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Oliver Wang: Crate Digging

San Francisco writer/DJ Oliver Wang has always had his taste-making hands in every pot on the stove–from contributing to NPR and Vibe to maintaining blogs for MSN, Napster, and his own critically vaunted Soul Sides audioblog–so it was only a matter of time before he got into the compilation-curating game. Wang culled down a list of 50 dust-covered soul gems to arrive at the 14 beautiful slabs on his first compilation, Soul Sides Volume One. Here he tells XLR8R about some of the jams that made the cut--and one that got away.

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Stereo Total: Utopian Lounge-Punks

"It wasn't love at first sight, musically," says Brezel Göring of his first forays into music-making with girlfriend and Stereo Total co-conspirator Françoise Cactus. Eventually, the pair struck upon a way to combine Göring's background in the Neue Deutsche Welle ("German New Wave") scene with Cactus' love for French chansons and '60s garage rock. Read more » 

The Gossip: Soulful Rebellion

Somewhere out there, Etta James and Iggy Pop are scratching their heads and asking, "How in Christ's name does The Gossip come up with this shit?" This Portland-by-way-of-Arkansas three-piece crushes their garage rock crescendo with more soul than BET and more angst than a pack of small-town teenagers. The band's latest offering, Standing in the Way of Control, is a potent blend of R&B and spasmodic rock that's got asses bouncing and bodies crashing from coast to coast. Lead singer Beth Ditto explains it all while hanging curtain rods.


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Me Magazine: Creating Cover Stars

They say you can learn a lot about people by meeting their friends, and Me Magazine ($8, subscription $25)–run by former Index/Visionaire/V Magazine creative Claudia Wu–is proof that "they" are not wrong.

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Can's Irmin Schmidt: Father-Kraut

At a time when Germany was literally rebuilding itself from the ground up, artists in Cologne (both visual and musical) flourished, giving birth to a new post-war culture. In fact, the revolution was in full swing from San Francisco to Europe. While students rioted on campuses around the globe, experimental electronic music spread boundlessly in cities everywhere. A pupil of composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, pianist Irmin Schmidt was at the eye of the storm, channeling all manner of sounds and politics, and assembling what would become the band most synonymous with the Krautrock sound: Can.

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