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CULTURE

Holiday Playlist 2007

CULTURE

Holiday Playlist 2007

by Seth Brau
on 13 December 2007
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Le Loup: The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly
A weird mixture of banjos, percussion and computer sounds Le Loup creates an experimental sound that's still fun listening. Based on Sam Simkoff's original cheap recordings of a hodge-podge of inexpensive instruments, such as toy glockenspiels and an old banjo, and recorded using the microphone and recording software included with his computer, the final album was created with a band formed using Craigslist. A true testament to the democracy of the digital music age, Le Loups music is a wonderful mixture of lo-tech and real instruments, carried along by the beautiful harmonizing layers of singing voices. See their MySpace to have a listen, then go buy the album from iTunes.

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White Williams: Smoke
I know I'm not supposed to judge a book by its cover but I was originally drawn to White Williams' Smoke because of the album art. The subtle dance pop I was to uncover underneath the eerie colorful album art ended up surpassing my expectations. With the perfect mixture of synth sounds, guitar and bass laid over magical drum beats, White Williams creates music that is as great for dancing as it is for sitting in your bedroom alone staring at the ceiling in a state of paralysis because you're so baked. Check out his MySpace for some samplings or buy Smoke right now on iTunes or from Insound.
—Seth Brau

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The Tough Alliance: New Chance
Another duo out of Sweden that deserving attention, The Tough Alliance (TTA) is a mixture of electronic, glitch pop, and new wave—but better. The young Gothenburg duo, Henning Fürst and Eric Berglund, are fellow Swede Jens Lekman's favorite band and rightfully so. Their odd beatscapes mixed with youthful vocals are poppy and painfully catchy.

I've heard that they will schedule a show at 8pm, not come on stage until around 4am and then only play one song, understandably inciting small riots. Not very nice on their part, but the fact that some people are willing to wait that long says a lot. Listen to a few songs on the TTA MySpace and visit their website, which has virtually no info on the band. Get their latest album, New Chance from iTunes.

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Cass McCombs: Dropping the Writ
His first release on Domino, Cass McCombs takes a more lyrical laid back approach with Dropping the Writ. Her voice has an effortless sound, which, layered on different tracks over repetitive guitar riffs, embellish the star-gazing quality of the music. Using blunt, odd and sometimes funny lyrics, he talks of himself and everyday life experiences.

Listen to "That's That" on his MySpace, a relatively mellow track from Dropping the Writ, which is available at Domino and Insound or download it from iTunes for £8.
—Tim Yu

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Snoop Dogg: Sensual Seduction
Like everyone else with a penchant for smooth jams, sexy lyrics and impeccable production, I can't get enough of Snoop's hit track "Sensual Seduction." I've always had a soft spot for his mellifluous voice and Southern California drawl but this track adds something new and the beat is irresistible from start to finish. Watching the Doggfather dance in the video is pretty great too.

It's the first single from the forthcoming Ego Trippin' (due out in March 2008). Listen to it on Snoop Dogg's site or download it from iTunes.
—Ami Kealoha

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Daft Punk: Alive 2007
As a general rule live albums are for ultimate fans or serious music nerds, but this new release from everyone's favorite French avant-disco duo is an exception. The recording captures the drama and energy of their acclaimed Alive 2007 tour (minus the light show and helmets) and is perhaps one of the best concert albums out there. Listen on MySpace, buy from Insound or download from iTunes.

Wu-Tang Clan: 8 Diagrams
One of the most hotly-anticipated releases of this year, 8 Diagrams is the first new album from Amazon or download from iTunes.
—Evan Orensten

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

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The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

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Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

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Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

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Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

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We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

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The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

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I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

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The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

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How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

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We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

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I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

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LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

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I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

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My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

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It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

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Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

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We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

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I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

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The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

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We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

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Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

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Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

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I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

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In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

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I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity
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