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Ground Control's coverage of the Paid Dues Festival is in three parts. This is Part I. Click here to read Part II and Part III. You almost didn't read this. Maybe because it was a hip-hop show, or maybe because it was San Bernardino, but either way, security confiscated my pencils and pen as I walked through the gates for the Paid Dues festival. The pen was snatched from my bag immediately, but the pencils presented problems. “Is a pencil...

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Monday, 24 March 2008
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The singer/songwriter perhaps best known for her work with the Moldy Peaches, and now for her magnificent contribution to the Academy Award winning Juno, will be embarking on a massive 30 date US tour. Mixing humor and sorrow with wordsmith agility, Kimya has gained national recognition with her last few albums, particularly her most recent, Remember that I Love You.  Be it her clever and intelligent lyrics, or perhaps just their time and place within the incredible Juno, Kimya is finally getting well-deserved...

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Sunday, 23 March 2008
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There’s a common misperception among many groups of music enthusiasts that those making the stuff that the rest of us listen to are somehow different. They’re artists. They’re special. At some point in the last forty years, pop music groups—no matter what subgenre of music they play, be it punk, metal, Top-40 pop, ska or the dozens of others—lost sight of the fact that like, Chuck D. once said, “While making music professionally is a fun job, it’s still a...

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Saturday, 22 March 2008
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Before I knew any better, I asked Honus Honus (Ryan Kattner) a rather innocuous question after one of his band’s harrowing 2006 sets showcasing the Tom Waits/Frank Zappa/Gogol Bordello Molotov cocktail that is Six Demon Bag. “Where are you guys from?” I asked with a toothy grin on my face after just witnessing Sergei Sogay (Chris Sharr), Pow Pow (Christopher Powell), Critter Crat (Russell Higbee), and Chang Wang (Billy Dufala) and the aforementioned Honus, sway, crash and careen through a...

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Thursday, 20 March 2008
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There are definitely a few issues when it comes to live albums. For one, you can’t see the band. And when said band is known for their showmanship, and I put the emphasis on “man” here, you kind of lose everything the band is known for. However, if you’ve seen Tim Harrington before—stripping, tearing up stuffed pandas, rubbing his nipples—then you’ll have the upper hand while you’re listening to the new Les Savy Fav live album, After the Balls Drop,...

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Thursday, 20 March 2008
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Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel, the he and she music factory known as Mates of State, have confirmed the May 2008 release and track listing for their fifth full length album, Re-Arrange Us.  The album is argued to carry the most complex tunes put out by these idie-stars yet; including additional instrumentation expanding beyond their classic layered and playfully dueling vocals.  And if that weren’t enough, the album comes in a reversible and multi-layered package that will allow fans to...

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Wednesday, 19 March 2008
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If you haven’t slept in about ninety-six hours, the world is a very strange place. Edges don’t look clean anymore—they sort of vibrate with an energy like snow on a television screen—your eyes have difficulty focusing and the most mundane things seem cold and faded, yet piercing, exaggerated and crushing in their presence. If that sensation made a sound, it would be Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago—a record that exposes singer Justin Vernon’s desires, but moves at a careful...

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Wednesday, 19 March 2008
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Tuesday, 18 March 2008
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Oscar Wilde once wrote that “The difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” In the case of Gutter Twins founders Greg Dulli (ex-Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers) and Mark Lanegan (ex-Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age), they straddle the line because they have the benefit of both. More than five years in the making, The Gutter Twins’ debut treads darkly through the recesses of the pair’s regrets,...

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Monday, 17 March 2008
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Matt Costa has played all over the world to huge crowds. He's been mobbed in airports and had fans who don't speak English sing along word for word. Yet to launch his new record Unfamiliar Faces, Costa headed back home to Southern California to rest, relax and play a few in-stores—you know, a laid-back intimate setting for his hometown fans. Ground Control caught up with him at Encinitas' famed Lou's Records, where a line of kids who bought his album...

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Friday, 14 March 2008