Pussy Riot have released a new video to protest against the treatment of Russia’s opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who received a suspended jail term today (December 30) for supposedly stealing 30 million roubles (£334,000) from French cosmetics company Yves Rocher.

Navalny was sentenced to a suspended three-and-a-half-year jail term. His brother Oleg, a former postal executive who has no history of dissidence against Russia’s rulers, was jailed for three-and-a-half years. Oleg’s sentence is believed to mark a return to the Soviet Union’s treatment of dissidents in the 1960s, when relatives would be punished instead.

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Flaco Jimenez To Receive Lifetime Grammy Award

The Recording Academy announced Thursday that legendary conjunto accordionist Flaco Jimenez will receive a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award. The list includes George Harrison, the Bee Gees, Buddy Guy and the Louvin Brothers.

“It’s hard to say thanks to everybody that’s helped me out on my long road,” said Flaco Jimenez. “I’ve enjoyed every mile of it. I’m still enjoying it. If my health is OK, I’m going to keep on playing. That’s my life.”

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MTV’s Blue Frog Diaries chronicles the best in modern, indie Indian music happening today. Click here to check out the recent episode featuring Karsh Kale.

Moroccan musician Hassan Hakmoun started out flying high and fast in his international career. Not long after moving from his native Marrakesh to New York in 1987, he found kindred spirits in some incredible musicians, including friend Miles Davis and collaborators like trumpeter Don Cherry and singer Peter Gabriel (for whom he also went on to record for the Real World label).

Hakmoun made a string of interesting but occasionally unfocused fusion recordings in the 1990s — but somehow, until this spring’s release of Unity, twelve years had passed since his last album (The Gift) was issued.

In that long absence, Hakmoun has perfected a singular and organic fusion of all the music he loves, overlaying elements of jazz, funk and rock to his Gnawan roots, which he expresses through vigorous polyrhythms and the hoarse cries of both his voice and his sintir. For fans, it’s been a really long wait, but the results are worth it.

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