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Synch Festival: Greece Hits

Raving in Greece isn't quite like raving anywhere else. You're less likely to end up at an afterparty than to find yourself at an all-night diner on the outskirts of the city, where vintage jazz and recent R&B take turns on the stereo while you crouch on Turkish cushions, eating salty crepes. The crowds are different, too, there's no jaded "been there, done that" feeling, because many partygoers are doing it all for the first time.

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Roots Tonic's Artist Tips

Like the finest jazz, the best dub is a product of fruitful collaboration–and few artists know this as well as the New York-based trio Roots Tonic. Not only do members Josh Werner, Aaron Dugan, and Jonah David provide the back-up strength for Hasidic reggae superstar Matisyahu, but members have found themselves in the studio or on stage with everyone from John Zorn to Coco Rosie to Talib Kweli to Dr. Israel. Read more » 

Bitter Bastard on XLR8R Letters

From mangled postcards to maniacal fans, BJ "Bitter" Bastard lets you in on the most popular types of letters that XLR8R has received over the years.

1. "You are grossly overusing the word 'chanteuse,' 'techno,' 'dancefloor,' etc."
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Psalm One: Something Explosive

"You'll never be more than that girl who raps good for a girl/But really those titties is giving wood to the world."

As this line from "Rapper Girls" demonstrates, Chicago MC Psalm One (born Cristalle Bowen) is familiar with the disses thrown at female rappers. She's heard the looks-but-no-talent teases, and she's happy to throw some out herself (as she does repeatedly on this track)–but only if they're accurate. It's part and parcel of the blunt, crafty style that's made her a rising star on the Rhymesayers label.

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Couch: Indie Outback

Munich, Germany's Couch makes dense yet delicate instrumental rock that reminds me of late-summer coffee-fueled urban quests in search of a gorgeous yet imaginary goth waif. The humid air and desirous undercurrent are a perfect match for the strummed guitars and moody electronics of Couch's new album, Figur 5 (Morr Music), a record as bittersweet as my romantic pursuits.

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