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Someone wise (I think it was Jim Brickman) once said that, if you're going to do anything, do one thing and do it really well. It's such a simple sentiment, but one that so few musicians ever heed; out of some twisted sense of artistic growth or fulfillment, a band will discover a method of operation that makes them household names only to mess with it until no one cares anymore. It's a sad fact, and the list of acts...

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Friday, 19 June 2009
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Some of the things that made the Canadian indie-rock outfit, Metric, concert so dazzling were Emily Haines’ dreamy vocals and her dramatic tambourine usage, a long jam session complete with a few guitar solos from Jimmy Shaw, clap/sing-a-longs from the sold-out crowd and lots of dancing. They even had the crowd pulling out their lighters for the last song. Classic. I love concerts like these. Energetic, fun-loving, smooth and breezy. But Metric’s performance still had that indefinable edge that calls...

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Friday, 19 June 2009
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Over the last few years, there has been a tremendous, rejuvenated interest in rockabilly music (again) but, in this case, the term 'revival' would be ironic given that the lion's share of the bands making the music are doing it the same way, using the same macabre themes. Granted, rockabilly has never been a genre blessed with an untold wealth of subjects to sing about (relationships, cars, misadventures in relationships and cars with alcohol involved and, finally, hard luck stories),...

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Wednesday, 17 June 2009
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There are moments – and this is one of them – when the benefit of hindsight can incite an enormous sigh of relief that comes from the knowledge that, realistically, events in history could have played out very differently but, because they didn't, it makes the world seem like a better, saner place. Take the early workings of Beck's career for example – when Mellow Gold hit in 1994, it gave Generation X and the earliest-born of Generation Y their...

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Wednesday, 17 June 2009
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Sometimes when one works in the press, it's just logistically impossible to tell the whole story of an artist – or even enough of that story to make it feel fulfilling to the writer. It seems like such an asinine statement, but think about it; in the average magazine, there is a finite number of pages which means that only so much space can be allotted to a particular story. This is a hard truth because, particularly if a writer...

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Sunday, 14 June 2009
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There isn't a punk rocker on Earth that doesn't want to hate Brody Dalle. When the singer first appeared on North American soil and formed The Distillers, she didn't so much feminize punk as attempt to play with the boys, like the boys but, because she wasn't much of a singer or much of a songwriter, only ended up sounding conveniently ironic on the mic; not really adding much to the scene, but certainly taking as much as she could...

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Saturday, 13 June 2009
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Returning to your roots, finding who you are, rocking out with complete strangers, breaking a sweat, bringing it back with your favorite drink, and finishing the night by singing along to Prodigy. It never starts with the headliner, so let us rewind it to the top. Arriving at a new venue is always awesome. You have to find the spot that you’ll always go to when you attend future concerts, and then hunt down your favorite place to get a...

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Saturday, 13 June 2009
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I arrived a little late to the Fillmore and my ears perked: The Crocodiles were playing. I caught the last two songs of this opening band for the Faint and they were great. Sole band members, Charles Rowland and Brandon Welchez, along with a drum machine tore through the remaining two songs of their set. I’m really partial to the whole Jesus and Mary Chain/Spacemen 3 (with a new wave twist) sound that the Crocodiles are dialed into, so it...

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Saturday, 13 June 2009
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It's been eleven years since Placebo struck platinum with “Pure Morning” – essentially a celebration of substance abuse, STDs and the morning after – and then promptly vanished from sight. For those that weren't sure, the reason it happened was because the band was just too novel for its own good; they looked like Jane's Addiction (or tried to) but sounded about as masculine as the Violent Femmes backed with a wall of synthesizers and, while there has been no...

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Saturday, 13 June 2009
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Thirteen years ago, while she was riding high on the mass acclaim that Rid Of Me and To Bring You My Love afforded her, Polly Jean Harvey exerted a little creative freedom and knocked out the raw, rough-hewn Dance Hall At Louse Point with John Parish. That album was a revelation; still angry and still emotionally injured, Harvey showed that she was still vulnerable too and, amid a much softer, more homegrown backdrop, proved that she was still be all...

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Saturday, 13 June 2009