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With the deluge of poor, uninspired and generally confusing moves that the band has made of late (Untitled was the worst yet and seemed to sound the demise of the group as fans know them), it’s difficult to envision Korn as the once aggressive and cathartic “nu metal” kings they once were. The decline has certainly been swift; to date, drummer David Silveria and guitarist Brian “Head” Welch have left the band (presumably for health reasons and religious epiphanies respectively),...

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Wednesday, 08 October 2008
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The biggest detriment to the career of Kevin Ayers is the fact that he is still alive. If he had shrugged off this mortal coil via a combination of Dr. Robert's finest and scotch in, say, 1971, well then…we'd have another doomed visionary in which to pour all of our hopes and dreams of limitless possibilities in. But Ayers kept it clean and had the astronomical, unflappable nerve to keep on living and to keep on producing. Kevin Ayers, alongside...

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151
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Wednesday, 08 October 2008
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In this day and age, you can’t help but be a little skeptical when a band attempts a comeback after several years. Comebacks tend to offer too much change and too little heart; too much effort in being different and too little truth in what is being projected from the artist’s mouth. With that being said, a band’s return to the glare of publicity can often leave us wondering what the precedent behind the album was—a flashy big bang (which...

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Wednesday, 08 October 2008
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I'm not really punk enough for punk shows. I mean, I've listened to punk rock in various forms since the '80s, but I just can't get my affinities right. So often do I get caught up in the fast, simple, raging music, the politics that remind me of my own being sung with passion and ferocity, and the camaraderie and companionship for those of us who roll a little off the edge of normal that I neglect to pay attention...

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123
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Wednesday, 08 October 2008
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There is something about gigantic, fuzzy riffs—riffs so big that you could land a DC-10 on them and so solid you could build the Freedom Tower on them. They make men dress in denim and tease their hair out. They make heartbreakingly beautiful girls with headbands and sleeve tattoos hang out with overweight, sweaty men who who can't stop dancing into everyone around them. All for the chance to share a moment of perfect riffage. On a recent weekday in...

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145
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Monday, 06 October 2008
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Since first appearing in 1974, The Residents have followed a lonely and insular path through the underground fraught with creative dead ends and lengthy, spiraling cul-de-sacs. Initially, it was all very interesting and compellingly strange but, as time has worn on (read: for the last twenty-seven years) the band has gone from purveyors of gloriously odd and remarkable music to a group lost in a meandering musical labyrinth of its’ own design. Since 1981, the band has trekked through kid’s...

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158
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Monday, 06 October 2008
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Of the emcees to spring from NWA around 1990, Ice Cube has been the steadfast upholder of the more theatrical side of that defunct group; releasing a series of albums that never stop issuing grand boasts and grand statements, wearing that imposing stature visibly and obviously on his sleeve and never deviating from a methodical fairly reeks of stately posturing. The trend continues on Raw Footage (check out the “For all you niggas that don’t do gangsta rap, don’t get...

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162
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Sunday, 05 October 2008
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In the strictest sense, Golden Smog wasn’t really a band – not under the conventional definition of the term anyway. Everybody in the group was already in a successful band – Gary Louris and Marc Perlman had Jayhawks, Dan Murphy had Soul Asylum, Kraig Johnson was in Run Westy Run and, of course, Jeff Tweedy was doing either Uncle Tupelo or Wilco depending on the day – so there was no pressure to “make it” because everybody’s bills were already...

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198
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Sunday, 05 October 2008
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Punk rock has been around long enough now (the actual duration and ‘first release’ title varies, but everyone can pretty much agree that the match was struck between thirty and thirty-five years ago) that the genre has had the opportunity to develop a mythos as well as a sort of revisionist history to support the lore. For example, it has been advocated by several of the older lions that the genre got a head of steam under it because the...

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Sunday, 05 October 2008
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After seeing as many shows as I have over the years, it’s still pretty easy to walk away and say that I had a really good time, but it’s another to experience something truly unique as I—along with 3500 Chicagoans—did on this warm Wednesday evening at perhaps the most beautiful venue in the country. During “Festival,” while soaked in a dim yellow light that made Jónsi look like he was standing on a street corner, he turned the volume knob...

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Saturday, 04 October 2008