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Ray Charles' gritty voice takes a trifle of a tune and transforms "Isn't It Wonderful" into an intimate and enticing lover's plea. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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'Isn't It Wonderful' by Ray Charles

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Clockwise, from top left: Joel Harrison, Marcus Shelby, the cover of Horo: A Jazz Portrait, Plunge (Mark McGrain, James Singleton, Tim Green). Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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Big Band Spirituals, Drums Not Drums And '70s Italy: New Jazz Releases

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Yuck's "Rubber" fuses the DNA of grunge, shoegaze and fuzzy garage pop into a sound that has the '90s in its blood. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Yuck

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Nastiness and cynicism often take precedence over melody in Colin Newman's singing, but not in Wire's "Smash." Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Smash

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The young Hawaiian ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro infuses a rock staple with a moment of tropical island Zen. Danny Clinch/Courtesy of Shore Fire Media hide caption

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Danny Clinch/Courtesy of Shore Fire Media

Clockwise from top left: First Aid Kit, James Blake, Yuck, Apex Manor. Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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New Mix: James Blake Sings, Cowboy Junkies On Vic Chesnutt, And More

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In "Free," Erik Wunder of Man's Gin exudes a certain rough sweetness even as he damns everything around him. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Smiling Dogs

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Rita Indiana is an artist from the Dominican Republic. Her electronic merengue is often played on Alt.Latino. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Alt.Latino: Addressing The Cultural Divide Through Music

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John Vanderslice's "The Piano Lesson" is imbued with a playfully cinematic quality, without becoming overly precious or saccharine. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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White Wilderness

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In "Brand New Swamp Thing," Giant Sand shares a roadside love story about a woman unafraid to make the first move. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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'Brand New Swamp Thing' by Giant Sand

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Jessy Bulbo Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Listen to"La Cruda Moral"

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Bomba Estereo courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Listen to Bomba cover Technotronic's "Pump Up The Jam"

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