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There is something about the energy level of a hometown show by a Bay Area metal band that just cannot be surpassed. Case in point – although Testament was playing the approximately 1100 person capacity Fillmore, there was a buzz in the air that made me feel like I was transported back in time to an Ozzy Osbourne show at The Cow Palace, circa 1983. People were that excited, and with good reason. It was the band's first time back...

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Thursday, 09 July 2009
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Once, The New York Dolls (along with The Heartbreakers) represented all that was best and bawdiest about the primordial NYC punk scene; they were loud-mouthed, swinging, swaggering queens that nobody wanted to fuck with because they had the dangerous chops to back up their bravado. The band epitomized a romantic image of balls-out rock n' roll in a sea of Eagles/Steely Dan sexless simpiness; David Johansen, Sylvain “Sylvain” Mizrahi, Johnny Thunders, Arthur “Killer” Kane and Billy Murcia had great big...

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158
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Wednesday, 08 July 2009
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In the years since he released Play, Moby has seemed to try everything he can think of to escape the shadow of his own greatest (read: best commercially received) sound creation. In the ten years since the singer/producer made a mint marketing every song on Play, he has tried gimmickry (Last Night), repetition (18) and ignoring what he's accomplished in the past (Hotel) as methods to get out from under Play and the fantastic public reception of it. Unfortunately, either...

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213
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Wednesday, 08 July 2009
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What do you get when you intermingle the sensibilities and staple motifs of every globally celebrated pop act from the last forty-five years with some of the great melodic outsiders and misfits from the same period? That's the question Patrick Watson asks (and answers) with Wooden Arms – an album have would see Syd Barrett, Edgard Varèse, the entire cast from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Mothers Of Invention and The Magic Band sit down to dine and...

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170
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Tuesday, 07 July 2009
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At what point does a phenomenon cease being an annual 'big show' and start being regarded as a cultural staple? Granted, there is no shortage of rock n' roll festivals on the North American summer calendar but, since it launched fifteen years ago, the Vans Warped Tour has seen similar traveling music festivals come and go, trends explode and fade and tastes change as frequently as the number of brews in Molson's brew master book, but has never faltered and...

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245
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Monday, 06 July 2009
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Regina Spektor’s latest release is undoubtedly a testament to her limitless creativity. Her fifth full-length studio album to date, Far is an absolute thrilling 13-track voyage through the inexhaustible psyche of one of the most imaginative and versatile songstresses of our time. Warbling vocals and a stylistic signature all her own, the quirky qualities of phonetic track titles, unorthodox pronunciations and pleasantly unusual content provide fodder for success to repeat the reception of her chart-topping 2006 release, Begin to Hope....

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241
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Monday, 06 July 2009
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At some point in life – whether it's intentional or not – everyone begins to subscribe to British utilitarian philosopher John Stuart Mill's Greatest Happiness Principle. While it is true that some people find joy in the rigmarole of trivial concerns,  eventually the thrill of perpetually fighting an uphill battle fades. When that happens, the pursuit of happiness – or rather, finding the simplest, easiest way to get pleasure out of any endeavor – becomes the paramount concern. No undertaking...

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185
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Sunday, 05 July 2009
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Side projects are strange creatures. When you really think about it, most people pick up instruments and form bands in the first place because they have something they want to say – some sort of personal thing that they want to get out of themselves and maybe convey to others – and sometimes they're lucky enough to turn a living at it but, often when they get to that point, they suddenly feel confined again. Whether it's because they don't...

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201
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Friday, 03 July 2009
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Before Steven Spielberg’s life became consumed with oversized battle bots and nuking fridges, he was part of a modest little enterprise known as Indiana Jones. There was without fail in every film a shot of a map with a little red line scraping across the surface, showing our hero’s progress across the globe. Enter Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground, who are playing their own version of globetrotting. Their latest album, aptly titled Studio Album, is all over the musical...

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205
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Friday, 03 July 2009
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I like bands who experiment, expand, who are always trying something new. My favorite artists—David Bowie, Talking Heads, King Crimson, the Beatles, the Who—did this; every album presented something new, took a step in a new direction. At the opposite extreme, take the Rolling Stones: they continued to innovate until sometime in the mid-70s, when they started repeating themselves, which is when I lost interest. One the other hand, sometimes a band gets in a groove—establishes a sound and does...

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200
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Thursday, 02 July 2009