolated regions of Central Appalachia, music was once the only form of entertainment. It's still alive today thanks to The Crooked Road, a driving trail that connects music venues in Southwest Virginia. It stretches from the Blue Ridge to the Cumberland Mountains for 333 miles, crossing some of the poorest areas in the country.

Making a living in those areas has never been easy, as guitarist Greg Ward knows. He's a native of Floyd, Va. — population: 432.

"You know, it was a rough life," he says. "It was a hard life."

Joss Stone On World Cafe

Aug 6, 2015

Joss Stone's new album, Water For Your Soul, covers a lot of stylistic ground. It started with reggae sessions partly inspired by her work in SuperHeavy with Damian Marley, who helped produce the record.

Boston's Guster has been together for almost 25 years, and released its seventh record in January. But it hasn't forgotten its roots as a college band playing parties at Tufts University, angling for opening slots when other, bigger bands came through town.

A cover song need not be a revolution. Singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin approaches her latest single, a Tom Waits cover, with a light enough touch to please her fans and Waits followers alike.

First Watch: Girl Band, 'Paul'

Aug 6, 2015

The members of Minnesota's Hippo Campus may be young, but these art-school graduates take music seriously, and their star has been rising since a well-regarded appearance at SXSW earlier this year. Hippo Campus performed new songs from its forthcoming EP, South, during a recent KCRW appearance — including this song, "Dollar Bill."

SET LIST

  • "Dollar Bill"

Review: Royal Headache, 'High'

Aug 5, 2015

Soul and punk are rarely cozy with each other, but at their best, both deal in raw emotion that shoots straight for the gut. That similarity isn't always obvious when comparing the two genres, but when one band combines them, the connection can be bracingly clear. Australia's Royal Headache is that kind of band. The music is pure garage-punk, but the singer — known simply as Shogun — bleeds heart-on-sleeve soul. More crooner than screamer, albeit sometimes both at once, he transforms his bandmates' rushing energy into emotive, Motown-worthy poetry.

Review: Teen Daze, 'Morning World'

Aug 5, 2015

When British Columbia musician Teen Daze appeared with his bedroom-recorded 2010 debut, Four More Years, the title of that eight-song cassette might have seemed presumptuous. Five years later, Teen Daze has matured musically and covered new ground. Credited to a twentysomething named Jamison (no surname given), Teen Daze began to post more and more music online, with efforts like My Bedroom Floor and Beach Dreams suggesting comfortable intimacy in his sound.

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First Listen: CFCF, 'The Colours Of Life'

Aug 5, 2015

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The first weekend of August saw the coronation of a new King of Hip-Hop. Like all transitions of power, it had been years in the making and orchestrated by powers both seen and unseen.

Seattle hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis released a new song today, their first since 2012 blockbuster The Heist. "Growing Up" is not being marketed as a lead single for any upcoming project; according to the pair's publicist, it's "a personal moment of expression" from rapper Ben Haggerty and producer Lewis. (The chorus is sung by Ed Sheeran.)

Anderson East On World Cafe

Aug 5, 2015

The Thistle & Shamrock: Dear Jean

Aug 5, 2015

Hear from a broad assortment of folk musicians as they celebrate Jean Ritchie (1922-2015) by singing the songs she taught them and passing along their wisdom. Much of this week's music comes from the commemorative compilation record Dear Jean, which includes tributes from Robin and Linda Williams, Peggy Seeger, Kathy Mattea, John McCutcheon and many of the late singer's friends.

Gloom can be thrilling. No, really. Rev up a morose guitar riff swirled in reverb with a mean rhythm section, and suddenly a dank basement show throbs. That's where Cleveland's Pleasure Leftists thrive, with former members of the hardcore bands 9 Shocks Terror and Homostupids joined by vocalist Haley Morris.

After a series of singles and EPs, "Protection" comes from the post-punk band's debut album, The Woods Of Heaven. It's a moody, relentlessly driving track with some glammy, palm-muted flair, spun out of orbit by a warbly bass line and vocals that wail sky-high.

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Transcript

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