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Mavado & Aidonia: The Warriors

Seated on a stage at Brooklyn's BAM Rose Cinemas, Aidonia looks visibly uncomfortable. A cap pulled low over his eyes, the deejay is staring at the floor–hardly a pose befitting an emerging superstar whose songs ooze charisma and jovial panache.

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Au Revoir Simone: Lynch-Pop

Au Revoir Simone's Annie Hart is on the phone from a tour stop in Munich. She's just finished sound-check and is stoked on her monitor mix. It's a simple pleasure–but then again, simple pleasures are what Au Revoir Simone is all about. Since 2003, the Brooklyn trio–rounded out by fellow keyboardist/vocalists Heather D'Angelo and Erika Forster–has crafted infectious songs that display a fervent dedication to synthetic keyboard melodies. In other words, it's been saccharine indie-pop fun from day one.

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Just Do It: Remix Tips

Want to get high-profile rappers to spit on your beats? Need to make an indie rock track into an electro-house anthem? Producers K-Salaam, A Touch of Class, DJ Day, and Pilooski with tips on remixing, re-editing, and rethinking your records.

DJ Day

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Qualo: Backpack Gangstas

The annual Chicago Rocks showcase, organized by the respected Molemen crew, has been a highlight of the city's hip-hop calendar for years and Qualo made sure its appearance during the 2005 edition would be memorable. Waving a flag and flooding the stage with rappers, the group turned its set into a haphazard scene straight out of a political convention. It was an apt move for Qualo, a quartet who are definitely rap's dark-horse candidate.

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Lifesavas: Alter-Ego Trippin'

For hip-hop trio Lifesavas, the fine line between fact and fiction has temporarily become blurred. With their new album, this Portland, OR-based crew–consisting of Jumbo the Garbageman, Vursatyl, and Rev. Shines–tossed out the old blueprint and created a cinematic concept effort as intricate as Prince Paul's A Prince Among Thieves, with a narrator, segued scenes, and a fictionalized backstory.

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