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Beyond Beats and Rhymes: Taboos

For years, former Northeastern University quarterback Byron Hurt has been speaking to students and athletes about gender violence prevention. But as a filmmaker, this longtime hip-hop head has taken his activism a step further with a Sundance-approved documentary, Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes. Hyper-masculinity, misogyny, and homophobia in the music are all up for discussion, with everyone from Spelman College students to MCs like Fat Joe and Jadakiss weighing in. Read more » 

What Is It? Neue Deutsche Welle

Larry Tee and DJ Hell may have modernized the combination of irony, nihilism, and asymmetrical haircuts with synthesizers and drum machines, but they hardly invented it. They–along with artists like T. Raumschmiere, Alec Empire, and White Rose Movement–owe a stylistic debt to the Neue Deutsche Welle (New German Wave) scene of the late '70s and early '80s.


Electrelane: Sunny Side Up

It begins with a swell. Twinkling guitars and a hopeful organ progression meet Verity Susman's yearning, siren-like voice like two fleshy hands interlocking fingers. Almost immediately, "The Greater Times" announces the arrival of a brand new Electrelane, a pop band that's been hiding in the shadow of a largely austere back-catalog, filled with dark-hued albums helmed by tough-guy engineer Steve Albini. Read more » 

Jahtari: Brand New Dub

At its simplest, Jahtari is a web label dedicated to digital laptop reggae. It's hyper-modern dub music, an attempt to do something with the genre that hasn't been done before while still keeping the bass at the center and the accent on the offbeats. Artists build tracks from bare bones, keeping in mind "dramaturgical flow"–meaning every bar should make sense and have a purpose. Read more » 

Spacing Out with Mars-1

Mario Martinez has been blowing minds as Mars-1 for a long time, from creating painting deep, spacey landscapes to envisioning otherworldly characters that he turns into toys with the help of his friends at STRANGEco.

With the money he saved from a paper route as a pre-teen, Martinez bought an airbrush gun and began developing his skills as a graffiti artist in Fresno, CA. "What I think is funny, and probably more common these days," he says, "is that I learned how to render with a spray can before I learned how to paint with a brush."


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