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The sad truth about friendship is that it is one of the most often-abused endeavors in human nature. Even sadder still, most folks only discover what a true friend is in the face of hardship—so goes the old saying that “A friend is somebody that helps you move, a good friend is someone that helps you move a body.” Does this mean that not every friend in your cell phone’s Top Five is of the fair-weather variety? Maybe, maybe not—but...

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Thursday, 30 October 2008
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It’d be tough to contend that Bob Dylan’s fans, much like the singer himself, aren't a strange breed of beast. Once bitten by the bug, people become devout fans for life and that appreciation causes them to do strange things and make bizarre claims. In the late Seventies, for example, fans got confused when the singer spontaneously decided to convert to Christianity and release a couple of staunch and devout albums. By the mid-Eighties, Dylan was making it even harder...

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Wednesday, 29 October 2008
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A preamble: Since owner Hilly Kristal’s passing and the closure of his bar, CBGB, it seemed almost guaranteed that eventually someone would release some of the soundboard recordings from the venue; both the man and the business were too loved and considered too important to let fade into oblivion. That would be the romantic hope anyway. Happily, MVD has accepted the challenge and, even happier still, the quality is better than anyone could reasonably have expected to come from CeeBee’s...

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Tuesday, 28 October 2008
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Whether it’s intentional or not, some bands can’t seem to help but have a polarizing effect on all listeners with whom their music comes into contact. Whether it’s the combination of sounds that the group chooses to intermingle, the way they put those sounds together or even just the voices and effects used to administer the group’s ideas, listeners are instantly either turned on or put off of a band within seconds of sampling an album. There is no halfway...

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Tuesday, 28 October 2008
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Electronic beatmaker Diego Chavez presents his first LP under the Aether moniker on local Texas-based Exponential and is set to release his debut, Artifacts, out 11/25. Chavez, a graphic designer and music producer based out of San Antonio, TX, also records under the monikers Otic Angst and A.M. Architect in addition to producing tracks for the conscious based hip-hop group Lotus Tribe and rock band The Panic Division. And the fact that I just saw Lykke Li three days ago,...

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Tuesday, 28 October 2008
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To say that I was excited about this show would’ve been an understatement. Opeth, a band that I had missed every time that they’ve played San Francisco, were back, and this time they were bringing with them one of my favorite bands, High On Fire, and a band I had been curious about for a long time, Baroness. Adding to my excitement was the fact that it was a Monday evening and I could think of no better way to...

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Monday, 27 October 2008
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It was about twelve years ago when I first heard the Danielson Famile. I was working as an intern at a major label. The German translation of said label is roughly “jungfrau.” I was always milling through the stacks, looking for something that wasn't completely, soul-suckingly awful. Eventually I made friends in the office with the label rep for Blue Note who eased my pain with some Art Blakey and Dexter Gordon reissues, and I began picking at that guy's...

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Monday, 27 October 2008
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After a brief freak-out session thinking that I was going to miss the one new band that I’ve wanted to see live, Friendly Fires were scheduled to start at 10:30, not 10, as I’d originally thought. Believe me, this would’ve really pissed me off. And the only thing I could blame would be anyone who attended the Family Force Five show next door at House of Blues because the line for the valet was 10-deep with teens waiting for their...

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Sunday, 26 October 2008
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A couple of years ago, Alecia “Pink” Moore decided that she’d had about all she could take of being a pre-groomed, prefabricated pop tart presented the same way as all the others of that ilk – including Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and the rest of the horde – were presented: as easily consumed and disposable chattle. So she hamstrung herself on purpose with the Tim Armstrong co-written Try This and tripped so hard that her label backed off...

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Saturday, 25 October 2008
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In order to understand what one is listening to when attempting to decode the megalithic assembly that is Jonathan Nelson’s newest effort under the Escape Mechanism moniker, one has to understand what the difference is between a musician and an artist of music. It sounds like it should be the height of differentiating the most miniscule of minutiae, but really the difference is enormous. The musician is bound by the constraints of the structure that any musical instrument implies; as...

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Saturday, 25 October 2008