Jenny Toomey: Defending Artists' Rights

Jenny Toomey can’t seem to sit still. I can hear all manner of clanking and shuffling in the background as she answers my questions over the phone. But that’s the kind of activist she is: never restin…

Technarchy: Exploiting Technology

William Gibson, an original cyberpunk, once stated that “the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.” But if it’s already dropped, who exactly is making it? Gibson would probably say…

Jared Buckhiester's Eerie World

It’s a special moment when a person’s art makes you step back and say, “Whoa, what the fuck happened to this dude when he was a kid?” Jared Buckhiester’s illustrations and photographs tell the story o…

Beatfanatic: Salsa, Drums, and Hip-Hop

How do you start out playing guitar inspired by The Clash and end up releasing cut ‘n’ sample masterpieces that win fans as varied as Bobbito Garcia and Thievery Corporation? If you’re Beatfanatic, yo…

Charles Spencer in the Studio

Charles Spencer’s studio–a few doors down from Jay J. Hernandez and Chris Lum’s famed Moulton Street complex in the Polk Gulch district of San Francisco–also houses a medical marijuana dispensary. Out…

Verna Francis: A London Diva

Singing, dancing, acting, and all that jazz–Verna Francis can do it. From playing Miss Sherman for two years in a West End production of Fame to giving Nathan Haines’ “Earth Is the Place” its distinct…

Mars Volta vs. Jaga Jazzist: Boiling Points

Although they hail from relatively opposite ends of the earth, The Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (Hollywood, CA) and Jaga Jazzist’s Lars Horntveth (Oslo, Norway) share quite a bit in common. Both …

I Wayne Teaches More Love

At the end of 2004 a new voice exploded onto the roots reggae scene. The voice had an unworldly vocal timbre and sagacious, bitingly conscious turns of phrase that made you listen with your soul. The …

Roots Manuva: Rolling Deep

Thank Dizzee and The Streets–now that the pressure’s off Roots Manuva to save the soul of UK hip-hop, he’s gone Awfully Deep and come back with his strongest album yet. Fresh off a UK tour with M.I.A.…

Jeff Samuel: Swing in That Minimal Thing

The schaffel swing that has infected minimal techno first broke out in Germany, but you’ll also find it in the bouncing funk of Seattle’s Jeff Samuel, who brings a distinctly upbeat swing to minimal t…

Somewhere: Barcelona, Spain

A debate rages among flamenco purists over whether the flamenco hip-hop of Ojos de Brujo belongs on stage with more traditional artists such as Paco de Lucía or at indie music festivals like South by …

Isan: Mastering the Art of the Dark

Long before Berlin’s Morr Music established itself as the Playmobil to Warp’s Lego, Scotland’s Isan was making pastel-colored, melody-driven electronic music of its own. Comprised of fellow gearheads …

Daddy Yankee: Super Fina

Daddy Yankee stands in front of a weathered three-story block in the Villa Kennedy area of San Juan, inside the government housing project where he spent his teenage years. Boricuas–the term used by P…

The Funk Phenomenon

Forget samba. Funk is the biggest music in the favelas (shanty towns) of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Not the James Brown sort of funk, something else. Call it funk carioca, favela funk, or simply funk, li…

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