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Battles: Sleight of Hand

Okay, so maybe a choir of cheerleaders was a bad idea, although it seemed brilliant at the time. Revolutionary even. "That was one of Ian's stipulations when we started the band; I think the concept had something to do with that movie Bring It On," says multi-instrumentalist Tyondai Braxton, as I sit down for a few frothy rounds of Guinness (creamy hot chocolate, in Braxton's case) with the four very different, yet very similar members of Battles.

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Paths of Rhythm: Battles Brains

In their prime, Bad Brains was transcendent. In 1979, these four African-American punk pioneers from D.C. stormed the music world. They were Rastas capable of rattling your skull with intense rock, then seamlessly shifting gears into loping reggae rhythms and positive vibrations. The recently released concert DVD, Bad Brains: Live at CBGB's 1982 (Music Video Distribution), hints at the band's true power. Read more » 

Tracey Thorn: English Rose

Tracey Thorn released a solo album once before. But while 1982's A Distant Shore has recently been dubbed "the greatest album you have never heard," you're probably more familiar with the singer from her collaboration with Massive Attack and long-running stint in Everything But The Girl, a duo formed with partner Ben Watt.

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Videogames: The New Indie Label?

Seven years ago, when *NSync's "Bye Bye Bye" ruled pop radio, if someone had predicted that I'd someday like a song by Justin Timberlake called "Sexy Back," I would've been insulted. Yet, all these years later, I do like "Sexy Back," which is either totally embarrassing or proves the following: Good music doesn't always come from where you'd expect.

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Dolphin & Teknoist: Manchester Metal

There's a steady noise pounding away in the middle of England, a kick-drum heartbeat coming from Manchester that's pushing 200 BPMs and beyond. It's the new sound of hardcore as made by Greg Dolphin and Mike Teknoist, old friends who are absolutely mental about pushing the merger between hardcore and breakcore to its logical extremes.

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