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Some moments are special for a select group of people because they just happened to be in the right head space to appreciate them when those events played out. Sometimes the combination of people, psychology and events just come together by chance; there's no possible way of knowing when that will happen. Some call it luck, others call it a curse but, either way, it changes all of them. One such occurrence was the rise and fall of Nirvana; even...

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Tuesday, 17 November 2009
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While almost everyone on the planet was able to catch the Pixies reunion on their “The Pixies Sell Out” tour, some of us (cough, me) weren’t able to. So, imagine my surprise when one of my favorite bands on the planet not only launched another tour, but a tour playing the entirety of Doolittle, arguably their greatest album. The catch with nostalgia tours, however, is that you never quite know what you’re going to get. Is it going to be...

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Monday, 16 November 2009
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Hello readers, It’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly when I started listening, and enjoying, hardcore music. Though I’ve been listening to (mostly) punk rock for more than ten years, the hardcore element is a rather new addition…which is a bit odd when you think about it. After all, it’s a thin line between skate punk and hardcore… Whatever the case may be, I do know that bands like Minor Threat and F-Minus had a lot to do with the...

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Sunday, 15 November 2009
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Conventional wisdom dictates that imitation is the highest form of flattery but, in the music business, such conduct is more likely to get you sued. Happily though, while Danish pop act The William Blakes may have dedicated their new album to Flaming Lips frontman and mastermind Wayne Coyne (in the liner notes, the dedication reads, “These are the songs we wrote for you. They are about you. All of them.”), the dozen songs comprise Wayne Coyne won't initiate legal action...

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Sunday, 15 November 2009
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As Let's Just Stay Here spins, listeners find themselves being treated to the results of the perfect kind of marriage – the sort that starts with something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. It's a beautiful affair, but what makes it so? What's old: a faded, glorious landscape with lonesome, reverb-touched and dust-swept guitars and Carolyn Mark's own trad country and breathless vocalese. What's new: the timing and delivery of the songs themselves as well as their environment;...

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Sunday, 15 November 2009
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For six records, Devendra Banhart has plumbed the underground and built an impressive reputation for himself with his soul/folk strains but – wouldn't you know? – at the same time he signs to a major label (from XL Recordings to Warner Brothers) he's struck by the inspiration necessary to produce the definitive statement of his “New Weird American” music? From the opening bump of “Can't Help But Smiling,” Banhart finds and happily shows off his new, refined and refreshed blend...

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Friday, 13 November 2009
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There are some features to a woman that, on sight or upon hearing their voices, instantly conjure images, feelings and sequences that intermingle both pictures and emotions in the viewer/listener's mind's eye. Bette Davis had some of the saddest eyes in Hollywood; she was able to make people looking at her on the screen feel tremendous pathos and also anger at the one who hurt her and, as one watches movies like Jezebel, The Man Who Came To Dinner and...

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Friday, 13 November 2009
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Britney Spears needs no introduction. Since first appearing on Top 40 airwaves in 1999, she has captured a global audience and interest in every single movement she makes and every controversial event – be it the “is-she-isn't-she a virgin” debacle that raged virtually until she had a child of the “did she slip Madonna the tongue?” question spawned by the duo's performance on the VMAs years ago (don't forget – Cristina Aguilera was there too!), the nonsense with her mother...

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Friday, 13 November 2009
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It takes a unique band to be of the mental disposition that, as much as they might like it, they can't help but believe that slogan they see on T-shirts, “Punk is dead.” It doesn't happen to every group of course, and even those that do reach that bitter conclusion do so after years of hard work. Social Code are over-achievers in that regard; it only took them three albums to hit that point like a brick wall. So what...

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Friday, 13 November 2009
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I saw Saviours for the first time at a dirty little rock club in the South Side of Chicago. I had a feeling I was in for something unique when lead singer Austin Barber's first words to the crowd was "Lets get weird!" Let's do it, I thought. After seeing this band live, listening through iPod headphones is like switching from crystal meth to decaf coffee. Accelerated Living, Saviours' third full length release, picks right up where their last album,...

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Friday, 13 November 2009