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There are times when there’s just something instantly classic about an album and, while it might not be easy to place at first, it’s most definitely there and anyone listening knows it from the moment the record starts playing. It might be the beat that does it, it might be the inclusion of some well-worn riffs or instrumental motifs, it might even be something as simple as a familiar timbre in the singer’s voice – but there’s something and, when...

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Tuesday, 20 January 2009
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Yeah, it’s been a while, sue me! Actually, please don’t sue me because I don’t have any money. It’s been a while partly because I’ve been in a holi-daaaze, but more because of the lack of any good music to come out since October. I mean, no one tours during the last two months of the year—especially in Chicago—and no one puts out any records that aren’t re-issues or Deluxe this or Special that, so that means no After the...

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Monday, 19 January 2009
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In spite of the fact that the band nixed the exclamatory punctuation from its name before the release of 2008’s Pretty. Odd., it’s pretty obvious that no one at Chicago’s Civic Theater had heard the news the night that Panic At The Disco took the stage there. From the moment the stage lights come up and the band kicks into “We’re So Starving,” an ecstatic, estrogen-laced (how do girls hit and sustain those squealed notes at concerts anyway?) eruption goes...

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Monday, 19 January 2009
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In the last couple of years, as bands like Broken Social Scene, Attack In Black, MSTRKRFT, Tokyo Police Club and Alexisonfire (among a ton of others) have won international attention and bands like The Constantines enjoy renewed interest, it’s almost as if the musical community in Canada simply appeared from nowhere in the minds of people outside the country. Granted, there’s no escaping the achievements and influence of artists like Neil Young and Leonard Cohen, but it’s as if any...

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Saturday, 17 January 2009
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Oh, how times have changed for Dave Grohl since first emerging from the wreckage of Nirvana in 1995. Back then, the ambitions and hopes for the Foo Fighters were small – no one was sure if a breakaway act from the single most loved and lauded act in grunge was even possible (it hasn’t been, to date, for Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic) or if it’d last beyond a novel initial interest.  The band started very much like other first-timers have...

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Saturday, 17 January 2009
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Biographer Billy James says it best right off the top of this documentary presentation outlining the initial appearance of Frank Zappa and his Mothers Of Invention in the 1960s when, in a very matter-of-fact and incontrovertible tone, he states, “Zappa brought something different that no other artist has. Music would not be the way it is today if it wasn’t for Frank Zappa.” Without trying to sound redundant, truer words were never spoke. There is no quadrant of pop that...

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Friday, 16 January 2009
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There’s no arguing that the Golden Age of Soul music and Rhythm & Blues was in the 1950s and ‘60s. As the style grew and developed quickly in the mainstream the biggest, most timeless names – Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Otis Redding, both Ike and Tina Turner, James Brown and Marvin Gaye as well as the innumerable talents on Motown and Stax – all seemed to appear at once as a voracious appetite for new sounds kept vinyl presses running...

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Friday, 16 January 2009
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“Where do bad vibrations come from, Raymond?” Johnny asked me last night, and I had no answer. But the point is though it’s long established Vermont is a place of strong white magick, a place friendly to adventurers of the mind and body, a holy place, though we and thousands of others know this and never take it for granted, yet we must risk the relatively inferior terrain and vibration of Massachusetts and points south and west, and the huge...

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Thursday, 15 January 2009
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Download:The Decemberists – The Rake's Song –...

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Thursday, 15 January 2009
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I arrive at 7:30 and Mark Lewis is on the main stage playing some trance to ease us into the night. The main stage is a giant white tent about three stories tall and its rectangular size covers the same size of about one NFL football field. Outside the tent there is a Ferris wheel and a cage where people are on display for aerial tricks on swings and hanging ribbon. There are a few carnival-style stands where you can...

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Monday, 12 January 2009