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New York's Blip Invasion

If hearing the Castlevania theme song remixed in the style of MegaMan is enough to get your joystick jumping, then hightail it to New York City's Blip Festival (December 1-3, 2006). Nerds and n00bs alike will find something to appreciate at this three-day event, where a cast of international 8-bit artists will rip the guts out of old game consoles in the name of creative expression. Read more » 

Lutan Fyah: Rasta Ambassador

Jamaican singer Lutan Fyah has a reputation for succinct, spiritually charged language, which lifts the artist (born Anthony Martin) above the pack of just-arrived cultural reggae singers. His third album, Phantom War (Greensleeves), is populated by rich, memorable songs, all imbued with forthright Rasta ethics.

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Getting Restless: London's Snappers

You may not know what to call the hybrid house sounds being made by Jesse Rose, Solid Groove, and company, but there's no mistaking its potent mix of mind-numbingly crisp techno/house beats, gritty, sample-riddled melodies, and bassbin-blowing sub-sonics–or its effectiveness on a dancefloor. UK Magazine DJ came close earlier this year when they dubbed the genre "fidget house," but even this catchy turn-of-phrase fails to encapsulate the whole essence of the sound.

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Ice Cold: Trentemøller Steps Out

"Making The Last Resort (Poker Flat) was a very personal thing for me," asserts Anders Trentemøller of his debut long-player. "It was like therapy. The music on the album reflects my life, my thoughts, my needs, my insecurities, my longings. It was a very lonely process."

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Annuals: Normals That Deliver

The Panera Bread Company in downtown Chapel Hill, NC is filled with a bunch of average Joes hunched over pricey sandwiches. Picking at chips and sipping cups of soup, no one in the joint bats an eyelash at recent Ace Fu signees Annuals, who've seated themselves at a big table by the entrance. This air of indifference has nothing to do with Panera's generally square patronage, or even the fact that Annuals are far from famous. Rather, its members blend in pretty convincingly with the clientele.

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