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Sometimes a band will appear with a record that exhibits sounds considered to be haute mode at that particular moment but comes up lacking by comparison to those bands earning praise. In other words, the band in question is doing exactly the same things and they sound very similar to what`s dominating the airwaves yet, somehow, when passed through this particular group, it incites nothing but cringes. Take, for example, Star Fucking Hipsters; started as the side project for Stza...

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Friday, 03 October 2008
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I had been told to expect a great live show before I went to see The Hives last night at the Warfield in San Francisco—but no amount of warning could have prepared me for the musical onslaught that I experienced when I got there. There is no doubt that I have never seen a band with as much sheer energy blasting from the stage. It was as if someone had flipped the volume control into overdrive and pushed the fast...

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Friday, 03 October 2008
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Anyone familiar with The Creepshow’s story has been waiting for a new release with trepidation for the last two years. Upon first appearing, the band set the psychobilly world on fire as singer Jen “Hellcat” Blackwood, bassist Sean “Sickboy” McNab, drummer Matt Gee and keyboardist Reverend McGinty tossed a keg-sized Molotov cocktail into a haunted mausoleum and then started a zombie dance party around the resulting bonfire with the contents of their debut, Sell Your Soul. There was no stopping...

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Thursday, 02 October 2008
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With Between The Lines, the newly re-christened Saint Alvia (formerly Saint Alvia Cartel – the band abbreviated its name with no explanation given but, presumably, they were sick of the anatomical comparisons raised  by SAC) has clearly made its next order of business to put some distance between their prior work and their new direction. The band turns its back completely on the aggro-punk bruisers of its debut in the opening seconds of the before/after mash-up “Walk Before You Run...

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Thursday, 02 October 2008
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Hallucinogenic frogs, stray cats, porn stars and Sarah Palin all have something in common: they’re dirty. They are dirty in a unique way, but they won’t get anywhere with it. They’re unorganized. The dirty people of this world need a union and good theme music that’s super sexy. Dirty people of the world, I bring you the Dirt Crew, your one and only savior in the organization of your kind. James Flavour and Break 3000 lead the way for the...

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Wednesday, 01 October 2008
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The new album by Bigelf may leave you wondering more than it makes you feel assured that the boys from L.A. know exactly what they are doing. Their first album, Hex, dished out some amazing samples of who their musical influences are (Pink Floyd, ELO, Black Sabbath, Rush) and danced around the edges of being a prog rock-type concept album. Cheat The Gallows actually is a concept album; the message of the songs implies that something on a deeper level...

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Wednesday, 01 October 2008
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Even in the interrupted and rough-hewn, needs-first exposition that was Reprieve (the sessions for the album were put on hold as Hurricane Katrina forced the singer to evacuate New Orleans for the comparatively stable climes of upstate New York) it was clear that Ani DiFranco was reaching out to find the elements that would help her re-envision the parameters of her sound. Beneath the chaotic clamor of that collection of songs were the seeds of new ideas forced into stasis...

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Wednesday, 01 October 2008
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If you break it right down, there are only a few subjects or emotional states guaranteed to connect with pop and rock audiences right off the bat: love (be it of the puppy, unrequited or physical variety), anger, frustration, journeys (either physical or emotional) and, finally, calls to arms against a larger force (specified or unspecified). With any one (or several depending upon the band’s ambition) of those themes in place, the rest of the composition of a given pop...

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Wednesday, 01 October 2008