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At this stage of the game, the group of people under the age of eighteen making music professionally (it gets called 'kid rock,' 'underage rock' and a variety of other such titles that all seem passively condescending) has been polarized into two clearly delineated groups: there are the ones – like Tiny Masters Of Today and Please Quiet Ourselves – with more underground credibility (read: they do not regularly appear on TV) and those – like The Jonas Brothers and...

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Monday, 31 August 2009
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It's a safe assumption that, if you came of age in the Nineties, you're well aware of who Jason Mewes is. As the loud, foul-mouthed, 'hetero life-mate' to Silent Bob in Kevin Smith's New Jersey series of movies that included Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, and Clerks II, Mewes' character Jay has long since been established as an unlikely hero, moral barometer and holder of herbal refreshments in pop culture. The directory of slogans that the character has given viewers...

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Monday, 31 August 2009
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Heaven and Hell are on tour to support their new release, The Devil You Know, and to be able to see this band at The Warfield in San Francisco was exciting in itself because it may be the only time I (or anyone) will ever see them in a non-arena setting. (The show was moved from the San Jose State Event Center.) After a short intermission and stage change to what appeared to be the gates of hell (stone work...

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253
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Sunday, 30 August 2009
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I must say that I really like it when a band tours in support of one of their classic albums. And since I was only 12 years old when Judas Priest released their classic British Steel album way back in 1980, and was still a couple of years away from my first big arena rock show, this was the perfect chance to finally hear some of these classic songs live. And the fact that whole thing went down at The...

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Sunday, 30 August 2009
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Sometimes events finally get around to unfolding as they should rather than only manifesting as a fairly decent, palatable-in-passing facsimile of what people hoped would come about. For The Artist Life, that time is now; after three and a half years of label frustrations and personnel problems of a degree and severity that would leave most bands wondering if their future had any security at all, events are finally starting to align in The Artist Life's favor. It may not...

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Wednesday, 26 August 2009
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After an extended period of time off that found the band's individual membership developing new ideas apart (Aaron Freeman took the Gene Ween Band out on tour, doing acoustic sets of Ween songs both alone and with drummer Claude Coleman), Ween has announced that it is reconvening for a string of dates down the West Coast of the United States. This tour will mark the first occasion on which the band has indulged in regular road work since 2008 and,...

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Tuesday, 25 August 2009
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More than any other art form, rock music needs its fans. Its power, its very raison d'etre, is dependent on fans. Poets can scribble away in their attics, painters can stand in a field alone and paint. Even movies and television, seemingly social art forms, put a screen between the art and the audience. But a rock musician without an audience might as well not exist. On a basic level, fans created rock'n'roll—or at least midwifed it into existence. They...

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Monday, 24 August 2009
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After an extended period of rejection (cursed Pizza Hut), side project involvement (The Gene Ween Band, drummer Claude Coleman's solo endeavor, the list goes on), worry and frustration, Ween has finally reconvened for its first proper tour since 2008 – a short jaunt up the West coast. In addition, Dean Ween was recently quoted as saying that the band has begun rehearsing for a new studio album which will probably also be released in 2009. Friday, Aug 28Les Schwab AmphitheatreBend,...

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Monday, 24 August 2009
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Sophomore albums are hard to please. You hear a debut album and decide if you are a fan or not. And then for the second release, you half expect the same style and sound just with a fresher vibe. MUTEMATH really took a drastic approach with Armistice and changed up what we thought would be the natural progression of things. After the initial surprise, Armistice is still experimental in the way that they combine eight different genres, but sounds a...

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254
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Sunday, 23 August 2009
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It's been two years since Collective Soul released an album and eight since the band began experiencing personnel problems (lead guitarist Ross Childress left in 2001, and the band is on its third drummer since 2004) but, from the moment “Welcome All Again” crashes through speakers to open the record, there isn't anyone listening that would know it. Brimming with totally refreshed urgency, “Welcome All Again” feels like the anthem that long-time listeners have been hoping for since the band...

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235
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Saturday, 22 August 2009