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ESG vs. Girl Talk

Creative appropriation or flat-out theft?

Five Star By Andy Smith

He's best known as tour DJ and resident sample-digger for downtempo hitmakers Portishead, but as his The Document series of mix CDs shows, Andy Smith's true love runs from the funk and disco he heard growing up in late-'70s Bristol to the underground hip-hop of today. Read more » 

Casisotone For The Painfully Alone

Ten bucks says Owen Ashworth can make you cry in under two minutes.

With a couple of crummy Casios and his trusty 4-track, the 28-year-old film school dropout has built a decade-spanning career out of drawing tears at rapid speeds. Armed with two-minute synth-pop songs and a husky, Prozac-induced voice, Ashworth (a.k.a. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone) has brought to life a trilogy of melancholy mini-epics: Answering Machine Music, Pocket Symphonies for Lonely Subway Cars, and Twinkle Echo.


Favorite Fashions

XLR8R asks: What is your favorite fashion look of the last five years?

Joshy D
"Tattoo imagery. Although I don't consider my company a disposable trend, the acceptance of tattoos on skin and in fashion has given Rebel 8 more exposure, popularity, and legitimacy. And I love the resurgence of glam and punk fashion. There is nothing wrong with having a 1980s time capsule as your wardrobe."

San Francisco's Joshy D runs t-shirt company Rebel 8.

Bob Kronbauer

Melted Mailbox: Singles Club

Twenty-four-year-old Matt Kimmel gets a rush from discovering obscure bands. But he's noticed that even in a hyperlinked world, deserving artists go unappreciated–hence the inspiration to start Melted Mailbox, a new psychedelic singles club. "It's a low-tech solution to the modern problem of finding out about new bands," says Kimmel. "If you like experimental music, and you like your mailbox, there's no reason not to sign up."


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