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As good as so much of the music that came out of the Nineties might have been, trying to trace the lines of influence that any band from that period had on current taste is no easy feat. Of course, people continue to toast Nirvana as having had a modicum of historical validity and there's no doubt that Alice In Chains proved to leave a spectacular and lasting impression that remains felt on pop radio (Godsmack, Theory Of A Deadman,...

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Thursday, 11 June 2009
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At some point in its runtime, every great and deliriously medicated film noir made in the last twenty years seems to feature montage footage of eerie,  disquieting desert scenes that convey the desperation of those surroundings (think Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, U-Turn, The Doors and Natural Born Killers just to name a few). Common features to these montages tend to be images like a dead armadillo on the side of Route 666, scorpions fighting over territory or Gila...

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Wednesday, 10 June 2009
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What is the connection between Warner Brothers Records and Epitaph? Since Epitaph bands began jumping to major labels (including Bad Religion, Rancid, The Distillers and more – the exception being The Offspring, who went to Columbia in 1996), they consistently find a homes at Warner or some sub-label of the company and (recently) vice versa as Reprise mainstays Green Day reissued their first two albums on Reprise in North America, but Epitaph everywhere else in the world. Why is that?...

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Wednesday, 10 June 2009
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Every so often, the Gods of Metal smile down upon the masses and offer up a tour that is so packed with nothing but stellar bands that it almost seems too good to be true. Tonight's bill of Warbringer, Belphegor, Exodus and Kreator definitely fit that description, and I made sure to get myself down to Slim's to be at the epicenter. Unfortunately some minor problems at will call kept me outside the venue for much of Warbringer's set, but...

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Sunday, 07 June 2009
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At this point, it has been six years since last Rancid released an album of all-new material but, as every fan knows, it's not as if the band's members languished in the interim. While a B- and C-sides compilation kept the home franchise alive, singer Tim Armstrong continued working with The Transplants and stretched into musical regions that punk had never touched before as well as proving that a punk could age gracefully but still play to his strengths in...

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Sunday, 07 June 2009
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Sometimes a good, extended break is just what a band needs to recharge and, while none of Tortoise's members sat idle in the five years between the release of It's All Around You and Beacons Of Ancestorship (side projects abounded including work with The Sea And Cake,  Exploding Star Orchestra and  Azita Youssefi to name just a few), there's no arguing that the band has returned fresh, potent and virile on Beacons Of Ancestorship. The band doesn't waste a minute...

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Saturday, 06 June 2009
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Over the last few years (pretty much since 2005's Blinking Lights And Other Revelations came out), much has been made of both Eels frontman Mark Oliver Everett's unusual upbringing (thanks, in no small part, to the singer's autobiographical book, Things The Grandchildren Should Know) and his band's ethereal/otherworldly musical voice that seamlessly combines delicacy, heartbreak, catharsis, dizzying confession and smart-assed sarcasm and does it within a mix of thoroughly unusual and surrealistically arranged pop songs. Meet...

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Saturday, 06 June 2009
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It's been sixteen years since Cracker's sophomore album, Kerosene Hat, and its hit single, “Low,” catapulted the band to rock superstardom for an exceedingly long blink of an eye. If ever a tune came along at precisely the right time, it was “Low” – with weepy, tone deaf and whiny vocals and a noir country guitar arsenal at its disposal, “Low” fit very neatly in between the monster hits of Weezer, Danzig, Lenny Kravitz and Nirvana on the play lists...

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Saturday, 06 June 2009
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Ever taken a dare, and then regretted it? Not just taken one, but fully set yourself up for it? Challenged the world, and then had it slap you back as hard as it could? That's kind of how I feel here. "Oh yeah!" I said, "I can review anything. Give me your most challenging, weird, obscure music, and I'll make sense of it!" And I ended up with Sun Ra and Arnold Dreyblatt. Sun Ra at least seemed like a...

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Thursday, 04 June 2009
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Arts & Crafts' Los Campesinos!–fresh off a five-month stint touring North and South America as well as recording their next album–have announced even more summer tour dates, along with the departure of one of their own. Wrapping up three years with the band, Aleks Campesinos is returning to school (where the band formed) to finish her education. According to the band's blog, this has been the plan all along, and the departure is both on good terms and unsurprising–they've known...

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Wednesday, 03 June 2009