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To me, a Cloud Cult show is like a repeated viewing of Dead Poet's Society. Maybe a little too earnest sometimes, but emotionally they drag you all over the place, and I always end up with brimming tears, whether it's the “Oh Captain, My Captain” scene, or just before the first verse kicks in on “No One Said It Would Be Easy.” Both are also something I wouldn't hesitate to take part in if the opportunity came up, which is...

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Friday, 23 May 2008
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There are times when solo and side projects can be remarkably revealing regarding the musical depth of the players involved in them. As a textbook example of that statement, listen to Retribution Gospel Choir’s debut for even five minutes and hear Low mastermind Alan Sparhawk abandon slowcore and step into the brave new world (for him anyway) of grunge with a couple of his friends. The ghosts of the mid-nineties underground manifest immediately in the mid-paced, scruffy but delicate and...

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Thursday, 22 May 2008
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I got mad spring fever over here! So much new music for the summer and the bands and labels have said, "hey, let's just give these people a little morsel." Which translates into, FREE MUSIC. There are all sorts of projects up for grabs this week, including South, Stereolab, Sunny Day Sets Fire, Common Market, Ratatat, The Morning Benders and a ton more. Enjoy! Download – "Red Leaves" by Common Market – Download – "Rat Is Dead (Rage)" by...

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160
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Wednesday, 21 May 2008
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No matter how you look at them, The Decemberists are a completely unique entity in the context of modern rock. Since their first appearance seven years ago, they have won fans that, when put on the spot and asked what is so endearing about the band, couldn’t tell you exactly what they like—they can’t point to any one specific thing—just that they like the music and became fans virtually upon hearing it. Unlike so many acts that have lived, enjoyed...

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Tuesday, 20 May 2008
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The crowd was characterized by its collective hats. There was the straw cowboy, the porkpie, the fedora, the floppy knit in neutral colors that held volumes upon volumes of hair, the short-brimmed military and of course, the newsboy. The cross-section of headgear present to witness the cross-section of bands: opener Jonathan Wilson, a sort of J. Mascis-lite—younger, skinnier and only slightly grey in the hair department, but on pointe with the guitar acrobatics—headliner Vetiver—as quiet and unassuming folkies as their...

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Monday, 19 May 2008
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Especially in the last decade and a half, musicians on the East coast of Canada have been trying to shake the image that the rest of the world has of them. Not that it isn’t cultivated; if you believe the lyric sheets of the top or longest standing maritime bands, the band members perpetually do their lovers wrong or are wronged regularly by them, they’re usually sauced out of their minds or are gearing up for another epic bar mission...

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Monday, 19 May 2008
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What do you get when you mix members of The Clash, Big Audio Dynamite, Generation X, Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Reef? Everyone has a sound in their minds right now—no doubt about it—but, whatever you’re thinking, you’d be wrong. In point of fact that conglomeration is what makes up Carbon/Silicon and, from note one, track one of The Last Post, the band erupts with a stream of easy-to-listen-to but very-confrontational pop that is the aural equivalent of a candy apple:...

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181
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Saturday, 17 May 2008
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The final date of Kate Nash’s month-long U.S. ended at historic Fillmore in San Francisco and Ground Control was there to snap off a few shots to capture this spectacular evening. Beginning her tour in Atlanta on April 15, she zigzagged her way across our great country with stops in Boston, Chicago, Portland and even beat the heat out in Indio, CA, at Coachella. Nash is making her way back to Europe for some dates in Leeds beginning May 24,...

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150
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Saturday, 17 May 2008
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Ahhh the 80s…a simpler time when email, the Internet and Blackberrys were things we just saw in movies like Back to the Future and weren’t everyday necessities. This was also a time when music choices weren't as complicated—the choice was pretty much 80s pop or heavy metal. Those were my Jr. High and High School years when young impressionable minds tend to gravitate toward heavy guitar riffs, pounding drums, and lyrics about war, the occult and morbid scenes depicting a...

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173
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Friday, 16 May 2008
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On the list of peculiar things to define in print, Punch Brothers’ new album cross-wires the typically upbeat nature of old-timey hill music with the shadows of Southern Gothic before placing the hybrid in a high-brow concert hall context complete with classically styled compositional forms. It’s like listening to tales of hellfire and damnation drenched in sunshine and played with the reserve of cultured men that prefer to wallow in the pig pen rather than roost in the hen house....

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Thursday, 15 May 2008