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Kele Le Roc: Comes Out Swinging

Born in 1978 in London's East End, UK singer Kelly Biggs walked home with two MOBOs (British Grammy) for best newcomer and single (the garage burner "My Love") by her 21st birthday. Known by her stage name Kele Le Roc, Biggs is used to the fast pace of success and the tribulations that come with it. "I wanna be successful for myself," she says, "because I'm an ambitious person."

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Jon Cutler: Puts "Class" In Classic

Brooklyn has always loved to dance, whether it's disco, hip-hop, rock, or the sometimes-ignored streak of house in the borough. DJ and producer Jon Cutler belongs in the last camp, spinning smooth-yet-relentless deep house that calls to mind the soulful, funky disco that spanned the city in the '70s. While his 12", "It's Yours," is a bona fide house classic–still getting played three years on and even mashed up with Usher's "Yeah" by an anonymous white-label bandit–Cutler came to house almost by chance.

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Colossus: Honorary Oakland Funk

Back in 2002, the Bay Area became home to a 6'8" Londoner named Charlie Tate, one half of the veteran jazzfunk/drum&bass duo King Kooba and former bass player with Neneh Cherry's band. After four King Kooba albums for Second Skin and Om Records, Tate settled into the Oakland lifestyle like a soft couch. He started the laid-back weekly club night Slow Gin with Om's PR man Gunnar Hissam (a.k.a. Read more » 

Battles: Don't Do the Math

Battles pencils in rock and roll so pristine and mathematically precise that a slight breeze might shatter it. Each guitar note, microtone, and beat is fixed like leaves on a tree branch that break off and continue the music as they skitter down the sidewalk. Just don't call the New York quartet "math rock."

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AlterNet: Sense And Nonesense

In the aftermath of the 2004 election, countless scribes have performed autopsies on the Democratic body politic–unfortunately they've emerged with a message that's about as coherent as John Kerry's vision for a New America. AlterNet's Start Making Sense:Turning the Lessons of Election 2004 Into Winning Progressive Politics (softcover; Chelsea Green Publishing, $12), edited by Don Hazen and Lakshmi Chaudhry, attempts to better address the myopia that has blindsided Democrats and progressives alike.

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