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Tortoise: Deep Covers

The premise behind The Brave and the Bold­–putting post-rock innovators Tortoise in a studio with country-tinged singer Will Oldham (Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Palace Music)–sounds like an episode of an indie rock reality show. But after the assembled musicians finished the two-week-long recording sessions that produced the album, the combination turned out to be a genre-splicing success. "It was really natural," said Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker of the collaboration. "Will is something else. His stamina is crazy. That dude would sing all day."

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Kill Rock Stars: Riot Act

Kurt Cobain was late. It was Valentine's Day 1991, and he walked into Olympia, WA's North Shore Surf Club just as Bratmobile was exiting the stage. "I ran up to him and said, 'You missed us!'" recalls Bratmobile vocalist Allison Wolfe of the band's first ever performance. "[Kurt] was like, 'Sorry!' He seemed flustered."

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Mogwai: Louder Than Bombs

Things fall apart. Entropy, disintegration, call it what you will. It doesn't really matter. Because in the hands of the Glasgow quintet Mogwai, any attempts at fixed or invented meanings are parried and ruthlessly ridiculed. Their song and album titles, though seemingly charged with suggestion, are usually slapped on at the last minute and are, in fact, meaningless.

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Ketamine House: Into the Hole

Techno's latest sub-genre is as unstable as the sounds being used to make it, and already people are arguing over a name for it. Read more » 

Parra: Amsterdam's Most Wanted

To find Parra, you first have to find an 18-letter street: Nieuwsijdsvoorburg. Hang a left and look for the sneaker freaks talking outside the Patta store on their high-tech Japanese cell phones. Go inside, past Gee caressing some limited edition Nikes and the sounds of Mr. Wix booming hip-hop in a backroom studio, up some narrow stairs and into a room cluttered with boxes and boxes of shoes, posters, a discarded CPU and a clothing rack booming with the purple and green t-shirts of Parra's four-year-old Rockwell clothing line. Read more » 

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