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Monday, Mar 31, 2014
A haunting paean to one's home city.

Rahdan Vandal (who usually just records under his first name), is probably Turkey’s most haunted rapper, his rhymes and beats mired in an air of anxiety and angst. Often, his work expounds on the emotional troubles of solitary youth and, with the poetic sweeps of some carefully versed rhymes, the rapper manages to convey these troubles without seeming banal. This may not be apparent to non-Turkish speakers, so Rahdan does the one thing he knows best when penning a lyric: back it up with an indelible melody that will linger in the listeners’ heads long after.


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Thursday, Mar 27, 2014
Italian rapper O'Priò fires off a missive to a former crime boss and sheds light on environmental disaster.

O’Priò’s “La Deposizione” has an interesting story to it. It deals with a catastrophe in Southern Italy called “La Terra dei fuochi” (The Land of the Fires), which concerns the areas around Naples and Caserta, respectfully. These areas were targeted for waste contamination years ago and have remained an environmental disaster since, polluting the groundwater and food sources in Italy with toxic waste. O’Priò fingers Carmine Schiavone (a former member of criminal organization Camorra) for this environmental crime, taking him to task in his lyrics of restrained fury.


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Monday, Mar 17, 2014
In honor of St. Paddy’s day, I figured we could celebrate some music straight from Ireland.

You’ve almost certainly got a playlist ready and raring to go populated with Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys and the Tossers. Good for you! But maybe you could augment your lineup of irish-sounding songs with one from a band that’s, y’know, actually Irish.


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Monday, Feb 24, 2014
Seventeen new songs with notes to chase away the winter blahs.

The ground hog seems to have definitely gotten things right—winter continues with a vengeance for those who are accustomed to such weather or not (looking at you Southeast!) Why not use the time indoors to check out new bands like Temples, Big Data and Jamestown Revival, along with new releases from Fanfarlo, Cut Copy, Gardens & Villa, Bombay Bicycle Club and more. As always, the playlist ends in a chill out mode thanks to tracks from Caspian and Hammock.


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Thursday, Jan 30, 2014
A moody, passionate ode to the city of lights, "Paris" remains one of Anna Domino's many overlooked gems.

Anna Domino’s Mysteries of America (1990) went largely unnoticed by the general public (like much of her other work). It was a shame, since the album contained some of the most beautiful compositions put together by a recording artist at that time. Today the album still stands the test of time, its ethereal, autumnal warmth radiating the kind of gentle sensuality reserved for Eric Rohmer films. Americas’ most gorgeous number was “Paris”, a lovely paean to the city of lights that featured the most popular elements of chanson (chiming guitars, accordion) and was built upon a circular, hypnotic rhythm of Latin percussion.


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