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World Cafe has a pair of brothers and a pair of cousins — plus one — in the studio today. Together, they're Melbourne's Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. In this session, we chat about the band's Cinderella story: It went from late-night bedroom jams to signing a record deal with its dream label, Sub Pop.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

The only thing bigger than a classic beef in hip-hop is a monumental collabo. And when Kendrick Lamar, the artist with the biggest selling album of the year (DAMN.), hooks up with Future, the artist responsible for making history in 2017 with back-to-back No. 1 albums (FUTURE, HNDRXX), it's bound to be the best of both worlds. That's exactly what happens on a newly released remix of Future's runaway hit "Mask Off," featuring an inspired verse from Lamar.

The pairing is not their first, but here's what makes it so compelling and dope.

The Holy Circle makes dark synth-pop that's velvet to the touch — and a sonic sawblade to the core. After last year's EP, Terence Hannum of the experimental metal band Locrian and his wife Erica Burgner-Hannum of Unlucky Atlas were joined by drummer Nathan Jurgenson (Screen Vinyl Image). The Baltimore trio's self-titled debut album finds that space between Ultravox's synthetic melodrama, Jesu's heavy shoegaze and The Knife's cold, yet sensual, vocal melodies.

There are no clear-cut earmarks of success in independent music. Perhaps there shouldn't be: When bands find themselves inspiring attention beyond their basement-show aspirations, what looks good externally could chip away at the heart of something pure, something free of traditional capitalistic pressures.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band turns 50 next week — so what's been done to celebrate one of the greatest records ever? They've remixed the entire album! The word "remix," in fact, may not capture the scope of the project — it's more like someone rebuilt a pyramid with fresh bricks. But a question remains: Why would anyone do so? I traveled to New York to meet Giles Martin, who spearheaded the project, to find that out.

When you stream a song on Spotify, it's delivered in an audio format — imagine these formats to be containers as literal as a phonograph record — cheekily named "Ogg Vorbis." YouTube, one of the most popular music streaming "services" in the world by volume, prefers something called AAC, or "Advanced Audio Coding." Radio stations, whenever possible, tend to prefer

Apart from from Buddhist temples, parts of Japan sure do look like Central Illinois. At least that's the story sweetly told in director Chris Strong's video for "My Instincts Are The Enemy," where Japanese and Japanese Americans sing along to the song while bowling, making noodles and getting tattooed.

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