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Wendy Yao's Favorite Things

When I was 18, Wendy Yao was the shit. She was only 17, and she was the drummer in all-girl indie punk trio Emily's Sassy Lime, who had a record out (Desperate, Scared but Social) on Kill Rock Stars. Nearly 10 years later, Wendy is still the shit. After graduating from Stanford, she set up shop in L.A.'s Chinatown, where she can be found DJing at Mountain Bar, hanging out at China Art Objects (a gallery her older sister, clothing designer and former ESL bandmate Amy, helped found), or behind the counter at her boutique, Ooga Booga (943 N. Read more » 

Trackademicks: Bay Area Badass

It's tempting to pigeonhole Trackademicks (a.k.a. Jason Valerio) as just another one of the Bay Area's hyphy beatmakers. He produced a third of Mistah F.A.B.'s Son of a Pimp LP and his (re)mix tapes–Trackademicks: The Remixes and Spring Progress Report (the latter of which finds him rhyming on half the tracks)–feature his reinterpretations of songs by hyphy heavyweights E-40 and Keak Da Sneak.

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Labels We Love 2006

Everyone seems to be mourning the death of the label. Corporate monoliths–and even more monolithic blanket orgs like the RIAA–would rather spend their time suing the crap out of tech-savvy teens than allow the imprints they've swallowed up to actually develop artists. We still believe that the best music–and the curation, design, packaging, and sense of community that comes with it–is independent, created by teams of devoted, creative individuals with super-honed zeitgeist feelers and a profound respect for the art and the craft. Read more » 

Douglas Coupland's JPod

Vancouver's Douglas Coupland defined youth in the early '90s with works like Generation X and Shampoo Planet, coaxing deeper meanings from a tech-obsessed generation's collective neuroses. Nearly 15 years later, Coupland faces the question: Will he become obsolete, or merely retro, like some adored but aging game console from childhood?

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The Presets: Post Rock, Moving Hips

Before 29-year-olds Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes were The Presets, they were studying piano and percussion, respectively, at Sydney's Conservatorium of Music. And, like most arty kids rebelling against the system (in this case a hard-core regimen of music composition and theory), the pair also had an experimental band in the works. "Prop was instrumental music with vibraphones and marimbas and keyboards," explains Hamilton. "It was a bit like Tortoise. You know, music for the soul, instrumental, film-scorey, 'meaningful' music."

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