Recommended Dose: Our Favorite Dance Tracks Of November

Recommended Dose Whole show 26:41 Toggle more options Embed Embed <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player"> Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email There are times when a beat can save your life, and others when it's the last thing you need. For the past three weeks or so, the sound of drum machines has mostly felt numbing — dissociative from the reality of the culture, and not in a good way. The music that has best soundtracked the current feeling of confusion and embattlement is mostly dark, ambient and atmospheric, though not without hope. The curious wonder of living in an era of minimalism, digital technology and jarring juxtaposition is that the stories electronic musicians are free to tell can reflect the times. And the plotlines DJs create can weave any tale. So here's a personal and a mostly beatless one. Recovery is a must, and next month, to mark the year's end, the rhythms have no choice but to percolate in seasonal celebration. Until then you can follow us on Twitter at @Sami_Yenigun (Sami), @raspberryjones (Piotr) and @spotieotis (Otis) for our day-to-day listening selections and coping strategies. Dedekind Cut, "Descend from now" (Hospital/Non) Operating the past few years under the name Lee Bannon, Fred Warmsley was making fading instrumental hip-hop (he was once touring DJ to the Joey Bada$$ Pro Era crew) then a sludgy, barely rhythmic music that felt like an embodiment of digital foreboding. With his new name, Warmsley's fully given in to feelings of dread, but peeling back the lo-fi shadows that may have hinted at indecision. This opening track to his excellently intense ambient work, $uccessor, is all about clarity and the shaping of a future vista, treated guitars folded lusciously into keyboards that sound like strings, looking ahead bleary-eyed but unwavering. Music for the beginning Continue Reading

Exclusive: The Silicon Valley quest to preserve Stephen Hawking’s voice

Eric Dorsey, a 62-year-old engineer in Palo Alto, was watching TV Tuesday night when he started getting texts that Stephen Hawking had died. He turned on the news and saw clips of the famed physicist speaking in his iconic android voice — the voice that Dorsey had spent so much time as a young man helping to create, and then, much later, to save from destruction. Dorsey and Hawking had first met nearly 30 years earlier to the day. In March 1988, Hawking was visiting UC Berkeley during a three-week lecture tour. At 46, Hawking was already famous for his discoveries about quantum physics and black holes, but not as famous as he was about to be. His best-seller, “A Brief History of Time,” was a week away from release, and Californians were curious about this British professor from the University of Cambridge, packing the seats of his public talks, approaching him at meals. Hawking motored into buildings and onto stages in a wheelchair with a seat of maroon sheepskin, zooming around with the nudge of a joystick, grinning as he left journalists and his nurses in the dust. When he spoke, it was in the voice of a robot, a voice that emerged from a gray box fixed to the back of his chair. The voice synthesizer, a commercial product known as the CallText 5010, was a novelty then, not yet a part of his identity; he’d begun using it just three years before, after the motor neuron disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis stole his ability to speak. Hawking selected bits of text on a video screen by moving his cheek, and the CallText turned the text into speech. At the start of one lecture, Hawking joked about it: “The only problem,” he said, to big laughs, “is that it gives me an American accent.” Dorsey was with Hawking for part of that trip, tagging along as a sort of authority on the voice, explaining its workings to journalists. He worked at the Mountain View company that manufactured the CallText 5010, a hardware board with two Continue Reading

Design competition tackles sites around Bay Area to address rising waters

By John King Updated 6:00 am, Thursday, January 11, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-9', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 9', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle Image 1of/9 CaptionClose Image 1 of 9 Buy photo Islais Creek Channel, near Third and Cesar Chavez streets in San Francisco, is being studied for solutions to sea-level rise. Islais Creek Channel, near Third and Cesar Chavez streets in San Francisco, is being studied for solutions to sea-level rise. Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle Buy this photo Image 2 of 9 Buy photo One design plan calls for the Islais Creek Channel, near Third and Cesar Chavez streets in San Francisco, to be enlarged by 300 acres to create shorelines to absorb water from higher tides. One design plan calls for the Islais Creek Channel, near Third and Cesar Chavez streets in San Francisco, to be enlarged by 300 acres to create shorelines to absorb water from higher tides. Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle Buy this photo Image 3 of 9 Buy photo The Islais Creek Channel a waterway that runs near 3rd and Cesar Chavez in San Francisco, as seen on Wed. January 10, 2018. The Islais Creek Channel a waterway that runs near 3rd and Cesar Chavez in San Francisco, as seen on Wed. January 10, 2018. Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle Buy this photo Continue Reading

Meet Erick Erickson, the New-Media Rush Limbaugh

Last Monday, a lawyer in Georgia issued a proclamation so grandiose that readers could be forgiven for thinking it came from the Pope himself. The writer was Erick Erickson, editor of the blog Red State. In a post titled “The Absolution I Cannot Give,” he intoned: “In the past 48 hours I have had call after call after call from members of the United States Congress. They’ve read what I’ve written.They agree. But they feel the hour is short and the end is nigh.So some are calling looking for alternatives. Some are calling looking for energy. Many are calling looking for absolution. And so I address them and put it here so you can see my advice. I can give no absolution for what you may be about to do. I can offer no alternatives.” Republicans in Congress were begging a blogger for permission to vote for the best interests of the country by raising the debt ceiling. If you don’t follow the conservative blogosphere you might have wondered just who is this person was and how he became so important. (Erickson did not name the representatives calling him, although Representative Joe Walsh (R-IL) confirmed that his office gets advice from Erickson.) Erickson’s advice is aggressively partisan. Two weeks ago he assured House Republicans that the political fallout from an economically catastrophic default would fall on President Obama, writing: “As I pointed out to John Boehner yesterday, despite what the pundits in Washington are telling you, it is you and not Obama who hold most of the cards. Obama has a legacy to worry about. Should the United States lose its bond rating, it will be called the ‘Obama Depression’. Congress does not get pinned with this stuff.” In other words Erickson was encouraging Republicans to destroy the economy on the grounds that it would redound to their political benefit. How did someone whose only experience in public office has been serving on the Macon, Georgia, city Continue Reading

These 10 people made the biggest impact in entertainment this year

In a year of head-snapping shocks and a whip-fast pace of news developments, who has distracted us, soothed us or explained it all for us in a way we could process? The USA TODAY Life staff has chosen 10 people who have helped to rescue us from the appalling headlines of 2017.Which turned out to be important because the story of the year in entertainment has been anything but entertaining, as the parade of shamed men from movies, TV, stage, fashion, ballet and even grand opera began  slouching across the nation's screens beginning in October.And there appears to be no end in sight. The torrent of allegations continues almost daily, summoned from hundreds of women, and some men, who have accused some of the great and powerful of the entertainment industry of sexual harassment, abuse and assault in episodes as recent as last year or as far back as four decades.But there have been highlights, particularly among those who have taken up the mantle of fighting back against injustice, whether on screen, like Wonder Woman, or off (we're looking at you, Jimmy Kimmel).And while we may not all agree on the political infighting, we can at least agree that in 2017, goodness, good humor and a grinning royal engagement occasionally saved the day. Rose McGowan, commandant of #RoseArmyShe was best known as an indie darling, a star of the Scream films, who played a witch on Charmed in the early aughts. Now she'll be known as one of the women whose tweeted accusations of rape by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein helped bring the powerhouse producer down. She also helped to kick-start the #MeToo movement that led to the fall of others, and new attention to the no-longer-hidden problem of sexual harassment in the workplace.For decades McGowan, 44, kept publicly silent about what she says Weinstein did to her in a hotel room in 1997. But once the New York Times and later The New Yorker revealed she was one of several women who accused Continue Reading

Lakeshore’s Rising Stars down to final five

MANITOWOC - Lakeshore's Rising Stars returned to Manitowoc's Capitol Civic Centre stage to sing on both heartbreak and true love.The final five singers are down to their last week, as they will be back on stage Saturday, Aug. 13, for their eighth — and last — show before the finale Aug. 20, during which the winner will be named and receive the $10,000 prize. Points will be accumulated until noon, Aug. 16, when the final votes from the community are due.This week, founder of The Lettermen and five-time Grammy-nominated Tony Butala joined the judging panel. He sang a hits medley before taking his seat as the guest judge.RELATED: Rising Stars throwback to the 80sRELATED: 5 things to do in Manitowoc CountyJesse Torres kicked off the show with “I Never Go Around Mirrors” by Keith Whitley. For his love song number, he sang “If Tomorrow Never Comes” by Garth Brooks.“You have the perfect voice for that type of music," judge Tim Strews said.“This was one good heck of a way to open up the second half of the show," Steve Lauson Jr. said, after Torres' second song.“I thought it was very, very moving," judge Debbie Seehafer said.Jemma Herrmann performed next and sang “Last Love Song” by ZZ Ward.“There’s a little intonation problem ... otherwise very soulful," Batula said.“I’m looking forward to your next song," Lauson told Herrmann.After her second song, “Love Me Tender,” by Norah Jones, Strews told her it was his favorite performance of the night."I loved it," Strews said.“This was my favorite performance of yours, Jemma," Lauson agreed.Amanda Satchell sang Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” followed by a version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” originally performed by Christina Grimmie, that earned her a perfect score from the Continue Reading

Winter concerts for Phoenix: Green Day, Bon Jovi, Ariana Grande, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Shins, Jake Owen

We've got three major festivals -- the ever-expanding Viva PHX, the 14th annual McDowell Mountain Music Festival and Pot of Gold -- bringing winter in metro Phoenix to a close after two major EDM festivals at Rawhide and the Phoenix Open Birds Nest Concert series.Even if you factored out those main events, though, we'd be looking at a very busy season, with tours by Green Day, Bon Jovi, Ariana Grande, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alter Bridge and AFI all swinging through.Here's a guide to get you through the season, from the giant festivals to smaller concerts by the likes of Surfer Blood and Angel Olsen, both of whom are well worth dropping everything to see.This show is headlined by Kehlani, the 21-year-old who made it to the finals on "America's Got Talent" with her old group, Poplyfe, in 2014 and was nominated for a Grammy earlier this year (a Best Urban Contemporary Album nod for "You Should Be Here"). Her best-known tracks are R&B hits "CRZY" and "Gangsta." Also playing: Kap G, Amine and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie.Details: 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix. $25-$45. 602-267-1600 ext. 1, two-time Grammy winners are on a Christmas tour with Lauren Daigle, debuting their new Christmas single, “Glorious,” in a set that's also sure to features their chart-topping Christian hits “Fix My Eyes,” “Shoulders,” and “Priceless” (from the feature film of the same name in theaters now).Details: 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18. Grand Canyon University Arena, 3300 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix. $19.50-$34.50. 602-639-8979, guitarist George Lynch put Lynch Mob together in the wake of Dokken’s breakup, bringing home raves for a debut called “Wicked Sensation,” which hit the charts in 1990, spinning off two rock radio hits – the title track and “River Continue Reading

Top concert picks for Phoenix: Run the Jewels, Ace Frehley, Frank Turner, Code Orange, Mike Doughty, Dorothy

Run the Jewels are set to rock the Marquee Theatre in support of an album they dropped on Christmas Eve, three weeks ahead of schedule, inspiring Stereogum to join with countless hip-hop fans in celebrating the occasion as "a Christmas f--king miracle!" And Ace Frehley is getting the Kiss Army back in the New York Groove in a month that also features shows by Frank Turner, Code Orange and LemuriaHere's a look at those and other Valley highlights.They may have mastered the flat-out garage-rock approach it takes to swagger through a track like “Choking On Your Spit,” which does such a great of setting the tone for “Get Gone,” their new album. But they also know enough to throw in change-ups as intriguing as the jazz-inflected easy-listening ballad “Tide,” the gritty Southern soul of “Chandelier” and best of all, the wistful, album-closing balladry of “Keep Me,” a strong contender for the album’s most inspired change of pace. Of course, it helps to have a vocalist as capable as A.J. Haynes to take on all those different styles and nail them all.Details: 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24. Valley Bar, 130 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. $12; $10 in advance. last time these Buffalo indie-punk veterans dropped an album, it was 2013 and "The Distance is So Big" brought home a rave from CMJ, whose critic said Lemuria "are sugary sweet, but also occasionally literary and a little intense — they pack a honeyed punch with each thoughtfully intonated verse." PopMatters weighed in with: "The hooks are honest and about as compelling as possible considering this is a three piece band that favors slacker jams and would have certainly found a home on college rock radio in the mid-'90s."Details: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25. Rebel Lounge, 2303 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. $15; $13 in advance. 602-296-7013, J’s rise to fame began in Continue Reading

Blame Spitzer for Paterson: Our failed guv was chosen by the last one for purely political reasons

New York must really love its scoundrels. How else to explain the odd impulse of late to rehabilitate Eliot Spitzer, two years after his humiliating resignation as governor? He's sure looking good in comparison with his flailing successor, David Paterson, intone his new fans. If only New Yorkers hadn't hounded Spitzer out of office, sigh the pundits, if only we hadn't all been so moralistic, if only he hadn't resigned so quickly. Even the occasional politician is pining for the good old days of Eliot. Oh puhleez. As if Spitzer could have governed in the aftermath of revelations about his secret life as Client 9, the randy devotee of a high-priced prostitution ring. Chuckling with Bill Maher or spouting off on cable news panels, as Spitzer does now as often as he can, is not governing New York. But the main problem with Spitzer was not his sexual appetite or his infamous temper. It was, and is, David Paterson, the accidental governor whose feckless leadership sent him into a free fall and paralyzed state business. Doesn't anyone remember that it was Spitzer who gave us Paterson in the first place? The former state senator should never have become governor, and Spitzer, along with New York's ever-toxic politics, are why he did. Spitzer selected Paterson as his running mate in 2006 to guarantee himself the black vote, plain and simple. Even Paterson's mentors, the old guard in Harlem, favored another African American to run as lieutenant governor, Leecia Eve, lawyer and daughter of a former Assemblyman from Buffalo. Think maybe they knew something? That Paterson, then the state Senate's minority leader, would be a breath away from the state house did not seem to occur to Spitzer or, if it did, to faze him. There is no evidence that he gave any more thought to the well-being of New York than John McCain gave to the well-being of the country when he put Sarah Palin on his presidential ticket. Fact is, Spitzer, the fierce reformer who made his Continue Reading

Bruno Richard Hauptmann, Lindbergh baby kidnapper, is sent to the electric chair in 1936

(Originally published by the Daily News on April 4, 1936. This story was written by Robert Conway.) TRENTON, April 3. - Inscrutable to the last, his face ashen gray with horror, Bruno Richard Hauptmann paid with his life at 8:42:45 o’clock tonight or the kidnap murder of Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr. The lips which held the secret of the happenings of March 1, 1932, were forever sealed when the electric current was switched on at 8:40:30 P.M. The final official pronouncement - “This man is dead” - was made, after three doctors had put stethoscopes on his heart, at 8:47 P.M. But the lethal bolt actually required only 2 minutes and 15 seconds to complete its work. Thus, in a swift, tense drama of split seconds, accompanied by the hum of 2,000 volts and the droning German prayers of two spiritual advisers, the criminal of the century became a grotesque memory. For a year and twenty days from the date first set for his execution, Hauptmann has evaded his doom. And up to the very moment he was ushered into the crowded electrocution chamber, his champion lived in hope that Gov. Harold G. Hoffman would grant a second reprieve. CHARLES LINDBERGH'S BABY IS KIDNAPPED IN 1932 Not a single word - not even a moment of the gray lips - as he was gently led to the chair indicated that he might alter his protestation of innocence. He walked out, agilely and glanced about the room. He sat down calmly in the chair of death as if, at heart, suspecting that this was merely a farcical attempt to scare him into talking. Last Hope Vanishes The dimple in his cheek almost belied his gruesome complexion. He seemed partly bald, the result of having his head shaven for electrode. He was wrong, however, if he thought that tonight’s grim act was an attempt to scare him into a confession. There were to be no more of the delays like those of the last four days, when the law played cat-and-mouse with his life. This curtain act in the brick Continue Reading