"Being from Baltimore, it was tough to get involved in the stuff that I'm interested in," 25-year-old Nat Thomson tells me when I ask him about the impetus for starting his web blog A Silent Flute. Thomson's thorough street-style coverage means New Yorkers read it to find out what's fresh in Japan, while you know his ill grasp of East Coast slang is being jocked by thousands of Gotham-obsessed teens in Shibuya. Thomson, whose all-time favorite things include T. Read more »
After ascending a steep, rocky path in the blazing Jamaican sun, we reach the impressive entrance to Bobo Hill. A bamboo guardhouse manned by a Rasta in white military clothes is decorated with biblical quotes and has a plaque that reads "Ethiopian Congress." Fresh-faced children dash about an idyllic settlement of wooden huts dispersed across a hillside, the entire thing surrounded by a bamboo fence in fading shades of red, gold, and green, the colors of the Ethiopian flag adopted by Rastafarians to pay homage to former Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie I, their spiritual leader.
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"The people have spoken. QQ, come back to the stage."
It's 4 a.m. in Kingston and Flexx, host of Passa Passa's third anniversary dance and part of dancehall group T.O.K., is calling QQ back to the stage for the third time. The four-foot-tall child prodigy bounds on and launches straight into a sweet rendition of "Poverty." The song, his first single, held the number-one spot in Jamaica for four weeks in 2005 and stole the record from Dennis Brown who, at 13, had previously been the youngest artist to achieve a number one.
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Warn Defever, the man behind dream-rock-cum-experimental-blues project His Name Is Alive, has been manipulating all manner of sounds from what he calls "an ethical and moral perspective" for over 15 years. His early records, self-recorded projects that bear names like Livonia (after his suburban Detroit hometown) and Mouth by Mouth, helped to define the gauzy, ethereal sound of British indie label 4AD. Read more »
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