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There are a lot of clever turns of phrase that could be used to qualify Party Rock, but in the vernacular most regularly employed by the audience that LMFAO is making a play to entice, “Oh no, they didn't.” Oh no, they didn't give two weak-ass emcees a record contract. Oh no, mic mis-handlers S.K. Gordy and S.A. Gordy didn't bother to learn how to flow before making their debut, beyond cramming as many syllables and as much sixteenth note...

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Friday, 31 July 2009
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It's the kind of conventional wisdom that every parent teaches their children, but the sort of lesson that needs to be periodically re-learned: don't judge a book by its cover. Or rather, in the case of Andrew W.K. (born Andrew Wilkes-Krier), “Don't judge an artist by the cover of his first record.” Of course, it's very hard not to make (groundless) assumptions based on the cover image of I Get Wet and the story behind that photo; when it came...

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Tuesday, 28 July 2009
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There are few moments of greater anticipation in the day-to-day operation of a band than that magic minute when, with a brand new album in hand, the group visits its record label to show off what they've done. It can be very tense; when the elected representative of a band sits down with the people that have championed them to that point and voluntarily elects to dissect their newest offering, there can be cheers and celebration at a job well...

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Monday, 27 July 2009
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Saturday’s 2009 Pitchfork Music Festival coverage can be found HERE. 8:03 As far as the Flaming Lips are concerned, I’ve heard crazy things about their live shows, but nothing really prepared me for this trippy ride through all the colors of the rainbow. I decided I was just going to throw down my beach mat and have a solo picnic back in the nosebleed section of the park. As the sun set, the whole park was buzzing with the unexpected....

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Monday, 27 July 2009
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Every rule seems to have an exception, and Rise Against are one of the few exceptions to my general rule of thumb that today's punk rock bands just don't "get it." Rather than rant and rave while sounding like the bitter old man that I can sometimes be when it comes to music these days, let me just say I have always respected Rise Against, not only for their music, but also because they are one of the few bands...

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Sunday, 26 July 2009
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Hometowns have a unique way of existing, being different things for different people, all in one zip code. For Paul Banwatt, Amy Cole and Nils Edenloff, home is a song. Or thirteen. The trio forms the Rural Alberta Advantage, and they are the creators of whimsical, achingly honest indie rock piped straight from the essence of their native Alberta on Hometowns. This album sings to all things Alberta; “Frank, AB” even nods to a devastating landslide in 1903. These kids...

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Friday, 24 July 2009
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Has there been an indie rock supergroup? Sure, there have been rock supergroups, like the Traveling Wilburys or Damn Yankees, country supergroups like The Highwaymen, punk supergroups including Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, and failed supergroups like Audioslave and Zwan. You might argue that Broken Social Scene is an indie rock supergroup, but seeing how a majority of the members gained widespread fame for their main projects only after the release of You Forgot It In People, I'm gonna...

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Friday, 24 July 2009
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Sunday’s 2009 Pitchfork Music Festival coverage can be found HERE. Here’s another reminder of why I love Chicago in the summer: Pitchfork Festival. Stationed at Union Park, it is not as big as Lollapalooza but it’s better that way. A weekend of hippies and hipsters joining together for a music festival that brings in new talent, unnoticed bands and groundbreaking veterans. Sometimes it breaks my heart that I can’t see it all. Overlapping band schedules are always a bummer and...

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Friday, 24 July 2009
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Anyone that has been following Our Lady Peace since the band's debut appeared in 1994 had an couldn't have not had inkling of what was coming because the progression the band has followed has been exactly the same one that so many other beloved bands have charted. For the curious, the path goes about like this: appear and make a splash with the first album, set the world on fire and become a household name at the release of sophomore...

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Thursday, 23 July 2009
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Sometimes when the 'rock n' roll' context and instrumentation of even the most classic songs is removed or augmented, it becomes readily apparent just how poor or flat-out dumb and laughable the music of the genre can be. For example, when the Flaming Lips covered “Borderline” (a Madonna song) and ended up totally changing the face of it with only a little testosterone, the song just wilted. Conversely, Paul Anka's Rock Swings! album – which collected monster hits from the...

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Thursday, 23 July 2009