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Eric K. Arnold

Music, BeatBox Dub Mission's anniversary

Dub Mission's anniversary

Thirteen years is an eternity in club years — it's closer to two eternities, in fact. Yet there must be a reason DJ Sep's Dub Mission party has survived for more than a decade in its Sunday night Elbo Room…
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Music, Aphrodesia spreads Afrobeat cross-country

Aphrodesia spreads Afrobeat cross-country

The 11 Afrobeat enthusiasts who comprise Aphrodesia always have good anecdotes to share. There was the tour they took through the United States in a bus powered by vegetable oil. Or the time they sang to Ghanaian audiences in their…
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Music, Om Records at 15

Om Records at 15

Pioneering S.F. electronic music label Om Records turns 15 this year. In the past decade and a half, the company has evolved from a purveyor of multimedia CD-ROMs to a dance music tastemaker well-regarded for its output of house and…
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Music, BeatBox "Amplify"


This week's "Amplify" party at 111 Minna promises both audio and visual stimulation, combining a top-notch roster of hip-hop DJs and MCs with an impressive list of musically inspired photographers and designers. Headliners Pase Rock (New York City) and Dam…
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Music, Hear This De La Soul

De La Soul

Even if De La Soul never releases another album — don't worry, the group is reportedly in the studio working on its eighth full-length — these guys will go down in history as one of hip-hop's all-time classic acts. Pioneers…
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Music, Hear This Céu


South American vocalist Céu is probably best known as a featured artist at Starbucks. But don't hold that against her. Her second Six Degrees album, Vagarosa (loose translation: laid-back), is anything but tame and middle-of-the road. The backing tracks are…
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Music, Santero summons orishas to the club scene

Santero summons orishas to the club scene

The burgeoning Urban Latino genre has come of age with the arrival of reggaetón-heavy Spanish-language radio stations, Urban Latino magazine, and even a Rough Guide compilation disc. The catch-all phrase — used to describe traditional South of the Border music…
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Music, Hear This Femi Kuti

Femi Kuti

Antibalas is usually given credit for kick-starting the Afrobeat revival; that honor actually should go to Olufela Olufemi (Femi) Anikulapo Kuti. The eldest son of Afrobeat founder Fela Kuti, his 20-year career attained critical mass in 1998 with the release…
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Music, The Jacka reprises hyphy with a gangsta twist

The Jacka reprises hyphy with a gangsta twist

Who needs a hyphy movement when you have the Jacka? The Pittsburg turf rapper is a one-man phenomenon. Though independent, he has as much street cred as any major-label rap artist. Maybe even more. Like his mentors C-Bo and Mac…
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Music, The Roots discuss hip-hop’s second jazz age

The Roots discuss hip-hop’s second jazz age

Hey, Bay Area: Don't tell anyone, but Questlove thinks you're special. According to the Roots' drummer, our music scene is unique in fostering acts that cross genres the way pedestrians cross streets. "You come from one of three places that…
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Music, Hear This Black Magic Spells

Black Magic Spells

Santana's "Black Magic Woman" long ago became a classic-rock radio staple easily taken for granted. But in the hands of Mexican-American singer Lila Downs, the song's bruja mystique is restored through her bilingual lyrics and inspired, jazzy arrangements. The song…
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Music, Reviewed Aaron LaCrate and Debonair Samir

Aaron LaCrate and Debonair Samir

It's easy to say what Baltimore club music isn't: It isn't Miami bass, Bay Area hyphy, Chicago house, New York hip-hop, D.C. go-go, Atlanta crunk, or Detroit techno. Yet it contains elements of all those genres, along with a unique…
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Music, The Zoo complex supports music synergy in Oakland

The Zoo complex supports music synergy in Oakland

For years, the local music community has issued the same complaints: We're too isolated, there isn't a big enough music industry, people don't work together. But while the area lacks the infrastructure of New York and Los Angeles, "the Bay…
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Music, Hear This Waxing Brazilian

Waxing Brazilian

Curumin's 2005 debut album, Achados e Perdidos, established the Brazilian multi-instrumentalist as a global alt.pop up-and-comer. He fused funk and soul influences into bossa-nova– and samba-tinged originals, along with what is perhaps the definitive Portuguese-language version of Stevie Wonder's "You…
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Music, Reviewed Thievery Corporation

Thievery Corporation

Electronic music is rarely thought of as being revolutionary from an ideological standpoint. Most artists in this genre push buttons and sliders, not political agendas. For every M.I.A., there are a hundred jokers with club-filling beats and little else. Washington,…
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Music, Hear This Too Thrashed

Too Thrashed

Silas Baxter-Neal's ollies, grinds, and kickflips are the stuff of legend — or, at least, the stuff of repeated slack-jawed YouTube views. So it comes as little surprise that the 25-year-old resident of Eugene, Oregon, has been named Thrasher Magazine's…
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Music, The Bay Area Maverick

The Bay Area Maverick

Tom Shimura may get fervent enthusiasm from audiences over the world, but he can still enjoy a quiet lunch in his hometown of Berkeley without being assailed by paparazzi. Dressed stylishly but not ostentatiously in a tilted baseball cap and…
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Music, San Francisco's sub-bass subculture

San Francisco's sub-bass subculture

This weekend, 150 electronic artists will create a cavalcade through the streets of San Francisco for the annual LoveFest Parade. On the surface, many of these DJs, producers, singers, and MCs represent far-flung genres ranging from IDM to glitch-pop to deep…
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Music, BeatBox Catching the Dub Bug

Catching the Dub Bug

For dub disciples, the Bug is aural nirvana. On soon-to-be-released album London Zoo, haunting melodica clashes with sampled helicopter rotors over a deliberate, bassy rhythm. Slow, chanting vocals and Space Invader effects weave throughout the mix, while aggressive toasting contrasts…
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News, Feature Not Your Parents' Jazz

Not Your Parents' Jazz

Jazz began as a live soundtrack for East St. Louis brothels and accompaniment for New Orleans funerals. Along the way it has engendered jive-talking hep cats, bongo-drumming beatniks, freeform fusionists, soulful mood-setters, and global groovemeisters. As a 20th-century creation, it…
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