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Jared Buckhiester's Eerie World

It’s a special moment when a person’s art makes you step back and say, “Whoa, what the fuck happened to this dude when he was a kid?” Jared Buckhiester’s illustrations and photographs tell the story of that kid. But the tale he weaves isn’t one of pain and suffering, and he doesn’t wallow in clichés, despite growing up gay in a suffocating Southern Baptist community near the North Georgia Mountains. Read more » 

Beatfanatic: Salsa, Drums, and Hip-Hop

How do you start out playing guitar inspired by The Clash and end up releasing cut ‘n’ sample masterpieces that win fans as varied as Bobbito Garcia and Thievery Corporation? Read more » 

Charles Spencer in the Studio

Charles Spencer’s studio–a few doors down from Jay J. Hernandez and Chris Lum’s famed Moulton Street complex in the Polk Gulch district of San Francisco–also houses a medical marijuana dispensary. Out on the street, the pedestrian traffic turns from midday casual café dwellers to nighttime bar revelers and finally, around 1 a.m., to a myriad of multi-gendered sex workers. Read more » 

Verna Francis: A London Diva

Singing, dancing, acting, and all that jazz–Verna Francis can do it. From playing Miss Sherman for two years in a West End production of Fame to giving Nathan Haines’ “Earth Is the Place” its distinctive vocal flair, Francis’ talent is as big and broad as her rich voice. Her range and emotive delivery make her sound like a house or broken beat cousin of Whitney Houston or Chaka Khan. Read more » 

Mars Volta vs. Jaga Jazzist: Boiling Points

Although they hail from relatively opposite ends of the earth, The Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (Hollywood, CA) and Jaga Jazzist’s Lars Horntveth (Oslo, Norway) share quite a bit in common. Both are highly esteemed musicians, fronting genre-shredding outfits that offer up elaborate and cerebral musical explorations. Both released debut solo efforts last year–Omar’s A Manual Dexterity, Volume 1 and Horntveth’s Pooka–and are following suit with their respective bands in 2005. Read more » 

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