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It's been six years since Rancid released Indestructible and, in the time since, the band has weathered so many storms that it was questionable if they were ever coming back. The list of troubles that the band has experienced is not short: bassist Matt Freeman was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2005 which abbreviated his touring Social Distortion as well as work on this newest Rancid release, drummer Brett Reed left the band in 2006 (his replacement, Branden Steineckert, has...

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Monday, 30 March 2009
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When Bob Mould resurfaced after a three-year silence with District Line, he shocked the hell out of Hüsker Dü fans by singlehandedly recapturing the magic that he, Grant Hart and Greg Norton once wielded so powerfully twenty years before. The songs brimmed with urgency, anthemia and heart, the vintage power pop hooks in songs like “Stupid Now,” “Old Highs, New Lows” and “Very Temporary” were sound and the record as a whole bore no age in spite of the fact...

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Sunday, 29 March 2009
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It's been three years since the Yeah Yeah Yeahs broke through with Show Your Bones and rode a tidal wave of popular and critical acclaim which took them from private underground pleasures to mainstream radio “it” band, but that doesn't mean they've been inactive in the intervening years. Sensing that they had a hot, in-demand commodity on their hands, primary YYY shareholders Karen O and Nick Zinner stayed busy by attaching their names to any and (presumably) every project goodly...

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Saturday, 28 March 2009
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Sometimes it doesn't take much, but sometimes it takes something gigantic to make a pensive man smile. One would think that after all he's seen and done – toured the world, found love, religion, intimacy and isolation – the effort required to make the single most stoic musician on Earth smile would be one of epic proportions. Preconceived notions get bucked, however, when novelist/philosopher/poet/musician/monk Leonard Cohen boards the stage at a sold out O2 Center in London, and the first...

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Friday, 27 March 2009
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We are the World opens the night and these guys were on a whole level that I wasn’t ready for. I’m not sure if that was clear enough. Imagine you tell your mother you’re taking her to “Shrek the Musical,” and instead you take her to a Marilyn Manson concert. What you just said is what I said when the curtain opened. A group of four (Robbie Williams , Ryan Heffington , Megan Gold and Nina...

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Friday, 27 March 2009
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There’s a good list of reasons why Lamb of God wasn’t picked to play any one of the ten inaugural balls ushering in our new era of change back in January for our recently elected President Obama. The reason that has to clearly top that list is the fact that event organizers didn’t want any tuxedos or ball gowns awash in ritualistic blood. Even with the release date of Wrath being about four weeks after the inaugural balls, you would...

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Thursday, 26 March 2009
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Musicians that are able to coax a believable form of dew-eyed, city-set heartbreak are a rare commodity these days. Thirty-five years ago, songwriters like Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen and (pre-Swordfish Trombones) Tom Waits made it look so easy to find the beauty of walking down a rain-slicked street, resigned to the fact that they feel very much alone in a very large crowd, but it has begun to look more and more like a lost art in recent years. Conor...

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Thursday, 26 March 2009
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Here's the easiest way to say it: The Prodigy first appeared in 1990 sporting a noxious blend of punk rock, PCP and acid house that threatened to start fires while other electronic acts (like Fatboy Slim and The Chemical Brothers) were happily kicking up dust at and loving their neighbors all night. They blew the floodgates wide open for crossbreeding the once exclusive camps of rockist snobs and chemically cooked ravers too – after Liam Howlett and his crew scorched...

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Wednesday, 25 March 2009
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I don't know that I have ever seen any band work the crowd to the point of a near riot without even hitting the stage, but Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society did just that on Friday night at The Fillmore. With a huge BLS branded curtain covering the stage, while Patsi Kline's "Crazy" was being pumped out on the house P.A., the sold-out crowd of metalheads were already going a bit nuts, and Zakk hadn't even walked out onto...

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Tuesday, 24 March 2009
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Gather round kiddos, it’s musical story time, and you know who that means—The Decemberists! With The Hazards of Love, the wily troubadours mix up their sound into a metal rock/rock opera/folksy country mélange while sticking with what they do best: making their music into a audio novel. And this one could be their War and Peace. So what’s the story? It’s been described as a drama about a young woman named Margaret and her true love William who are being...

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Monday, 23 March 2009